Sep 062018
 
Dr. Tammy Savoie will challenging incumbent Steve Scalise for Congress seat

Dr. Tammy Savoie, a psychologist and retired Air Force lieutenant colonel challenging incumbent Steve Scalise for Congress, speaks at a Democratic fundraiser in the Warehouse District on July 24. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

With a stunning victory Tuesday night against 22-year Congresssman Mike Capuano, Boston City Council member Ayanna Pressley is the latest candidate to upend the traditional political party system in America. An avowed progressive who was endorsed by the Democratic Party structure, Capuano is the fourth House incumbent to be defeated by a fresh face who was able to connect with voters in a very real way. An African-American female, Pressley is a former aide to Rep. Joseph Kennedy and Sen. John Kerry who has worked her way up by keen networking and strong performances. Continue reading »

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Aug 302018
 

Stakeholders including GNOF’s Andy Kopplin, former Council candidate Tilman Hardy and former Councilmember Oliver Thomas discuss options for Spirit of Charity District at community meeting. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Though there is much progressive talk in New Orleans these days about the need for economic and social equity, the viability of the redevelopment of Charity Hospital and its surrounding footprint will be decided in part by the willingness of Mayor LaToya Cantrell, the City Council and the judges of Civil District Court to relocate into the former hospital. Without their participation, the overall development – with its strong commitment to affordable housing, DBE participation, training and workforce development – would suffer from a severe funding gap. A significant public subsidy would be needed to get the project off the ground. An “active tenant” such as city government is necessary to make the project’s financial numbers work. Continue reading »

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Aug 292018
 

(image courtesy of David Mora)

I hear it’s pouring rain today in New Orleans. How apt. Most of my friends say they will not watch television today. I haven’t seen my friend Kim Abramson in person for years, but today her Instagram post was one of grief. It reads, “We won’t turn on the TV today, because I can’t take the images. I love you, New Orleans, hang in there.”

Many others are planning a social media blackout. I will likely employ both survival tactics. For that is what we did—Katrina survivors, the luckier few anyway—we survived. Far too many did not.

Yesterday afternoon, Times-Picayune reporter Melinda Morris innocently Tweeted, “Where were you 13 years ago today?” The roundup’s responses brought forth emotions forgotten in the daily hustle. More poignantly, it brought tears. Morris admitted she can’t bring herself to watch video feed of Hurricane Katrina.

There were numerous emotional admissions from New Orleans and Mississippi on yesterday’s social media, emotions and memories that the rest of America will never be able to grasp. Many started crying. I was one of them. Continue reading »

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Aug 232018
 

Louisiana Secretary of State contenders A.G. Crowe, Gwen Collins-Greenup and Renee Fontenot Free address the New Orleans Coalition earlier this week. (photp by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Thousands of women candidates across the country — like two running for Secretary of State in Louisiana, Renee Fontenot Free and Gwen Collins-Greenup — will be celebrating Women’s Equality Day on Sunday, August 26. During the battle over the Equal Rights Amendment, Congresswoman Bella Abzug introduced a resolution in 1973 recognizing the August 26, 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the constitutional right to vote. Continue reading »

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Aug 162018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

What do Julie Stokes, Richard Perque, A.G. Crowe, Chelsey Richard Napoleon, Marie Williams, Heather Cloud and Omar Mason have in common? All are candidates for state or local office in the November 6, 2018 elections who made sizeable personal loans to their campaigns. By beefing up fundraising totals, these candidates became more viable which in turn helps future fundraising. Several other contenders – Kyle Ardoin, Kenneth Plaisance, and Renee Fontenot Free – also loaned themselves the fees needed to qualify and were quickly reimbursed. Continue reading »

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Aug 092018
 

New York City’s progressive mayor, Mayor Bill De Blasio, speaks at the Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

“It could be a toss-up,” said former Congressman Bob Livingston when asked Monday if he thought the Republican Party would stay in power after the November 2018 mid-term elections. “I believe the GOP will remain in control, but I have been wrong on occasion. The Ohio congressional special election will be a good test of Republican strength.” Readers probably know that Republican Troy Balderson, 35, declared victory over Danny O’Connor, 31, after narrowly leading Election Day voting in Ohio earlier this week. The outcome could change — or not — after thousands of provisional ballots are counted. Continue reading »

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Aug 022018
 

Need to Impeach organizer Tom Steyer talks with voters who attended his town hall meeting last night at the Audubon Tea Room. (Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

An anti-Trump spirit was clearly in the air last night as a standing room only crowd participated in the “Need to Impeach” town hall meeting at the Audubon Tea Room. The event was sponsored by billionaire investor Tom Steyer, the founder and president of Need to Impeach and NextGen America, thought to be U.S.’s largest progressive political operation aimed at the 2018 midterm elections. Barnstorming the country as part of a well-funded national outreach, Steyer will address the Netroots Nation conference currently underway at the Morial Convention Center later today and is sponsoring a Pub Quiz Friday evening. Continue reading »

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Jul 262018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

I used to think that purchasing a “whole house” generator or putting a dozen or more solar panels on my roof was an unnecessary expense. Now I am reconsidering those options after surviving a recent brownout on one of those 100 degree days – and realizing the electricity is going out in New Orleans neighborhoods far too often. Continue reading »

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Jul 202018
 

New Orleans Baby Cakes Burger grilled with caramelized bacon onion jam and cream cheese on a Mardi Gras glazed sugar brioche bun. (photo credit: Julie Couret)

#TeamBabyCakes

via twitter.com/cakesbaseball

If there is one thing New Orleans likes more than controversy—and even baseball–it’s a social media war. This time it’s not the kale lady, the Disney gumbo video (an abomination), or even that New York travel writer (#besafe). But, yes, the yanks are at it again, literally.

The New York Yankees’ minor league baseball affiliate are attacking our team’s king cake baby on several fronts. The Scranton Baby Bombers, to put it delicately, are battling our New Orleans Baby Cakes. Not all of it is nice, not at all. Continue reading »

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Jul 192018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

With qualifying currently underway for clerk and other positions in both First City and Second City Courts, good government advocates are questioning why Orleans Parish still operates two separate courts with two clerks and constables that basically perform the same function – handling small claims. Continue reading »

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Jul 132018
 

La Crêpe Nanou’s Classic garlic wine broth Moules et Frites (Kristine Froeba)

France’s La Fête Nationale, or national celebration, commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. La Crêpe Nanou, our resident French bistro, has been an Uptown touchstone since 1983. At 35 years of age, it hasn’t a long history, but in restaurant years, remarkable nonetheless.

In a city where things are changing more often than not, the familiar is appreciated. A plate of steaming Moules et Frites bathed in a garlicky white wine sauce and a crusty baguette at La Crêpe Nanou’s qualifies. Continue reading »

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Jul 122018
 

Lawyer and activist Megan Kiefer, pictured with her uncle Chris Kiefer, believes that younger voters will change politics. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

As President Trump continues to reshape American politics, millennials like New Orleans personal injury lawyer Megan Kiefer, 34, are no longer willing to sit on the political sidelines. A married homeowner living in Bywater, Kiefer is a passionate advocate for issues she believes important and recently played a leadership role in defeating the proposed Sun Yard hotel project. “People want to live comfortably, happily and want a government that will allow them to do that,” said Kiefer. Continue reading »

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Jul 062018
 

California residents Teila Evans, Zena Dave’, Destiny Bennett head to the second line parade which kicked off the 24th annual Essence Music Festival. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Oakland California residents Teila Evans, Destiny Bennett and Zena Dave’ couldn’t be more excited about the 24th Annual Essence Music Festival which opened Thursday and runs through Sunday. “This is our first time to attend Essence. We’ve been planning this trip for months and are going to take in as many activities as possible,” said Evans, who manages client partnerships at a California company called Envoy. Dave’ is a marketing manager and Bennett works in social media. Female professionals are Essence’s target audience.

Since the Essence Festival began in 1994 almost 500,000 people have attended the empowerment seminars and marketplace at the Morial Convention Center, the evening concerts at the Louisiana Superdome and the myriad special events. This year will be no different. The empowerment seminars have become so popular that they are now dubbed the “Essence Empowerment Experience” and will occupy an even larger footprint. Already 70,000 people have signed up for one of the eight conference tracks. Continue reading »

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Jul 012018
 

The Sassy Private Chef’s Shrimp n’ Grit’s Recipe as featured on Bravo

Bravo’s Chef Benny Poppins aka Benjamin Levasseur (photo by G. Doucet)

Each series has one breakout character, and while the Bravo Southern Charm New Orleans series offered little to locals other than indigestion, it did present us with the sass of New Orleans’ private cook, Mr. Benny Poppins.

Poppins, aka Benjamin Levasseur, originally from Algiers, plies his trade amongst New Orleans’ families as a personal cook. “The name ‘Benny Poppins’ came from working closely with families and their children as a personal chef, and it stuck,” said Levasseur. Continue reading »

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Jun 282018
 

Jared Brossett (at left) is considering a challenge to the new clerk of court, Chelsey Richard Napoleon (at right). (submitted photos)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

With qualifying still three weeks away, the contest to replace longtime Civil District Court Clerk Dale Atkins has already heated up with two strong candidates – Interim Civil District Court Clerk Chelsey Richard Napoleon and District D Councilmember Jared Brossett. Continue reading »

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