Aug 252016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Yesterday evening, the Orleans Parish Republican Executive Committee heard from seven of the two dozen candidates running for the U.S. Senate to replace David Vitter. Although their endorsement won’t be announced until after tonight’s forum for candidates running for judgeships and Orleans Parish School Board, it was obvious from the vibe in the room that state Treasurer John Kennedy is the clear choice of many New Orleans Republican heavy hitters. Continue reading »

Aug 182016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

The American Red Cross labeled it “the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy.”

With last week’s devastating floods which displaced more than 40,000 citizens and caused 11 deaths, along with Tuesday’s 47th anniversary of Hurricane Camille and the upcoming 11th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana’s citizens should focus on what climate change has already done to our state and their personal responsibility to create a more sustainable future. Continue reading »

Aug 112016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released last week shows that only 1 percent of registered African-American voters overall support Donald Trump. Some strategists consider this trend problematic and could cost Trump the popular vote in many states like Louisiana with high African-American registration. In fact, Louisiana has the second highest percentage of African-American voters (32 percent) than any state in the nation except Mississippi (37 percent).

Trump of course is making up for his lack of African-American voters by his continued (though slightly eroding) support from the white working class who feel their way of life is being threatened. Trump simply tapped into their establishment-hating attitudes that have been simmering for years. Continue reading »

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Aug 042016
 
Former Louisiana Govs. Buddy Roemer, Kathleen Blanco and Edwin Edwards share a laugh during one of the lighter moments during Wednesday night's panel discussion at Loyola University. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Former Louisiana Govs. Buddy Roemer, Kathleen Blanco and Edwin Edwards share a laugh during one of the lighter moments during a March 2014 panel discussion at Loyola University. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

More than a year ago while addressing the West St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce, Louisiana’s colorful, powerful and legendary 50th governor Edwin Washington Edwards said that Donald J. Trump would ultimately “wear himself out.” And so he has.

Trump just can’t seem to help himself. No matter how hard he tries to convince voters that he has the judgment and discipline to lead the world’s greatest democracy, Trump continues to spew bombast rhetoric that is embarrassing Republican leaders and mainstream voters across the nation — many, like Newt Gingrich, who are now having second thoughts about his electability. Continue reading »

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Aug 022016
 
Ben Kleban (left), founder of NOLA College Prep, and Jamar McKneely, CEO of Inspire NOLA charter schools, share a laugh during an April 20 forum on school unification hosted by 100 Black Men of New Orleans. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Ben Kleban (left), founder of NOLA College Prep, and Jamar McKneely, CEO of Inspire NOLA charter schools, share a laugh during an April 20 forum on school unification hosted by 100 Black Men of New Orleans. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Ben Kleban, the founder of the New Orleans College Prep network of charter schools, is now the unopposed candidate for the open Uptown-based District 5 seat on the Orleans Parish School Board after his lone opponent withdrew from the race. Continue reading »

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Jul 302016
 
Mandisa Moore-O'Neal of Black Youth Project 100, Ursula Price of the NOPD Independent Police Monitor's office, and Marjorie Esman of the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union discuss issues of police militarization at the Green Party state convention Saturday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Mandisa Moore-O’Neal of Black Youth Project 100, Ursula Price of the NOPD Independent Police Monitor’s office, and Marjorie Esman of the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union discuss issues of police militarization at the Green Party state convention Saturday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

In contrast with high-profile incidents around the country, the New Orleans Police Department has not had a single officer-involved shooting so far in 2016, prompting civil-rights activists to suggest that the sweeping reforms of the NOPD should be expanded in other communities like Baton Rouge and applied to officers from other agencies like the Louisiana State Police or Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office who come into the city.

“NOPD has not fired their weapon at any human being this year,” said Ursula Price of the Independent Police Monitor’s office. “We are making progress.” Continue reading »

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Jul 282016
 
Hillary Clinton speaks to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday in a photo by Louisiana delegate Cynthia Hedge-Morrell. (photo courtesy of Danae Columbus)

Hillary Clinton speaks to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday in a photo by Louisiana delegate Cynthia Hedge-Morrell. (photo courtesy of Danae Columbus)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Hillary Clinton’s acceptance of the Democratic nomination for President tonight will be a huge milestone in the long drive by millions of women for electoral equality. Will Hillary’s support from women, black and Hispanic voters be strong enough to elect her in November? Continue reading »

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Jul 212016
 
Paul Bonin shares a chuckle after qualifying to run for Criminal District Court. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Paul Bonin shares a chuckle after qualifying to run for Criminal District Court. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Political insiders are shaking their heads this week as to why Paul Bonin, a widely-popular 4th Circuit Court of Appeals judge who has more than five years remaining on his current term, would decide to run for a lower-paying judgeship in the rough-and-tumble Criminal District Court. Continue reading »

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Jul 202016
 
Surrounded by his family, Ben Kleban files to run for a seat on the Orleans Parish School Board. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Surrounded by his family, Ben Kleban files to run for a seat on the Orleans Parish School Board. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Woody Koppel

Woody Koppel

The founder of the New Orleans College Prep charter network qualified Wednesday morning to run for the open District 5 seat on the Orleans Parish School Board, and current school board member Woody Koppel also filed for re-election in his District 6. Continue reading »

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Jul 192016
 
Seth Bloom

Seth Bloom

Seth Bloom, who has represented a large swath of Uptown on the Orleans Parish School Board for eight years, will not run for re-election this fall, he announced Tuesday evening — leaving his seat open a day before candidates begin qualifying for the election. Continue reading »

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Jul 172016
 
U.S. Senate candidate Caroline Fayard speaks at a rally at Urban South Brewing on Tchoupitoulas Street on Saturday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

U.S. Senate candidate Caroline Fayard speaks at a rally at Urban South Brewing on Tchoupitoulas Street on Saturday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

In the competitive race for the U.S. Senate seat soon to be vacated by David Vitter, attorney Caroline Fayard sought to distinguish herself in a New Orleans campaign stop Saturday by focusing on two themes that have played a role in this year’s Democratic Presidential primary — reducing the burden of student debt to spur small-business creation, and promoting equal pay for women. Continue reading »

Jul 142016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

The 75 Louisiana Republicans heading to next week’s national convention in Cleveland are gearing up for several exciting days of politics and parties as presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump moves quickly to solidify his base heading into the November election battle against Democrat Hillary Clinton. Continue reading »

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Jul 122016
 
A protester holds a sign during a rally demanding justice for Eric Harris on Friday, July 8. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

A protester holds a sign during a rally demanding justice for Eric Harris on Friday, July 8. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Louisiana became a flashpoint this week for the seemingly never-ending debate over police shootings. Alas, the general reaction has been to draw the wrong conclusions and debate the wrong issue. Continue reading »

Jul 092016
 
The mother of Eric Harris, who was shot to death Feb. 8 by Jefferson Parish deputies, marches with a sign demanding justice for her son following a rally in Central City on Friday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The mother of Eric Harris, who was shot to death Feb. 8 by Jefferson Parish deputies, marches with a sign demanding justice for her son following a rally in Central City on Friday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Exactly five months ago, while Lundi Gras parades rolled just a few blocks away, the street outside Thaunta Kirk’s front door rapidly devolved into bloody chaos after 22-year-old Eric Harris crashed into a utility pole and Jefferson Parish deputies shot him to death while he sat in his front seat.

On Friday, Kirk watched a very different scene unfold from her Phillip Street porch — a large group of people from all walks of life gathered not only to remember Harris, but to demand accountability from the police system that killed him. Continue reading »

Jul 082016
 
(via https://www.facebook.com/events/286132271741029/)

(via https://www.facebook.com/events/286132271741029/)

The Family of Eric Harris, a man who was recently killed in the Central City by deputies from the Jefferson Parish Sherriff’s Office, and organizers for #JusticeForEricHarrisNOLA will hold a solidarity press conference, rally and community march at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 8.

According to organizers, the press conference is being held to communicate a stand of solidarity with the family and communities of both Alton Sterling of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile of St. Paul, Minnesota, who were both killed by police in recent days. Continue reading »

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Jul 062016
 
Children play dodgeball during the Freret Get-Together at Evans Park in December 2014. The event was hosted by the Evans Park Booster Club, with activities organized by Eric and Claudean Capers of Anytime Fitness. (Photo by Liz Jurey, courtesy of Freret Neighborhood Center)

Children play dodgeball during the Freret Get-Together at Evans Park in December 2014. The event was hosted by the Evans Park Booster Club, with activities organized by Eric and Claudean Capers of Anytime Fitness. (Photo by Liz Jurey, courtesy of Freret Neighborhood Center)

The Urban Conservancy and the national landscape architecture firm of Asakura Robinson will host a workshop this weekend aimed at bolstering the public outreach requirements and revenue goals for parks in New Orleans through amendments to the city’s master plan. Continue reading »

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Jun 302016
 
U.S. Senate candidate Josh Pellerin speaks with voters in a video produced by his campaign. (via YouTube)

U.S. Senate candidate Josh Pellerin speaks with voters in a video produced by his campaign. (via YouTube)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Even today, many older Americans still may have a hard time admitting that an ancestor is bi-racial. But not 34-year-old U.S. Senate candidate Josh Pellerin, a Franklin, La., native and energy company owner based outside Lafayette who views his complex ancestry — and the way it mirrors the history of the state — as part of his appeal to Louisianans. Continue reading »

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Jun 272016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

I’ve only been to New York City once in my life, on a family vacation when I was in my early teens during the notorious reign of Mayor David Dinkins. We stayed in a hotel on Times Square rising high above the debauchery below.

After we arrived, I ventured off briefly on my own to see a smattering of strip clubs, peep shows, purveyors of adult materials and the like. There was virtually nothing I could legally enter. I finally caught sight of a video arcade, which seemed wholesome enough. It was wallpapered floor to ceiling in pornography. Continue reading »