Jul 282017
 

All six City Council District A candidates prepare for Tuesday night’s forum presented by Step Up Louisiana (Claire Byun/cbyun@nolamessenger.com)

By Claire Byun
cbyun@nolamessenger.com

All six City Council District A candidates have varied solutions on the citywide drainage problem that plagues several Uptown neighborhoods.

Nearly 100 people squeezed into the Nazareth Baptist Church in Hollygrove on Tuesday to hear all six District A candidates discuss four main issues: potholed roads; a lack of community schools; increasing the city’s minimum wage; and the citywide drainage problem. The forum was presented by Step Up Louisiana, which works to build political power to fight for education and economic justice.

Moderators asked candidates how they will improve drainage in an area habitually flooded after heavy rains – like much of the city. Some candidates argued for legislative action resulting in drainage improvement funding, while others urged the community to help themselves first. Continue reading »

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Jul 202017
 

Louis Gurvich (courtesy photo)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

New Orleans business leader Louis Gurvich, a long-time member of the Orleans Parish Republican Executive Committee and the Republican State Central Committee, wants to be elected chairman of Louisiana’s Republican Party, now 900,000 members strong. If elected, Gurvich will succeed current state party chair Roger Villere, who is retiring after overseeing the Republicans’ rise to dominance in state politics over the last 14 years. Villere is the longest-serving state GOP chair in the U.S. and is vice chair of the Republican National Committee.

“When Roger first became chair, the Louisiana Republican Party was a much smaller, less powerful organization,” said Gurvich, who also previously served on the Orleans Parish Board of Election Supervisors. Secretary of State Fox McKeithen was the only Republican statewide elected official. Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards is the only statewide elected Democrat. The number of parish-level and regional Republican elected officials has also grown significantly. Continue reading »

Jul 142017
 

Eugene Ben (submitted photo)

Eugene Ben, an architect with more than a decade of experience developing housing in Central City, became the sixth and final candidate Friday to join the race for the open District B seat on the New Orleans City Council. Continue reading »

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Jul 142017
 

Toyia Washington-Kendrick (photo courtesy of Danae Columbus)

Aylin Maklansky (campaign photo)

Two more candidates — a charter school assistant principal and an attorney who has worked on the City Council staff — qualified Thursday to run for the open seat representing District A on the council, bringing the total field to six contenders with a few hours left to for more to join. Continue reading »

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Jul 132017
 

Andre Strumer (via Facebook)

Dan Ring (via Go Fund Me)

The races for the District A and B seats on the New Orleans City Council each drew additional candidates late Wednesday and Thursday morning — Dan Ring in District A and “Action Andre” Stumer in District B — and one expected candidate, Eric Johnson, announced that he was withdrawing his candidacy. Continue reading »

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Jul 132017
 

Candidates for mayor by noon Thursday were (from top left) Michael Bagneris, LaToya Cantrell, Desiree Charbonnet, Charles Anderson, Bryon Cole, Matthew Hill, Johnese Smith. (photos by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

For anyone who loves politics, qualifying days for the October 14 election are exciting. It’s a time of reckoning when those who have been telling the public they will run have to pay the qualifying fees. All is revealed.

Close to 40 candidates along with family and friends and a large contingency of local media have already crowded into the offices of Clerk of Criminal Court Arthur Morrell, where the process takes place. Each candidate first completes the necessary paperwork and then raises his or her right hand to swear the accuracy of information presented. Candidates whose information – including compliance with residency and tax requirements – later proves to be inaccurate often face legal challenges. Continue reading »

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Jul 122017
 

Candidates who qualified for the District A seat on the City Council on Wednesday morning were (top row, from left) Joe Giarrusso III, Tilman Hardy, Drew Ward. In District B, (bottom row) Jay H. Banks and Seth Bloom qualified. (UptownMessenger.com graphic via candidates’ photos)

An entrepreneur and Carrollton neighborhood leader joined the field for the District A seat on the New Orleans City Council on Wednesday, as candidates began filing their paperwork to appear on the ballot. Continue reading »

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Jul 112017
 

From left, Joe Giarrusso, Aylin Maklansky and Drew Ward have all begun their campaigns for the open District A seat on the New Orleans City Council. (campaign photos)

The competition for the open New Orleans City Council seat serving the Audubon, university, Bayou St. John and Lakeview areas is becoming more visible as the official filing period for this year’s city elections is about to begin. Continue reading »

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Jul 102017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

When it comes to the day-to-day concerns of ordinary New Orleanians, it has become increasingly clear that Mayor Landrieu has, to put it mildly, completely tuned out. Gone are those halcyon days when Landrieu at least gave lip service, if not substantive effort, towards governing our fair city.

It’s becoming clear that Landrieu’s attentions have been completely diverted, and his efforts have tilted entirely in favor of preening for a national audience. Continue reading »

Jul 062017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

When state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson told Gambit last week she was “doing all the due diligence that a serious potential candidate has to do” before entering the race for mayor, one of her chief tasks was a meeting with her protégée, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell.

Cantrell felt betrayed, disappointed, and hurt, according to sources close to the family, and the ever-feisty Cantrell quickly responded that she was in the mayor’s race to stay. Last night, the popular senator reversed course and announced that she would not join the mayor’s race after all. Continue reading »

Jul 052017
 

Of Louisiana’s six congressional districts, two (districts 1 and 5) are nearly split into separate sections. (image from the National Atlas of the United States, via Wikipedia)

A group of activists has begun organizing a fight redraw Louisiana’s Congressional districts away from the indescribable shapes of their current “gerrymandered” forms into common-sense arrangements that better represent geographical regions of the state. Continue reading »

Jun 292017
 

Councilman James Gray with New Orleans East civic leader Leila Eames and State Rep. John Bagneris at Gray’s campaign kickoff Tuesday night. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

District E Councilman James Gray celebrated yesterday’s reopening of the Winn Dixie supermarket at 9701 Chef Menteur Highway – which had been closed four months because of tornado damage – as the latest example of how New Orleans East continues to prosper. Continue reading »

Jun 232017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

This week’s tropical storm Cindy is just the latest example that the New Orleans region and the entire Gulf Coast must become better at living with water rather than merely struggling to defeat it. From powerful waves breaking over the sea walls on Lakeshore Drive and in Covington to flooding caused by storm surge in Venetian Isles, Myrtle Grove and Grand Isle, we must employ what the Dutch call “inventive urbanism” to make our towns and cities more resilient. Continue reading »