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 »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Qualifying brings votes more options but few surprises — yet
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 »

 Comments Off on Another contender to join District A field as filing for New Orleans elections begins
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 »

 Comments Off on Competition intensifies for open District A City Council seat as filing period approaches
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 »

Jun 152017
 

Former School Board member Seth Bloom announces his candidacy for the District B seat on the New Orleans City Council on Wednesday, June 14, at the Martine Chaisson Gallery in the Central Business District. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Calling for a “fresh start” in the city of New Orleans, former School Board member Seth Bloom launched his City Council candidacy on Wednesday night, positioning himself as the vanguard of a new generation of civic leadership. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Seth Bloom promises new generation of City Council leadership, “a fresh start” for New Orleans
Jun 152017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Indivisible New Orleans, a group of about 150 New Orleans voters aligned with the national “Indivisible” movement that sprung up to oppose President Trump’s agenda, are holding the first mayoral candidate forum of this campaign season Saturday morning at the Unitarian Universalist Church in uptown New Orleans.

Candidates LaToya Cantrell, Michael Bagneris and Desiree Charbonnet were invited. All three initially confirmed their participation. Charbonnet recently notified INO of a previously scheduled out of town trip to Washington, D.C. and will not be attending. Continue reading »

Jun 142017
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell listens to resident Babom Horton during a campaign event Tuesday evening at a home in Broadmoor.

As City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell kicked off her mayoral campaign Tuesday night in Broadmoor, she said she has been considering the idea of changing the structure of city government to make the chief of the New Orleans Police Department a separately elected position to increase law-enforcement accountability to the public. Continue reading »

Jun 132017
 

District B City Council candidates Catherine Love and Timothy David Ray speak Monday night before the Faubourg Delachaise Neighborhood Association at Spirit Wine on Magazine. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

In a city with such costly obligations that money to prosecute criminals has to be weighed against fixing roads, finding new revenue and holding down expenses are the only way to increase the services the city can afford.

And one possible solution, two candidates for District B suggested Monday night, may be legalizing marijuana, reducing the cost of enforcing drug laws that overburden all elements of the criminal justice system and raising money for new projects through taxes. Continue reading »