Aug 132019
 

As a proud man of faith, local elected leader, homeowner, non-profit director, husband-to-be, and parent, I humbly request the honor of using my decade of experience serving our community to represent District 97 in the Louisiana State House of Representatives.

It has been my great privilege to represent District 2 on the Orleans Parish School Board, serving students, parents, teachers, and school leaders in our city. And while we have accomplished great things for our students and families since I have been elected, there is much more work to be done to ensure that our children and families are able to thrive. We must tackle the systemic and solvable intersecting issues involving healthcare, poverty, workforce, education, housing, and criminal justice. I am committed to addressing these issues to improve the lives of everyone in District 97. Continue reading »

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Aug 092019
 

Incumbent Sen. Karen Carter Peterson (at left) has drawn three challengers for the Uptown-based District 5 seat: “Fox Rich” Richardson (left), Allen Borne Jr. and Ronald Brown Jr. (not pictured). (via candidate Facebook pages)

In the final hours of qualifying on Thursday, the already-crowded field of contenders for about a dozen seats representing New Orleans in the state legislature swelled again to nearly 40 candidates — including the entry of three challengers to Sen. Karen Carter Peterson and a fifth candidate for House District 91.

District 91 candidates Pepper Bowen Roussel, Carling Dinkler, Mandie Landry and Robert McKnight. Not pictured: John Perry III. (via candidate websites)

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Aug 082019
 

Term-limits on a number of state legislators elected after Hurricane Katrina brought an initial flurry of candidates to newly-vacant seats in the first two days of qualifying this week, but no new contenders joined the crowded field on Thursday morning as only a few hours remained before the afternoon’s deadline for the Oct. 12 election. Continue reading »

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Aug 082019
 

Former Zulu King Adonis Expose (photo at left) swears to the accuracy of his qualifying documents. Candace Newell (center) signs her qualifying papers with supporters including City Councilman Jay H. Banks and Barbara Lacen-Keller. L. Jameel Shaheer (right), a former New Orleans firefighter poses with his family and Criminal Clerk of Arthur Morrell. (photos by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

State Sen. Wesley Bishop’s surprise announcement last Friday that he would not seek re-election has set the stage for a power struggle between two former Zulu kings — 2017 Zulu King Adonis Expose and 2016 Zulu King Jay Banks, a popular member of the New Orleans City Council and powerbroker of the BOLD political organization. After Bishop’s decision became public, State Rep. Jimmy Harris — whose current house district overlaps portions of Bishop’s Senate District 4 — staked his claim on Bishop’s seat rather than running for re-election in House District 99.

Expose, a businessman and community organizer, quickly stepped up for what could have been an easily, winnable contest against L. Jameel Shaheer, a former firefighter with limited resources who had previously declared his candidacy to “help the community.” Instead, lawyer and long-time government operative Candace Nikeia Newell arrived at qualifying with several member of the BOLD political organization including Councilmember Banks. Clearly the battle lines were drawn. Continue reading »

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Aug 072019
 

District 91 candidates Carling Dinkler, Mandie Landry and Robert McKnight. Not pictured: John Perry III. (via candidate websites)

District 98 candidates Evan Bergeron, Aimee Adatto Freeman, Ravi Sangisetty, Kea Sherman and Carlos Zervigon. Not pictured: Max Hayden Chiz and Marion “Penny” Freistadt. (via official websites)

Four more candidates joined the hunt for two open seats representing Uptown New Orleans in the Louisiana state House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon, bringing the total to 11 contenders for the two positions. Continue reading »

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Aug 062019
 

District 91 candidates Carling Dinkler, Mandie Landry and Robert McKnight. (via candidate websites)

Several seats in the Louisiana state legislature will be vacant this year because their representatives are term-limited, and a crowd of contenders showed up Tuesday morning for the first day of the official qualifying period for the Oct. 12 election.

District 98 candidates Evan Bergeron, Aimee Adatto Freeman, Ravi Sangisetty and Kea Sherman. (via official websites)

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 Comments Off on Open state legislature seats draw crowded fields as qualifying period begins
Jul 082019
 

Gov. John Bel Edwards greets supporters Monday morning at a campaign rally on Thalia Street in the Lower Garden District. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards kicked off his re-election campaign Monday morning with a rally in the Lower Garden District, drawing a crowd of New Orleans supporters with his message of progress on health care and the economy and promises of more funding for public education.

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Jul 042019
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

On July 5, 1852 former slave, abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass delivered an impassioned speech — known today as “What to the Slave is the 4th of July” — to President Millard Fillmore, congressional leaders and members of the Ladies Anti-Slavery Society at Rochester New York’s Corinthian Hall. Douglass’s stirring words struck at the heart of racial and social injustice as he chastised his predominately white audience for their hypocrisy. In that era, our country’s leading elected leaders enslaved Africans while espousing freedom, justice and equality. Not too much has changed in 150 years. Continue reading »

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Jul 042019
 

As the city and state released statements on the removal of hazardous waste from beneath the surface of a Gert Town street, WVUE Fox 8 News revealed documents indicating the Mayor’s Office and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality knew the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had detected 100 times the normal level of radium at the street surface. Continue reading »

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Feb 282019
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

A substantive prisoner re-entry program that includes rehabilitation and job training is “really critical” to reducing recidivism, said Pelican Institute for Public Policy CEO Daniel Erspamer at an YLC Leadership Luncheon last week. Pelican, a nonprofit libertarian-leaning think tank that develops data-driven policy solutions, works to bring jobs and opportunities back to Louisiana by eliminating barriers to success. It also coordinates Louisiana’s Smart on Crime business-led coalition that successfully lobbied for criminal justice reform. Since 2017, the coalition has been monitoring the implementation of the new laws and planning future steps. Continue reading »

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Feb 252019
 

Dear Neighbors:

If you’re like me, then you love this city, but you’re frustrated with the chronic challenges holding us back. My wife, Ayame, and I are determined to help make New Orleans a place where our daughter, and all children, can have promising futures. To achieve this, we need big solutions and an experienced and progressive voice representing us in Baton Rouge.

Driven by my strong desire to serve, I’ve worked in public policy my whole career: in state and federal government, and now, in the private sector. I am running to bring my experience to the state legislature as our representative for District 91, a diverse district that includes Hollygrove, Gert Town, Irish Channel, Fontainebleau, Marlyville, Broadmoor, River Garden, Uptown, and the Lower Garden District. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on A Message from House Candidate Carling Dinkler
Nov 292018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

As President Trump and Melania travel today to the G-20 Summit in Argentina and a one-on-one meeting with Putin, he will be plotting how to stay close to his imaginary friends like Saudi Arabia and Paul Manafort and continue to create havoc for his current perceived enemies including humiliated Detroit automakers, thousands of poor immigrants crowded at the Mexican border, and the Chinese who are blamed with repeatedly stealing American technology and intellectual property. In the meantime business leaders nationwide and in New Orleans have been calling for an end to the trade wars and stability of interest rates which had affected the markets.

Closely watching all these developments is Louisiana’s freshman U.S. Senator John Kennedy who is primed to announce his candidacy for Governor against John Bel Edwards. Yesterday evening respected pollster Bernie Pinsonat refused to reveal the specifics of his new poll on the race, which will be released today. Reading between the lines, it’s easy to assume that Kennedy is extremely popular with urban and rural voters which will make him a tough competitor for the Deep South’s only Democratic governor. Continue reading »

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Nov 072018
 

Bruce Reilly shows off a cake he and his daughter Kira Love, 9, made together, in honor of Amendment 2, which will require unanimous juries in non-capital felony cases. Supporters of the state constitutional amendment gathered in the Jazz Market on Nov. 6 to watch election results come in. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

By Zach Brien, zbrien@nolamessenger.com

Election day in New Orleans saw a high turnout for a mid-term ballot, and voters kept U.S. House incumbents Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, and Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, in their seats. But the biggest local celebrations turned out for a down-ballot constitutional amendment.

Supporters of Louisiana’s Amendment 2 gathered Nov. 6 at the New Orleans Jazz Market on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard to watch election results at a party put on by the Unanimous Jury Coalition. The amendment requires unanimous juries to convict people of any felony count.

Going into Tuesday night, Louisiana and Oregon were the only states where defendants can be convicted of felonies without unanimous verdicts. Non-unanimous juries are considered a vestige of the Jim Crow era, when racial segregation was written into laws after the Civil War. Unanimity already was required in capital trials and those for lesser felonies decided by six-member juries.

At around 10 p.m., it was announced that the amendment passed with 64 percent of the vote, ending the 120-year practice. It take effect next year, when it will be applied to trials involving crimes committed on or after Jan. 1, 2019.

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Sep 272018
 

Volunteers with the New Leaders Council assist with voter registration at an event for the Unanimous Jury Coalition at Urban South Brewery on Tuesday, Sept. 25. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The statewide effort to create a constitutional amendment requiring a unanimous jury vote for a conviction came to Uptown New Orleans this week, registering voters and rallying supporters for the Nov. 6 ballot question. Continue reading »

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