Dec 052019
 

Guy Williams, Diana Lewis, Brandan “BMike” Odums and Sen. J.P. Morrell at the Committee for a Better New Orleans Citizen’s Participation Awards. (Danae Columbus)

In a recent speech to the Committee for a Better New Orleans, or CBNO, outgoing state Sen. J.P. Morrell urged attendees to talk with legislators statewide about issues important to them.

“Legislators want to hear from the public,” said Morrell. Sometimes a legislator might not have a great deal of information about a specific bill and has not made a decision how to vote. When they hear from citizens – especially those who are directly impacted by the legislation or the problem it would solve – their decisions are better informed. “You can change legislators’ minds by talking to them,” Morrell explained. Continue reading »

Nov 192019
 

Mayor LaToya Cantrell, center, with her team on Saturday. (Danae Columbus)

Aaron Price, an Action New Orleans volunteer, campaigns on Saturday. (Danae Columbus)

Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the political organization BOLD scored big in Saturday’s elections. Cantrell built a strong bond with Gov. John Bel Edwards more than a year ago when she sought his help on increasing New Orleans’ share of tax dollars generated here. She became an integral part of his campaign and his victory, which should yield generous dividends for New Orleans during the next four years.

Cantrell’s Action New Orleans team of more than 250 volunteers knocked on 70,000 doors, sent 3,500 text messages and made 50,000 calls in support of Gov. Edwards and Cantrell’s Ballot of Yes. They also assisted with two GOTV (get out the vote) rallies, including an election eve event that drew 5,000. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Cantrell, BOLD, Richmond were all winners in Saturday’s elections  Tagged with:
Nov 162019
 

Longtime supporters of the local YWCA are raising money for a new building to replace the one devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Pictured are Sybil Morial and Gail Glapion (seated) and Judge Terri Love, Kathleen M. Franks and Sabrina Mays. (Danae Columbus)

“We’re on a mission to rebuild our programs and physical structure,” said Dr. Shelia J. Webb, president-elect of the Young Women’s Christian Association in New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures decimated the YWCA building at 601 S. Jefferson Davis Parkway and forced a 14-year interruption of an agency that had been an integral part of New Orleans for almost a century. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: YWCA hosts Role Model Reunion to help fund rebuilding  Tagged with:
Nov 142019
 

Gov. John Bel Edwards met with New Orleans artists last night at Studio B. Edwards is flanked by motivational speaker Dr. Ansel Augustine, Kevin Griffin, Gizmo and Brandan “B-mike” Odums. (Danae Columbus)

Buoyed by a new Mason-Dixon poll that shows a path — albeit small — to victory, Gov. John Bel Edwards spent Wednesday evening talking with young African-American artists like Brandan Odums, Kevin “2-Cent “ Griffin and Tayla Hunter as part of his ongoing outreach to previously under-appreciated constituencies.

If Edwards is able to pull off what would be a Hail Mary victory on Saturday, he will have succeeded in three crucial areas: motivating minority voters who were unenthusiastic in the primary; reaching conservative voters who at one time supported former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu; and branding Republican opponent Eddie Rispone as too radical to be Louisiana’s next governor. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Gov. Edwards working it to gain edge in Saturday’s runoff  Tagged with:
Nov 072019
 

Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Gov. John Bel Edwards on Monday announce the Essence Festival’s contract extension to 2024. (Danae Columbus)

Mayor LaToya Cantrell is working harder than the candidates themselves in this election cycle. Just like an Energizer bunny, she won’t slow down because she has so much to lose. Cantrell is betting on a robust turnout among the African-American and millennial voters who first got her elected to pass her tax package and re-elect Gov. John Bel Edwards. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Mayor Cantrell lays it all on the line for Nov. 16 election  Tagged with:
Nov 052019
 

Jackie Gingrich Cushman, second from left, with friends Jim Farwell, Norma Jane Sabiston, Gay LeBreton and Bill Allerton, prepares to sign her new book, “Our Broken America.” (Danae Columbus)

Jackie Gingrich Cushman, the younger daughter of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, said last week that President Donald Trump will certainly win re-election in 2020 unless the U.S. economy suffers a major downturn. Born in New Orleans while her father was a student at Tulane University Law School, Cushman is a syndicated columnist, speaker and author. She was in town to promote her third book, “Our Broken America,” at the Garden District Book Shop. Cushman also co-authored “Five Principles for a Successful Life” with her father. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Trump will be re-elected unless economy tanks, says Gingrich Cushman  Tagged with:
Oct 312019
 

Kara Van de Carr and Daryl Byrd opened their Joseph St home last night for Aimee Freeman. Pictured with Aimee are Francis Fayard, Bob Tucker and her parents Be-Be and Ken Adatto. (Danae Columbus)

With early voting starting Saturday, New Orleans legislative candidates are pulling together the cash and people resources needed to fund last-minute mail and get-out-the-vote activities. At least five legislative candidates held fundraisers this week as well as soliciting donations through social media. Despite last night’s steady rain, several hundred donors were posing for photos and dropping off checks around town.  Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Candidates fuel war chests, secure endorsements in advance of early voting  Tagged with:
Oct 282019
 

Secretary of State candidate Gwen Collins-Greenup, right, with Councilwoman Cindy Nguyen and Kenneth Cutno. (Danae Columbus)

Secretary of State Candidate Gwen Collins-Greenup told a New Orleans audience Wednesday night that every citizen should receive a receipt after casting his or her vote. “Printing out a paper receipt would build confidence in the election process,” she said. Collins-Greenup would also institute post election audits to ensure the accuracy of results and that “every Louisiana voice is heard.”

She believes that early voting should be allowed until the day before an election and that the voting hours should be extended to accommodate working mothers. “Louisiana is not a red state, it’s a non-voting state,” said Collins-Greenup. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Gwen Collins-Greenup calls for audits, paper backups in voting process  Tagged with:
Oct 242019
 

Randy Fertel and Gianna Chachere meet at the New Orleans Jazz Museum’s Drumsville exhibit to discuss the upcoming Improv Conference New Orleans. (Danae Columbus)

Just as Louis Armstrong upended the music world by creating his new fresh new sound, Donald Trump has upended the world of politics by breaking all the rules. Though polar opposites, Armstrong and Trump form the philosophical basis for discussion at the second annual Improv Conference New Orleans: A Festival of Ideas, according to conference founder Randy Fertel. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: What do Louis Armstrong and Donald Trump have in common? Both are masters at improvisation  Tagged with:
Oct 172019
 

Notarial Archives Research Center staffer Tabitha Theophile holds up pre-Civil War notarial volume that includes information on slave emancipation. Also pictured are Siva Blake, Keith Guglielmo, Clerk of Court Chelsey Napoleon Richard and archivist Sally Reeves. (Danae Columbus)

The history of New Orleans – as told through its notarial acts and other civil records – is currently on display during National Archives Month at the New Orleans Archives Research Center, 1340 Poydras St., Suite 360. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: New Orleans Archives Research Center holds keys to city’s past  Tagged with:
Oct 132019
 

Gov. John Bel Edwards kicks off his campaign July 8 with a rally on Thalia Street in the Lower Garden District. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Gov.  John Bel Edwards will face Republican Eddie Rispone in a Nov. 16 runoff in part because he was unable to get out all his base. While 45.3% of voters statewide cast their ballots in the race for governor yesterday, only 38.4% of New Orleanians voted. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Gov. Edwards failed to ignite Orleans Parish voters  Tagged with:
Oct 102019
 

Patrons at Bayou Road’s Half Shell on the Bayou watch the gubernatorial debate on Wednesday, Oct. 8. (Danae Columbus)

Despite heavy attacks from his Republican opponents and their related political action committees, Gov. John Bel Edwards was sailing toward a primary victory. Armed with an abundant war chest and a bipartisan coalition that was holding together, Edwards’ team could smell victory until two negative spots about former senior staffer Johnny Anderson hit the airwaves. Sources say Anderson had a history of sometimes being “a bad boy.” Until the #MeToo movement began, his habits were tolerated. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Will Gov. John Bel Edwards face businessman Eddie Rispone in a runoff?  Tagged with:
Oct 032019
 

Affordable housing units on Washington Avenue. (Danae Columbus)

Why are thousands of New Orleans working-poor families struggling to find a decent place to live? The answer is simple: Our government leaders are dragging their feet in making enough affordable housing available to meet the need.

“We are in the midst of a crisis in New Orleans,” said Housing NOLA Executive Director Andreanecia Morris, one of the city’s most knowledgeable housing experts. The rising cost of living in New Orleans is most severely impacting residents who earn less than 80% of the area’s annual medium income ($53,000 for a family of four). Many of these individuals work in the service industry. With no clear end in sight, the crisis is only becoming even worse. Although Mayor LaToya Cantrell has provided some funding for new units and has millions of dollars more in the pipeline, for the second year in a row the overall number of affordable units has decreased. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Mayor, City Council must fast-track affordable housing solutions  Tagged with:
Sep 262019
 

New Orleans Opera Association Director Robert Lyall, far right, works with the cast of Carmen at the Carrollton Avenue Methodist Church on Tuesday evening.  (Danae Columbus)

When the New Orleans Opera Association kicks off its 77th season Friday, Oct. 4 with Bizet’s Carmen, it will continue a tradition that has been flourishing for more than 200 years. Though many consider New Orleans the birthplace of jazz and Big Freedia’s twerk, New Orleans also stands out as the first city of opera in America.

“We take great pride as the first producers of opera in America,” said Robert Lyall who has been the director of the New Orleans Opera Association for 22 years. Opera began in New Orleans in 1796 as a direct cultural pipeline from Paris. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Opera in New Orleans still vibrant after 223 years  Tagged with:
Sep 192019
 

State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson shares a moment with her husband, Dana Peterson, and her campaign team at the OPDEC on Wednesday night. (Danae Columbus, Uptown Messenger)

In preparation for tonight’s first televised gubernatorial debate, the age-old question comes to mind — is politics more than just a popularity contest? Do citizens vote for the candidates they like best, regardless of their stand on issues or personal shortcomings? By all accounts, Gov. John Bel Edwards is popular and remains ahead in all the polls, despite numerous attacks. President Trump, please take note. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Is politics more than just a popularity contest?  Tagged with: