A consummate wife, mother and urban planning consultant, Corinne DuCre-Villavasso, was living the life she always dreamed of when in 2014 she tested positive for the Braca 1 gene mutation commonly associated with breast cancer. DuCre-Villavasso had just given birth to her third child and was visiting her physician for a post-partum check-up when told of her diagnosis.
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.
It was no coincidence that Dr. C.S. Gordon Jr. gave the invocation at mayoral candidate Desiree Charbonnet’s announcement Monday evening. As one of the state’s most powerful African-American ministers and pastor of Central City’s 96-year-old New Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Gordon and his fellow pastors throughout New Orleans are primed to play a pivotal role in this year’s race for mayor.
It’s official! District D Councilmember Jared Brossett will run for re-election rather than entering the growing field for city council at-large.
“After much praying and introspection about what will best benefit the citizens of New Orleans, I decided to continue to serve in District D,” Brossett told a pack crowd of supporters last night at the Maison du Lac. “There is more work to be done. We have made great investments and by all coming together the city will continue to improve.”
Industrial Development Board Chair Alan H. Philipson is no push-over. After completing a successful career in manufacturing, Philipson became a full-time volunteer and currently also serves as Chairman of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, First Vice President of the Louisiana SPCA, and Secretary of Lambeth House. He also works with Bricolage Academy, was honored by Family Services and named 2016 Activist of the Year by St. Charles Avenue.
Armed with the proper resources and consultants, Philipson is quite capable of directing a fair and impartial selection process to identify a well-qualified developer for the former Six Flags site. Instead of providing Philipson with the tools he needed, Landrieu has decided to run the process himself – a la the World Trade Center – and will get one last shot to give a major piece of New Orleans real estate to his hand-selected cronies.
Yesterday’s announcement by Gambit that Municipal Court Judge Desiree Charbonnet will resign her position on Friday and is likely to enter the race for mayor signals how hot this contest will become. Charbonnet was elected citywide three times and is a charismatic candidate who will attract female and African-American voters, especially those from the Creole neighborhoods.
Early next week New Orleans based Republican lobbyist Brian Trascher will be escorting CEO Ed Carlson of Odyssey House New Orleans to meet with former Georgia Congressman Tom Price, now Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Donald Trump. “It will be my first meeting with a cabinet member,” said Trascher proudly.
Trascher meet Trump and his attorney in 2011 in New Orleans and offered to help if Trump ever ran for president. When Trascher received the call, he jumped onboard to play an important role in Louisiana and around the country. Trascher says he knew Trump was going to win about a week before the election when he saw the change in direction of highly targeted phone banks he was supervising in other states.
The New Orleans City Council is entering a transition phase as popular term-limited At-Large City Councilmember Stacy Head prepares to leave office and fresh new faces like State Representative Helena Moreno and others prepare to run for the City Council.
While Head reviews her bucket list of initiatives she still wants to accomplish or shore up during her remaining thirteen months in office, Moreno is holding a news conference tonight where she is expected to announce this evening that she will seek one of the two councilmember-at-large seats. With qualifying just four months away, other candidates are beginning to make similar announcements.
As LaToya Cantrell and others step up their pace for the 2017 race for mayor of New Orleans, political insiders wonder if the best way for the Landrieu family to hold on to their power and the associated riches is to elect former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu as New Orleans’ next mayor.
When supporters are asked why they think LaToya Cantrell might make a good mayor, they always talk about her commitment to the community, hard work after Katrina and willingness to take on issues others shy away from. In short, she is known as a fighter.
[Note: This is the first in a series of columns analyzing the potential candidates in the upcoming New Orleans mayoral race.]
In remarks delivered at the Criminal Justice Conference on Sexual Assault yesterday, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro blasted New Orleans city leaders for “working from the Neville Chamberlain manual of war planning.“ Great Britain’s prime minister from 1937 to 1940, Chamberlain was often blamed for failing to prepare the county for World War II and associated today with a policy of appeasement that allowed Nazi Germany to grow strong.
Former Congressman Bob Livingston, now a Washington D.C.-based lobbyist, told talk show host Larry King on Tuesday night that President-Elect Donald Trump is making a good start on his pledge to “drain the swamp” in Washington. “President-elect Trump has hired some outstanding people and is headed in the right direction,” said Livingston.
Governor John Bel Edwards was grateful to receive an award from National Urban League President Marc Morial yesterday in New Orleans. Edwards knew his 2014 victory was due in part to the strong statewide support from African-American elected officials like Congressman Cedric Richmond (also an honoree) and their associated political organizations.
With almost 20 elected offices on the ballot during 2017 — including mayor, city council, sheriff, assessor, clerks of court and at least three judgeships — grassroots political organizations, faith-based coalitions, political action committees and civic groups who support candidates and/or issues are all gearing up for an active campaign season. Also active will be the two parish executive committees and their affiliates.
This week’s announcement by State Rep. Helena Moreno that she is launching the new nonprofit, bipartisan Ignite Advocacy Network (igniteforchange.org) is the latest example of women tapping into the national discontent over a lack of equal opportunities and channeling those feelings into action. The election of Donald Trump is also inspiring liberal and conservative women around the country to consider a career in government.
Dear President-elect Trump,
Thank you for including Louisiana on your victory tour.
While the majority of Louisiana’s citizens cast their votes for you, the voters of New Orleans did not. We’re a little different because of our unique history and culture. Yet, we’ve got lots of needs we hope you will address.