Jan 092020
 

Robbins Graham was the only candidate to qualify yesterday for First City Court.

A mixture of seasoned elected officials and political newcomers wanting to make a difference streamed into Criminal District Court yesterday, Jan. 8, to qualify for parish and state political committees and a lone judgeship in First City Court.

As expected, attorney Robbins Graham, who retired from the state’s Office of Family and Children’s Services earlier this week, became the first candidate to file for the open seat at First City Court. Graham had been planning for run for Civil District Court later this year but moved up his timetable when this vacancy suddenly occurred.

Graham might get an almost-free ride. No other major candidates have indicated they will seek the seat.  Continue reading »

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Jan 032020
 

Singer-songwriter-producer Robin Thicke will reign as the first legacy Bacchus.

By Danae Columbus, Uptown Messenger

Clark Brennan, Captain of the Krewe of Bacchus, announced Thursday that Bacchus will host its first legacy monarch — singer-songwriter Robin Alan Thicke — who will follow in his father Alan Thicke’s footsteps as Bacchus LII on Sunday, Feb. 23. Alan Thicke served as Bacchus XX in 1988. Continue reading »

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Jan 022020
 

Attorney Robbins Graham, right, with Matthew Willard, who will take the District 97 seat on the state House of Representatives on Jan. 13.  (via Facebook)

Though it might seem like our political season just ended, Louisiana’s campaigns are cranking up again next week with qualifying Jan. 8-10 for a vacant judgeship at First City Court and for dozens of seats on the Orleans Parish Democratic and Republican Parish Executive Committees and State Central Committees.

The First City Court vacancy is due to the recent untimely passing of Senior Judge Angelique Reed, 59, the first African-American to be elected to that court. Reed served with distinction for 21 years.

Attorney Robbins Graham, 61, a graduate of Southern University Law Center, told Uptown Messenger he was “seriously interested in qualifying.”  The Louisiana State Bar Association lists Graham as an attorney for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services. A practicing attorney for more than 30 years, Graham attends the Beacon Light Baptist Church in Gentilly.

Continue reading »

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Dec 192019
 

The “Washington Avenue” float dominated by President Donald Trump rolls down St. Charles Avenue during the 2019 Knights of Chaos parade. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

In tonight’s Democratic presidential debate in Los Angeles, the seven participating candidates probably won’t dwell on yesterday’s impeachment vote by the U.S. House of Representatives.  Though some – especially former Vice President Joe Biden – might strongly believe that President Trump abused his power, America’s voters are evenly split as to whether he should be removed from office.  Continue reading »

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Dec 122019
 

Hospitality entrepreneur Warren Reuther in the Foundation Room of the new Riverboat Louis Armstrong. (Danae Columbus)

When local tourism’s most established entrepreneur Warren Reuther, Jr. christens the new 3,000 passenger Riverboat Louis Armstrong on Saturday afternoon, it will be a crowning achievement of an almost 50 year career as a visionary leader in the tourism industry.  Continue reading »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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