Enjoy ‘Coffee with Candidates’ event before Nov. 13 at CR Coffee Shop (sponsored)

Try new signature fall beverages and have your questions answered this October, at CR Coffee Shop on Magazine St. Owner Kevin Pedeaux is opening his Uptown space as a hub for candidates this election season to reach the community. The informal atmosphere is open to respectfully ask pressing questions, share ideas, or simply observe and listen. 

Upcoming ‘Coffee with Candidates’ events include Leilani Heno for Mayor scheduled for Oct. 15 at 10:30 a.m., and JP Morrell for at-large City Council Division 2 scheduled for Oct. 19 at 8 a.m.; at CR Coffee Shop, 3618 Magazine St.

Viewpoint: Challengers grapple with incumbents’ fundraising and media advantages

 

Republican mayoral candidate Vina Nguyen was excited for the opportunity to address a group of supporters Wednesday night (Sept. 29) at a fundraiser in the French Quarter. “I promise to be a different leader — one who comes from a long road of obstacles that has taught me to be kind to others and listen to their concerns,” Nguyen told the packed crowd that included Republican State Party Chairman Louis Gurvich, entrepreneur Gregory Holt, Council District C candidate Stephen Mosgrove, and Juliet and Tim Laughlin, who hosted the event. “We can’t treat our citizens the way this mayor does, and I promise we will do better. We should show businesses looking to continue commerce here, or locate here for the first time, that the past four years of indecency are over.

Viewpoint: ‘We are one Louisiana … and have to act that way,’ says Congressman Troy Carter

In wide-ranging, almost hour-long remarks on Wednesday (Aug. 18), U.S. Rep. Troy Carter — who has yet to serve 100 days in office — touched on issues from the pandemic to the American Rescue Plan Act, the Child Tax Credit and support for small businesses. Throughout the Zoom speech to the Bureau of Governmental Research, he emphasized that common sense solutions can make a real difference. 

“I want to be that bridge of reasonableness,” the New Orleans Democrat told the BGR. “When you’re building relationships, it’s policy over politics, people over politics.” 

Carter said that Louisiana does not have the luxury of divisiveness. “We need to concentrate on things that bring us together — education, infrastructure, health care, safety, flooding.

Swing for Lawes Golf Tournament to be held Tuesday, July 13 (sponsored)

Highly regarded local entrepreneur Mark Lawes announces Swing for Lawes Golf Tournament fundraising event for his run in the New Orleans City Council District D election. Registration is still open for this exciting fundraising event presented by the Committee to Elect Mark “Johari” Lawes, and will feature musical performances, giveaways and grand prizes for the runner-ups and winners of the golf tournament. The event will be held on the greens of the beautiful Joseph M. Bartholomew Sr. Golf Course, in historic Pontchartrain Park for a day filled with fun, food and your favorite adult beverages, as participants discuss our quality of life and the future of District D.

New Orleans legend and head golf pro at Joseph M. Bartholomew Sr. Municipal Golf Course from 1973-78, Arthur “Ducky” Gilbert will be headlining as the Honorary Tournament Chairman. Undoubtedly one of the best golfers to come out of New Orleans, this historic athlete will be sharing his expertise and experiences while supporting Lawes for District D.

Robyn Charles, the daughter of the iconic singer Ray Charles, will be performing at the Swing for Lawes event. The singer, songwriter and actress will grace the stage with sounds that are sure to touch your soul and move your feet.

Viewpoint: Candidates starting to line up for fall municipal elections

A large crowd gathered Wednesday evening (July 7) at Calcasieu in the Warehouse District to show their support for City Council President Helena Moreno, one of dozens of candidates who will be qualifying next week for various municipal offices. Popular with voters, Moreno has put together a substantive war chest, which makes her a formidable candidate. Only affordable housing activist and former candidate Kenneth Cutno has signaled he will run against her for the City Council at-large position. 

There is lots of competition in many of the other races. Former state Sen. J.P. Morrell will face off for the other council at-large seat against two current City Council members: Kristin Gisleson Palmer and Jared Brossett, who is term-limited. Morrell is well-situated financially.

Viewpoint: Second Amendment supporters pleased with 2021 legislative session

It was a productive legislative session for advocates of the Second Amendment, according to attorney Dan Zelenka, president of the Louisiana Shooting Association. “Overall, the 2021 session was quite good,” Zelenka said. “Four of the five bills our statewide organization supported — HB 48, HB 124, HB 597 and SB 118 — are now sitting on Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk awaiting his signature.”

Although three of the four pieces of legislation sailed through both chambers without significant opposition, Gov. Edwards could decide to veto SB 118, known as the concealed-carry bill. Introduced by state Sen. Jay Morris, R-West Monroe, and passed by a veto-proof majority, the law would allow Louisiana residents who are otherwise qualified to carry a concealed firearm to now do so without first obtaining a concealed weapons permit. Louisiana has always been a state with powerful pro-gun legislative leaders and zealous gun enthusiasts.

Viewpoint: State Police presence is only a Band-Aid to cover the city’s real crime problem

Operation Golden Eagle, the new collaborative partnership between the Louisiana State Police and the New Orleans Police Department, began Tuesday (June 1). Though Mayor LaToya Cantrell is unable to quantify exactly how many state troopers are participating, both she and NOPD Superintendent Shaun D. Ferguson are quick to note that the emphasis is on “constitutional policing.”  The State Police officers will also be working in crime-ridden neighborhoods outside the French Quarter.  
In the aftermath of the revelations about Ronald Green’s beating death by State Police officer Lt. John Clary in 2019, some Black leaders are fearful of State Police presence in New Orleans this summer. State troopers attempted to pull Greene over for an unspecified traffic violation on a dark, rural roadside outside of Monroe. After a high-speed chase, Greene was shackled, put in a chokehold, punched, dragged and prodded repeatedly with a stun gun.  The Louisiana State Police covered up that night’s details for almost two years. 

New Orleans had its own police brutality and cover-up problems just after Hurricane Katrina, as seen in the police shootings on the Danzinger Bridge. In the months surrounding the storm, citizens relied on and needed the NOPD to restore order and prevent looting.