Drew Brees Gets An Early Retirement Present 

They say the NFL is a copy cat league. A league where one team tries to mimic the successful blueprint laid out by another. Well apparently Drew Brees and Demario Davis have taken that mentality. And they applied it to the areas of economic development and submitting business proposals to the city as well.

Drew Brees cheating off of Troy Henry’s paper wasn’t the headline of any local news reports last week. But that’s exactly what happened. The East New Orleans Neighborhood Advisory Commission (ENONAC) held a meeting this past Tuesday. One of the key agenda items was reviewing the two remaining proposals to redevelop the long dormant Six Flags site.

The Brees led group bombed the first time out. If it was Showtime at the Apollo, they would have been led off stage by the Sandman. The New Orleans East community supports new entertainment opportunities and other businesses that create jobs. But Drew Brees’ group originally centered their proposal around turning Six Flags into a farm and transportation hub. 

“I felt we weren’t framing our project in a way that highlighted the interests of the community,” said Demario Davis. He uttered this major understatement during the opening minutes of the (ENONAC) meeting last week. 

Drew Brees and Demario Davis Should Be Ashamed

Home Team Hits Home Run

Meanwhile, Troy Henry’s group knocked it out the park (pun intended). They proposed upgrading the Six Flags into a site that would house

  • an indoor/outdoor amusement park,
  • restaurants, hotels,
  • a golf course,
  • along with the transportation hub requested by the city. 

 This would all be Bayou Phoenix.

“It is exactly what this community has requested, what it needs, and what it wants” 

Tangie Wall of New Orleans East Matters.

Seemingly, the selection committee judging the proposals agreed. What they couldn’t agree on though was rightfully awarding the contract to Bayou Phoenix. Instead of awarding the contract on the day they promised, the committee gave the Brees/Davis led group 30 more days to revise their proposal.

Three weeks later, it was hard to tell to the two proposals apart. AMAZING!

Suddenly, at the ENONAC meeting Davis revealed that amusement and entertainment had been a big part of their proposal all along. It was all just a matter of poor communication. As Brees walked the committee through the “refocused” version of his group’s proposal, it became hard to tell if they had inadvertently loaded Bayou Phoenix’s slides on to their computer. Instantaneously, there was a water park, restaurants, an amphitheater, talk of community uplifting and engagement. The farm, once the selling point of their original unfocused proposal, was now a backdrop, only mentioned as a complimentary piece to what they now realize the community actually needed and wanted. Troy Henry and his Bayou Phoenix partners could only fume.

“They say imitation is the purest form of flattery,” Henry said during a phone interview. Well, he must’ve been flattered to the bone, watching his idea be repackaged and stolen.

The committee has set a bad precedent with the way they have handled this process.  

Regardless of how this eventually turns out, future developers who plan on doing business with the city may end up feeling a bit skittish. Here it is as a developer you go out and do your due diligence of engaging the community. You actually listen to their wants and needs. Then you create a plan built around those meetings only to see your idea stolen because the city’s committee allowed another group to cheat off your paper.

The community is not standing down. New Orleans East Matters has teamed up with local clergy, hoping that there is strength in numbers. “We just want to be heard,” said Wall. And as she has said before, the community feels that Henry and his Bayou Phoenix partners were the ones who initially engaged them. Henry’s group came up with a proposal built around their needs, so for them Bayou Phoenix is the one who should be awarded the deal.

“This is not just about The East,” said Wall, “Bayou Phoenix can be an asset not just the East but to city as well.”

The NFL might call it being a copycat, but in real life, stealing somebody’s business proposal, ain’t just competition.

This Friday, June 11th, will mark 30 days. We’ll see if the committee agrees. For more information stay tuned.

Why was Drew Brees led group given extra time to improve their proposal?

The city of New Orleans’ response to the proposals to redevelop the abandoned Jazzland amusement park in New Orleans East was umm, shall we call it perplexing. Did the city really pass on a superior proposal that the community clearly favored to allow Drew Brees to redo his proposal that the community rejected?

Maybe not. But it might as well had. At least that would’ve been a more honest dismissal, as opposed to the shenanigans that went down. 

Imagine the scenario. The city establishes an oversight committee and puts out a call for proposals to finally transform the long abandoned Six Flags site into something not so abandoned, a site that residents of the East could be proud of. They go about this process with little input from those residents, then set a deadline for May 11th to make a final decision.  

So the moment comes. The grand unveiling. Two proposals stand out, one led by local business consultant Troy Henry. It includes an indoor/outdoor water park, a logistic center, a travel center, a hotel, a sports complex, a redeveloped Eastover Country Club, and an expansion plan to include an amusement park. The new name is Bayou Phoenix. The other is led by Drew Brees and Demario Davis. Its’ centerpiece is a local farm. The farm will be used to teach kids how to grow crops. Yes, crops. In an area as economically starved as the East, one of the top proposals was one that would use acres of land to grow crops. It would also include a water park and food truck park.

So of course the decision was a no brainer for the committee. With over 200 of the 300 responses from residents of the East that were present supporting Bayou Phoenix, the committee did the most logical and obvious thing a biased committee could do. It ranked the Drew Brees led proposal as number 1 on the list with Bayou Phoenix coming in a close 2nd.  Rather than just outright award the contract, because the two were apparently “so close”, the committee then concocted a run-off scenario. Or as they said a 30 day window for both to tweak their proposals. Then a decision will finally be made.

Why was Drew Brees team given extra time to improve their proposal? The score sheet containing the basis of the ranking was not made available to the public. But Troy Henry said that he has requested it. 

Whatever the justification, the committee’s decision left many in the community baffled. “Something is rotten at the top of the chain,” said Tangie Wall, member of N.O. East Matters. “Nobody from the committee ever asked the East how do you feel. It’s just wasn’t a fair process.” 

It’s a point that’s hard to argue with. Troy Henry is a resident of the East and a highly successful businessman. His team canvassed the community to see exactly what was wanted, needed, and financially viable. He then went out and got the financial backing for Bayou Phoenix from Hillwood, a prominent investment company, so it’s sound. The Drew Brees led proposal, on other hand, only has an iconic name behind it. But the East doesn’t need icons. It needs the economic growth that businesses will bring, as opposed to a farm.

“We looked beyond the iconic,” said Wall. And when speaking of Bayou Phoenix, she said, “We feel it will provide the substantial economic development the community needs.”

What’s needed now is for the committee to come to the same conclusion in 30 days. “We’ll be as responsive as we can be,” said Henry when asked about responding to any tweaks the committee may request. 

In the meantime, the best thing residents of the East can do is to state their preference and state it loudly.

“It’s time for the East to rise up,” said Wall. “We’re not intimidated or backing down.”   

She’s right. For too long the East has been neglected and disrespected. The committee’s decision to give the Drew Brees led group a do-over is just another example of decades of disrespect. It’s time for that to come to an end. Get in touch with our mayor and City Council representative. Let them know that what’s more important is the economic impact of the plan, not the name behind it. 

And how that is terrible for Louisiana

Gentrification threatens tourism in New Orleans more than shootings on Bourbon Street. 

As the primary economic engine of not just New Orleans, but the entire state of Louisiana, tourism is normally politically protected at all costs.  The recent decision by voters to delay suddenly-sharply-rising property taxes is a step in the right direction, but much more is urgently needed lest New Orleans tourism morphs into a regional, rather than an international, draw.

Make no mistake about it:  New Orleans tourism, though unspoken, is largely Afrocentric.  In fact, the culture of the African American community is the key ingredient in our tourism gumbo.  People come to The Bowl for music, food, architecture and joie de vivre.  None of these exist without the contributions of African Americans.  Gentrification threatens this reality.

Olympians 2nd Line Crew

Cultural Erosion

Local leaders have tried unsuccessfully to convince national leaders that coastal erosion in Louisiana is a threat to national interests.  The loss of seafood production and the threat to oil and gas interests are brushed aside in Washington, D.C., as trivial, replaceable assets the national economy can easily absorb. But as gentrification pushes less-resourced people from inner-city neighborhoods, the future of the city we all love is seriously imperiled. Unlike Louisiana’s relative unimportance nationally, New Orleans’ success is critical to Louisiana. 

Every time a newcomer displaces a native, the whole Jenga structure becomes less stable.

From a distance, all might seem good when a more-resource rich transplant migrates in to town. Nevertheless, one need only look behind the mask of in-migration statistics to understand the precariousness of the impending doom.  Political strategy and long-term planning are essential to prevent catastrophic cultural erosion.  The destruction of our city’s cultural foundations – think second line clubs and brass bands – of tourist dollars can be prevented with smart legislation, based on sound and fair economic principles.

 Other cities, with far less important and influential cultural communities, have enacted safeguards to protect their own cultural assets.  A look at Seattle provides a glimpse of how we can protect our tourism industry, our city and our state.  That city has developed an Equitable Development Framework  which guides how the city prioritizes its work; shapes its budgets, policies, programs and investments; and structures the implementation of targeted strategies and equitable development projects by using clear objectives for reducing disparities and achieving equitable outcomes for marginalized populations.

Equity Drivers

  • Advance economic opportunity. Promote economic opportunities for marginalized populations and enhance community cultural anchors. Provide access to quality education, training and living-wage career paths.
  • Prevent residential, commercial, and cultural displacement. Enact policies and programs that allow marginalized populations, businesses and community organizations to stay in their neighborhoods.
  • Build on local cultural assets. Respect local community character, cultural diversity and values. Preserve and strengthen cultural communities and build the capacity of their leaders, organizations and coalitions to enjoy greater self-determination.
  • Promote transportation mobility and connectivity. Prioritize investment in effective and affordable transportation which supports transit-dependent communities.
  • Develop healthy and safe neighborhoods. Create neighborhoods that enhance community health through access to public amenities; provide healthy, affordable and culturally-relevant food; and safe environments for everyone.
  • Enable equitable access to all neighborhoods. Leverage private developments to fill gaps in amenities; expand the supply and variety of housing and employment choices; and create equitable access to neighborhoods which offer high access to opportunity.

The consequences of doing nothing are potentially calamitous.  As horrific and petrifying as a shooting on Bourbon Street is, the long-term effects of cultural erosion caused by gentrification are not offset by increased property tax collection. In fact, cultural erosion forebodes doom as the New Orleans which tourists seek out, no longer exists. Instead, NOLA will become more like Savannah: Nice place, but it’s no New Orleans. Without a protected and empowered black community in The Bowl, we might not be here no more.


A Savannah Trolley vs a New Orleans Street Car

Gentrification – the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that displaces poorer residents – is in full swing in New Orleans.  Property values in certain parts of town are skyrocketing.  For pennies on the dollar, generational homes are being sometimes sold to developers and sometimes lost to a convoluted code enforcement process.  Many view the changes as positive transformations, while others recognize the economic rigging that is happening to poor black people.

I am proud to be a New Orleanian.  While our great city has much work to do, the current city council is enacting the kinds of laws that reflect a keen understanding of the effects of policy on people.   And this progressive legislation will surely lead to healthier people, stronger families, and a more prosperous city.

Recent legislation to decriminalize marijuana and remove bonds for municipal offenses are two recent examples.  These new policies shift the influence from punishment to empowerment.  For too long, city government has sought to raise funds on the backs of poor black men in New Orleans.  In the mass incarceration center of the world, African American men form NOLA have been the fuel.  Yet studies show that incarceration for even minor offenses dramatically increases crime. 

Why do arrests for even minor crime turn people into career criminals?

According to University of Michigan economics professor Michael Mueller-Smith, “prison obliterates your earnings potential. Being a convicted felon disqualifies you from certain jobs, housing, or voting.” Mueller-Smith estimates that each year in prison reduces the odds of post-release employment by 24% and increases the odds you’ll live on public assistance. Time in prison also lowers the odds you’ll get or stay married. Being in prison and out of the labor force degrades legitimate skills and exposes you to criminal skills and a criminal network. This makes crime a more attractive alternative upon release, even if you run a high risk of returning to prison.

The overwhelming preponderance of empirical evidence shows that putting people in jail, especially for minor offenses, increases crime.  So the actions of our city council are beneficial.

And as our new city council transitions to a more supportive and investing form of government interaction with people, one of the most important policies has not yet been progressively addressed.  Gentrification in New Orleans.  And just as not putting people in jail for minor offenses as a way to reduce crime is counter intuitive for many, so too are the best case approaches to manage gentrification.

Gentrification is not the same as revitalization.  Revitalization maintains the affordability of neighborhoods.  Gentrification causes displacement.  Direct displacement is a rent increase.  Exclusionary displacement describes people who remain in changing neighborhoods but cannot afford the new neighborhood.

The COSTS OUTWEIGH THE BENEFITS

Governments often welcome gentrification as a way to increase tax revenue.  The propaganda around gentrification is that the neighborhood “improvements” reduce crime, improve schools and improve the quality of life for all residents.  But that’s not true according to Dr. Stacey Sutton, professor of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois Chicago. “Gentrification is a social justice issue,” according to Sutton.   “Gentrification causes cultural and economic barriers.” Gentrification causes social segregation.  Schools test scores drop and crime increases. These counterintuitive outcomes are like the unexpected consequences of putting people in jail for minor offenses.  Big cities across the globe have all suffered similar fates.  New Orleans leaders should take the time to understand this universal phenomenon and not subscribe to the tired propaganda of real estate investors who only seek fast cash.

PROTECT OUR NEIGHBORHOODS

Displacement disrupts people’s lives.  And most importantly, displacement is an integral part of gentrification.  Displacement of people from their homes and neighborhoods.  In fact, because of this displacement of people from neighborhoods, crime increases, schools deteriorate and the quality of life is improved only for a few.  The increase in property tax valuations is more than offset by the increases in crime and lower test scores seen as a result of the gentrification.

WHO AND WHAT DO YOU VALUE

There are alternatives to gentrification.  While free market dynamics are important, the culture and substance of New Orleans neighborhoods are more important.  The people who live in family houses passed through generations or renters who struggle in low wage jobs are the people who play the music, and sew the costumes and cook the food we all claim make our city unique.

Preserving this character is priceless and worth more than the often promised increase property tax revenues.  And since the resulting social costs offset the new revenue, a more thoughtful approach is in order.  Our elected leaders need creative property tax measures that simultaneously raise property taxes while protecting the property rights of generational homeowners.  Further, rent controls must protect the working class – who are mired in a fight for living wages.

NOLA is a unique city.  Not homogenized, full of traditions and centuries of character, we must properly preserve and protect our culture.  We need to improve.  We need to get better. And we need to stay the same.
 

JUL 19, 2021

Originally posted on Sports Illustrated

Megan Thee Stallion 2021: Hollywood

Check out more photos of Megan Thee Stallion shot by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla.

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Fashion Nova. Bracelet by Lizzie Fortunato.

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Fashion Nova. Bracelet by Lizzie Fortunato. Rings by Jlani.

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Nikita Karizma. Rings by Jlani. Anklet by 8 Other Reasons.

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Fashion Nova. Rings by Nina Berenato.

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Cult Gaia. Rings by Jlani. Anklet by 8 Other Reasons.https://747850cf1f1176ea20a3c718a96366ae.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Bryan Hearns. 

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Dolce & Gabbana. 

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Dolce & Gabbana. Rings by Nina Berenato.

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Ashton Michael. 

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Fashion Nova. 0:04/0:50

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Fashion Nova. Bracelet by Lizzie Fortunato.

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Fashion Nova. Rings by Nina Berenato.

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Nikita Karizma. Rings by Jlani. Anklet by 8 Other Reasons.

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Fashion Nova. Bracelet by Lizzie Fortunato. Rings by Jlani.

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Cult Gaia. Rings by Jlani. Anklet by 8 Other Reasons.

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Fashion Nova. Bracelet by Lizzie Fortunato.

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Nikita Karizma. Rings by Jlani. Anklet by 8 Other Reasons.

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Fashion Nova. Rings by Nina Berenato.

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Dolce & Gabbana. Bracelet by Lizzie Fortunato. Rings by Nina Berenato.

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Bryan Hearns. 

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Ashton Michael. 

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Cult Gaia.

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Dolce & Gabbana. Bracelet by Lizzie Fortunato. Rings by Nina Berenato.

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Megan Thee Stallion was photographed by James Macari in Hollywood, Fla. Swimsuit by Dolce & Gabbana. 

by Tina Gilbertson LPC

Warning: What they learn might disappoint you.

KEY POINTS

  • People who try to “teach someone a lesson” only manage to reveal their own character flaws.
  • The most effective way to teach is to model the desired behavior.
  • Ultimately, love is the best teacher.

When I was a kid, I remember watching as a neighborhood boy was chased out of his house by his mother.

She ran after him, shouting, “I’ll teach you to back-talk me!”

I was confused.

Surely, this boy already knew how to talk back to his mother. Wasn’t that why she was chasing him?

African-American woman talks with male inside home

My confusion was based on a quirk of linguistics. But teaching someone a lesson is not a straightforward idea, regardless of how we talk about it.

Shame on Them

Have you ever felt mistreated by someone behaving badly, and wished you could teach them a lesson?

Invariably, the lessons we aspire to teach people are ones that would make them feel ashamed and contrite.

If someone is rude, we want them to realize how rude they are and start behaving differently. Preferably after apologizing.

If that person took us for granted, violated our boundaries or flouted accepted norms, we want them to not only understand but deeply regret the error of their ways.

In short, when we’re unhappy with someone, we relish the idea of teaching them a lesson.

It would feel so good if it worked. But somehow, it never does.

RELATED: 2020 Lessons to take into 2021

Lessons That Stick

The harder we try to teach people lessons, the more they seem to dig their heels in. Bad behavior stays the same or gets worse.

Why do our lessons fail?

When we set out to teach someone a lesson, they do learn something. But it’s rarely what we’re trying to teach them.

We want them to learn about themselves — especially the ways in which they’re bad or wrong.

But all they seem to learn is that we are critical, judgmental, passive-aggressive or uptight. They don’t take our lessons as being about them at all!

Let’s say you’re nearing the end of your life and you’re writing a will. You have relative who’s been estranged from you for years, and you’re thinking of leaving him nothing.

The last time you spoke, this relative was critical and said he wanted nothing more to do with you.

As you write him out of your will, you might think, “This will teach him. He’ll wish he’d been nicer to me.”

You could get a bit of satisfaction from the thought that he’ll regret his past behavior toward you. Maybe after you’re gone, he’ll think about all that he lost by removing you from his life.

But the lesson won’t be learned. Being left out of your will isn’t likely to strike this relative as a reflection on him. Instead, he’ll say, “My relative was a horrible person. Cutting me out of the will just proves it.”

By trying to teach him a lesson about himself, you’ve reinforced his negative story about you.

It’s a terrible paradox: The more we try to redress injuries to ourselves by holding up a mirror to others, the less we look like victims and the more we’re seen as perpetrators.

Be the Change

So what’s the solution? Should we just accept whatever poor treatment comes our way and never ask for better? Only a doormat acts like that.

For me, the answer comes back to the immortal advice of Mohandas Gandhi: Be the change you wish to see in the world.

I once had a friend who was passionately against littering. To reduce littering in her community, she tried to shame anyone she saw doing it.

It never went well. She always felt awful after those interactions, and presumably, the people she confronted did as well.

Eventually, she realized that she could have a bigger impact by simply picking up the trash she saw people drop and disposing of it properly.

Although it felt unfair at first, she came to understand that even if the litterbugs themselves didn’t see her picking up after them, other people would. And they would learn from her to pick up trash.

A potential litterbug bystander might observe my friend’s act of service and think twice about littering. Or maybe they would do what she was doing, for someone else.

Because of my friend’s example, littering would decrease in her community — which was exactly what she wanted.

Teach Love

If you would like certain people to be more respectful, consider the level of your respect for them. How are you demonstrating that?

If you would like others to be friendly and welcoming, think about how often you reach out to others.

If you want someone to forgive your human frailty, can you show them how to do that by forgiving them first?

Instead of teaching lessons, teach love. Not only does it feel good to both of you, but it also actually works.

People behave better when they’re given room to reflect; when they’re shown better examples; and when they’re assumed to be good — in other words, when they’re loved.

New Orleans’ Local Races listed by contest with each contestant

State Representative 102nd Representative District
1 to be elected

Name/

Party/Race/Gender

Delisha Boyd

07/14/2021

Democrat

Black

504-533-0001

Female

delisha@delishaboyd.com

Jordan Bridges

07/16/2021

Democrat

Black

504-812-9826

Male

Sheriff
1 to be elected

Name/

Party/Race/Gender

Quentin R. Brown Jr.

07/14/2021

Independent

Black

504-615-0137

Male

cashflow70115@gmail.com

Marlin Gusman

07/14/2021

Democrat

Black

Male

mngusman@bellsouth.net

Janet Hays

07/16/2021

No Party

White

504-274-6091

Female

haysforsheriff@gmail.com

Susan Hutson

07/14/2021

Democrat

P.O. Box 19974New Orleans, LA 70179

Black

504-278-3825

Female

info@susanforsheriff.com

Christopher Williams

07/14/2021

Democrat

Black

504-258-2444

Male

drarsteal@gmail.com

Clerk Civil District Court
1 to be elected

Party/Race/Gender

Yiesha McFarland

07/16/2021

Democrat

P.O. Box 871692 New Orleans , LA 70187

Black

773-469-8179

Female

ymcfarland1915@gmail.com

Chelsey Richard Napoleon

07/14/2021

Democrat

P.O. Box 58098New Orleans, LA 70158

Black

504-722-7149

Female

keepchelseyclerk@gmail.com

Clerk Criminal District Court
1 to be elected

Party/Race/Gender

Austin Badon

07/14/2021

Democrat

P.O. Box 870936New Orleans, LA 70187

Black

504-258-9090

Male

austin.badon@yahoo.com

Patricia Boyd-Robertson

07/14/2021

Democrat

P.O. Box 870455New Orleans , LA 70187

Black

504-810-4866

Female

probertson0511@gmail.com

Darren Lombard

07/14/2021

Democrat

Black

504-616-7995

Male

dlombard2@gmail.com

Assessor
1 to be elected

Name

Party/Race/Gender

Anthony Brown

07/14/2021

Democrat

Male

brownforassessor@gmail.com

Andrew (Low Tax) Gressett

07/14/2021

Democrat

White

504-858-2200

Male

Gressett@NewOrleansRealty.com

Carlos J. Hornbrook

07/16/2021

Democrat

White

504-908-6177

Male

chornbrook@msn.com

Gregory “Greg” Lirette

07/14/2021

No Party

P.O. Box 1500New Orleans, LA 70115

White

504-233-9456

Male

press@lirette.net

Erroll G. Williams

07/14/2021

Democrat

                                                                                                                      Black

504-283-9689

Male

Coroner
1 to be elected

Name/

Party/Race/Gender

Dwight McKenna

07/14/2021

Democrat

Black

504-943-1923

Male

dwightmckenna@bellsouth.net

Mayor City of New Orleans
1 to be elected

Name/

Party/Race/Gender

Joseph Amato

07/16/2021

Independent

White

504-346-0930

Male

jmamato@live.com

Eldon Delloyd “El” Anderson

07/16/2021

Democrat

Black

504-220-5905

Male

eldondelloyd@icloud.com

Belden “Noonie Man” Batiste

07/14/2021

Democrat

Black

504-322-5532

Male

beldenbatiste@gmail.com

Douglas Bently I

07/14/2021

Independent

Other

504-421-4561

Male

douglasbentley1976@att.net

Manuel “Chevrolet” Bruno

07/15/2021

No Party

White

504-616-1022

Male

mannychevrolet@yahoo.com

LaToya Cantrell

07/16/2021

Democrat

5500 Prytania St., #629New Orleans, LA 70115

Black

504-475-8030

Female

info@latoyacantrell.com

Byron Stephan Cole

07/16/2021

No Party

Black

504-617-3080

Male

fathersadvocacy@gmail.com

Luke Fontana

07/14/2021

Democrat

1827 Burgundy St.New Orleans, LA 70116

White

504-638-1528

Male

elect@lukefontanaformayor.com

Leilani Heno

07/14/2021

No Party

Black

504-482-2348

Female

Henolaformayor@gmail.com

Matthew Hill

07/14/2021

Independent

Other

504-656-6206

Male

matthillforneworleans@gmail.com

Nathaniel “Nate” Jones

07/14/2021

Independent

Black

504-334-9627

Male

natjonesnola@yahoo.com

Reginald Merchant

07/16/2021

No Party

Black

206-880-6572

Male

Vina Nguyen

07/14/2021

Republican

Asian

504-222-8368

Female

vina@globaltechps.com

Johnese Lamar Smith

07/16/2021

Democrat

P.O. Box 57151New Orleans, LA 70151

Other

504-256-4865

Female

nesebabe65@gmail.com

Councilmember at Large Division 1
1 to be elected

Name

Party/Race/Gender

Kenneth Cutno

07/14/2021

Democrat

P.O. Box 741967New Orleans, LA 70174

Black

504-766-9663

Male

Mrcutno@hotmail.com

Helena Moreno

07/14/2021

Democrat

P.O. Box 15155New Orleans, LA 70155

Hispanic

504-658-1060

Female

helena@helenamorenola.com

David Nowak

07/16/2021

Democrat

White

504-858-9155

Male

davidgnowak@gmail.com

Councilmember at Large Division 2
1 to be elected

Name

Party/Race/Gender

Jared Brossett

07/14/2021

Democrat

Black

504-517-5032

Male

info@jaredbrossett.com

“Bart” Everson

07/14/2021

Green

White

812-391-0818

Male

campaign@barteverson.com

Kristin Gisleson Palmer

07/14/2021

Democrat

White

504-658-1030

Female

Jean-Paul “JP” Morrell

07/14/2021

Democrat

909 Poydras St., Ste. 1400New Orleans , LA 70112

Black

504-261-3302

Male

jpforatlarge@gmail.com

Councilmember District A
1 to be elected

Name/

Party/Race/Gender

Joseph “Joe” Giarrusso III

07/14/2021

Democrat

P.O. Box 24060New Orleans, LA 70184

White

504-810-2200

Male

jig3campaign@gmail.com

Amy Misko

07/15/2021

Libertarian

White

504-470-3549

Female

misko4citycouncildistrictA@gmail.com

Robert “Bob” Murrell

07/14/2021

Democrat

White

504-417-4121

Male

bob.murrell@gmail.com

Councilmember District B
1 to be elected

Name

Party/Race/Gender

Jay H. Banks

07/14/2021

Democrat

Black

504-544-1962

Male

teamjay@votejayhbanks.com

Lesli Harris

07/14/2021

Democrat

Black

504-258-3666

Female

lesli@harris4nola.com

Timothy David Ray

07/16/2021

Democrat

Black

504-535-4244

Male

info@TimothyDavidRay.com      

Rosalind “Roz” Reed-Thibodeaux

07/14/2021

Independent

White

504-354-8462

Female

rizewithroz@gmail.com

Rella Zapletal

07/16/2021

Democrat

4310 Prytania St.New Orleans, LA 70115

White

504-407-1446

Female

join@teamrellaz.com

Councilmember District C
1 to be elected

Name/

Party/Race/Gender

Stephanie Bridges

07/14/2021

Democrat

Black

504-915-4895

Female

sbrid09@gmail.com

Freddie King III

07/14/2021

Democrat

Black

504-982-5464

Male

freddiekinglaw@gmail.com

Alonzo Knox

07/16/2021

Democrat

Black

504-264-1132

Male

alonzoknox@vote4knox.com

Vincent Milligan Jr.

07/15/2021

No Party

White

504-388-3521

Male

vincentm4nolacitycouncil@yahoo.com

Stephen Mosgrove

07/14/2021

Democrat

2912 Hudson Pl.New Orleans , LA 70131

White

504-715-8914

Male

sgpmosgrove@gmail.com

“Frank” Perez

07/14/2021

Democrat

Hispanic

504-941-1633

Male

frankearlperez@gmail.com

Barbara Waiters

07/14/2021

Democrat

Black

504-258-7718

Female

bawaiters11@gmail.com

Councilmember District D
1 to be elected

Name/

Party/Race/Gender

Chelsea Ardoin

07/16/2021

Republican

P.O. Box 770387New Orleans, LA 70177

White

504-494-5048

Female

can@chelseaardoin.com

Chantrisse Burnett

07/14/2021

Democrat

P.O. Box 7023New Orleans, LA 70186

Black

504-679-2077

Female

friendsofcburnett@gmail.com

Morgan Clevenger

07/16/2021

Democrat

White

504-237-7805

Female

electmorgandistrictD@gmail.com          

Anthony Doby

07/15/2021

No Party

Black

504-289-5181

Male

adobee99@hotmail.com

Troy Glover

07/14/2021

Democrat

Black

504-470-6370

Male

info@votetroyglover.com

Eugene Green

07/15/2021

Democrat

Black

504-255-2299

Male

info@voteeugenegreen.com

Kevin Griffin-Clark

07/14/2021

Democrat

P.O. Box 820353New Olreans, LA 70182

Black

504-273-6312

Male

kevingriffinclark@gmail.com

Mark “Johari” Lawes

07/14/2021

Democrat

4938 Venus St.New Orleans, LA 70122

Black

504-453-2287

Male

mark_lawes@yahoo.com

Mariah Moore

07/14/2021

Democrat

P.O. Box 8579New Orleans, LA 70182

Black

504-388-1578

Female

mariah@mariahmoorefornola.com

Robert “Bob” Murray

07/14/2021

Democrat

1517 Harrison Ave.New Orleans , LA 70122

Black

504-800-7977

Male

rlmurray57@yahoo.com

Keith “KP” Parker

07/15/2021

Democrat

Black

504-994-7053

Male

keithparker64@gmail.com

Timolynn “Tim” Sams

07/14/2021

Democrat

P.O. Box 8740 New Orleans , LA 70182

Black

504-521-4042

Female

togetherwithtim@gmail.com

Dulaine Troy Vining

07/16/2021

Democrat

Black

404-781-3447

Male

dulaine.vining@yahoo.com

Kourtney Youngblood

07/14/2021

Democrat

Black

225-916-0728

Female

youngbloodskourtney@gmail.com

Councilmember District E
1 to be elected

Name/

Party/Race/Gender

John Bagneris

07/14/2021

Democrat

Black

504-905-1474

Male

johnbagneris@gmail.com

Michon Copelin

07/16/2021

Democrat

Black

504-919-9503

Female

michoncopelin@yahoo.com

Vanessa “Gueringer” Johnson

07/14/2021

Democrat

P.O. Box 770885New Orleans, LA 70177

Black

504-344-7851

Female

vote@vanessaforcommunity.com

Aaron Miller

07/15/2021

Democrat

Black

504-358-7829

Male

milleraaron076@gmail.com

Cyndi Nguyen

07/14/2021

Democrat

Asian

504-415-4905

Female

cyndinguyen1970@gmail.com

Oliver M Thomas

07/14/2021

Democrat

P.O. Box 870235New Orleans, LA 70187

Black

504-715-8525

Male

info@olivermthomas.com

3 Real Reasons to Support Jeff Landry for Governor

In Louisiana, a politician is always running for office. And it’s never too early to look ahead. Especially when an elected official acts unusually political. And queue current Louisiana Attorney General, Jeff Landry.

It’s about time we get back to old school Louisiana politics. Governor John Bel Edwards is boring. All he wants to do is stabilize the budget, give teachers raises, and fight the Coronavirus. Where’s the corruption, the hypocrisy, the scandal? In his one and a half terms in office he hasn’t even been insinuated in a kickback. The late former governor Edwin Edwards is probably already rolling over in his freshly dug grave. But wait, there is one man who can drag our politics back to the swamp from which it came. That man is Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry. And here are the top reasons why he should be elected as Louisiana’s next governor.

Reason #1: The man knows how to wield power. You got a pesky biological mother making contact with your adopted daughter, well all you have to do is call on Jeff. He’ll take care of her, provided that he holds a seat on your company’s board, and you’re one of his biggest political donors. You check those boxes, and Jeff will give you the VIP treatment. No I’m not talking access to proper legal channels.

I’m talking Louisiana Bureau of Investigation agents running through the mother’s social media instead. I’m talking the same agents tracking her down online, even traveling across state lines to threaten her, her ole man, and her brother. Justice ain’t free. And Jeff knows that. Citizens seeking justice from the Attorney General’s office should know that too. After all, what’s the point of having hands if one won’t wash the other. We live in a corrupt world these days. And if crime still pays, then we need a governor who knows how to cash in. It’s unlikely there will be another candidate for governor more qualified to do that than Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.

Ka’Mauri Harrison was suspended by Jefferson Parish for items in his home that were seen while he was in virtual school!

Reason #2: He’s an opportunist. The mark of a good politician is recognizing the moment. Not just any moment. But the moment that gives them the best opportunity for political gain. For example, a 9 year-old black kid gets suspended from school because a BB gun in his room is accidentally on display during one of his virtual classes. Insert Jeff Landry, sudden defender of black people despite his Tea Party ways. Jeff immediately recognized game and played on the sensibilities of the black community. He appeared on local talk radio vowing to use the full force of his office to take the fight as far as it could go and overturn the injustice.

All the while in the midst of a national debate on guns and gun safety, he winked and nodded towards gun rights activists and the NRA. That’s manipulation at its finest. Who knows, during the next election cycle he might not even have to pay black people to be in his ads. They may do so voluntarily. We need a governor a like Jeff, who knows how to play both sides of the fence, the full circumference of a circle, and all angles of a square.

Reason #3: He’s a straight, white male. In a gender fluid world populated by ever evolving pronouns, Jeff has kept it old school. He has embodied whiteness, masculinity, and privilege. He even used his office to maintain that advantage. Remember when he took up for toxic masculinity and fought Governor Edwards over LGBT workplace regulations? That’s Jeff Landry.

So remember this during the next gubernatorial election. Any candidate can offer you this or that, but none will offer you the return to old school Louisiana politics with as much gall and vigor. So stamp your ballot. Pull your lever, whatever it is that your parish has you do. Just make sure that at end of the day, the choice you make is the only logical one: Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry

By Ted Quant

I watched MSNBC coverage of Cuba. Miami Cubans were on TV complaining that their relatives are starving and they can’t help them and how horrible the Cuban government is for preventing them from helping their starving relatives.

I waited in vain for Craig Melvin to ask the question, “What is stopping you from sending money, food, support to your relatives? What is stopping you from getting on a plane and taking medicine or support to Cuba? Is it the Cuban government’s policy to blockade their nation? Is it the Cuban government that stops you from sending money to your relatives?”

No, the answer to all the questions is that it is your US government’s policy that you voted for when you supported Trump, and also all the Democratic and Republican administrations that for 60 years have waged war against this tiny nation. An embargo is an act of war. You, Miami Cubans, you voted for these policies. It is you who are killing your relatives in Cuba while you blame the Cuban government for your evil doing. What utterly disgusting hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy

And shame on MSNBC for not asking the questions to set the record straight. Yes, be critical of what deserves to be criticized about the Cuban government, but also call out the lies of our government and its policies that are starving the people of Cuba.

Shame on you for your complicity in letting these lies go unanswered.

And Please don’t say we are for human rights in Cuba, while we are starving people to death, denying their right to live, denying their right to freely participate in the commerce of nations, denying their right to self determination and independence. Stop lying that you are fighting for human rights in Cuba, when our government’s purpose is US domination so US corporations can turn Cuba back into the neo-colony it was before the revolution.

Stop lying. End the embargo. Defend the Cuban Revolution.

#MSNBC and #MIAMICUBANS and #CubanAmericans

Practical, but nuanced, marital tips.

By Reid J Daitzman Ph.D., ABPP

THE BASICS

KEY POINTS

  • After a decade, or less, there are predictable marital patterns that emerge, causing periods of optimism and pessimism.
  • After marriage, and a few years, your sense of the other is more psychological than physical. You “see” things invisible to strangers.
  • Your marital arguments are not special: all couples argue about the same things.
  • Shouting during an argument does not make your premise true; it is simply annoying.

A fulfilling marriage includes trust, empathy, respect and companionship.

Marriage for men is also good medicine. Married men live seven years longer than single men. The marital emotional security contributes to male longevity. It might seem trivial, but the woman reminds the man to see the doctor.

After a while how you sense your spouse is more psychological than physical.

In a long-term relationship, there is lust and limerick, and then these biological romantic notions wane replaced by psychological notions culminating in a sense of companionship. After thousands of interactions, the other sees you more psychologically than physically, and different than a stranger. Of course, beauty is a factor, but character is sacrosanct.

This may surprise you. Essential to an enduring marriage is conflict––it proves you that you care)––and the negotiation how to resolve differences of opinion. A couple that does not argue does not care unwilling to invest emotional energy in a losing cause. This is a bad sign. Here is a tip: The best way to settle an argument is, “I understand.”

All shared events in a marriage are stored as interpretive memories.

Many arguments are a subjective matter of opinion. No partner can be correct all the time; we all have moods. And most shared events become interpretive memories. During marital therapy, I usually hear separate versions of the same event, with no right or wrong answer, but some partners can be stubborn and insist their version is what happened.

The essence of a good marriage is learning how to negotiate arguments––mostly honest differences of opinion, or values––then make up, learn from it, and and move on.

Try not to harbor grudges––a psychological weight that is emotionally exhausting––morphing into cold hostility and animosity. No one wants to live walking on eggshells. A cure for this animosity is empathy. Try to understand the other’s point of view. This evaluation process is hard. Even in my role as a therapist, some people confound me, as to the logic of their arguments.article continues after advertisement

One clue to the status of your marriage:

Here is a clue as to the current emotional status of your marital relationship. If you work at an office and think, “I don’t want to go home now” there are major interpersonal issues that have to be addressed and resolved. The corner bar used to be a small town’s neutral living room––a halfway house to ease the transition from work to home––and still is, as well as screen life as a diversion.

All couples experience the same kinds of problems. All couples have disagreements about finances, power, sex, in–laws, parenting, values, communication, gender roles, family life, and parenting.

This said, try to ignore the long, lost past and instead focus on current concerns. For example, Do not complain, “You never finished college,” if you are now in your fifties, and it all happened thirty years ago. If you complain about an event more than ten years old it is no longer about the event, but something that reminds you of the event. There is current, emotional trigger reminding you that the other is a low achiever, and it remains annoying.

Kill your spouse with kindness. Catch them being good. Make them feel special. Play nice. Remain congenial. Don’t pound the table while making your point. It is annoying. Have a sense of humor. Humor diffuses conflict, and lightens the mood causing the other to be more receptive to petty gripes.

Try not to do anything high that you wouldn’t do low. Put the smartphone away at meals. If you have nothing to say make an observation, “I won the five hundred million dollar Powerball today, and I forget to tell you.” If the other still fails to look up you have a problem.

Shouting louder does not make you the premise of your argument truer. And don’t stay in a relationship with a history of psychological and physical abuse. It will be repeated, and intensify, to your dismay.

All beefs are not created equal. If you have a beef, wait. For example, using common sense, if you know a spouse is exhausted after work, do not hit them with a list of petty gripes after fighting two hours in traffic. Wait two minutes.

Never storm out during a knockdown, drag-out argument. Often, the only reason marital therapy works is the situation prevents leaving when hot button issues are discussed. The couple has to remain in place inside the therapy room. If not, why even continue in marital therapy?

How is it a couple becomes a couple? In evolution there is natural and sexual selection––coequal branches of the genesis of reproduction and passing on your genes as a specie, but the institution of romantic marriage, a legal contract, is fairly new to human beings, and still not universally practiced, given the perpetuation of arranged marriages, that are more like of a merger of two families than like a emotional marriage between two people.

Events that cause petty arguments:

Settle your emotional books daily by making up and moving on. Life is too short being in a chronic state of anxious, hostile turmoil. Swallow your pride. No one is perfect.

Don’t blame your partner for your problems of your past. If you had a hard life prior to the marriage you will bring some of that baggage with you, and if, again, seek personal counseling.

Don’t blame your partner for your personal problems acquired prior to the relationship. They had nothing to do with in creating them.

Having similar philosophies of life and shared values matters, and is a reason we date, in order to determine this. Once children come along, it gets harder to find time to be a couple. These lifecycle stages are normal, and to be expected.

Technology is also an 800-pound gorilla in a home. It is omnipresent, and often more enriched than having a conversation. Screen life and cyberspace distract from marital communication, especially social networks causing an external focus with others.

All the new time spent on social networks used to be spent elsewhere, including tuning in to each other and “talking.” On the other hand, people need personal time absent criticism for doing so, or made to feel guilty seeking solitude.ml

Why seek marital counseling, and why do couples remain in bad relationships?

Marriage counseling elucidates and accelerates whatever conflicts are happening, with the aid of a professional generating more viable solutions. Some troubled marriages remain so in order for one spouse to continue to emotionally abuse the other, and when physical is the area of domestic violence. The other needs to feel in control.

Let’s say you call it quits. Usually, there is an immediate rebound relationship to enhance self-esteem: “I am worthy.” My suggestion after a divorce is to see someone to clarify ambiguous needs. If you move on absent insight, then the same self-defeating patterns will probably be repeated with the next person.

If each partner is fulfilled then the relationship has a better chance than if one or both partners are main unfulfilled or don’t even argue about it. A lasting marriage weathers life’s vicissitudes. And yes, applying the Golden Rule goes a long way in sustaining a fulfilling marriage.

Let me end with this. If you have a long-term, fulfilling marriage, you were plain lucky who you met. Thank your lucky stars, and appreciate what you have.

Rumors are that a big name opponent will challenge Mayor Cantrell

The latest polls show Mayor LaToya Cantrell has a extremely high approval ratings. Couple that with her almost $1 million dollars in the bank and the mayor’s race is likely a forgone conclusion.  Yet, significant turmoil and rumblings of discontent simmer like water just before it boils.  Were the polls flawed?  Have things changed suddenly? Despite this, rumors swirl that a big name opponent will challenge Mayor Cantrell.

 Many believe that she handled the Hard Rock collapse and COVID response properly and correctly.  People believe she erred on the side of caution. The percentages indicate she saved lives and protected our community. She dropped her first campaign commercial during the NBA Finals basketball game.  It focused on her handling of COVID.  New Orleans is over 60% African American.  And the health disparities African Americans endure meant death or illness was dramatic in the city. Almost every African American personally knew someone who died or was seriously affected by COVID. Predictably, New Orleanians responded positively when asked if Cantrell’s pandemic response was good. 

Similarly, the Hard Rock collapse was equally political manna for the mayor.  Our hearts broke for the families that suffered unimaginable grief and sorrow. But the tragedy offered political opportunity. Bodies remained in the perilously unstable building for months.  We all saw the dramatic footage of the cranes crashing down on Canal and Rampart streets.  Daily the Mayor held press conferences with the Fire Chief or Ramsey Green or Jennifer Avegno.  She truly looked mayoral. Her quality team gave plans and updates. A hilarious meme was created. It mocked her nodding her head.  Teedy was born!

Phase 2 is the best though

For the many white readers(and you know who you are) let me explain the Teedy phenomenon.  Teedy means Aunt.  We all have that favorite overindulging and in your business Aunt who tells you what to do. But the obligatory and respectful answer is always, “Yes Teedy!”  That Cantrell was elevated to Teedy status is quite the compliment. And it means, you can only give positive answers when asked about your aunt.  Even if you honestly think differently.  And more importantly, nobody better NOT say nothing bad about my Teedy either.  Cantrell’s elevation to Teedy status explains more about her high approval than any poll. Like the brother on the corner would say, “Man everybody loves Teedy!”

But Teedy is a double-edged sword.  Think about your favorite old aunt. She might offer her opinion inappropriately and with disregard for your perspective.  And as cousins talk, then Teedy is disregarded as old and outdated.  Often, barbershop conversations turn from, “Teedy ain’t playing with y’all,” to ”Man ain’t nobody worried about Teedy and her foolishness. I ain’t wearing no mask. And I’ll go to Jefferson Parish.”   

New Orleans West

There is an odd and maybe growing group of disgruntled New Orleanians.  Odd because they come from different parts of the city. New Orleans East home and business owners and New Orleans West home and business owners. (Alicia Plummer famously coined the term New Orleans West to combat the stereotypes about New Orleans East). Growing because there are real issues facing all New Orleanians

  • no real jobs creation,
  • rising crime,
  • bad streets,
  • moving city hall to Congo Square
  • and the Jazzland redevelopment fiasco(the last two are both NO Saints ownership related issues some say).

And Both the East & the West agree on these issues

Mainly New Orleans West is salty about the slow reopening and lack of jobs creation. The East is concerned about crime, streets, Congo Square and Jazzland redevelopment. But consider that we are all just a bad thunderstorm away from widespread flooding. Then the mayor’s grip on an easy reelection could slip significantly.

Amazingly, the Mayor’s most significant accomplishment might actually end up making her reelection fight more difficult.  All previous mayors challenged the state to return our fair share of contributed taxes back to the city.  Only LaToya Cantrell won this historic and centuries old battle.  Then COVID hit.

As a result, no infrastructure dollars flowed our way. And no real significant infrastructure work has begun.  So each time the city issues a go ahead to park on the neutral grounds(median for you gentrifiers and non-New Orleanians), the mayor is on borrowed time.

Mayor Likely to Be Unopposed by Big Name Opponent

Quite possibly the Mayor Cantrell runs without a major opponent. But these unpolled experiences might mean a big-name opponent could qualify next week. Millions of dollars from NO West awaits the right candidate.  Roy Glapion, Arthur Hunter, Royce Duplessis, and Kristen Palmer have all been mentioned.  Qualifying begins on July 14th and closes on the 16th.  It will be interesting to see who qualifies against the mayor.

Whispers of gentrification still swirl around New Orleans, which experienced a significant population shift after Katrina. At least 75 percent of the 100,000 Hurricane Katrina survivors who returned to New Orleans found higher rents, higher property taxes, and other by-products of gentrification.  Mixed-use housing replaced public housing complexes. Translation -there were fewer affordable units.  

Gentrification in New Orleans is no longer the subject of quiet backroom discussions. It’s a fact. New Orleans is the fifth on a list of the top 20 most gentrified cities in America.

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) released a report entitled Gentrification and Disinvestment 2020. It analyzed data from the American Community Survey (ACS). The ASC collected this data from 2008-2012 and 2013-2017. They examined neighborhood change and gentrification. Read a copy of the full report here

“An analysis of New Orleans specific data reveals highly concentrated gentrification in economically vulnerable neighborhoods, placing many families at risk of displacement. By these measures, New Orleans is now the 5th-most intensely gentrifying US city, and the threat of displacement is only increasing,” according to the Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center.

Evidence of gentrification in the 504 is apparent. Formerly Black communities are now more ethnically diverse. Lots of people came to help rebuild the city. Many were white students or professionals who saw  once-in-a-lifetime bonanza of cheap houses and land.  The likes of which did not exist anywhere else.

Where else could a house be purchased from the state—which bought abandoned homes way below market rates—for $30,000?  

 Newcomers to New Orleans brought their cultural influences, some good and some bad. New cafes, pop-up businesses, community art, community gardens, co-op groceries added value to neighborhoods east of Canal Street.

 However, the city’s Department of Transportation’s plan to create 600 miles of a connected network of low-stress bikeways and walkways reaching every corner of Orleans Parish is not.  Creating safe pathways for bicyclists to ride on New Orleans streets is a good thing. But the impact of the over-the-top bike master plan has prioritized bikers’ needs over auto drivers.

Citizens who own cars can no longer park on the streets in front of their homes. Somehow, the fact that New Orleans streets, specifically that east of Canal Street, were designed for horses and buggies and are narrow one-way streets seems not to have mattered to the bike safety planners.

Amàndi Images ©

Understandably, safety measures for bicyclists were necessary to prevent tragedies like the deaths of three bicyclists in ten days in 2019.

In response to calls for protection for bicyclists, the New Orleans City Council passed bicycle safety ordinances, and Mayor Cantrell’s Department of Transportation launched the Moving New Orleans Bikes master plan. Moving New Orleans Bikes.

“At least some funding for the bike master plan, roughly $2.6 million, was provided by People for Bikes, a Colorado-based coalition of bicycling suppliers and retailers. The city matched that amount with money it has allocated for infrastructure projects and expects to provide even more funding as the plan is implemented,” David Lee Simmons, a Cantrell spokesman,” told Jessica Williams, Advocate reporter, in 2019.

“While we know that these changes can be disruptive in the short run, we are anticipating major benefits to people who live, work or visit the corridors in this network,” said Simmons.

Amàndi Images ©

Disruptive?

Disruptive is an understatement. Not only are the protected bike lanes ugly, but they have caused traffic congestion and a lack of parking in residential communities. Additionally, in some parts of the city with protected bike lanes, very you see few bicyclists using the routes.

This “connected network” of bike lanes represents a tax-payer-funded service for a small minority of the city’s population who ride bicycles to the detriment of the majority.

Equally disturbing are the rules motor vehicles must follow relative to bicycles. For example, motor vehicles shall yield the right of way to bicycles. In emergencies, a motor vehicle can use the bike lane “in accordance with the normal standards of prudent conduct to protect the driver and others from harm.” Also, “Where bicycles and vehicles share the street: a car must stay at least 3 feet away from the bike when passing.”

Before Katrina, bicycling was merely a past-time that few residents enjoyed. However, bicycling newcomers formed coalitions. They raised funds, and began lobbying the city to create specialized pathways for bikers. 

What’s interesting is that certain areas in the city seem to be exempt from protected bicycle lanes. Maybe St. Charles Avenue, Bourbon Street, and Canal Street will have protected bike lanes one day, but currently, there are none. How about on Poydras Street? Uptown? The Garden District?

Cars or Bikes?

The bikeway network in Orleans Parish currently boasts more than 100 miles of on- and off-street bikeways. More residents own cars than bicycles. Why is it that beautiful, narrow thoroughfares like Esplanade Avenue have been narrowed even more to accommodate a bike path?

However, Esplanade Avenue residents have it better than others. They have a parking lane in front of their houses. On North Galvez Street, from Elysian Fields to Franklin Avenue, residents can’t park in front of their homes. They have to park across the street in front of the homes of other residents.

For all the talk of bicyclists needing a “fair share” of the streets, where is the fair share of neighborhood streets for residents who live in those communities?

Gary Carters’ landslide victory was predictable.  But his was just the first domino to fall in the upcoming political season that will be thrilling and fun to watch.  Some races will pit heavyweight names against each other.  Political alliances will be tested.  Old school politics and new age thinking face off. Young versus old.  Established versus the past. City council races matter.

Let’s look at the easiest through the most competitive.

STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 102

The easiest and least expensive race will be the special election to replace Gary Carter. His house seat is now vacant, and no seat can be open in the state legislature.  The governor must call a special election.  Two weeks ago, we talked about the complexity of this election for westbank politicians.  Click here to read all about it.  This will be an inexpensive and easy to win seat.  Possible candidates include real estate broker Delisha Boyd, Stephanie Bridges, D’Juan Hernandez. Longtime community activist Kenneth Cutno and a city hall neighborhood engagement specialist Steven Musgrove might also enter the race. 

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT C

Kristen G. Palmer is not seeking reelection to her city council seat.  This opening creates more westbank political intrigue.  The same candidates who could qualify for the state house seat are the potential entrants in this race.  Behind the scenes jockeying and political maneuvering are intense on the westbank now.  Winning or losing the House seat virtually eliminates the candidate from this race. And a city council race could easily top $400,000 to win as opposed to the $25,000 it would take to win a special election house seat.  Additionally, more high-profile candidates like Roy Glapion or Nadine Ramsey might enter and making winning much more difficult.

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT E

New Orleans East has long been a political hotbed.  From one term incumbents to fiery debates, New Orleans East has birthed legendary politicians like Sherman Copelin and Cynthia Willard Lewis. And current city Council person Cindi Nguyen is known for being everywhere across her district.  She says she has been on nearly every street in her district.  The people know her. 

The biggest district in the city is as diverse as it is wide.  From the exclusive Eastover neighborhood to Little Woods and the Lower 9, the district provides the city’s biggest property tax base.  But a large field of well-known candidates is ramping up to challenge the popular councilmember. Former state rep John Bagneris, Sherman’s daughter -Michon Copelin, community activist Venessa Gueringer, and the biggest surprise Oliver Thomas are all looking at entering the race.  With such a large field a runoff seems likely.  Will Oliver Thomas have a compelling message that resonates with voters?  Has Cindy Nguyen done enough to satisfy the demanding citizens of the district?  Will one of the other candidates attract enough voters and squeak into the runoff?

CITY COUNCIL AT LARGE

This race for the most powerful council seat has attracted the biggest names.  Kristen Palmer decided to run citywide.  Leaving her District C seat, Ms. Palmer said, “I can accomplish more as a leader of the council than I can as a member.”  She will face another council member in Jared Brosset.  He is term limited but wants to continue his career serving citywide.  Former state senator JP Morrell is yet another big name in this race.  He has waited in the wings since being termed out of his senate seat.  Another recognizable name is Timothy Ray.  He served as the interim clerk of first city court. Although he lost to current clerk Austin Badon, Ray picked up over 30,000 votes.

The biggest issues for voters will be crime, economic development, Sewerage and Water Board billing, Entergy rates and crumbling infrastructure.