The people of New Orleans still have an opportunity to have a say in the direction our city takes over the next four year. The upcoming March 15 election is no time to stay at home, no time to rest. It is a time for action. The yet undecided races are critical for our community, and we have considered the merits of each candidate to make the following endorsements.

Orleans Parish Sheriff:
Marlin Gusman

We emphatically believe that Sheriff Marlin Gusman must be given more time to see his overhaul of the Orleans Parish Prison through. Planned changes will bring improvements to safety. While the jail continues to face a number of challenges, it simply cannot be turned over to Charles Foti, the one person most responsible for the horrid conditions at OPP as it made its descent during the 30 years it was under his control. It is time to move forward New Orleans…not backwards.

Orleans Parish Coroner:
Dr. Dwight McKenna

We have an opportunity to elect New Orleans’ first African-American coroner, usher in a new era of transparency, professionalism and confidence in the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office, and strike a blow for justice. That is why we are endorsing Dwight McKenna for coroner.

Dr. McKenna has worked with dedication to improve the quality of life for his fellow citizens in areas that range from economic opportunity to education and from cultural enrichment to civic engagement. Meanwhile, the miscarriage of justice surrounding the current Coroner Frank Minyard’s decision to not conclusively classify Henry Glover’s death as a homicide is just one example of failure of the current coroner’s administration. As Coroner, Dr. McKenna will bring competency, honesty and transparency to the Office. We say it’s high time for change.

City Council At-Large Division II:
Cynthia Hedge Morrell or Jason Williams

In one candidate, we see experience and background in working in city government that would serve her well if elected to an at-large seat on the City Council. Cynthia Hedge-Morrell has been a dedicated leader for District D and is the only member of the current council who served on the Council when Katrina hit. She understands the needs of our residents, and we have no doubt that she will work tirelessly on their behalf.

Still, we are excited by the candidacy of political newcomer Attorney Jason Williams. If elected, Williams could bring new energy and ideas to the Council that will move the city forward in ways that benefit all of its residents. With the field of candidates narrowed to these two candidates in the runoff election, we simply urge voters to pick the individual that best speaks to their needs and interests.

City Council District C:
Nadine Ramsey

Speaking of time for new energy, former Judge Nadine Ramsey represents just that to us, especially when we compare her to an opponent who has been a career council person, serving on the board at some period during each of the last three decades. Ramsey has detailed specific plans to address blight, crime, job development, small business development, and street and infrastructure issues throughout District C. Once again, it’s time for change; and the people of District C deserve a council representative dedicated to their interests. We believe they will find such a leader in Nadine Ramsey.

The runoff election is March 15. Early voting will take place 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. March 1-8 (except Sunday) at the following locations:
City Hall, 1300 Perdido St., Rm 1W24;
Algiers Courthouse; 225 Morgan St., Rm. 105:
Chef Menteur Voting Machine Ware House, 8870 Chef Menteur Highway; and
The Regional Transportation Management Center (Saturdays only), 10 Veterans Memorial Blvd.

The New Orleans Tribune

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