The New Orleans Tribune makes the following endorsements in the Oct. 14 primary. Early voting in the begins Saturday, Sept. 30 thru Oct. 7.
Although they appear at the bottom of the ballot, we will start with the local school millages because we believe they are of vital importance. To each, we say VOTE NO!
Local School Millages
Each of the following Orleans Parish School Board Propositions seeks to renew expiring millages in varying amounts. It’s usually very difficult to say no schools. However, here at The New Orleans Tribune, we are not convinced that current plans to “return” public schools to “local” control constitute a true return to local control. As long charter management organizations through their un-elected boards continue to determine how money gets spent, we cannot, in good conscious, recommend renewing any school-related millages. It does not matter how small the millages are. It does not matter how they have been used or would be used if renewed. Without trepidation, we unconditionally declare that un-elected boards comprised of individuals with no direct accountability to taxpayers should not be allowed to decide how taxpayer money is spent. Bottom line. Perhaps if the voters and taxpayers of Orleans Parish drain the well, the various charter management organizations operating schools like businesses in New Orleans and treating them as their very own cash cows, will pack up and leave so that the important work of education can be returned to educators and the work of governing our school system can be returned to the people elected to do so.
PW School Board Prop. A – 1.55 Mills Renewal – SB – 10 Yrs.
PW School Board Prop. B – 1.55 Mills Renewal – SB – 10 Yrs.
PW School Board Prop. C – 7.27 Mills Renewal – SB – 10 Yrs.
To us, the next most important item on this ballot is the mayor’s race.
With a crowded field of candidates and a number of frontrunners each of whom we believe has the skills, temperament and experiences that would serve the city well, it is difficult to make an endorsement in this race at this juncture. We fully expect for this race to result in a runoff; and when that happens, The New Orleans Tribune will be a position to make a sound endorsement between the top two primary election vote getters. Again, we urge the electorate to make informed decisions. Decide which issues are important to you and then learn what the candidates have said about them. Visit their websites, study their platforms and attend forums. If you meet them, don’t hesitate to ask the questions you want answers to. Don’t forget to pick up the September issue of The New Orleans Tribune for candidate profiles and catch our Trib Talk live video interviews with the candidates.
Now on to the remainder of the ballot:
4TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEAL
CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, DIV. J
We believe each candidates in this race is equally capable and competent, all with many years and varied experiences in the court system. Please learn more about the candidates and make the decision best for you. You can start by picking up the September issue of The New Orleans Tribune for candidate profiles or checking out our Trib Talk live video interviews with the candidates.
Dr. Dwight McKenna
CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE DIVISION 1
Joseph “Joe” Bouie, PhD
CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE DIVISION 2
CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT A
Joe Giarrusso III or Aylin Acikalin Maklansky
CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT B
CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT C
Councilman Jared Brossett has exhibited his vocal leadership on a number of occasions, including leading the charge to establish a higher wage for city workers as well as authoring legislation to formally make the office of the Independent Police Monitor a truly autonomous agency while also working to address the needs of the people of District D.
CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT E
Again, we are urging you to look closely at either of these two candidates as you cast your votes. Councilman James Gray has worked hard for the people of District E. He has helped to guide a gradual resurgence the area. But there is more work to do in throughout New Orleans East and the Lower Ninth Ward; and we are confident that Gray’s re-election would result in a seamless continuation of efforts to increase opportunities and quality of life throughout District E.
Meanwhile, we know Alicia Plummer-Clivens as a candid, diligent and industrious community leader who has being doing the work to help lead her community forward without serving in an elected post. To us, she epitomizes what it means to roll up one’s sleeves and put some skin in the game. She has often stood as lone, strong and uncompromising voice for the issues she and others consider important. She has also taken a lot of heat and criticism for her stands, but it has not stopped her. We can only imagine how much more she could accomplish with the power of this office behind her.
CA NO. 1 (Act 428-SB 140) Exemption of property taxes for constructions.
This amendment essentially codifies and unifies across the state the practice of not taxing construction sites for any improvements on the land until all construction is complete. While having some reservations about the huge, wealthy corporations that benefit from this break while working on large industrial projects, we are more concerned by the small businesses owners that would likely face oppressive financial burdens if the tax assessments on their building sites increased before projects were complete and operational.
CA NO. 2 (Act 427-HB 145) Homestead exemption for unmarried spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty.
This amendment extends the homestead exemption to unmarried spouses of medical responders, technicians, paramedics and volunteer firefighters killed in the line of duty.
CA NO. 3 (Act 429-HB 354) Dedicate any new taxes (gas) into the Construction Subfund
This amendment would dedicate any new gasoline taxes to be used solely to build and refurbish bridges and roads. Of course, we believe bridges and roads are important throughout Louisiana. What we are against are MORE dedicated taxes, especially as our state continually faces budget shortfalls. As important as bridges and roads are, so are quality healthcare, education and increased services for the disabled, elderly and mentally ill. Any new revenue streams for the state should be used where they are needed most and not dedicated to any one thing.