Our Endorsements: Your Vote, Your Voice

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DECISION 2017

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.
NO

PW School Board Prop. B – 1.55 Mills Renewal – SB – 10 Yrs.
NO

PW School Board Prop. C – 7.27 Mills Renewal – SB – 10 Yrs.
NO

To us, the next most important item on this ballot is the mayor’s race.

MAYOR
No Endorsement
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:

STATE TREASURER
Derrick Edwards

4TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEAL
Tiffany Chase
While we are impressed with both candidates in this race, Civil District Court Judge Tiffany Chase’s dedication to ensuring that everyone—regardless of resources—has access to justice is evidenced by her efforts both on and off the bench. In addition to establishing the self-help desk at Civil District Court, Judge Chase has been active leader in the community. Her 20 years of legal experience, including 10 years on the bench, seven years as a Louisiana State Supreme Court law clerk and another three in private practice, we believe she has both the experience and knowledge to serve well on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal.

CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, DIV. J
No Endorsement
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.

CORONER
Dr. Dwight McKenna
Dr. Dwight McKenna has been a dedicated physician and community leader in New Orleans for most of his life. From his genuine concern regarding the plight of the Black male and his courageous efforts to ensure that Black owned businesses were not left out of lucrative contracts while serving on the Orleans Parish School Board to his active role as a community leader who co-founded a newspaper and established two museums to his long-time devotion to his patients, Dr. McKenna remains a part of the fabric of the community. And we believe his level of commitment, knowledge and skills are just what the Orleans Parish Coroner’s office needs, and what the people of New Orleans deserve.

CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE DIVISION 1
Joseph “Joe” Bouie, PhD
While we admire the work of state Rep. Helena Moreno and are certain she is both able and ready to serve on the City Council, state Rep. Joe Bouie is our choice for City Council At-Large Division 1 because of his strong advocacy on behalf of the people of New Orleans particularly while also serving in the state legislature–even if he had to stand alone in opposition to many of our elected officials. His courage in pushing for legislation to prohibit building public schools on toxic dump sites and to return local public schools to local control indicate his eager willingness to respond to the desires and needs of his constituents.

CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE DIVISION 2
Jason Williams
City Councilman At-Large Jason Williams has provided bold and vocal leadership on behalf of the people of New Orleans, and we believe it has earned him the opportunity to serve another term to continue to move our city forward.

 

 

 

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT A
Joe Giarrusso III or Aylin Acikalin Maklansky
An open race in District A presents the opportunity for new leadership for the area and a new voice on the City Council. Both Joe Giarrusso and Aiylin McClansky strike us as knowledgeable, hardworking and fair individuals who will work with their colleagues on the City Council and other elected leaders for the betterment of New Orleans.

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT B
Jay Banks
District B’s open race presents another opportunity to a new voice and new leadership. In this race, we believe Jay Banks is the best person for the job. We believe his life-long dedication and connection to the district and his experience as chief of staff for two former City Council presidents Jim Singleton and the late Dorothy Mae Taylor  provides him with both the skill and the desire to work hard on behalf of the people of this District.

 

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT C
Nadine Ramsey
Councilwoman Nadine Ramsey has exhibited a commitment and dedication to the people of District, from her work with small businesses to her efforts to increase youth services throughout the district. Another term on the Council will provide Ramsey with the opportunity to continue and enhance her efforts to serve District C and all of New Orleans. While serving District C, Councilwoman Ramsey has focused on blight, bringing new businesses and jobs to the District. As a former civil district court judge, she brings a unique perspective to her role on the Council that has served her constituents well, we believe. And she remains involved in our legal and civic communities. Hers is a voice that the New Orleans City Council needs and one that the people of District C deserve.

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT D
Jared Brossett

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
James Gray or Alicia Plummer-Clivens
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.

Constitutional Amendments

CA NO. 1 (Act 428-SB 140) Exemption of property taxes for constructions.
YES
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.
YES
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
NO
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.