JOHN BEL EDWARDS
Let’s keep Louisiana moving forward!
We strongly believe that Gov. John Bel Edwards deserves another term to continue the work he started four years ago. We are excited about his plans to focus on early childhood education and encourage voters to support his bid for re-election. And the reality is that our state and the communities we call home cannot afford a return to the Jindal-era—a period that left Louisiana in a fiscal crisis, a time during which mental healthcare was decimated in Louisiana and funding to social services and public higher education were slashed. And that is exactly what a win for Eddie Rispone would signal.
We can’t go back!
This is not even a close call. On issues from the economy to healthcare to education, we need a governor that will put the people of Louisiana first and not cater to special interests or big business. We cannot let Trump-supporter Eddie Rispone move into the governor’s mansion. Rispone supports expanding the Louisiana’s failed voucher program. He is against raising the minimum wage. And he will freeze Medicaid enrollment if he is elected. On the other hand, Gov. Edwards supports reforming the voucher program and increasing the minimum wage. And lest we forget, he oversaw the expansion of Medicaid in Louisiana.
Those are just a few reasons why John Bel Edwards is the leader our state needs.
We can’t go back!
Secretary of State
Gwen-Collins Greenup did not “come out of nowhere”. She has more than 20 years of experience as a legal secretary for the state Labor Department, a businesswoman, a deputy clerk of court for East Feliciana Parish, and as a director at Baton Rouge City Court.
We welcome her plans to support and champion policies that increase access to the polls and voter participation.
State Senate District 3
JOSEPH “JOE” BOUIE
Dr. Joe Bouie is right. He is uniquely positioned to provide the type of leadership that the people of State Senatorial District 3 deserve from day one. Through his efforts to return schools to local control and prohibit schools from being built on toxic waste sites, Dr. Bouie has shown he cares about our children and the communities he serves.
State House District 91
Mandie Landry stances on women’s rights and issues, education, teacher pay, affordable housing and criminal justice reform align with the direction our state should be heading.
State House District 94
We urge the voters of District 94 to elect Tammy Savoie.
State House District 97
Because experience matters, we are endorsing Eugene Green in this race. His background in economic development, his service to the New Orleans community as a member of several boards and commissions and his experiences as a business owner make him ideal for this position. While we fully endorse Green’s candidacy, we are impressed by Matthew Willard. And we look forward to seeing him play an important leadership role in the future.
State House District 98
State House District 99
Adonis Exposé possesses experience and relationships that will serve him well if elected. He is active throughout New Orleans and understands the needs of the community and the people he wants to represents. A businessman and community leader, Expose promises to bring new vision to the state legislature in order to more effectively serve the people of District 99.
AMENDMENTS AND PROPOSITIONS
Several amendments and propositions on the Nov. 16 Ballot are aimed at generating funding to address infrastructure and affordable housing needs in Orleans parish. We recognize the importance of these issues in our community. We have been supportive of many of our mayor’s efforts to improve our city during her tenure—from her work to ensure that NEW Orleans gets its fair share of tourism revenue generated here to efforts to create new offices in her administration such as the office of youth and families and the utilities office.
Here at the New Orleans Tribune, we will continue to work enthusiatically with the mayor as she endeavors to make New Orleans a better city for all of its residents.
With that said, we also recognize that we may not always agree on how to achieve that goal. In examining the propositions and amendments on the Nov. 16 ballot, we are compelled to weigh the issues that our city’s administration faces with the specific needs and challenges that everyday New Orleanians are met with as they work, live and sometimes struggle to survive. Those factors are what guide our recommendations on the following:
PW HRC AMENDMENT – CREATING HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
A Human Rights Commission needs to be more than an advisory board. It needs the ability to do something about discrimination that impacts the lives of residents across the city. Amending the home rule charter to create a human rights commission that has the ability to protect and defend New Orleanians from discrimination by imposing civil sanctions and fines against entities and organizations that are guilty of such behavior is a step in the right direction.
PW $500 MILLION BOND PROPOSITION
We support this parish-wide proposition to allow the city of New Orleans to issue up to $500 million in bonds to make capital improvements, safety and equipment needs as well as to address affordable housing. Of course, we expect city leaders to identify and prioritize projects that are undertaken through the issuance of these bonds in an equitable manner that speaks to the needs of all residents throughout the city. If approved by the voters, bonds issued under this proposal are already supported by tax revenue currently allocated to city debt, meaning this proposal will not result in a tax hike for residents.
PW MILLAGE (3 MILLS) PROPOSITION
This 3-mill tax proposal is one of those difficult propositions that we have to weigh against the needs of individual New Orleanians—those people we see every day at work, church, in the supermarket and on the busy streets. To be sure, the $12 million annually that this millage would raise to maintain infrastructure, vehicles and equipment would be a welcomed revenue stream that we believe would be put to good use. But we also know that many working class and middle class New Orleanians have been dealt a lethal blow in the form of 2020 tax bills that have, in many cases, skyrocketed–doubling, tripling and even quadrupling. We know that the appeals process has been difficult to navigate and downright intimidating—even for the most savvy among us. When we consider those facts along with plans of several taxing entities across the parish to not rollback their millage rates and essentially raise taxes on residents, we cannot support a new tax of any kind for any reason.
Homeownership is already out of reach for far too many, especially Black residents—a group for whom homeownership rates have plummeted to pre-1968 levels. In a city like New Orleans, low wages and high property taxes make homeownership for the most disenfranchised residents out of reach. Homeowners, who are already have to figure out how they will pay mortgages, rising insurance premiums and higher tax bills, are facing the very real prospect of losing their homes because of rising costs and stagnate wages. We cannot support a new tax on the people of the city.
PW SHORT-TERM RENTAL OCCUPANCY TAX
We say “no” to a proposal to raise the tax rate on short-term rentals that operate in the city. In what we believe was a misguided effort pushed by the wealthy hotel industry, the City Council altered its short-term rental ordinances in a way that makes it illegal for most small-time residential property owners to benefit millions from dollars spent in New Orleans by tourists. Before taxing it, we encourage our city leaders to make this program fair for all participants again.
In changing its STR program, not only did the city of New Orleans eliminate roughly $8 million in taxes that were generated by residential STRs from the city coffers, it has made it increasingly difficult for these small-time, mostly local investors to maintain their taxes and insurances on these properties. Prohibiting residential STR operators from benefitting from the tourism industry while allowing commercial STR operators to grow unchecked was an ill-advised and unfair move on the part of city leaders. And we don’t believe they should get to make up for the revenue that was lost when they cut small-time residential property investors out of the program by raising the tax rate on remaining short-term rentals allowed to slip through the onerous regulations—commercial or otherwise.
Moreover, because of their size and number of units, many of the so-called short-term rentals that now are allowed to operate in New Orleans are commercial enterprises that are nothing short of hotels. Many of them are even owned and operated by the same hoteliers or huge real estate developers that own and operate the downtown hotels. If the city wants to tax them like hotels, then stop calling them “commercial short-term rentals” and classify them as exactly what they are—hotels. Next, go back and create a truly fair and inclusive short-term rental program.