We’re Endorsing Troy Carter for Congress and This is Why

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With several days remaining in early voting, we want to remind our dedicated readers and followers that their votes count. For nearly 36 years, we have been a trusted voice in our community, and many are looking to us now for our thoughts on the upcoming runoff which will determine who will be our next congressional representative. So trust us when we say that there is too much at stake to allow apathy to win. Let’s get out and vote.

This race is important, and we urge you to vote for state Sen. Troy Carter.

Louisiana’s Second Congressional District needs and deserves someone who can hit the ground running. We believe that person is state Sen. Troy Carter. As a state senator, Carter stands up for marginalized communities. It also means a lot to us that he has been endorsed by the former congressman Cedric Richmond. And when we look at the candidates, he emerges as the one we can trust to fight in OUR best interest. 

Of course, when he is elected, he should know that we will be watching. In the interest of those on whose behalf we speak, will have high expectations and we will demand accountability. We want him to succeed quite simply because his success will be ours.

The best indication of what a person will do in the future is what they have done in the past, and Carter’s runoff opponent’s attendance record while serving in the Louisiana senate leaves much to be desired. We need someone who will show up for us. Karen Carter-Peterson missed 85 percent of votes in 2020. And when she does vote, it seems to do more harm than good for the very communities she is supposed to serve. In 2015, she was the the lone senator to vote against cost of living adjustments for retired teachers. She did, however, vote to double her own salary in 2008.

So yes, there is something else that fuels our enthusiastic endorsement of Troy Carter, and we will be candid. 

You know The New Orleans Tribune, and that means you know that we believe public education and economic freedom and justice are the two most vital civil rights issues of our times. You also know how we feel about the charter school movement and the so-called reform effort that have decimated public education in New Orleans. 

We have been one of the loudest voices speaking out against what has happened to public education in New Orleans. We have written about this over and over again—about the plethora of schools that are rated C, D and F year after year, about the loss of neighborhood schools, about the lack of parity in the application process that reform advocates try to disguise as school choice. We have written about it all. As always, our voice on this issue has been and will remain unfettered. 

This “reform” has been nothing more than an effort to control the power and money tied to public education. It has meant huge salaries for school CEOs and big money for charter operators. It has resulted in high-paying jobs for the well-connected—all while OUR children suffer. 

Nearly 16 years after Hurricane Katrina, most schools are still failing and they are still segregated, with the vast majority of the city’s Black students attending underperforming schools, while White students are largely concentrated at top-tier schools that were high performing campuses even before the storm. In short, this reform has been disastrous, and it was never about education or children. Of course, we cannot forget that in 2004, Karen Carter-Peterson authored the legislation that stripped power from the Orleans Parish School Board and paved the way for the takeover of public schools that occurred after Katrina. She was also the author of the Trojan horse bill that purportedly returned schools to local control; though in reality, it did no such thing. In fact, this bill allowed individual charter operators to be recognized as their own local education agencies.

The bottom line is that we cannot support any elected official whose actions and votes played a pivotal role in the destruction of public education in New Orleans. When we think about what happened to the thousands of mostly Black veteran educators and employees in Orleans Parish after Hurricane Katrina—how they were fired without cause to make way for this failed reform with its charter operators and TFA recruits—we can’t imagine a scenario wherein in makes sense to send anyone to Congress who allowed this to happen, and certainly not one who had a hand in orchestrating it.

One does not get to cause upheaval in our community, and then ask us for a promotion. It’s that simple. We often talk about holding elected leaders accountable. And the way to do that is with your vote. 

If you are concerned about our schools and if you are as troubled by the plight of public education in Orleans Parish as we are, we urge you send a clear message to those responsible for this failed reform by voting for Troy Carter.