U. S. Senator
Gary Chambers. Jr.
As a U.S. senator, John Neely Kennedy has made a mockery of leadership in Louisiana. His failure to vote to ratify the 2020 election results was the last straw. Early last year after the January riots, we said that Kennedy and a few other Republican Louisiana lawmakers needed to go because of their refusal to protect democracy. We meant that! He has got to go.
There is a crowded field of candidates hoping to send him home, and we urge you to put the power of your vote behind Gary Chambers Jr.
Chambers has laid out a strong platform in the areas of education and job training, criminal justice reform, infrastructure, healthcare and the economy. His support of raising the national minimum wage, his pro-stance on reproductive rights, his advocacy for a single-payer health system, his commitment to calling for a national moratorium on charter schools until more research can be conducted into their effectiveness, his plan to push for more funding for community health centers and many more of his priorities are important issues for our community.
Chambers got national attention with his first television commercial in support of legalizing marijuana. In the 37-second television spot, Chambers smoked a blunt. A bit radical indeed for a U.S. senatorial candidate, but his point was salient. There is still work to be done on the criminal justice reform front, particularly at the federal level. He wants to see an end to the incarceration of individuals for nonviolent marijuana offenses. And if the federal legalization of marijuana ever becomes a reality, he vows to work to ensure that Black communities that have been disproportionately impacted by harsh federal drug laws share equitably in the economic boon created by the growing legal cannabis industry, by directing tax dollars derived from legal sales to be invested in marginalized communities.
Chambers, a vocal community activist from the Baton Rouge area, is just what the Beltway and the people of Louisiana need — common sense, passion and innovation — all aimed at making Louisiana a better place for everyone.
Now is not the time for middle-of-the-road politics. We need a progressive leader, ready to put progressive ideas into action.
While we are urging our readers to vote for Chambers, we also appreciate candidate Syrita Steib’s thoughtfulness and the hard work she has demonstrated on important issues such as criminal justice reform. We were excited she entered this race and look forward to seeing more from her in the future. However, our decision to endorse only one candidate in the important effort to defeat Kennedy and send the first Black person from Louisiana to serve in the U.S. Senate since Reconstruction is largely based on the realization that such a historic feat will require decisive, unified action on the part of voters across Louisiana, especially in our communities.
Let’s not fall prey to those that would have us believe unseating Kennedy is a longshot. It can be done. We can do it.
U.S. Representative – 2nd Congressional District
U.S. Congressman Troy Carter deserves to return to Washington, D.C., where he can continue working on behalf of the people of the 2nd Congressional District. Since being elected in April 2021 to fill the unexpired term of Cedric Richmond, Rep. Carter has proven his dedication to the people he serves, from voting in favor of historic legislation designed to address important issues that impact our communities such as infrastructure, equity and climate change to bringing home hundreds of millions in federal dollars to fund projects and improve quality of life issues close to home, including $31.5 million in direct funding for the 2nd Congressional district in the omnibus spending bill passed earlier this year.
As a member of the House Small Business Committee, Rep. Carter has been an advocate for entrepreneurship and enterprise.
Still the state’s only majority Black congressional district, the 2nd Congressional district needs informed and dedicated leadership — someone who understands the pressing needs of the people of the District, which encompasses most of New Orleans and stretches west picking up parts of Jefferson Parish, much of St. Charles and St. John parishes, all of St. James Parish, as well as portions of Assumption, Ascension, East Baton Rouge and West Baton Rouge parishes.
While demographic data indicates Louisiana should have two majority-Black congressional districts, the creation of a second one has repeatedly failed because of push back from state Republicans. With a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this summer that puts a hold on a lower court ruling to force Louisiana to create a second majority-Black district, Black political power in this state remains diluted.
That is why it is important to send Carter back to the U.S. House of Representatives because we can trust him to hit the ground running and to work with the Biden-Harris administration to meet the needs of all Louisianans, especially those in the under-served communities across the District and similar communities across the state.
Judge, Court of Appeal 4th Circuit, At-Large
Currently serving as a judge in Criminal District Court, Karen Herman has 14 years of experience as a fair and impartial jurist. Along with her experience on the court, she has served as executive director of Court Watch NOLA, a non-profit organization dedicated to transparency, equity and justice by tracking, observing and reporting on thousands of criminal court cases each year. Before that, Herman was an assistant Orleans Parish district attorney. While in the DA’s office, she served as a trial attorney, a homicide screener, and was instrumental in establishing the Violent Offender Strike Force.
Her background in criminal law as an attorney, court watcher and judge will undoubtedly make her an asset on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal. We believe her experiences make her especially sensitive to the needs of all who appear before the court, but especially those whose cases are a matter of freedom, life or death.
Public Service Commission (PSC) District 3
Lambert Boissiere III or Gregory Manning
The New Orleans Tribune is issuing a dual endorsement in the race for the District 3 seat on the Louisiana Public Service Commission, a state agency that regulates public utilities and common carriers. The District 3 seat represents all of St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes as well as parts of Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Jefferson, St. Charles, West Baton Rouge parishes as well as parts of Orleans Parish, although utilities in New Orleans are regulated by the New Orleans City Council.
We believe that current commissioner, Lambert Boissiere III, has worked arduously on behalf of the people of District 3. His experience and knowledge position him well to continue efforts in critical areas such as exploring and using more green energy options across Louisiana and increasing access to broadband service in terms of both cost and reach so that more Louisianans, regardless of socio-economics or location will have access to the internet.
We are also buoyed by the new energy and new ideas of Rev. Gregory Manning. In addition to being well-versed on issues related to public utilities, including green energy alternatives to coal, oil and gas, in addition to internet access, and telecommunications, Manning has shown himself to be a servant of the people. In 2019, he joined other community activists in a protest against the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry in Baton Rouge to bring attention to that organization’s influence on state politics and laws on an already massive and continuously growing petrochemical industry, particular along the I-10 corridor stretching westward through the river parishes, known in Louisiana as Cancer Alley. During the protest, Manning was arrested and spent several days in jail before being released though the charges were ultimately dropped. We believe that anyone willing to risk his own wellbeing and freedom to fight for others would make a powerful advocate for the people of District 3 on the Public Service Commission. As chair and founder of the Greater New Orleans Interfaith Climate Coalition, Rev. Manning was among those that successfully lobbied the New Orleans City Council to change its regulations to prohibit council members and candidates from accepting donations from they utility companies they regulate. He has promised to push for a similar prohibition at the state level and has personally vowed to not accept campaign contributions from such companies. .
State Senator 5th Senatorial District
There is no better choice for the 5th senatorial district of the Louisiana Senate than current state Rep. Royce Duplessis. As a current member of the state House, he has put in the work in the areas of public safety & criminal justice, in health, in the economy, in culture, in issues that impact youth, education and housing.
Duplessis has served in the state House representing District 93 since 2018; and in that time, he has passed legislation to expand access to affordable healthcare, prioritized efforts to allow for paid sick leave, worked to make housing more affordable, and continues to fight to enact a living wage in Louisiana.
In the area of criminal justice, he has worked to eliminate unnecessary fees, costs, and taxes that placed an undue financial burden on families in the juvenile justice system. He also played an important role in championing and garnering bi-partisan support for the legislation that resulted in the constitutional amendment to abolish non-unanimous juries in Louisiana approved by voters in 2018.
He also help to establish the Louisiana Maternal Mental Health Task Force, which focuses on advancing education and treatment and improving maternal mental health services and passed legislation to allow residents convicted of certain drug-related offenses to be hired as a peer support specialist by a licensed behavioral health services provider, which expands job opportunities for returning citizens.
Recognizing that stable jobs is one of the best ways to reduce recidivism and combat crime, Duplessis helped to create the Louisiana Work Opportunity Tax credit, which incentivizes businesses to hire re-entrants participating in work release programs.
We believe Duplessis’ impact on the lives of the people he serves will be even greater if he is elected to the state Senate.
Judge Municipal and Traffic Court Division D
Judge Mark Shea is running to hold on to the Division D judgeship in Municipal and Traffic court, and we are urging our readers and followers to vote for Judge Shea. Since first being elected in 2009, Shea has been an effective, efficient and effective jurist.
Prior to his election as judge, Shea worked as a public defender. He understands the importance of the Court and the impact it has on the lives of all New Orleanians.
As a judge, he helped consolidate Traffic and Municipal Courts, reduced backlog of old cases by more than 50 percent, spearheaded court’s efforts to provide online case resolution and is currently leading court’s efforts to add virtual services and move to a paperless system.
Judge Municipal and Traffic Court Division E
As a former New Orleans Assistant City Attorney who currently manages his own law firm, Bobbie Smith works daily representing clients in Municipal and Traffic Court. Smith has also served as an Ad Hoc Judge in Municipal and Traffic Court.
Smith, who has practiced law for 20 years, is also a U.S. Army Reserve veteran and a native of Algiers. We believe his experience and background will make him an efficient, effective and fair judge, and we urge our readers to vote for him.
Clerk First City Court
Austin Badon or Donna Glapion
We fully believe that either of the candidates in this race would serve th people of New Orleans when they come in contact with First City Court.
Austin Badon,a former state legislator, who has served as Clerk of First City Court for nearly three years has revamped, remodeled, and modernized the office to improve the delivery of services to the public.
As Clerk of First City Court, Badon has reduced budget expenditures by buying supplies online, switched to a centralized docket copier system, and reduced off-site storage expenses, while also improving the speed by which files are retrieved in the office and reducing the backlog of individual pleadings by modernizing data entry systems and office scanning capabilities.
Meanwhile, Donna Glapion, who temporarily served on the New Orleans City Council filling the unexpired term of Jason Williams, has her own plans to make clerk’s office at First City Court efficient and effective if elected
To increase accessibility, she plans to, if elected, implement a new claims filing system and provide the public with information on how it works She will also ensure staff is available to provide records and information to the public to enhance customer service at the clerk’s office. Glapion says she will also work to ensure claims her processed in a timely manner.
We urge our readers to take a closer look at each of these candidates and make the best choice for themselves as we are certain that both Glapion and Badon have the skills, knowledge and dedication to serve efficiently and effective as clerk of First City Court.
Member of School Board District 1
Retired educator Leila Eames is currently serving as the District 1 School Board member after being selected by the Board to replace former board member John Brown.
Eames is a veteran educator and education administrator with a genuine passion and compassion for students and the community.
We believe that her commitment to academic achievement for all students will guide her work on the School Board.
She began her career as a fifth grade teacher and rose to the position of executive director of the Title 1 program, where she managed a $50 million annual budget and supervised more than 125 employees.
She has the experience and knowledge needed to continue to serve as an advocate for students, families, teachers, staff and the community.