In 2017, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell made history as the first female to be elected Mayor of New Orleans. She began her tenure the following year and is nearing the mid-point of her four-year term.
At this juncture, it is a good time to reflect on her political standing in New Orleans. Historically, New Orleans Mayors have easily won re-election. The last incumbent Mayor of New Orleans to lose re-election was Robert Maestri in 1946. Without a major scandal, Cantrell will be a strong favorite to win a second term.
With much fanfare, on October 25, 2018, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and other political leaders opened a meditation room at City Hall. The purpose of this “safe space” was to allow people “to reflect, even seek counsel if they need it.” It was one of Cantrell’s anti-violence initiatives for “youth in crisis.”
The Mayor touted the center as a “holistic approach about health and wellness,” featuring reclining chairs, essential oils and diffusers.
After 15 months, it seems clear the “holistic” approach is not working. Juvenile violence is on the upswing. It has been particularly horrible in Lakeview. In fact, one recent incident forced schools and homes to be placed on lockdown as police launched a manhunt to find three automobile thieves who had fled from authorities after a traffic stop.
In recent months, Lakeview residents have had to deal with car burglaries and car windows being smashed all too frequently. Their anger reached a boiling point on Tuesday night at a town hall meeting in Lakeview. A massive crowd attended to express their disappointment at the lack of action from City Hall.
Unfortunately, not only did the Mayor not attend, but she also chose not to send a representative to the meeting. This shows a total lack of respect for an area of New Orleans that send millions of tax dollars to City Hall. Sadly, Lakeview has been ignored for many years. For evidence, just examine the pitiful condition of the streets, which are among the worst in New Orleans.
A leading Lakeview activist Elizabeth Schindler said that residents “want actual results, we don’t want placation.”
Truly, the time for “placation” is over for Lakeview, but did the Mayor get the message? It is a legitimate question for she spends plenty of time outside of the city. For example, she is currently enjoying a trip to Washington Mardi Gras in our nation’s capital. Over the New Year holiday, she visited the country of Ghana on a trade and cultural mission. Last summer, she attended a U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Hawaii and led a panel discussion dealing with issues such as “water” and “infrastructure.” For her birthday, she visited the communist nation of Cuba to learn about their health care system and economic development programs.
Let’s hope for remainder of 2020, the Mayor will spend enough time in New Orleans to realize that her administration must focus on crime, especially juvenile crime, as the most important issue to be addressed.
In response to the Lakeview crime surge, the Cantrell administration announced that it will create an evening reporting center for juveniles and a supervision program with social workers. A better approach is to unleash the police department by removing the consent decree that is limiting proactive measures that officers can take. According to the Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, police officers are “not allowed to participate in chases and again that sort of empowers…the criminal to go out and be more brazen on the streets.”
The real answer is not meditation rooms, social workers or midnight basketball. It is old fashioned law and order and punishment for juvenile criminals so they will be deterred from committing more crime. If they receive no punishment for their illegal activities, criminals are incentivized to continue with their delinquent behavior.
Clearly, essential oils are not doing the trick, it is time to let police officers do their jobs.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at [email protected]
It seems that Lusher High School in New Orleans has a celebrity teacher this year, former Mayor Mitch Landrieu. He will be teaching an Advanced Placement American Government course to a select group of students.
Not surprisingly, his emphasis will be on local government, which makes sense since Landrieu was Mayor of New Orleans for eight years. While it might be interesting to hear from Landrieu’s liberal perspective, will the high school be offering an alternative ideological viewpoint? Will there be balance in the classroom?
With little to no local media coverage, New Orleans Mayor LaToya and her family left this week for a vacation in Hawaii. She will be back in the office next Monday according to her staff.
It has been over two years since the self-centered former Mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu, removed four historic monuments without a vote of the people. In a bid to garner national attention and praise from liberal media outlets, Landrieu labeled the monuments “racist” and symbols of the “Cult of the Lost Cause.” His cynical campaign was an attempt to minimize the importance and significance of monuments that had stood in the city of New Orleans for over 100 years.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell is a left-wing Democrat who espouses the progressive platform of her party. Thus, it should surprise no one that today she is visiting a country that is ruled by leaders who espouse a similar ideology. Today’s Democrats are embracing socialism which has many of the same dangerous attributes of communism. As Cantrell and her entourage enjoy their five-day junket to Cuba, they should try to talk to average Cubans about the impact of this dangerous ideology on the island nation. Of course, a real conversation with Cuban citizens is not allowed for any criticism of the regime is punishable with prison time.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell won, even though she may not have had anything to do with it.
Last weekend, dozens of local measures peppered ballots across the state for voter assessment. Perhaps the most prominent was a proposal to increase property taxes on New Orleanians designed to pass through to fund operations of the New Orleans Council on Aging.
Does Mitch have the itch?
Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, that is.
Is he itching to put his name in the Democratic Party pool of wannabees who are launching presidential campaigns, it appears, now by the droves. Over the past two weeks, starting with Elizabeth Warren, the names of presidential campaign “expectees” are jumping in or making it known that their respective campaigns are under serious consideration.
For many years, New Orleans has been known for many things, some very positive and some very negative, such as being a hotbed of violent crime. Currently, the city has the nation’s 4th highest murder rate per capita, ranking #1 in the South. Primarily due to New Orleans and the other major urban areas in the state, Louisiana has been ranked as the most violent state in nation.
For generations, New Orleans residents have heard politicians make promises to fight violent crime. Usually, the results have been pathetic, especially in the last administration. Former Mayor Mitch Landrieu left his successor with an understaffed police department, a dysfunctional criminal justice system and a high murder rate.
The new Mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, has been saddled with many problems, courtesy of Mitch Landrieu, her self-serving predecessor. There is the ongoing crime crisis, highlighted by this morning’s double murder in the Desire neighborhood. Cantrell is also facing a Sewerage and Water Board debacle which became much worse during the Landrieu years. In addition, she faces the ongoing problems of potholes, homelessness, blight, drugs, poverty and the high unemployment rate, especially among African American males.