Newell Normand: New Orleans is days away from a defining moment

Newell Normand
November 15, 2017 - 5:50 am

The New Orleans mayoral election is on Saturday, and the city will elect its first African-American mayor. Check out Newell Normand's HOT TAKES on this important election.

  • We are just days away from a defining moment for this city. On Saturday, we will elect new leadership for the next 4 or 8 years.
  • New Orleans is faced with challenges. In the news, on our shows, and throughout all the community groups in the city, we hear of the challenges that we need to deal with. Those challenges beg for inspired leadership, folks that are going to take us to the next level and hopefully improve upon both the successes and failures of the current administration.
  • The most recent poll from the UNO Survey Research Center reveals an 11 point lead for LaToya Cantrell over Desiree Charbonnet going into the election. There are still, however, about 19% of voters who are still undecided.
  • To me, it's rare that you see a candidate that leads in almost every socioeconomic category. LaToya Cantrell does that almost across the board, across race, gender, age group. She could have this advantage because of her role as a New Orleans City Councilmember.
  • One of the big issues that has come to the forefront fairly recently is the management of the Sewerage and Water Board. In the UNO poll, the vast majority of people do not believe it should remain an independent agency. There are legislative issues and other concerns that could present a hurdle to doing that, though.
  • What has surprised me is that there haven't been a ton of discussions over the differences between the two candidates, and there are some issues where there are marked differences. For example, in affordable housing, Cantrell is in favor of establishing a rental registry; and Charbonnet is against that. Economic opportunity is another area where they have differences.
  • Both candidates do agree on some other areas. For instance, they both support higher minimum wage, equal pay for women, ban-the-box initiatives, and local hiring.
  • It's going to be interesting to see if either candidate reveals more about their plans and ideas. One thing I'm looking at is if they explain how they're actually going to execute some of their ideas because when you do a deep dive on them, I don't see their explanations.
  • This is an all important decision for those who live in New Orleans and can vote. And this election will also affect those who live in the area, just not Orleans Parish itself.
  • We will have a debate here on WWL Radio on Wednesday at 7pm. Dave Cohen, our News Director here at WWL, will be the moderator. Stephanie Grace from The Advocate and myself will be the panelists. We will ask both LaToya Cantrell and Desiree Charbonnet pointed questions about a number of issues that the city is facing.
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