LaToya Cantrell

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LaToya Cantrell is Mayor of New Orleans.

Background

Cantrell grew up in Los Angeles, and moved to New Orleans to attend college at Xavier University of Louisiana. She first gained renown as head of the Broadmoor Improvement Association, where she helped thwart a city plan to raze the neighborhood in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Cantrell went on to win election to New Orleans’ City Council in 2012. Her biggest accomplishment on the governing body was spearheading the passage of a smoking ban in city bars, restaurants and casinos, which took effect in April 2015.[1]

Mayoralty victory

November 2017, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, who successfully fought an effort to raze the Broadmoor neighborhood after Hurricane Katrina, defeated former Municipal Court Judge Desiree Charbonnet in a runoff election. Both women are Democrats.

“Cantrell has staked her mayoral campaign on providing equality to all the elements of the New Orleans community that were previously shut out ― both in terms of economic opportunity and government contracting opportunities,” said Brian Brox, a political science professor at Tulane University.

“The support behind Charbonnet was clearly with the powers that be, and her campaign finance reports reflects that,” Brox added.[2]

Leftist wave

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Cantrell’s election marks the latest in a series of victories for national liberal organizations like the Working Families Party, the local chapter of Indivisible, and Our Revolution, the legacy organization of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. The Working Families Party and Our Revolution played a role this year in electing progressive mayors of Jackson, Mississippi, and Birmingham, Alabama, as well as a city council member in a newly created city outside of Atlanta.

Ahead of last month’s nonpartisan primary, Cantrell picked up endorsements from the Working Families Party and local social justice groups like Step Up Louisiana, thanks to her support for a $15 minimum wage and her ambitious criminal justice reform policies. (Indivisible and Our Revolution got behind Cantrell during the runoff.)

Although Louisiana law bars New Orleans from raising its minimum wage above that of the state, Cantrell has said she would lobby the state legislature to change that law, and that in the meantime she would support making it the minimum for city employees.

Cantrell’s proposals for criminal justice reform include creating a job training and temporary employment program for released criminals and underprivileged young people. She has said she would also seek greater discretion in the prosecution of nonviolent crime.

After placing first in the primary, Cantrell picked up the support of third-place finisher and former Civil District Court Judge Charles Bagneris and fourth-place finisher Troy Henry. (Outgoing Mayor Mitch Landrieu, a Democrat who is term-limited after eight years at the helm, did not endorse in the race.)

Boosted by a wealth of endorsements, Cantrell led Charbonnet by a comfortable margin in several pre-election polls. [3]


Step Up Louisiana 2016 endorsements

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Step Up Louisiana endorsed LaToya Cantrell in 2016.

Kiana Calloway connection

Kiana Calloway is an organizer in Louisiana with Voice of the Experienced (VOTE) and founder of Project Detour Mentoring. Kiana has the ear of the mayor LaToya Cantrell (who relied upon the 1st-person accounts of incarcerated people to amplify demands of the abolition movement). His efforts contributed to restoring voting rights for people who carry felony convictions; and he is currently activating local people whose households are directly impacted by mass incarceration and economic injustice to demand fair access to housing. [4]

Local Progress Board Members

Local Progress Board members, As of August 10, 2018:[5]

References

  1. [https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/latoya-cantrell-wins-new-orleans-mayoral-race_us_5a10acdbe4b0e97dffedc46c?0l8 HuffPo 11/18/2017 09:58 pm ET Progressive Community Organizer Prevails in New Orleans Mayoral Race By Daniel Marans]
  2. [https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/latoya-cantrell-wins-new-orleans-mayoral-race_us_5a10acdbe4b0e97dffedc46c?0l8 HuffPo 11/18/2017 09:58 pm ET Progressive Community Organizer Prevails in New Orleans Mayoral Race By Daniel Marans]
  3. [https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/latoya-cantrell-wins-new-orleans-mayoral-race_us_5a10acdbe4b0e97dffedc46c?0l8 HuffPo 11/18/2017 09:58 pm ET Progressive Community Organizer Prevails in New Orleans Mayoral Race By Daniel Marans]
  4. [1]
  5. [2]