Black Community: Mayor LaToya Cantrell, You Are No Good for New Orleans.



( I believe strongly in tradition and culture. Change is good when it improves the culture, and it serves all the people. I always start out wanting support my people, and it usually warms my heart to see a Black woman doing great things. The combination of these things caused me to think, against my deep rooted concerns, maybe LaToya Cantrell would be a good leader for the City of New Orleans. She’s the first woman to ever serve as mayor of New Orleans, and I honestly expected there to be different kinds of controversy as not only is she a woman…but a Black woman. Many were prepared to give her the benefit of a doubt and defend her when the haters showed up. So many of us wanted her to do well. Yet, we one of the concerns was whether or not she has truly bonded with the culture of the city…had she really allowed New Orleans to take root.

With all the challenges the city faced we needed someone that would care about the natives instead of pandering to transplants. The natives of New Orleans didn’t need to be made to feel we were underfoot. This might seem like something simple, but it’s rather important. For better or for worse to be mayor of this city the culture has to matter…there is a reason for this. New Orleans is unique in culture so what makes the city work, positively, isn’t like other places. This might seem like harping, but I can guarantee it’s not. This apparent disregard for culture, and for the native citizens of New Orleans is a larger reason LaToya Cantrell is just not for my city.

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So many times, the mayor has told us the city is growing and improving in the right direction. We’ve been told crime is being addressed, housing, education, basic city services and such are being addressed and taken care of. The question is, for who? Who is doing the polls for the mayor? Clearly, she doesn’t hear the cries of the citizens in council meetings, nor on the street. She isn’t bettering the lives of the natives, as we are forced to bend in favor of the transplant. I can never say this enough, New Orleans is not like other cities in terms of culture, and we don’t want to be other cities. She is having a hand in destroying the culture because she is not taking care of those that continue said culture. I must admit this is so difficult for me to come to terms with as the impact of her administration will be felt for years to come, with severe consequences.

One could say we shouldn’t have expected much watching her as a member of the City Council, but we hoped. The handling of the Covid-19 pandemic made us feel maybe the right choice was made. Mayor Cantrell appeared to put the lives of New Orleanians above everything. Even those that would fault her for not putting their business interests at the forefront of the decision making. As someone that was considered very at risk, I understood the price of shutting down [especially a tourist city like New Orleans] but I also understood the dead can’t work.   Even as the handling of this was agreeable there were conversations about short term leasing, school, and what was to be done about the blatant gentrification. We understand the mayor can’t fix everything, but at least try to work in the best interests of the needs of the people.

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Once New Orleans began to open up, hurricane Ida had us all in recovery mode. This is a time when most of the city’s strengths and shortcomings are exposed. Again, she was never to blame for everything, but there is a nonchalant approach when she’s being questioned to account that just doesn’t sit right. While some were referring to her as Teedy [ local for Aunt], I could never bring myself to get that familiar with her. She would then have us protesting about something my “Teedy never would” …the battle of what to do with City Hall. There needs to be a solution as the building that houses City Hall needs work but let me tell you this, the solution is not the Municipal Auditorium. The solution is not Congo Square, something a true native or friend of the culture would know. Instead of showing the necessary empathy and understanding there was a cold stance about the matter until pushed by the public outcry. All of this is going on while utility bills are though the roof, slum lords evade justice while overcharging for rent, and crime is rising all around us. Where is her voice in all of this…her direct voice?

Yes, there the situation with the NOPD officer that was a part of her detail…and an alleged rumor of an affair. I heard all of this, and honestly, I tried not to look at it because there was so much wrong that this felt like a personal attack against her verses dealing with more pressing matters. NOPD is not staffed to protect us and are biased as to how they will police certain areas. It seems that those that are not indigenous to New Orleans stand a better chance to encounter the police. LaToya Cantrell is not only the first woman, but also the first Black woman to be mayor of New Orleans…it might not be fair, but I can only wonder if it will be harder for the next. She is absolutely heartbreaking, and the state of our city is disappointing.

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Finish story here; Black Community: Mayor LaToya Cantrell, You Are No Good for New Orleans.