Landrieu

Mitch Landrieu speaks after a tabletop exercise with Louisiana leaders to discuss plans for Hurricane Irma (via WWL-TV)

Mayor Mitch Landrieu received a lifetime achievement award from the Louisiana Democratic Party Friday evening, just months before he leaves office and a day before his city could be hit by severe weather.

Landrieu, a Democrat who first became mayor in 2010 and was restricted by term limits from seeking re-election this year, thanked his father, a former mayor, and many Democrats in the room, called President Donald Trump, a Republican, one of the country's worst presidents on racial issues.

Even though he had issued an emergency declaration days before and ordered a mandatory curfew that would take effect less than 24 hours later, Landrieu said he was confident that the city could weather Nate, the tropical storm expected to make landfall on the Gulf Coast as a Category 1 hurricane.

"We're gonna handle Nate," Landrieu told the crowd.

The Democrats True Blue Gala, formerly known as the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner but changed this year to remove the former slaveholders' names, was held at the Riverside Hilton in New Orleans on Friday. It's the state Democratic party's largest annual fundraiser and had been previously postponed because of the threat of looming bad weather.

Gov. John Bel Edwards did not attend the event but sent a video message. U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, a New Orleans Democrat who is the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, attended and spoke.

"When you think about the fact that some of our kids are going through holy hell just to go to school every day you understand why we as Democrats do what we do," Richmond said.

In his message, Edwards highlighted achievements, including the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which he ordered shortly after taking office in January 2016.

He encouraged Democrats to be energized for the 2019 election – the next statewide and legislative elections, including his own reelection campaign.

"It will be here before you know it," Edwards said.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.