Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will be appearing at the state party’s signature annual fundraiser in New Orleans on July 25.
Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont who has been drawing big crowds since he announced he is running against front-runner Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, is being touted as a significant draw for the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, which serves as a fundraiser and rally for Democrats from across Louisiana.
The senator is expected to give a short speech.
Also attending will be former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu; state Rep. John Bel Edwards, who is running for governor; East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden, who is running for lieutenant governor; and Chris Tyson, who is running for secretary of state.
The keynote speaker will be U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota.
Mayor Landrieu to visit Vatican City
Mayor Mitch Landrieu has scored himself an audience with Pope Francis.
Landrieu will be joining a group of mayors, governors and United Nations representatives for a meeting Tuesday and Wednesday at the Vatican. The discussion will center on climate change, human trafficking and sustainable development.
Landrieu is slated to offer remarks on the challenges New Orleans has faced and the ways in which the city has become “a model for resilience and sustainability.”
In a statement, he said, “This type of honest, proactive collaboration will help create more peaceful, prosperous and resilient communities around the world.”
New Orleans is scheduled to release one of the world’s first resilience strategies in August.
According to the Vatican, the issues of modern slavery and climate change will be discussed for the first time by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.
Effect of ‘living wage’ ordinance still unclear
Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s office came out last week with a report on the potential fiscal burden of adopting an ordinance that would force city contractors to pay their workers at least $10.55 an hour — only it did not actually say much about what that burden might be.
The ordinance has been on hold for months to give the administration time to come up with a so-called fiscal note. But when it finally landed, it included no estimate of how much the ordinance might actually cost in a given year or how many workers might be in line for a raise.
The report does say it would cost about $217,000 to hire staff to enforce the ordinance.
Councilman Jared Brossett, the measure’s sponsor, said he was disappointed by the lack of specifics but plans to push the ordinance anyway.
“It is important enough, morally, as the governing body to do this,” Brossett said. “The working poor continue to work, and they’re not getting ahead.”
The “living wage” ordinance would require all city contractors and all recipients of city financial assistance to pay their employees at least $10.55 per hour and provide them at least seven days of sick leave per year.
It would bring the wage standards of city contractors more in line with what the city provides its own employees.
Brossett will host a discussion of the ordinance from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the City Council chamber in City Hall.
Head wants to reverse outsourcing of services
City Councilwoman Stacy Head, meanwhile, said she wants to do more than tinker with some of the city’s contracts: She wants to ax some of them.
Discussing Councilmn Jared Brossett’s “living wage” measure last week, Head said she supports the idea. But in the long term, she said, the city should be looking to reverse the trend toward privatizing city services and bring more work, such as trash collection, in-house.
“The whole idea of doing everything by contract sounded so great because people thought they could get better services for lower cost,” Head said. “But we often can provide a government service for less.”
Head suggested that some outsourcing, which she characterized as former Mayor Ray Nagin’s “go-to” solution to problems, could be costing the city three or four times as much as it would cost were government handling the services directly.
Presidential hopeful pitches for John Young
Jefferson Parish President John Young on Thursday welcomed a marquee guest to a fundraiser benefiting his campaign to become Louisiana’s next lieutenant governor: presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.
Fiorina, a Republican and former Hewlett-Packard CEO, was in New Orleans to attend a fundraiser for her campaign at the home of GOP political consultant Mary Matalin. But Fiorina was able to make an appearance at a Young fundraiser in Metairie with the help of Young’s significant other, former state Sen. Julie Quinn.
Quinn is the state vice chairwoman of the group Maggie’s List, which promotes women in public office who have conservative fiscal views. The state chairwoman, Dr. Shane French, co-hosted the Fiorina fundraiser, and Quinn said she told French that it would be good for Fiorina to meet people at the event for Young, also a Republican.
French agreed, and she and Fiorina attended Young’s fundraiser, which was organized by the parish president’s Finance Committee chairmen, business heavyweights Donald “Boysie” Bollinger and Joseph Canizaro.
After being briefed about Young, Fiorina gave a speech in support of the lieutenant governor hopeful. “She had very supportive and kind words to say about John,” Quinn said.
Young announced last year that he would forgo seeking re-election in order to run for lieutenant governor in the Oct. 24 primary.
His opponents are state Sen. Elbert Guillory, of Opelousas; former Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser; and East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden.
Holden is a Democrat. Young, Nungesser and Guillory are all Republicans.
Compiled by Jeff Adelson, Jaquetta White and Ramon Antonio Vargas