The Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO is endorsing Desiree Charbonnet to be the next mayor of New Orleans.
The union reached its decision Thursday night after interviewing Charbonnet and three other mayoral hopefuls.
“It seemed like she had a real good roadmap to how she would get things done on crime, economic development and crumbling streets,” said Tiger Hammond, who is the president of the organization, adding that Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro Jr. gave a five-minute presentation as well on her behalf. “We didn’t know he would be so strong in support of her.”
The AFL-CIO has 16,000 members in the greater New Orleans area, including about 5,000 who live in New Orleans, Hammond said. He said the union would send word of its endorsed candidate to its members, phone-bank on behalf of Charbonnet and put up 2,500 signs for her on election day.
“That says so much about what they think of me and their impression of me, knowing that I will represent labor and look out for workers’ rights,” Charbonnet said. “I come from a labor family. My daddy was a carpenter. My grandfather was a baker at Leidenheimer.”
The candidates who interviewed and didn’t get the nod were Michael Bagneris, a former Civil District Court judge; businessman Frank Scurlock and LaToya Cantrell, who represents the Central Business District, the Lower Garden District and Broadmoor on the City Council.
“That’s a big shock,” Cantrell said upon getting the news. “I’ve been working with the AFL-CIO on workplace fairness issues.” Cantrell noted that the union did not endorse her when she was first elected to the City Council.