More than half of the candidates in this fall’s mayoral and City Council races have agreed, if elected, to work toward a local minimum wage of $15 an hour and laws that would guarantee equal pay for women and bar employers from asking about applicants’ criminal history.
The goals were drawn up by Step Up Louisiana, an advocacy group that counts more than 40 labor, religious and other organizations as partners.
Actually, there is not much that local officials can do about achieving most of the goals. The Legislature, for example, bars local governments from setting minimum wages except for their own workers and employees of companies that have contracts with those governments.
Of the 48 mayoral and council candidates, 28 adopted the activist group's platform.
They include City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and businessmen Frank Scurlock and Troy Henry, three of the better-known candidates for mayor, though not Desiree Charbonnet or Michael Bagneris. Minor mayoral candidates Tom Albert, Byron Stephan Cole, Brandon Dorrington and Hashim Walters also made commitments.
All of the candidates for the Division 1 council at-large seat — state Reps. Joe Bouie and Helena Moreno and Kenneth Cutno — signed on. In Division 2, incumbent Jason Williams and challengers David Nowak and Jason Coleman did so.
In the other council races, candidates Jay Banks, Eugene Ben-Oluwole, Joe Giarrusso, Tilman Hardy, Dawn Hebert, Joel Jackson, Cyndi Nguyen, Alicia Plummer, Andre Strumer, Timothy David Ray, Dan Ring and Toiya Washington-Kendrick agreed to work toward the group's objectives.
So did District C incumbent Nadine Ramsey and her lone challenger, former District C Councilwoman Kristin Giselson Palmer.