Saturday, March 04, 2006

World Class Electoral Slate

New Orleanians have a World Class slate of mayoral candidates to choose from this time. We should be proud of the list; it's more than hacks and kooks.

I am happy to hear that Ray Nagin, Mitch Landrieu, Ron Forman, Rob Couhig, Leo Watermeier, Tom Watson, and Peggy Wilson are running--and those are just the folks I know even a little about. There may be a better candidate among the 17 other people (well, 16--I'm not voting for Ms. Williamson Butler).

I was a bit disappointed that Mike Hammer dropped out. Apart from have a cool bumper sticker--"It's Hammer Time!"--he also had one of the boldest, most interesting proposals: incorporation of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines parishes into one parish. I like that proposal for a couple of reasons:
  1. I think it fosters a regional approach to issues like policing, public transportation, economic development, and education.
  2. It makes the kind of people uncomfortable who I WANT to feel uncomforable: white people in the 'burbs who moved (or who are the children of people who moved) in order to get away from darker and poorer people, AND black politicians and officials in the city who have their jobs not because they're good but because they know how to jerk around disadvantaged people.
As I've proposed before, I think some cool coalitions would develop. African Americans would no longer have majority status in a parish, but I don't think anyone could win without multiracial coalition-building. And that would be a good thing. Nagin, Harry Lee, and Henry Rodriguez couldn't get away with race-baiting comments like they've made in the past and still get elected.

Hammer has endorsed Forman. I'd like to hear if Forman wants to stir the pot by being open to multiparish incorporation. He'd be an interesting candidate to do so.

NEXT: My proposal on how to vote for your next City Council member.


Cade Roux said...

Not that I thought it would happen, but I've been trying to sell this point to people too.

I think people need to think about what it means to live in Greater New Orleans - people come to Orleans Parish from all around to work and play, and reap all the benefits, yet Orleans has to do everything within more limited geography, resources etc.

Imagine a super-parish more along the lines of other major cities' counties which would allow proper staging of resources for emergencies, much better regional coordination, and the ability to be much more self-sufficient within itself as a larger entity.

Seymour D. Fair said...

About Mike Hammer . . .

Did you happen to see him riding on a fire truck before Iris and Tucks on the opposite side of St. Charles with HAMMER TIME playing over and over????? Pretty funny.

Nabil said...

I'd draw the maps a little differently, but I totally agree with the general idea of a super parish. Major difference would be to bring Chalmette into the super parish, but let the lower river parishes stay outside as rural.

Tim said...

Yeah you rite! I've been saying this since the whole consolidation of levee boards talk got started. Why stop there? Consolidate the school boards, the police departments, the councils, the courts... We all know that regional and political turf battles hurt the greater New Orleans area, why not join it all together?
Keep up the good work, and Peace,

ashley said...

That'll also make secession that much easier.