Wednesday, December 12, 2018


The mayor's people formed a PAC a few months ago. But nobody paid it much attention until she tweeted out a link to it this afternoon.  I know mayors always have some form of electorally focused political presence while they're in office but this is little different.
Mayors and other elected officials have long used political action committees — independent organizations, often referred to as PACs, that can collect and spend money for political purposes — to advance their goals.

Former Mayor Mitch Landrieu, for example, formed a series of PACs to run campaigns in favor of ballot initiatives and millages sought by his administration before bringing those efforts under a more general-purpose organization, NOLA PAC, in his second term.

But based on the issues highlighted on its website, Action New Orleans may have a broader scope than just urging residents to vote for candidates or propositions supported by the Cantrell administration.

The group highlights six specific issues on its site, including bail reform, affordable housing, transportation, families in crisis and reducing homelessness.
Mitch's PAC website doesn't list any issues. It just has a big picture of Mitch and a donate button.  He has also launched something called the E Pluribus Unum fund which he says is supposed to "bring people together in cities and towns across the South to find common ground and solutions around the issues of race, equity, economic opportunity and violence."  But when I pulled up the site tonight it set off my anti-virus software so who knows what's going on with that.

Anyway Cantrell's PAC is called "Action New Orleans" and, as the Advocate article above explains, it names issues that, I guess, we can expect the mayor to push in various ways in the future.  But the only thing it's currently asking for "action" on is her call for the city to share more hotel/motel tax revenue.

That's fine for now but this is something to keep an eye on.  The "goals" page is loaded with equivocal language that names real problems in a sympathetic voice but leaves us with little sense of what the policy response might be.  Others have already pointed this out, but the housing section is particularly concerning.
We know New Orleans is a world class city, but our residents should feel world class too. In 2016, 61% of renters were cost burdened. And over 30% of homeowners were cost burdened, according to HousingNOLA's 2018 report card. Lenders, the Louisiana State Legislature, and landlords can all work with us to make our city a more affordable place to live.
Lenders, landlords, and legislators.  Expecting that Three L coalition to meet the needs of a housing poor city isn't a particularly inspiring idea. 

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