I am in New Orleans and it is a pretty exciting place right now. After more than forty years the New Orleans Saints are finally going to the Super Bowl. This is much more than a football game for this still recovering city; it is a symbol that excellence is possible.
New Orleans is arguably the country's most distinctive city. But even before the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina it has been plagued by poverty, crime, neglect, and municipal mismanagement. It is a great city, but it is a city that often has a hard time imagining itself as truly capable and worthy of things other cities take for granted: low crime, good streets, quality schools, little blight, strong leadership.
I believe that New Orleans deserves much better. I believe New Orleans can be a world-class city. But it must have world-class leadership.
For the past year I have worked very publicly on the mayoral campaign of my partner, James Perry. We are now in the final days of this campaign. The primary is Saturday, February 6. (Yes, the day before the Super Bowl)
While our competitors are stalled or losing ground, our campaign is surging. We are gaining in the polls and have a real shot of making the run off on Saturday.
Imagine my excitement when I read these words in The Louisiana Weekly:
"James Perry is one of the most impressive mayoral candidates to ever grace our offices in the nearly nine decades..."
"James Perry is "one of the single individuals most responsible for helping Orleanians return to their city after the storm. His David versus Goliath fight against the machinations of the State's Road Home Program - nearly on his own forcing that absurd bureaucracy to accept common sense procedures and appeals - made it possible for literally thousands of people to have a chance to repair their houses well enough to reoccupy them."
"Perry has stood firm against encroaching racial discrimination in surrounding parishes...Yet, unlike some of his opponents, though, he has refused to tarnish his glowing civil rights record by devolving his campaign into cheap tactics of racial fear that do nothing but divide our city....Perry has taken the high road,"
"From a practical standpoint, no candidate knows more about the 'on the ground' practices and policies of New Orleans city government than Perry...It is an 'in the trenches' type of recent experience of which no other candidate can boast."
Here is the shocking part, after saying all all of these things about James Perry, The Louisiana Weekly chose to endorse Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu instead.
With all due respect to the venerable history of The Louisiana Weekly, this endorsement is a perfect example of politics as usual. It is rooted in the fear that New Orleans can't really have a leader drawn from its own best and brightest. It is a fear that the city has to go back to doing things as it always has, relying on old family ties, long time networks, and the business as usual that has never served this city well.
We know better.
We don't have to settle for the second best. We don't have to settle for politics as usual. New Orleans deserves real change, a real public servant, and someone who can make the kind of dramatic changes this city needs to be great.
Please consider supporting this candidacy for real change.
One of our supporters has agreed to match all contributions made before midnight tonight up to $5,000.
This is the last 24 hours to donate to increase our TV budget to help us get across the finish. I hope you are willing to help us make a real change in New Orleans by contributing to James Perry's campaign. New Orleans deserves the very best. Help us make this possible.