Tomorrow is election day. Please join me in voting for the people and policies that will help move Louisiana forward!
By State Representative Walt Leger III
Published as a Letter to the Editor, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune on November 28, 2014
Imagine purchasing your dream car, with all the bells and whistles, but never changing the oil. Before you knew it, the engine would burn up, and the car would be rendered useless. That’s essentially what is threatening our newly built and renovated public school facilities, which have been brought up to national standards with $2 billion in FEMA and insurance proceeds. The looming problem is that the Orleans Parish School Board does not have, nor has it ever had, dedicated revenue to maintain its buildings. That is why our schools were in such deplorable condition prior to Hurricane Katrina and the levee breaches.
I authored Act 543 to give New Orleanians the opportunity to vote on a proposition to re-direct an existing bond millage to the preservation and maintenance of our public school buildings. It is NOT a new tax. The purpose of this legislation is to make sure funds are dedicated to maintaining our school facilities for generations without raising taxes. This is a commonsense approach to meeting an obligation to our children, who we would be failing if we allowed our public schools to fall back into disrepair.
The funding can only be used for maintenance and a number of oversight mechanisms have been built into Act 543. Each school will have to create a maintenance plan, and the funds could only be spent in accordance with these plans. Additionally, new facilities offices will be created to inspect and monitor buildings to ensure that they are being maintained. If a school is not compliant, the facilities office will step in, and the school’s ability to access maintenance funds may be suspended or terminated.
Whether they attend charter, OPSB or Recovery School District operated schools, we owe it to our children to support this proposition. The money will be dedicated to school campuses, and whichever entity is governing a school will administer the funds. If governance changes, so too would administration of the money. Our community may have an ongoing discussion about how our schools are governed. We may disagree about policies and politics. But we all can agree to rally behind our students. That is why I encourage you to vote “yes” on the school maintenance proposition on the Dec. 6 ballot.
Walter “Walt” J. Leger III
State Representative, District 91
Speaker Pro Tempore, Louisiana House of Representatives
Our city and our region have so much at stake in this year’s election. We cannot afford to lose Senator Mary Landrieu’s tenacity and seniority in Washington. We’ve had great success in rebuilding our city, creating new jobs and improving our schools, because we have a partner who fights and delivers for all of us.
After Katrina and Rita, Mary fought to get billions of dollars for rebuilding our region. She wrote a law that allowed hundreds of millions of dollars in disaster recovery loans to be forgiven for the people of Jefferson, St. Tammany, St. Bernard, New Orleans and beyond. And she never stops working to restore our coast and stop our flood insurance rates from increasing.
We need to keep Mary fighting for us so we can continue the progress we’ve made together. The stakes couldn’t be higher and the choice couldn’t be clearer.
Please join me in voting for Janet Ahern for Family Court, Civil District Court, Domestic Section 2.
Janet has the right qualifications for the job. She has over 27 years of experience practicing law, 21 years practicing family law. Janet has handled thousands of cases and is the only candidate to have tried over 50 jury trials.
Janet has a passion for family law, and that passion has led her to some great ideas for making the court a place where people don’t have to be intimidated or afraid, and where they get a helping hand from the judge, not just a legal outcome. Janet understands that people who come through family court are going through the toughest times in their lives.
More than anything else, this race is about our children. We need a judge with experience and knowledge of the law to make the best decisions possible on behalf of our parents and children in family court. Janet Ahern will be that judge.
Please vote tomorrow, and please vote for Janet Ahern.
Please join me in voting for Desiree Cook-Calvin #86 for Juvenile Judge. Desiree will bring exceptional qualifications, experience and commitment to the Juvenile Court bench. Desiree is a graduate of Ben Franklin High School, the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University and Tulane Law School. She has served our community for years as an Assistant City Attorney and Administrative Hearing Officer. She has also been a volunteer attorney for victims of domestic violence with the YWCA. No candidate is more qualified or has a better understanding of what our community needs from a juvenile court judge.
Desiree is an outstanding attorney who will make an excellent judge.
Desiree has the overwhelming support of a broad range of organizations and elected officials. To learn more about Desiree and her impressive list of endorsements, please visit her website at:www.DesireeCookCalvin.com.