How to Let the Good Times Roll Out of New Orleans

“Let’s go to New Orleans and party down at Cracker Barrel,” said no one ever. But the unique and lively venues that actually do bring visitors to New Orleans are being threatened by a proposed city ordinance.
 
Ordinance 32-107 would force any bar or music venue, as well as any grocery or pharmacy that sells alcohol, to install video surveillance cameras to scrutinize customers and passers-by. Many already have such cameras. But under the new law, the cameras would be constantly monitored and recorded by the NOPD, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
 
No such rule exists anywhere else in the country. What goes on in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas; but what goes on in New Orleans would go to Big Brother, if this rule is passed.
 
And, almost as insidious, the ordinance would threaten a venue’s license if five residents or owners of property within a half-mile, file complaints about anything — anything at all.
 
Which opens to door to abuse. Want that nice little bar on Burgundy? Get five people to complain, get it shut down, buy the building at a bargain price, and open up a Denny’s. Or maybe a ‪Waffle House‬.
 
Given my personal connection with two prestigious French Quarter bars, I am, of course, appalled at this ordinance. The ACLU is also appalled and promises lawsuits if the ordinance is passed.

The ordinance was set to be discussed at tomorrow’s council meeting, but after an outpouring of public opposition, the council rescheduled the discussion for ‘so,Stokey in February.” Maybe when we’re all distracted by Mardi Gras? Surely our elected official wouldn’t do that….
 

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After spoof, group donates to homeless in Scalise’s name

Proceeds from a recent spoof of Congressman Steve Scalise’s fundraising methods will be donated, in his name, to an interfaith mission for homeless families, announced Zac Stine, leader of the St.Tammany Indivisible Chapter.
“We are doing this in light of recent events. Nothing justifies that,” he said, referring to the recent shooting in which Scalise was injured. “There is a right way and a wrong way to protest. We held a funny, wholesome event and got lots of publicity. It was the right way to make a statement.” 
The group held a faux fundraiser Sunday with the stated intention of raising $5000, the minimum level of contribution suggested by the Scalise Leadership Fund, which would guarantee a meeting with the congressman. But the event was tongue-in-cheek. “We knew we wouldn’t raise anything close to that, ” Stine said.
To make sure, members set out quart-sized contribution jars for contributions to the homeless, and recycled baby food jars for contributions to Scalise. 
Family Promise of St. Tammany, will get the $775 the group did raise. 

“We will also find a way to donate to victims of gun violence,” he said. “when things like this happen. We need to stand by democracy even more resolutely.”

Following spoof, group donates to homeless in Scalise’s name

Proceeds from a recent spoof of Congressman Steve Scalise’s fundraising methods will be donated, in his name, to an interfaith mission for homeless families, announced Zac Stine, leader of the St.Tammany Indivisible Chapter.
“Nothing justifies this,” he said, referring to the recent shooting in which Scalise was injured. “There is a right way and a wrong way to protest. We held a wholesome, satiric event and got lots of publicity. It was the right way to make a statement.” 
The group held a faux fundraiser Sunday with the stated intention of raising $5000, the minimum level of contribution suggested by the Scalise Leadership Fund, which would guarantee a meeting with the congressman. But the event was tongue-in-cheek. “We knew we wouldn’t raise anything close to that, ” Stine said.
To make sure, members set out quart-sized contribution jars for contributions to the homeless, and recycled baby food jars for contributions to Scalise. 
Family Promise of St. Tammany, will get the $775 the group did raise. 

$5000 to meet with Congressman Scalise. Or give money to the homeless? Which would you do?

Members of the St.Tammany Indivisible Chapter, which for months has been urging Congressman Steve Scalise to have an in-person town hall meeting, were intrigued when one of their members came across a newspaper story about a surefire way to get his attention — donations of between $5,000 and $100,000 to the Scalise Leadership Fund..
They didn’t have that kind of money, but decided to stage a satirical fundraiser to bring attention to the influence of money in politics, using their own congressman as a particularly blatant example. 
Even in Republican St. Tammany, the event had a good turnout, probably helped by abundant food, drink and donation jars — quart-sized ones for the homeless and baby food jars for Scalise 
“We have college loans and rent and insurance, so we don’t have money to pay for honest representation in our government,” said Zac Stein, the group’s leader. “But we”re not going away. We will keep working to make our representatives listen.” Meanwhile, Family Promise of St.Tammany, which ministers to homeless families, was happy to accept the $775 they did raise.
More about the Scalise Leadership Fund: 

https://tinyurl.com/l2kg5vx
http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/01/coffee_with_steve_scalise.html
Pictures below: Pictures with the congressman; party napkins featured the congressman’s phone number; giant replica of Scalise’s ear with a central receptacle for cash, messages that can be pinned on; building a border wall with Legos; frozen cavfefe with Kahluha. It all made for a good time.

Congressman Steve Scalise’s Town Hall Meeting happens without him — 2017

The speaker’s table in the Abita Springs Town Hall was draped in red-white-and-blue bunting. The p.a. system had been tested to a fault. Chairs were lined up in ten straight rows, and most were occupied by nicely-dressed adults, constituents of Congressman Steve Scalise.
Scalise, however, was missing. Although it was the April Congressional recess, his office staff explained to the St. Tammany Indivisible Chapter, which sponsored the meeting, that he was too busy to meet with his constituents. He would have an in-person Town Hall meeting in August at another location. 
No member of his staff would come to Abita Springs in his stead. Charles Henry, head of Scalise’s Metairie office, said they did not want to speak for the congressman, and besides, they were worried about security at the event.
This last comment amused the gathered crowd, since Abita Springs rivals the fictional Mayberry as far as crime is concerned. People don’t always bother to lock their doors. It’s that kind of place. 
They decided to ask questions anyway, addressing a large cardboard picture of the congressman propped up behind the table. There were 27 questions, and they were posed respectfully. They were about health care, the environment, the proposed wall along the Mexican border, the president’s tax returns, the budget, immigrants, the emolument clause, and military escalation. Many returned to one theme. Did Mr Scalise remember that he was from Louisiana? Would he reconsider supporting policies that would drown the state and cut off its people’s health care? 
The cardboard sign had no answer. But the organizers videotaped the session and promised to deliver a copy of it to Scalise, along with a list of the questions they asked.

Signs

While the Bill Clinton video was playing, hundreds (thousands?) of signs emerged. They rolled across the audience like we were doing the wave. When TV cut to live, they were in our hands.