The Big Easy has had it with Mayor LaToya Cantrell.
New Orleans residents have accused the controversial Cantrell of “quiet quitting,” claiming she has failed to meet with her department heads for more than a year.
Now, organizers of a citywide recall effort say they have gathered enough signatures to oust the embattled leader.
Eileen Carter is the vice chair of the No LaToya recall campaign, and she says it’s time to take the Louisiana city back.
New Orleans elects LaToya Cantrell first female mayor: Another win for identity politics https://t.co/2afpZS5z2m pic.twitter.com/yuboBmpJba
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 20, 2017
“Right now our mayor doesn’t love New Orleans so the citizens and the residents stood up,” Carter told Fox News. “We’re taking our city back, and we’re gonna save New Orleans.”
The campaign to remove Cantrell from office began in August 2022 and was launched by Carter and the campaign’s chairman, Belden Batiste.
The deadline to submit the petition to the Orleans Parish Registrar of Voters was on Wednesday, Feb. 22, and the organizers say they exceeded the roughly 50,000 signatures required.
“Mayor LaToya, it ain’t that we hate you,” Batiste told Fox News. “You didn’t do your job, and you’re about to be fired.”
For three years, Carter worked in the mayor’s social media department, and she said it was hard to watch Cantrell “quiet quit” in her second term.
Local Fox affiliate, Fox8, took a look at Cantrell’s public calendar back in November and discovered she had not scheduled any meetings with her department heads — something that was once a regular occurrence — in over a year.
And, as BizPac Review reported in October, the scandal-ridden mayor was criticized for flying first-class and living in a swanky, $3,000-per-month Jackson Square apartment rent-free.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell defends living in swanky rent-free, city-owned apartment https://t.co/zCoZe9A5xI pic.twitter.com/BmMyFkbu70
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 3, 2022
On Feb. 19, Cantrell was caught flipping off Mardi Gras parade-goers. Gregory Jones, the mayor’s communication director, tried to brush off the antics as innocent playfulness.
New Orleans classless mayor, Latoya Cantrell.#NewOrleans #MardiGras pic.twitter.com/rwDuRmzAOe
— Todd Bissel (@todd_bissel) February 21, 2023
“Putting your middle finger to residents isn’t necessarily going to get you cheers during a recall election,” Carter told Fox News.
Meanwhile, New Orleans — briefly named America’s murder capital for boasting the most homicides per capita — is still drowning in violent crime.
“New Orleans recorded 266 homicides in 2022 — a 116% increase from 2019, according to the New Orleans City Council crime database,” Fox News reports. “Carjackings rose by 165% in the two-year period.”
“We’re like Gotham down here,” Carter said. “It’s sad to say, but that’s kind of what people are calling us, and we’re calling ourselves that.”
“People are fearful,” she continued. “This administration hasn’t risen to the occasion that we need right now. Quality of life standards are just diminishing.”
Though they are living with the crime, among pothole-ravaged streets and with broken windows dotting their businesses, some residents are too afraid of retaliation to sign the recall petition.
“Cantrell will be bitter. She will go after people,” a Big Easy resident, Babs, told Fox News. “They don’t want retribution against them, but they will vote for it when it goes to an election.”
Carter claims she’s already seen that retribution in action. According to her, Cantrell’s office blocked the recall campaign from hosting an event at a local restaurant.
Two MORE corruption scandals hit New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell https://t.co/437Txc0wEi pic.twitter.com/eTlVmBYzFS
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 18, 2022
“The restaurant owner said he received a call from his landlord telling him to cancel the event, which he did but was then slapped with a restraining order that claimed he violated his lease the next day,” Fox reports.
“We have an administration of intimidation and fear tactics. They will take your job. They will take your livelihood,” Carter said. “We’re tired of living under that oppression.”
As the city’s first black woman mayor, Cantrell’s office previously described the recall effort as a racially-fueled “Republican-backed maneuver by people with an agenda.”
Carter dismissed the accusation.
“Their narrative is what is playing across America. It’s the easiest one. It’s the race card,” she said. “She’s a Black woman. I’m a Black woman too. I live in the city. I want to be safe.”
The voter’s office now has 20 days to verify the signatures and declare the next steps, per state law. According to the organizers, they are feeling confident that Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards will approve the recall for a special election.
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