BATISTE: LaToya Cantrell Travels While New Orleans Implodes

The controversial mayor of New Orleans keeps encouraging residents to sign the petition to recall her from office. LaToya Cantrell traveled to Europe for the third time this year, and according to social media posts, she did so in luxurious first class. Her actions are an egregious response to the people of New Orleans.

The mayor’s most recent international tour began in June of 2022 with a trip to Switzerland, then a jaunt to the south of France in July. When residents responded negatively to these, the local media pounced and began covering the city’s chief official and her global excursions paid for with taxpayer funds. Cantrell quickly cancelled a trip to Singapore.

The New Orleans City Council heard the people’s outcry. Council President Helena Moreno and JP Morrell introduced an ordinance that would limit Cantrell’s travel—except they backed down. The originally introduced ordinance would have prevented the council and mayor from spending more than $1,000 in City funds on what it calls “non-essential” trips, such as carnivals, festivals, receptions, concerts, graduations, and sister city agreements.

Instead, the version the Council passed was all gums—no teeth. Morrell removed limitations on the dollar amount and situation. But evidently everyone should feel grateful that, when she travels to places like Amsterdam, Mayor Cantrell will now have to produce the receipts, faster. Per the August 23rd NOLA.com story:

The ordinance … scrapped an earlier proposal from Council Vice President JP Morrell to cap “non-essential” travel at $1,000, which likely would have stopped overseas travel altogether. Morrell said the change came in response to community feedback. 

“The primary concern that I got in speaking with individuals, especially from the community, our constituency, was transparency,” said Morrell. 

Traveling to these foreign countries is the definition of non-essential. However, if one wanted to make the argument that the city of New Orleans needs the financial assistance that would result from a celebratory agreement tying the city to Antibes, France, the mission’s effectiveness would be the same whether Mayor Cantrell travelled in first class or in coach.

On September 27th, Mayor Cantrell said, “When you think about the return on that (international travel) investment, hundreds of millions of dollars, that we’re now talking about because they’re real, that justifies in my opinion the work that has been done.”

The mayor’s luxurious travel accommodations have zero impact on the trip’s return on investment. Her explanation makes absolutely no sense.

If the New Orleans elected officials were serious about halting abusive travel spending, Mayor Cantrell would pay interest on these travel expenses. Otherwise, the city-funded travel essentially acts as an interest-free personal loan.

And again, if serious, the Council would also look into Mayor Cantrell’s other travels such as the trips to Hawaii, Cuba, Ghana, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Miami, Atlanta, and her trips to Washington, D.C., as well as the Singapore trip that was cancelled shortly before it occurred.

Mayor Cantrell exposed Councilman JP Morrell to be as soft as cotton candy. The mayor’s disrespect toward Morrell and Moreno is one thing, but her flagrant disrespect aimed at the taxpayers is on another level. She is entering Teedy Antoinette territory.

The recall is a political revolution. LaToya Cantrell is literally being overthrown for her frequent travel, and she apparently has no qualms as she keeps throwing it back in everyone’s faces. Mayor Cantrell stubbornly demonstrates that she does not care about the criticism of her performance as mayor. Her travel while the city falls apart was enough that–after all the erratic behavior, all the authoritarian overreaching mandates, all the lies, all the double talk, all the ignorance, all the crime–the travel was where New Orleanians drew the line, and Mayor Cantrell sashayed over that line like she was the honorary grand marshal of a second line.

The mayor of New Orleans should be cognizant of the fact the city has epidemics of crime, murder, drugs, and homelessness and they all desperately need to be addressed. These major New Orleans issues drive people and businesses out of the city.

Since the Recall effort has splashed across local and national news, the mayor is very obviously attempting to indirectly blackmail citizens to not sign the recall petition. Already this month, Mayor Cantrell has made two publicly advertised stops letting people know she has funds, through the second American Rescue Plan Act, to improve their neighborhoods. She’s dangling the government carrot in front of people. What does the community want this money spent on? Don’t sign the recall, I’m gonna hook you up. 

Efforts are underway to influence New Orleanians to choose LaToya Cantrell the person over the once-great City of New Orleans. She is out flashing the “Neighborhood Cares Initiative,” the “Guaranteed Income Program,” and “financial assistance to eligible renters at risk of electric or water disconnection.” Or: stay in line and Teedy will take care of you (at the lowest level you can possibly survive on). Wink, do not sign the recall.

Spoiler Alert: the American Rescue Plan Act funds belong to the City of New Orleans and are going to the City of New Orleans, whether LaToya Cantrell is mayor or if someone else is.

Another Spoiler Alert: people can sign the recall and still ask for their neighborhood to be improved.

The fastest way to turn New Orleans around, or to at least slow the bleeding, is to sign the petition to recall Mayor LaToya Cantrell. Be part of history. Sign the recall to put Teedy Antoinette on a one-way trip out of office.

Interested in more news from Louisiana? We've got you covered! See More Louisiana News
Previous Article
Next Article
Join the Conversation - Download the Speakeasy App.

Trending on The Hayride