Coastal Issues Forum

 New Orleans Mayor Race

 Hosted By: CRCL and Urban Conservancy
Presented by Greater New Orleans Foundation
October 25, 2017
 7:30 p.m.
Lupin Hall at NOCCO
2800 Chartres Street
New Orleans, LA 70117

The Forum

Coastal land loss is one of the most important issues facing New Orleans. The Coastal Issues Forum focused on how the next New Orleans Mayor planned to deal with challenges and opportunities related to restoring our coast.

The Candidates

LaToya Cantrell
LaToya Cantrell’s life has always been steeped in community service. As a little girl her grandmother would bring her to neighborhood meetings, and by the age of 13, she was serving as secretary for her local chamber of commerce. “My soul found its home in New Orleans,” is how she describes her arrival here in 1990 as a student at Xavier University. After graduation, she and her husband Jason bought a home in the Broadmoor neighborhood, and LaToya became an active member of her new community. As the President of the Broadmoor Improvement Association, LaToya led the neighborhood’s redevelopment following Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures. Flooding decimated Broadmoor, but through citizen engagement and LaToya’s leadership, Broadmoor is now considered an international model for disaster recovery. Elected to the City Council, LaToya has prioritized improving people’s lives. As Mayor, LaToya pledges to produce results that will create a safer and better New Orleans for all residents.
Desiree Charbonnet
A lifelong resident of New Orleans, Desiree Charbonnet graduated from Cabrini High School, and went on to Loyola University for both her bachelor’s degree and juris doctor. A scholar of the law, Desiree is a sought-after lecturer and has been awarded a research grant by the U.S. Department of Justice. Desiree is a judge nationally known for her thoughtfulness, and a public servant whose career has been one of “firsts.” She was the first woman elected to serve as Recorder of Mortgages for the parish of Orleans, where she served for 10 years. Her office was one of the first to reopen after Hurricane Katrina, providing desperately needed property records to the city’s displaced residents. She was the first woman elected to the bench of Municipal Court in New Orleans, and the first to be elected Chief Judge. As a judge, she has taken a special interest in cases involving domestic violence, prostitution and human trafficking. She was among the first in the country to try alternatives to incarceration. She has also given back to the community outside of work serving as President of the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Louisiana, on the board of directors of My House, and as a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association.


  • The Water Collaborative of Greater New Orleans
  • Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy 
  • ByWater Institute at Tulane University 
  • Lowlander Center 
  • The Lens 
  • Gulf Restoration Network 
  • The Okra Inn 
  • Water Works

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