For nearly a decade, I have had the honor of representing the City of New Orleans and the people of District 91 in the Louisiana House of Representatives, where I also serve as speaker pro tempore. Before that, it was my privilege to serve as an assistant district attorney in Orleans Parish, representing victims of crime and the community at large.
Over the course of the last year, I have been encouraged by many to offer myself up for service as mayor of New Orleans. While I deeply considered it and am humbled by the tremendous support of family, friends and constituents, I have decided not to become a candidate for mayor. The decision was not an easy one, mostly because it presented such an amazing opportunity to serve this great city, but also because I am certain a path to victory was clear. However, my public service has never been about titles or jumping to the next best thing. Rather, I remain focused on working hard, studying issues, and relentlessly pursuing policy initiatives in a professional, reasonable and bipartisan manner.
I am proud of my work as a legislator where, with your support, I have been able to fight for our city and improve the lives of people across our state. Most recently, I led the effort to reinvest criminal justice reform savings into preventative measures like mental healthcare, substance abuse treatment, job training, and other alternatives to incarceration, while also protecting victims and witnesses. Knowing the best investment is an early investment, I championed quality early childhood education and helped establish the city's first ever School Building Maintenance and Preservation Program. I helped strengthen our security across the board by building upon coastal protection initiatives and leading structural budget and tax reform efforts. I will continue on this path in my current role as legislator and keep tackling the challenges facing our city and state through common sense solutions. "To everything there is a season," and at this time, my focus is on working with the Governor and my colleagues in the legislature to help bring about a brighter future for everyone in New Orleans and across Louisiana.
Danielle, Cate and I are grateful for your kindness and support. It brings to mind a quote from the book of Luke that has always guided me: "To whom much is given, much will be required." My blessings run so long and deep it would be foolish for me to attempt to list them here. Suffice it to say, God is good all of the time. From a young age, my parents, the Mercy Sisters and the Jesuits have instilled in me that providing service to others is among the most noble of callings. Even though it indeed requires much, the satisfaction and pride I find in a life of service as your legislator is as profound as my blessings.
Yours in continued commitment and service,
(First published on New Orleans Agenda)