Democratic New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell is facing a recall effort amid the city’s soaring murder rate and various other local issues.
Locals Belden Batiste and Eileen Carter launched the petition to recall Cantrell in August and submitted the signatures Feb. 22 to the Orleans Parish Registrar of Voters, which has 20 working days to verify the signatures, according to Fox 8. The signatures must add up to 20% of the electorate, a number previously estimated at around 50,000 signatures, but recall organizers are currently suing the Registrar of Voters for allegedly failing to perform its mandatory annual purging of inactive voters from voter rolls.
“We haven’t slept. We’ve been up 24 hours,” Carter said, according to Fox. “We’re doing this because we love New Orleans. This is a labor of love and we’re doing it for us.”
The Metropolitan Crime Commission called New Orleans the “murder capital of the United States” for the first half of 2022, according to WDSU, and violent crime was the leading cause of death for local children in 2022, according to a memo from Cantrell.
Under Cantrell’s leadership, the city withheld funds from the contractor it hired to collect trash, resulting in the company’s eventual bankruptcy as well as trash going uncollected and overflowing into streets, according to a Fox 8 segment shared on the petition’s website; the site characterized this incident as a “black owned business” being “forced out by Cantrell.”
“We’re talking about our lights, our trash, our streets, our crime,” Carter told NBC News.
Cantrell has also been accused of illegally spending $50,000 of taxpayer money on a promotional mailer about her accomplishments, a point displayed prominently on the recall campaign’s website.
The petition’s organizers declined to comment, citing ongoing negotiations with the secretary of state.
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