Desirée Charbonnet Announces New Orleans Mayoral Campaign

Bernie Saul
Desirée Charbonnet officially announces her candidacy for the New Orleans mayoral race at a special event Monday at the Sheraton Hotel, 500 Canal St.

NEW ORLEANS – Former New Orleans Municipal Court Judge Desirée Charbonnet announced her candidacy for Mayor of New Orleans on Monday, May 22. Friends, family and supporters congregated at the Sheraton New Orleans for the official announcement. The program included appearances from Louisiana State Senator Troy Carter; former WDSU-TV personality Norman Robinson; Pastor C. S. Gordon, Jr., Pastor of New Zion Baptist Church and President of the Louisiana Missionary Baptist State Convention; Cabrini High School students Samantha Petitfils and Gabrielle Taylor; and Charbonnet’s niece Skylar Marie Jones, a Lusher Charter School student.

         During her speech, Charbonnet addressed some of New Orleans’ most pressing issues including public safety, infrastructure, housing and education. These are issues Charbonnet has extensive experience with and that will be the platform of her mayoral campaign, reps said.

         “In a city where 25 percent of our adults can’t read beyond a fourth grade level, unemployed parents struggle to nourish their hungry children and non-violent defendants are thrown into a prison and court system designed to punish and profit off of the most vulnerable in our community, it is impossible for me to sit on the sidelines,” Charbonnet said. “It’s just not in my DNA. And when I think of the compassionate citizenry that united under Hurricane Katrina, I know we can all do more – together. That is why today, in my native city, I am compelled and proud to announce my candidacy for Mayor of New Orleans.”

         A lifelong resident of New Orleans, Charbonnet’s family traces their New Orleans roots back to the 1790s. Desirée graduated from Cabrini High School, and went on to Loyola University for both her bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctor degree. She is a judge nationally known for her thoughtfulness, and a public servant whose career has been one of “firsts,” reps said.

         Charbonnet 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, reps said. Charbonnet 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, mental illness, prostitution and human trafficking. She was also among the first in the country to try alternatives to incarceration, reps said.

         “I was honored to be the first woman elected to these positions,” Charbonnet said. “I now ask for your vote so that together we make history as we elect the first female mayor – not only because I am a woman, but because I am the right woman and the right person at the right time. Together, God willing, we will prevail – because failure is not an option!”

         Outside of public service, Charbonnet has also given back to the community by serving as President of the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Louisiana, on the board of directors for My House, and as a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association.     

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