Louisiana Political News Wire
New Orleans council meeting collapses after at-large proposal fails
In an unexpected and extraordinary breakdown in City Council relations, the body's two black members walked out of Thursday's meeting following the failure of an ordinance that would have allowed New Orleans voters to decide this fall whether to require the council's two at-large representatives to be elected on separate ballots rather than from a single field of candidates. Although the proposal has no obvious racial implications, some see it as a way to increase black representation on the council, which since 2007 has had a majority of white members, though about 60 percent of New Orleans residents are black. The abrupt departure of council members Cynthia Hedge-Morrell and Jon Johnson, who co-wrote the measure, left the council without a quorum to consider key issues, including calling a special election Nov. 6 to fill the vacant District B seat and naming an interim appointee to that post.
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