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Dear Friends and Supporters:

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,

 

Walter "Walt" J. Leger, III
State Representative, District 91
Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives

(504) 556-9970
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facebook.com/WaltLeger4LA
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Last Thursday, the Governor signed ten new bills into law that were born out of the Justice Reinvestment Task Force. Over the next 10 years, this legislative package will reduce our incarceration rate by 10%, save the state $262 Million in the middle of a budget crisis, and reinvest more than $180 Million back into public safety. 

As he signed each historic bill, Governor Edwards spoke about the unprecedented coalition that got us there- a wide range of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, business leaders, conservative groups, victim advocacy groups, sheriffs, district attorneys. And the list goes on. This isn’t a group that often finds common ground, but they found value in revolutionizing the way criminal justice is practiced in Louisiana. And we will all be better off for their boldness.

When I created the Justice Reinvestment Task Force and brought everyone to the table, my goal wasn’t to be right- it was to get the job done. Consensus requires humility and democracy requires compromise. And Louisiana has learned the hard way that inaction and obstructionist politics will not only get us nowhere, they will drag us backwards. 

This has been a tough Session that required hard decisions and painstaking negotiation. Building a budget for a state in a fiscal crisis is no easy task, but it is what we as Legislators are tasked with. So, when some Legislators became convinced that the thin divide between us was insurmountable and gave up, I resolved to show them our common ground and help them find the value in working together. Again, I worked to build a coalition and passed an amendment to the budget, drawing votes from Democrats, Republicans and Independents, and forging a hard-fought compromise budget that already had the support of both the Senate and the Governor. 

This is a weary victory, because even though we have a balanced budget that fully funds TOPS and avoids excessive cuts to education and health care, we are facing a $1.2 Billion fiscal cliff in 2018. Our path forward will only get steeper from here

My hope is that we continue to be bold-that we continue to redefine winning in terms of progress, not partisanship. I pledge to you that I will keep pushing against the current of complacency, because if boldness is the opposite of fearfulness, I know which side I want to be on. 

This week, we created the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund through my bill, HB 584. This creates a state match fund, which rewards local governments for investing in high quality early childhood education and expanding access to low-income families.
 
Science shows that brain development from the ages of 0 to 3 is crucial and a foundation of quality early learning leads to greater success in kindergarten and higher graduation rates. But in Louisiana, quality child care assistance has been cut by 70% since 2008, while the number of households with both parents in full employment has grown to 70%, making the need for such care even greater.
 
But this is no small expense-quality child care is close to the average cost of public college tuition. Less than 15% of low-income families with children under age 4 can access any publicly funded early childhood programs. So those parents make a decision and do the best they can, often forced to send their children to low quality care centers, if anywhere at all. And now, 40% of our children enter kindergarten already behind, making it nearly impossible for those students to catch up and perpetuating the cycles of poverty.
 
Early childhood education is not only critical to a child’s success in school, but also in future outcomes of social behavior. At a time when we are suffering unusually high rates of homicide and violence, we can’t start at the moments of tragedy-they are now upon us and far too frequent. We have to start from the beginning.
 
The beginning is when our children are impressionable and their brains are still forming, when they need attention and stimulation. Ages 0-4 are when they should be nurtured, not abandoned. Just as our needs at this age are universal, the direct and indirect effects of poor early childhood education affect everyone in the community.
 
This has been a hard week for us to watch the news and, in many neighborhoods, to walk out of our front doors. The violence is deafening and the despair is palpable, but I have always firmly believed that early childhood education is the single most important investment our state can make that can and will have a dramatic impact on all of our lives. The Early Childhood Education Fund is my offer of hope and an opportunity for us to start from the beginning, where it truly matters.
There are three weeks left of the Legislative Session and it seems like we are stalled at a crossroads of common sense: even though this is a fiscal session and we are facing a budget deficit and a fiscal cliff in 2019, hardly any bills have been heard, much less passed, that deal with our revenue problems. They have certainly been filed, but the vast majority haven’t even been scheduled a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee-the origin of all revenue. With one notable exception.
 
HB 632 was lucky enough to get a hearing and barely squeaked by Ways and Means. It raises the gas tax by 17 cents, which would restore it to its original value had it been indexed to account for inflation when it was set in 1990. Yes, this feels like a lot. No, nobody wants to pay more taxes. But the problem here, as always, is that we are starting behind the curve. Had we invested properly from the beginning, we wouldn’t have a $12.7 billion backlog of transportation construction projects and we wouldn’t be in danger of losing crucial federal match dollars for repairs and maintenance. Unfortunately, our infrastructure is something we cannot afford to permanently damage and we have to do something about it-no matter how difficult it is. This is a hard lesson that we can learn from.
 
We’ve already learned how to cut spending. We’ve consistently asked every department to do more with less over the last 9 years, streamlining to such a point that even the champions of cuts can’t find another ounce to trim.
 
We’ve also learned how to make spending more efficient. We’ve finally started investing on the front end instead of paying triple for our mistakes on the back end. We started wising up by turning one of our biggest expenditures (Corrections) into one of our smartest expenditures with the introduction of landmark criminal justice reform legislation. We have a roadmap to follow and we have momentum.
 
But we have stalled when it comes to adequately raising revenue for future investment. The good news is that we have the missing piece: we have a whole suite of tax reform bills and revenue measures that are in line with the findings of the bipartisan Task Force on Structural Changes in Budget and Tax Policy-we just have to get them heard in committee.
 
Let’s finally get ahead of the game instead of starting from behind. Once we fix our roads, let’s keep the momentum going.
 
A state like our knows well that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Call your Legislators and ask them to vote yes tomorrow to HB 632 and to please stop stalling.
Session has begun and the tough decisions are upon us. As the Governor has said, now is the time to be courageous. Any further delay in dealing with our ongoing instability will result in future special sessions. This is unnecessary.
 
By now you already know that we are surviving under the burden of a recurring and debilitating budget deficit. Last year alone, we began with a $1.9 billion shortfall and were forced to cut an additional $617 million to cover continuing costs. This is not a new reality-we have faced 15 similar mid-year budget cuts in the last nine years. Any reasonable person would agree this is not sustainable.
 
So, where do we begin? Well, it can either be really complex or it can be really simple. We can hide behind the smoke and mirrors of partisan politics and spinning numbers, or we can do the work and fix the problem.
We need to recognize the things that make us strong and competitive and then we have to invest in them. Sure, some say we need to run the government like a business. But the government isn’t in the business of business, it’s in the business of services. Infrastructure doesn’t build itself and private citizens aren’t in the habit of voluntarily footing the bill. This is the job of the government: to create a secure and predictable environment that fosters growth and a thriving population. Temporary fixes and annual changes to tax policy undermine our efforts to grow the economy.
 
So, we begin with the money. While we should always strive to be more efficient with state spending, our's is not a problem of spending, but of revenue. The State General Fund-the part of the budget that is made up of revenue generated from state dollars and funds priorities like education and health and hospitals- is $138 Million less than what it was in 2008. This means that in the last 9 years, we have spent less state taxpayer dollars and have failed to even maintain the level of services we enjoyed nearly a decade ago. We haven’t invested in growth and we certainly haven’t accounted for inflation or for other growing costs like healthcare and retirement benefits for state employees. This isn’t just stagnate-it’s moving backwards.
 
We are at a standstill because we don’t have enough revenue coming in and our tax code is so overly complicated that we rank number 41 out of 50 by the Tax Foundation’s 2017 State Business Tax Climate Index. This isn’t just bad for business, it’s bad for Louisiana citizens. Not only will new industries continue to skip over Louisiana as a place to create new jobs, but we are missing out on revenues due to a convoluted tax code filled with loopholes and unnecessary deductions. We have what we need: expertrecommendations by the bipartisan Task Force on Structural Changes in Budget and Tax Policy. We also know that what we’ve been doing isn’t working-number 41 is a long way from the top. So, let’s keep it simple: simplify and reduce the income tax rates and get rid of federal deductibility of taxes paid, which is only allowed by two other states in the country. Let’s modernize our tax code, improve our business climate, and invest in our state and our people.
 
Then, once we create a better business environment and well-structured revenues, let’s start thinking seriously about spending our money wisely and streamlining unnecessary expenditures. Let’s reform our criminal justice system and refocus the $700 million we spend annually on prison beds and bars and shift the investment to mental health support, substance abuse rehabilitation and work training programs. Let’s make sure that when people are released back into our communities, they are no longer a threat to us and our families. Instead, they will be an asset to their families, contributing members of society and valuable participants in the workforce. Again, we have what we need: bipartisan recommendations from my Task Force on Criminal Justice Reinvestment. And again, we know that what we’ve been doing isn’t working: being number 1 in incarceration hasn’t made us number 1 in safety, but states that have implemented these types of reform have reduced prison beds over time and crime rates have fallen dramatically.
 
Investing our money more efficiently and providing a stable tax code will allow us to develop a skilled workforce and high quality of life, which will create a sustainable future for businesses here in Louisiana. We must invest in higher education, restore TOPS and invest in our colleges and universities to make sure that everyone in Louisiana has the opportunity to prepare for the knowledge-based economy of the future. We can create an educated and skilled workforce to fill the jobs created by the new industries attracted by our simplified tax code. Higher education has been cut by $700 million in the last decade and they’re looking at another $17 million in cuts under the current proposed budget. How can we expect to thrive when we keep cutting the things that make us most competitive? Wouldn’t you rather be number 1 in higher education outcomes than in incarceration rates?
 
Keep it simple.
 
Need jobs? Fix the tax code.
 
Need to spend wisely? Reform the criminal justice system.
 
Need a skilled workforce? Invest in higher education.
 
We have been told since we were children that we have to invest in the future. Now is the time to make it happen. Now is the time to be courageous, to keep it simple.

Dear Friends,

First, I want you to know how grateful I am for the honor of representing you in Baton Rouge. I take the responsibility seriously, and I try very hard to do my best to improve our state and to secure a good future fo rour children.

This year, the Louisiana Legislature goes into session to consider mostly money matters. This “fiscal” session deals with the state budget. Because our budget for this fiscal year (July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017) was not balanced,we had a Special Session in February to reduce spending.


Special Session Results

There was a $304 million deficit at the end of 2016, mid.way through the Fiscal Year. To deal with that, some $82 million in cuts were made. And, $99 million came from the “Rainy Day Fund” – money set aside for just such emergencies. Not all of the state’s financial problems have been solved, and even the popular TOPS scholarship program did not get enough funding for the full school year at full rates.

Major cuts were made in health care, but because of Medicaid expansion -- Louisiana’s working poor are now getting Federal medical insurance ..some mental health and addiction treatments will continue. The Legislature itself had its budget cut by $3.5 million, and the Attorney General’s office budget lost $2 million.

Areas that did not see budget cuts included Higher Education and the Department of Corrections. Louisiana has to focus on stabilizing our tax and budget situation so that we can prioritize our investments for a more prosperous future.

Revenue: Funding Vital Programs and Services

This Legislative Session will deal with revenue, as well as spending cuts. As you might guess, the real problem is that Louisiana does not have enough money (along with Federal money that goes to the state) to cover the costs of keeping Louisiana running. As all of us know, there are only two things to do when you get in this fix: bring in more money or spend less. First, how do we bring in more money?

One option is to either fully or partially reinstate the Stelly Plan. From 2002 to 2009, Louisiana depended on personal state income taxes to help balance the budget. Under the Stelly Plan (named for Rep. Victor P. “Vic” Stelly ofLake Charles), an increase in the personal income tax rate was approved by voters as a tradeoff for lower sales taxes on food and utilities. After the Stelly Plan was repealed in 2009, income tax revenue dropped drastically, which was balanced out in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita when the state saw large amounts of incoming revenue for rebuilding. After that came to a halt, the budget crisis became an annual event, and we have experienced 15 mid.year deficits in the last 9 years.

In addition, this year, the Legislature will again look at the policy of deducting Federal taxes on both business and personal state income tax forms – this lowers the amount of taxable income and reduces revenues for the state. Louisiana is one of only three states allowing this. This will not affect the personal income tax for most Louisiana taxpayers, as this deduction requires itemization ...filing long form tax return –which isn’t used by many. Louisiana voters may have the opportunity to approve a Constitutional Amendment to remove the deduction for income taxes paid in exchange for lower individual and corporate tax rates.

Out of the 149,000 corporations in this state, LAST YEAR 129,000 CORPORATIONS PAID NO INCOME TAXES IN LOUISIANA. NONE AT ALL. In addition to examining federal deductions, the Legislature will inspect all the tax credits and tax exemptions these businesses currently enjoy, and determine if some should no longer apply. Taking these important measures would introduce long.term structural reform to our fiscal policy, bring in more revenue and prevent more cuts to higher education and healthcare.

Louisiana now has the highest combination of state and local sales tax in the nation. Remember, paying ten pennies tax on every dollar you spend can add up: and for low wage workers that can be a big hit on the wallet. One of thoseLouisiana tax pennies will run out in 2018, and not renewing it will cost the state $880 million. To make up for some of this loss, the existing sales tax could be extended to new transactions and items. But, that is not enough.

One of the proposals we will study is a Commercial Activity Tax – a tax on business sales. This would be a welcome source of funding for the state.

Of the 414,000 businesses in Louisiana, 389,000 would pay only $250 a year. If sales are under $1.5 million a year,the tax will be no higher than $750 a year. The largest businesses would pay .35 percent above $1.5 million in sales.The Commercial Activity Tax would begin in 2018 – the current Corporate Franchise Tax would phase out over ten years.


Cuts: Spending, Saving and Reinvesting Wisely

If Louisiana can bring in more money with the tax solutions suggested, then we can save some of our most important programs. Remember, when the Legislature makes cuts, there are some things paid for with dedicated funding that cannot be changed. But, the Legislature can freely cut things paid for from the General Fund. Sad to say, that includesEducation, Higher Education and Health Care. Having those three categories in the General Fund means they are one place the Legislature goes to make cuts.

However, we are hopeful that the money coming in from reworking taxes will be enough to • fully fund the TOPS scholarships for all of the next school year, • give more to the public health care system that serves the disabled and the poor, and • give a little bit more (2.75%) to the K12 education system to make up for losses due to inflation.

And, in other good fiscal news, last year voters approved a Constitutional Amendment to create a new Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund. Any excess oil and gas revenue and corporate taxes would go in the fund, and when it reaches$5 billion, up to 10 percent could be spent on construction projects and roadwork. Another portion of oil and gas money will pay down state retirement debt.

In another area, Criminal Justice, reforming the system could save Louisiana serious money. Louisiana spends $700million a year to put a higher percentage of our population in jail than any other state, or country, in the world. States like Texas and South Carolina have seen the crime rate go down when the imprisonment rate goes down. TheJustice Reinvestment Task Force has recommended some reforms that we must seriously consider, that will save the state money and reinvest money into programs to reduce recidivism and aid with meaningful reentry.

Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit would immediately benefit the working poor. This program refunds money to low income people filing Federal tax returns and has a multiplier effect of 1.5 to 2. Currently on state tax returns, Louisiana offers the lowest percentage of the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit of any state – 3.5%. On another measure for the working poor, Louisiana currently has a minimum wage of $7.25, and we should consider raising that.


This year, as always, I remain hopeful that Louisiana’s problems can be managed, and we can make some sensible plans for our future. I will be doing my best to help find sensible, workable solutions, and looking for ways to work with my colleagues to come up with creative ways of making progress.

I welcome your ideas, I look forward to reading your answers to the survey questions,and, as always, if there is anything you need from me, just let me know. I am always glad to work with you.

Sincerely,

Walt J. Leger III
Representative
District 91

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For years, Louisiana has carried the distinction of having the highest incarceration rate in the world, which unfortunately has not been met with corresponding low crime and recidivism rates. Something isn’t working and it isn’t good for the economy or for our communities. 

As a former Assistant District Attorney, Rep. Walt Leger passed a resolution establishing the Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Task Force in order to achieve the type of -- bipartisan, common sense, taxpayer-saving, public safety outcome-improving -- reforms that states like Texas, Georgia, Utah and others have produced over the past several years.

On March 16, 2017, the Task Force releases a repot recommending that Louisiana lawmakers adopt a comprehensive set of evidence-based reforms to improve the performance of its criminal justice system, lowering incarceration rates and increasing public safety.

Read the report here: http://gov.louisiana.gov/assets/docs/Issues/Criminal-Justice/Justice-Reinvestment-Task-Force-Report_2017.pdf

 

New Data on the Greater New Orleans Area Shows the Economic Impact of Immigrant Population

Today, local leaders showcased new research on the contributions of immigrants in the Greater New Orleans Area, specifically highlighting tax contributions, spending power, workforce composition and entrepreneurial characteristics. Spearheaded by New American Economy (NAE), the data release marks the launch of Map the Impact—a campaign to highlight the economic power of immigrants in communities across the country.

This effort arms business, civic, and cultural leaders with new data on immigrant populations in all 435 Congressional Districts and 50 metro areas. Featured in an interactive map that also includes state- and sector-specific data, NAE quantifies every locality’s foreign-born population, tax contributions, spending power, home ownership, and voting power, among other items. 

“The economic narrative surrounding the contributions of immigrant populations is particularly important to the people of New Orleans. Not only are we a global city by nature, but we are in an unprecedented period of growth that allows us to recognize new talent and opportunities to make our city as competitive as possible,” said Rep. Leger (D-New Orleans). “When you combine New Orleanians who have been here for decades with New Orleanians who have recently decided to make this city their home, then you have a formidable combination of strength and spirit that will usher us confidently into our next 300 years.”

In the Greater New Orleans Area, Map the Impact shows: 

  • There are 93,142 foreign-born residents who make up 7.4 percent of the area’s population. 
  • Immigrants paid $721.7M in state and local taxes and held $2.0B in spending power in 2014. 
  • Immigrants are 72.4% percent more likely to be entrepreneurs than the native population, and there are 10,329 immigrant entrepreneurs in the Greater New Orleans Area.
  • Immigrants own 18,804 homes and help to build the area’s housing wealth.  
  • Immigrants make up 25.3 percent of the Administrative Support industry, 22.1 percent of the Construction industry, and 15.5 percent in General Services, and more. 

At the Congressional District level, Map the Impact shows that in District 2:

  • There are 44,036 foreign-born residents who make up 5.7 percent of the area’s population. 
  • Immigrants paid $287.6M in state and local taxes and held $897.5M in spending power in 2014. 
  • Immigrants are 63 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs than the native population, and there are 2.085 immigrant entrepreneurs in Congressional District 2.
  • Immigrants own 8,427 homes and help to build the area’s housing wealth.  
  • Immigrants make up 22.7 percent of the Construction industry, 19.7 percent of the Agriculture industry, and 14.5 percent in General Services, and more. 

Visit Map the Impact for state, city, and district information that will help leaders grasp the influence of immigrants in America. 

More information can be found at www.NewAmericanEconomy.org

State Representative Walt Leger Partners with Local Community Organizations to Provide Tornado Relief for New Orleans East Residents

 State Representative Walt Leger (D- New Orleans) is partnering with local community organizations to support New Orleans East residents who were impacted by recent tornadoes. Rep. Leger will be working with groups like the Louisiana Civil Justice Center, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, the Louisiana State Bar Association and Louisiana Appleseed to offer legal assistance to New Orleans East residents.  

"I am committed to lending my time and talents to helping those impacted by the tornadoes. If one part of our city is suffering, we are all suffering. It is critical that we come together as a community to support our neighbors in New Orleans East. Just like we’ve done in the past, we will show the enduring strength of the people of New Orleans. I look forward to continuing the work that will heal this community and our city in the coming months both as a legislator and a proud citizen of New Orleans. I encourage all of us to contribute whatever we can to help our fellow New Orleanians.”

The FEMA Disaster Recovery Center is open on Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and on Sunday from Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. FEMA has indicated that it is not necessary to visit the library in order to receive assistance. To register with FEMA, go online to DisasterAssistance.gov, call the FEMA Helpline (800-621-3362), or download the FEMA mobile app. Help is available in most languages and the FEMA Helpline is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice.

Rep. Leger will partner to assist those in need of legal assistance such as housing, insurance, contractor and government programs. Residents in need of legal assistance can call the Louisiana Civil Justice Center hotline at 1-800-310-7029 Monday – Friday from 9am to 2pm.

 

 

 

If there's anything we can appreciate in Louisiana - given our recent history - it's that voting matters.

We've seen how electing the right leaders can have direct effects on each citizen's quality of life -- from working through a budget crisis and responding to historic flooding to expanding quality healthcare to hundreds of thousands.

So make your voice heard. Early voting is open until Tuesday, Nov. 1., and Election Day is Nov. 8. If you have questions about where to vote, the Louisiana Democratic Party is available to answer them at (225) 336-4155.

Constitutional Amendments

There are a number of constitutional amendments - two that I sponsored - on the ballot. The Council for a Better Louisiana summarized them all here: tinyurl.com/zkt6n7k

Here are my recommendations:

  1. YES on # 1 - Create Hiring Qualifications for Registrars of Voters
  2. YES on #2 - Tuition Authority for Higher Education
  3. YES on #3 -  Reform Corporate Income Tax (My Legislation - endorsed by the Tax Foundation and many others.) 
  4. YES on #4 - Property Tax Exemption for Surviving Spouses of Military and Public Safety Personnel
  5. YES on #5 - Create the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund (My Legislation - more below)
  6. NO on #6 - Allow Limited Access to Constitutionally Dedicated Funds

I also suggest you VOTE YES on the New Orleans Charter Amendment to split the inspector general and police monitor.

Resources:

Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund

For decades, Louisiana has been caught in the same cycle—when times are good, the state spends every dollar generated—and when times are bad, there isn’t enough revenue to pay for all of our obligations.

Without raising taxes, the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund can help fix this. 

Endorsed by The Advocate, The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, Council for a Better Louisiana, Louisiana Budget Project, New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, and Jefferson Chamber of Commerce. 

 

Thank You!

Thanks to everyone who came out to my fundraiser on Oct. 10, especially the Finance Committee and Hosts. I was overwhelmed and humbled by the full house. I am grateful to work with each of you to improve the lives of people in New Orleans and across Louisiana. 

Sincerely, 

Walt 

Where's Walt?

 

CVB luncheon

A champion for the tourism and hospitality workers who keep our economy humming, Walt gave the keynote at the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau luncheon. 

Nuestra Voz listening tour

As part of an effort to breakdown existing institutional, cultural, and linguistic silos between families and schools, Walt participated in the Nuestra Voz listening tour.

 

United Way of SELA

Walt was honored by the United Way of Southeast Louisiana as a 2016 Louisiana Legislative Champion for supporting legislation that impacts our communities.

Angels in Adoption

Walt was recognized in Washington, D.C. as a 2016 Angels in Adoption® awardee for his outstanding advocacy of adoption and foster care issues. 

 

Ride New Orleans 

As an advocate for smart transportation and a new board member of Ride New Orleans, Walt moderated the organization's State of Transit panel. 

St. Bernard Chamber

Walt spoke at the St. Bernard Parish Chamber of Commerce luncheon to share why it's important to VOTE YES ON #5 for the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund. 

 

Jefferson Chamber

Walt spoke at the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce board meeting, and they endorsed constitutional amendment #5!

New Orleans Chamber

Walt spoke at the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce board meeting, and they endorsed constitutional amendment #5! 

 

Jesuit Mock Debate 

Walt returned to his alma mater for a mock presidential debate, representing Hillary Clinton. Rep. Cameron Henry also participated, representing Donald Trump.  

Louisiana Primary Care Association 

Walt offered the opening remarks at the LPCA's 33rd Annual Conference. The nonprofit promotes accessible, affordable, quality primary health care for the uninsured and medically underserved.

 

Historic Tax Credit Council 

Walt had the honor of speaking at the Historic Tax Credit Council's breakfast.

America's Wetland Foundation

A champion for our coast, Walt participated in America's WETLAND Foundation's roundtable discussions on the State's master plan.