Petition filed with Secretary of State to recall New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell

A petition was filed Friday to recall New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell by a former city employee and former mayoral candidate.

The two sponsors of the petition are Belden Batiste and Eileen Carter, listed as chair and vice chair of the motion, respectively. The two say filing the petition isn’t something they want to do, but rather something they feel like they have to do.

In a press conference outside city hall, the two said the ‘city is on fire,’ saying Cantrell hasn’t put New Orleans first and failed to execute the position of mayor. Watch the full press conference in the reader below.

“The mayor she should put the city of New Orleans first,” Batiste told media at a press conference outside City Hall. “She has neglected her duties and there’s a number of issues going on. For instance, look at crime, look at infrastructure. I don’t hate the mayor but at the end, do your job!”

Carter listed 14 reasons they believe the mayor has failed, which included:

  1. Code enforcement failures.
  2. Police staffing
  3. Revenue and tax collection failure
  4. Issues with water bill prices
  5. Giving up money through the Wisner Trust
  6. 911 Software procurement failure
  7. Smart Cities contract issues
  8. Waste management problems
  9. Blight Remediation
  10. Capital contraction projects
  11. French Quarter security plan
  12. City hall relocation
  13. Target announcement prematurely
  14. Taking a side in carjacking suspect case

It’s important to note that Batiste ran against then-incumbent Cantrell in the last mayoral race. Carter previously worked with Cantrell and is the sister of former Louisiana state senator Karen Carter-Peterson. During the April 2021 election, Carter-Peterson and Cantrell both endorsed each other in their respective races.

The petition came after several complaints from New Orleanians about the mayor’s travels, court appearances in support of juvenile offenders, and continued sanitation and public safety issues. The Mayor defended these decisions in a press conference earlier this week.

Beldon Batiste was listed on the petition as the chairman, along with Eileen Carter as vice chair. The petition was endorsed by the Secretary of State Friday. The Cantrell Administration declined to comment on the petition.

Before a recall can happen, there are a few requirements necessary:

  1. All signatures must be handwritten.
  2. Signatures must be from 20% of the voting population in New Orleans (about 53,000 people)
  3. Must be completed within 180 days

Once the signatures are collected and rectified, the document will then go to the desk of Governor Edwards for approval. From there a recall election is ordered.