2022 was an eventful, momentous year. Locally and nationally, people made history. Let’s look at our top five stories of the year. These stories had more clicks and reads than all the others. These are the stories you read the most. These are the top 5 stories of 2022
5. Russia invades Ukraine.
After maneuvers and positioning of troops, Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24th. Media called him a madman. Insane. An aggressor. But a closer examination showed Putin might have had real and dare I say it, legitimate reasons from his perspective. Early on the fall of Ukraine was widely predicted. But the Ukrainians prove to be resilient and effective warriors. They are fiercely battling the Russian troops. But Putin’s long term strategy is to use the weather as a weapon. So his troops have wrecked or destroyed numerous power plants around the country. Winter is coming. We will see if this strategy works.
Read about Putin’s decision making here.
4. Ketanji Brown Jackson Seated on Supreme Court
Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first African American woman to sit on a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Eminently qualified, Brown Jackson faced the ire of scorned but determined Republican Senators. They were determined to upset her. To rankle her. All their attempts to get her to prove herself unworthy of the appointment fell short. She displayed the necessary temperament, intelligence and ability to stay calm in the midst of turmoil. Her historic appointment and confirmation changed the trajectory of little black girls across the country. America is a better place because of her status.
Halfway through our top 5 stories of 2022
3. Statewide Redistricting Racially Motivated
Louisiana like every other state had to draw new congressional districts. Every ten years, the US Census counts the number of Americans. The primary purpose of this count is to determine the number of congressional seats the state gets. The Constitution requires that districts be about equal in population, and the Voting Rights Act holds that maps can’t harm voters based on their race or ethnicity. Louisiana is about 33% African American. It has six total seats. Simple math dictates that the state have two African American districts. Despite having two proper and legal options providing two African American seats, the state legislature overrode the governor and kept the old maps that only allow one African American district. Race is the overriding factor in the decision.
Read our analysis here.
2 Susan Hutson Assumes Office
New Orleanians voted to oust longtime Sheriff Marlin Gusman. Hutson took office in March. She is the first woman sheriff in the history of our city. But controversy started almost immediately, as the Sheriff hired campaign advisors to high-ranking jobs in her office. Her communications director left within a couple of months and other staffers departed shortly thereafter. The biggest issue is and was the lack of deputies to staff the jail. Inmates staged an uprising, took over a pod and posted a list of demands. Later tragically an inmate died in a fight also because not enough deputies were present. The facility seems much more stable now. Hutson is smart and hard working. And our city needs her to succeed.
1 Mayor LaToya Cantrell
A year that started with such promise soon saw dramatic turn after dramatic turn. The mayor secured infrastructure money from the state. Overall crime was down. From the outside looking in, the mayor seemed disengaged. Suddenly crime spiked. But she left now retired Chief Sean Ferguson on an island to deal with the press. And that was not his strong suit.
Carjackings happened daily. A lady was dragged to death as her arm was severed. People feared stopping at the gas station. But the mayor supported a different carjacker in juvenile court. Even though the kid turned his life around and completed an intensive skills program, the mayor did not explain the circumstances.
People started calling her arrogant. She took questionable international trips while murders occurred daily. People discovered she flew first class but billed the city. She refused to reimburse the city – as the policy required – and ran through a host of disjointed excuses. Eventually she relented and paid her fair share. Meanwhile, powerful new adversaries emerged on the city council. And they bashed the mayor mightily. She kept giving them more and more talking point. Simultaneously, the best resourced and most organized recall effort in NOLA history was launched against her. And they are using never before seen tactics and feel they may get the number needed to force a recall election.
These are our top 5 stories of 2022
We need the mayor to be successful or move on. The city depends upon her hard work and good decisions.