Commentary

$405 million UI overpaid

Without the $600 added to unemployment checks, I don’t know how my family will survive

BY: - July 28, 2020

By Travis Smith Congress will soon be debating legislation that will determine if families like mine will be able to stay above water. My wife and I are both unemployed and blessed to have been receiving the Pandemic Unemployed Compensation from the CARES Act introduced in March. It has been a tremendous help while we […]

An unemployment fiscal cliff lies ahead; will Congress continue $600 federal aid?

BY: - July 21, 2020

It was surprising Thursday evening to hear an aide for U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins express such concern and support for Louisianians who say they’ve been making do with the unemployment benefits they’ve been getting but fear they’ll be put outdoors if the larger, federal share of those checks is cut. Louisiana Republicans haven’t exactly oozed […]

Pollution left us in St. James Parish vulnerable to COVID-19; now industry wants to build bigger

BY: - July 16, 2020

By Stephanie Cooper I grew up in St. James Parish, on a country road off Highway 18 on the west bank of the Mississippi River, before a dozen polluting petrochemical plants were built here, before my community became known as Cancer Alley and before our long exposure to industrial air pollution helped lead to some […]

COVID-19 was never a Black people disease; it was just killing mostly Black people

BY: - July 15, 2020

“Maybe next time you see Black people in trouble you’ll help. Maybe.” — Richard Pryor, in a 1983 routine recorded at New Orleans’ Saenger Theatre. David Jackson, a 45-year-old Black man who lives in New Orleans, is the Facebook friend who had the most shocking response to a pair of questions I recently posted: How […]

COVID-19 infections in the prison system concern us all

BY: - July 12, 2020

By Andrea Armstrong At  a July 8 press conference, Dr. Alex Billioux, assistant secretary of health for the Office of Public Health, attempted to explain why the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) does not provide independent data on COVID-19 in Louisiana prisons and jails.  First, Billioux said prisons and jails are not public health risks […]

Don’t blame police protests for spiking COVID-19 cases

BY: - July 6, 2020

People in Minneapolis erupted in anger at the video of Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, as they should have, but the large public demonstrations of anger seemed certain to make worse the apocalyptic moment we had already entered.  When the anger out of Minneapolis spread across the country, […]

We can’t reform police departments if civil service boards tolerate abuse

BY: - July 3, 2020

Fr. Richard R. Andrus Jr., SVD The fact that Officer Robert Moruzzi continues to serve on the Baton Rouge Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board is a moral disgrace. In Louisiana, civil service boards hear appeals from police officers who have been disciplined for professional violations, including for using excessive force. I started paying […]

Money wasted on abortion fights could help struggling Louisianians

BY: - July 2, 2020

By Pearl Ricks, Reproductive Justice Action Collective On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court  voted 5-4  to strike down  Louisiana’s admitting privileges law. The majority ruled that Louisiana’s law was essentially identical to a Texas law the court struck down in 2016. The court also ruled that Louisiana providers can go to court to defend the […]

Stories of hardship ignored by Republicans on Louisiana House labor committee

BY: - June 29, 2020

William Kenneth Walker, a bartender at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, told the Louisiana House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee Friday that the decision to convert the convention center into a makeshift hospital for COVID-19 patients means that he doesn’t think he’ll be going back to work “no time soon.” “And […]

We want to focus the Louisiana Illuminator on those who are often overlooked

BY: - June 23, 2020

There’s never a good time for Louisianians to ignore what’s happening at the Louisiana State Capitol. Whoever the governor is and whoever the lawmakers are, those elected officials are always making decisions that have an impact on residents’ quality of life. Those officials can set healthcare policy that determines whether poor residents can see doctors […]