Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, who was the special guest speaker at the NAACP Zoom meeting of Monday, April 19, 2021.
Gov. John Bel Edwards was the guest speaker at the Zoom meeting of the Louisiana NAACP on Monday, April 19, 2021.
We want to begin this feature by expressing thanks to Gov. Edwards and to the Louisiana NAACP for permitting us to attend the meeting via Zoom. Sound Off Louisiana was an invited guest for the meeting, and we sincerely appreciate the invitation permitting us to attend the meeting.
Let’s break down the segments of the meeting with a series of video clips for viewers to choose which ones they may have interest in viewing:
The meeting officially kicks off with a musical introduction to welcome Gov. Edwards.
Immediately after the musical introduction came the invocation.
After the invocation, Louisiana NAACP President Michael McClanahan gave a very strong and authoritative introduction of Gov. Edwards in which he (Edwards) was showered with praise and adoration.
Obviously realizing there was an 800-pound gorilla in the room, Gov. Edwards, early on during his prepared remarks, addressed concerns of Louisiana NAACP members entailing law enforcement actions across the U. S. entailing the arrests of African American men.
Further into his prepared remarks, Gov. Edwards stressed current Legislative initiatives such as reducing gender inequality in pay for women, his strong support for an increase in Louisiana’s minimum wage, and a bill he actively supports to alter factors which automobile insurers are permitted to consider when setting automobile insurance rates in Louisiana. [Editor’s Note: Someone chose to exit the meeting, and that caused the windows of attendees to be pushed upward. Unfortunately, we did not catch the fact that had transpired, and so much of the video above is of another attendee who, like us, wasn’t sitting directly in front of the computer monitor. We apologize for this occurrence.]
Gov. Edwards takes one of several pre-submitted questions in addressing NAACP members’ desires for minority judge(s) in Terrebonne Parish.
Gov. Edwards responds to another pre-submitted question regarding a planned upcoming meeting with President Biden to discuss Louisiana’s role during a transition period away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy.
Gov. Edwards responds to another pre-submitted question entailing redistricting and whether or not he would veto any redistricting bill which does not create a second minority district in the U. S. Congress in Louisiana.
Gov. Edwards responds to a pre-submitted question inquiring about his endorsement process and asking why he failed to endorse the Democratic front runner in the recent special U. S. Congressional District 5 in Louisiana race made necessary by the death of Congressman-elect Luke Letlow from COVID.
Gov. Edwards begins taking live questions, with the first being if he would pardon “wrongfully-convicted inmates” at Louisiana prisons and a follow-up question regarding work programs to ensure released inmates do not cause a homelessness problem in Louisiana.
Gov. Edwards takes the second (and last) live question, which pertained to providing for broadband internet access to rural areas and areas in North Louisiana. Thereafter, McClanahan and Gov. Edwards exchanged pleasantries, and McClanahan invited Gov. Edwards to join the NAACP at its annual convention beginning on September 16, 2021. Gov. Edwards stated that, if he’s invited, he’d be delighted to, “celebrate part of the day of my 55th birthday on September 16 with everyone.” McClanahan indicated the NAACP would ensure cake and ice cream are available for the celebration.
McClanahan began to wrap up the meeting by stressing the desire to stay vigilant in the fight against COVID, by making an open endorsement of Dr. Cassie Williams for this Saturday’s special election to fill a vacancy on the BESE Board, and by encouraging everyone to show up at the polls on Saturday and vote in the special election for U. S. Congress District 2 from Louisiana which became open after former U. S. Congressman Cedric Richmond accepted a position as Senior Advisor to President Biden and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.
As we mentioned at the outset of this feature, we were invited guests of the meeting. As such, we therefore believe that our role is appropriately limited to merely providing the contents of the meeting as we’ve done above. We do not believe it would be appropriate for us to make our own commentary because, as we’ve stressed, we were invited guests of Gov. Edwards and the Louisiana NAACP.
Having said that, what we do feel is certainly fair game for us to report upon is that our phone rang the day after the meeting with an NAACP member who was not happy at all with the meeting. What we found out is that we made a serious error when we turned our camera off right where the very last video ends above.
We are told that the meeting erupted into fireworks thereafter with some very sharp criticism of President McClanahan for, in these members’ opinion, being deceptive about the nature of the meeting with Gov. Edwards. Specifically, they contend that communication promoting the meeting indicated there would be opportunities for open questions posed to Gov. Edwards regarding very specific matters entailing Louisiana State Police news reports of excessive force in recent arrests of African American men in Louisiana. There were other questions regarding prison inmates in Louisiana which these members expressed frustration that went unaddressed.
We can only apologize both to our subscribers and to the NAACP members who wished to voice their frustration at the inability to pose what they deem as “hard questions” of Gov. Edwards during the meeting. We have been informed that there likely will be a separate Zoom meeting during which these frustrations are aired. If so, we will be happy to publish the content of that Zoom meeting just as we did the one above. Further, if such a Zoom meeting materializes, we commit to provide Gov. Edwards with unlimited and unedited camera time to respond to any concerns which these NAACP members feel were not addressed during the meeting outlined above.
With the disclosure of the previous paragraph out of the way, if anyone wishes to view the meeting from start to the point we turned the camera off (and we again apologize for doing so about eight minutes too soon from what we’ve been told), we welcome any such person to do so by merely CLICKING HERE.
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