I thought this was a great image from the Times-Picayune. Strong, purposeful, blue-eyed, level gaze.
It comes on the heels of Councilwoman LaToyah Cantrell calling for a strict ban on smoking in New Orleans:
The law would ban smoking in virtually every public place. Overlooking the river in Audubon Park? Nope. Picnic in City Park? Not there either.
In a bar? Prohibited. Just outside the bar? Not unless you are 25 feet away from the entrance.
Casino? Nope. Grandstand at the Fairgrounds? Not there or any other sporting venue.
The 25-page proposed ordinance would make it illegal to light up in 22 separately defined spaces. Essentially, it would make it illegal to smoke in any enclosed space that is open to the public or where people work, and on any public property, enclosed or otherwise…
But the ordinance requires at least two public meetings before it can be passed in March.
Fein hopes his group will be able to convince some of the council members that a ban would hurt business and get them to vote against an all-out ban. Failing that, he said, they may be able to at least soften it.
Cantrell’s tone suggests she’s not likely to give up much. Smokers are a minority, and their desire to indulge in what amounts to a suicidal practice should not trump the rights of non smokers to their public health, she said. “They are the minority, and they can decide who lives and who dies because of their desire to smoke a cigarette?” she asked. “No way.”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to remember there were civil rights battles fought in the Deep South for at least one despised and excluded ‘minority’. Seems like Cantrell learned nothing from that, and is now quite happy to exclude another ‘minority’ she clearly despises: smokers.
I’ve been wondering all day if I can maybe help out the smoking minority in New Orleans a little bit in their fight against Tobacco Control. There’s a lot at stake for the Big Easy: its whole happy, easy-going, musical culture.
A couple of years back, Smokervoter asked me to write about the upcoming Proposition 29 in California. And so I did. And maybe it helped a bit, because Stanton Glantz’s Tobacco Control lost the vote, after initially looking set to win. That earned me an entry in Tobacco Tactics hall of infamy.
This time it’s slightly slightly different. It looks much more like what happened recently in Westminster, Massachusetts. It’s probably another case where the Board of Health has been bought by Tobacco Control, and is set to impose its puritanical values on the good people of New Orleans, largely against their will. In Westminster, the townsfolk revolted against the proposed ban on selling tobacco, and the local Board of Health climbed down.
Maybe something like that can happen in New Orleans.
But how much can a UK blogger help out with that? Maybe not a lot. Or maybe quite a lot.
My blog is already a meeting place for smokers, and a clearing house for ideas. Maybe there’ll be some suggestions. I know Smokervoter’s going to think about it.