Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS – President Barack Obama visits New Orleans on Wednesday for two campaign fundraisers and a speech to more than 4,000 attendees of the National Urban League conference, being held in the city.
It is the president's third appearance before the Urban League, the national civil rights organization whose event has long been a stopping point for presidential candidates courting the African-American vote.
In 2004, both George W. Bush and John Kerry addressed the Urban League conference. In 2008, the event attracted presidential hopefuls from both major parties in addition to Obama: Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Mike Huckabee.
Obama is scheduled to appear at two fundraisers before the conference Wednesday. One, billed as a campaign roundtable with a $25,000 per person price tag, is at the home of Lori and Bobby Savoie. Savoie is the president of the information technology and engineering firm Geocent and managing partner of an investment firm.
The other afternoon fundraiser is at the House of Blues. Attendees were invited to pay between $250 and $5,000 for access to that event, with top fundraising levels earning guests a photo with the president.
The president's visit comes one week after a stop in Louisiana by Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee. He appeared in Baton Rouge last week, at a fundraiser which reportedly raised more than $2 million for his campaign. Gov. Bobby Jindal, rumored to be a potential Romney running mate, appeared with the GOP candidate at that event.
Romney was also invited to speak at the Urban League meeting in New Orleans but declined, citing schedule conflicts. He did speak to the national NAACP gathering in Houston earlier this month. Obama declined to speak at that event, sending Vice President Joe Biden instead.
The Urban League conference is being held at the Morial Convention Center, named for the former mayor and father of former mayor Marc Morial, who is president of the national organization.
The following are the street closures for the president's visit:
- Audubon Boulevard between S. Claiborne and Hickory, both sides, 6 a.m.-6 p.m. ·
- Hickory between Audubon Street and Audubon Boulevard, both sides, 6 a.m.-6 p.m. ·
- S. Carrollton between US 90B and S. Claiborne, both sides, Noon-6 p.m. ·
- S. Peters between Calliope and Bienville, both sides, Noon-8 p.m. ·
- Bienville between N. Peters and Chartres 9 a.m.-7 p.m. ·
- Decatur between Conti and Iberville, both sides, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. ·
- Henderson between Tchoupitoulas and Flood wall, both sides, Noon-6 p.m. ·
- Convention Center Boulevard between Henderson and Calliope, river side only, 5 p.m.- 9 p.m.