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Moon Landrieu remembered for working towards racial equity

“He really laid the groundwork for Dutch Morial, Sidney Barthelemy, for Marc (Morial) and everyone else because he put African Americans in positions of power."

NEW ORLEANS — There was swift reaction to the passing of Moon Landrieu from Governor John Bel Edwards, other current and former elected officials and union leaders. 

AFL-CIO President Tiger Hammond announced his death at the union’s annual Labor Day picnic in City Park. 

“Let me tell you something, Moon was one of the first political guys I knew, when I got into office that was a champion for us, working families, union families,” Hammond said. “Moon was a prince and a genuine individual.” 

Moon Landrieu leaves a rich legacy in New Orleans. Diana Bajoie was first elected to the Louisiana House in 1976 during Landrieu’s second term as the city’s mayor. 

“He got in there and really tried to help a lot of people,” Bajoie said. “I will also remember him because he opened a lot of doors for African Americans and black people, people of color.” 

Current city leaders called Landrieu a role-model and a champion for racial equality. “He was someone who stood up for racial justice, who stood up for economic justice, who worked to really push the city forward at a very difficult time in our nation’s history,” New Orleans City Council President Helena Moreno said  

“He really laid the groundwork for a (New Orleans mayors) Dutch Morial, Sidney Barthelemy, for Marc (Morial) and everyone else because he put African Americans in positions of power where they could change the shape of the city of New Orleans,” City Council VP J.P. Morrell said. 

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said we are “comforted in the notion that his legacy will continue to live on.” 

"The City of New Orleans mourns the passing of our former mayor Moon Landrieu,” Cantrell said. “A civil rights trailblazer and dedicated public servant, Landrieu's urban policy vision helped shape this City, and the racial coalitions he built in the face of division continues to inspire generations.” 

Governor John Bel Edwards called Moon Landrieu a defining voice for Louisiana as a state legislator, mayor, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and judge. 

He noted that Landrieu was the only member of the Louisiana House to vote against a 1960 bill that sought to defy federal integration orders. 

“Certainly, he was somebody who looked at equality for everybody,” Edwards said. “He served at a time when it was hard to do that in the south, but he did it. He was courageous and I think that should be the example that inspires us.” 

Back at the Labor Day picnic a number of people said it is only fitting that Moon Landrieu passed away on Labor Day because no one worked harder for the working men and women then the late mayor. 

“He will be remembered as making a great difference,” Bajoie said. “That’s what you want to be, you want to be remembered for making a difference and I think that’s one of the things that he did. He did make a difference.” 

Governor Edwards has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on the day of Moon Landrieu’s funeral.  

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