Although Essence Festival is only in New Orleans for just a few days, Mayor LaToya Cantrell wants to ensure the impact is felt 365 days a year.

Speaking during the festival’s first-ever Global Black Economic Forum, Mayor Cantrell spoke with ESSENCE owner Richelieu Dennis about her hopes to get New Orleans its “fair share” of investments made here. 

“The city of New Orleans has to set the tone that we’re doing more for the people in this city,” she said, noting various policies she’s taken aim at, including re-entry into the job market for formerly incarcerated people, an endeavor to increase the city’s share of visitor tax dollars and, for ESSENCE, a partnership that resulted in Passport25. That program offers deals and discounts for New Orleans’ best black-owned restaurants. 

“Those who are visiting also feel their purpose here is meaningful,” Cantrell said. 

To top it off, the mayor, Dennis said, also manages to throw “some of the dopest parties.” 

“It’s a great city, great people, one that is very resilient,” Dennis said, “and one that has great leadership.” 

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