DFER-LA Releases Statement on District 2 Race for the Orleans Parish School Board

We are not able to start the conversation about what’s best for our kids if our elected leaders aren’t truly invested in our community from the start

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Following the recent news of Ethan Ashley’s outright election to the Orleans Parish School Board to represent District 2 due to the disqualification of incumbent Cynthia Cade, DFER-Louisiana’s State Director, Eva Kemp, released the following statement:

“DFER-Louisiana sends a hearty congratulations to Mr. Ashley. We applaud the work he’s done in the community thus far and we look forward to working with him going forward, especially as the work of unifying schools in New Orleans is upon us. Ethan is a champion for students and through his experiences, he understands the importance of ensuring our policies support our students, like providing wrap-around services for all children which include health, mentoring, and development services, among others,” said Kemp.

Yesterday, Judge Kern Reese of the Orleans Parish Civil District L disqualified District 2 incumbent Cynthia Cade. In his ruling, the judge stated: The School Board member did not file her tax forms — and signed false certification papers claiming that she had.

“We are not able to start the conversation about what’s best for our kids if our elected leaders aren’t truly invested in our community from the start. We are at a critical time as our community makes plans to unify our schools and begin a new era of education excellence in New Orleans,” said Kemp. “Mr. Ashley is a candidate who’s proven to be deeply committed to his city and his community. I’m confident his leadership will help drive New Orleans public education in the right direction as the next school board member in District 2.”

Ethan Ashley was born and raised in Compton, Calif. After graduating from high school, he continued his education at Howard University in Washington, DC, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Juris Doctorate by the age of 22. Immediately after graduation, Ashley moved to New Orleans and has worked with the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, BAEO, and the Urban League of Greater New Orleans. Mr. Ashley is a board member for Youth Run NOLA and the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society. He also directs a voluntary literacy program at the Youth Study Center and serves as a mentor for Son of a Saint.

“DFER-Louisiana is paying close attention to the remaining three Orleans Parish School Board races. We have not yet made any solid decisions on who we’ll be supporting, but we look forward to endorsing and supporting strong leaders who put students above politics,” said Kemp. “It’s vital that the newly-elected Board works together to preserve the gains made by New Orleans public education and move forward to ensure each student can succeed through graduation and beyond.”

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Contact: Leslie Leavoy, leslie@dfer.org