LaRoots - a Louisiana Grassroots Political Network

                     serving Democratic Priorities

Beaucoup Blues

"Beaucoup Blues" was Louisiana's first democratic grassroots convention, held in New Orleans on July 21-23, 2005 (having been postponed two weeks due to a hurricane threat), and organized by a small dedicated group called Team Beaucoup Blues, led by Tulane student Monisha Sujan and Deborah Langhoff of LaRoots, with sponsorships from Democracy for America and the Hilton Garden Inn.  The goal of the 3-day event was to introduce and encourage discussions among the many different types of democrats in our state.

The kick-off cocktail event was held on Friday evening and included an Early Registration for the Saturday event.  Bad weather delayed the featured guest speaker, Democracy for America's Jim Dean, but the crowd stayed late into the evening to await his arrival.  The extended hours offered a serendipitous opportunity for more discussion among state party officials, union representatives, party activists, and neighborhood leaders in a relaxed environment.

The business meeting of the second day of Beaucoup Blues focused on four panel discussions:

  • Heart of the Party - Why we are Democrats and included environmentalist Willie Fontenot, GLBT advocate Stephen Handwerk, Dr. Mike Robichaux, and labor leader Sibal Holt - moderated by Andrew Doss
  • African Americans in Louisiana Politics featured Don Cravins, Jacques Morial, and Catherine Flowers - moderated by Gabe Bordenave. This panel was so instructive that the topic was suggested for similar grassroots summits in other states.
  • Media Panel was led by Sueng Hong, with Andrew Koneschusky LDP Acting Executive Director, Vicki Lancaster progressive radio advocate, Renee Lapeyrolerie, and Diane Newman from WSMB
  • Taking it to the Streets was moderated by Damon Lombard, with John St Julien and Mike Stagg discussing their successful campaign to bring Fiber to every home in Lafayette who were joined by feminist Melissa Smith.

The final morning's brunch brought organizers together for analysis of the event, to set short and long term goals. No one celebrating the enthusiasm and successes of the 3-day event could predict the disaster that loomed only a month away, when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the disastrous aftermaths, and recovery from them would shape the political landscape in Louisiana for years to come.