An article from the Times Picayune regarding Forman's support for the initiative to change the City Charter to allow Marc Morial to run for a third term.
Ron Forman's record of giving his support and considerable influence to some of the city's most respected statesmen indicates the sort of political skill that can be expected from him as mayor.
Copyright 2001 The Times-Picayune Publishing Company Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA) March 23, 2001 Friday
Coalition backing Morial 3rd term;By Frank Donze; Staff writer
As Mayor Marc Morial mounts his campaign for a third term, he will have the backing of a coalition of some of New Orleans' most prominent business and civic leaders.
Dubbed "People for Continued Progress," the group's primary responsibility will be to provide Morial a forum as he makes his case to voters, said RonForman, president and chief executive officer of the Audubon Nature Institute.
"What we're saying is we want New Orleans to continue to improve," said Forman, who will serve as one of 10 co-leaders of what he expects will be a 100-member organization. "We believe Mayor Morial's ideas are good ideas and we're supporting the effort to change the City Charter."
A referendum to lift the charter's current two-term limit will appear on the October or November ballot if Morial can get 10,000 registered voters to sign a petition calling an election, a task that even the mayor's critics say will not be difficult. That effort began this week when voters received the first of more than 100,000 copies of the petition by mail.
Later this spring, Forman said, each member of the group will begin holding meetings of friends and associates where Morial can make his pitch and answer questions about his plans to reform the city's troubled public school system, an effort that Morial has said will be the top priority for his administration if he is re-elected.
Plans, which Forman said are still in the formative stages, call for the informal gatherings to attract between 25 to 75 people. The meetings will be held mostly at night in the homes or businesses of committee members who organizers say will represent a cross section of the community.
"We want to be the conduit for him to get his message out so the voters can make an intelligent decision on whether to support it (the third-term initiative) or not," Forman said.
When he announced his intention Tuesday to get more involved in education, Morial emphasized that he is not interested in a City Hall takeover of the school system.While he said it will be two or three months before he is ready to discuss specifics of his education strategy, Morial said the approach will be similar to the one he has taken with the ongoing Police Department reform, which he said included involvement in policy issues, rallying public support and holding people accountable.
"This is about leading the effort," Morial said. "You can go to the blackboard and draw a nice play for the football team to run. But you've got to go run the play. You've got to make it work. You've got to go make it happen. And that's where leadership comes in."