The All-American Acclaim Awards Gala is less than two weeks away, on Saturday, October 8. If you are feeling anxious about Election Day (we won’t remind you how close that date is), the Acclaim Awards Gala will give you an opportunity to let go and have some fun as we come together to celebrate the people who devote much of their lives and careers to uplifting our community and making Louisiana a more accepting, loving, and beautiful place to live.
Last week, you got to know a bit more about the amazing work of Louisiana Trans Advocates and Earl and Michael Benjamin-Robinson. Today, we want to introduce you to Councilmember Susan Guidry, the recipient of this year’s award for Political Leadership.
Councilmember Susan Guidry was elected to the New Orleans City Council as the District “A” representative in March, 2010 and was elected to a second term in 2014.
A native of New Orleans, Susan is a graduate of Archbishop Chapelle High School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and a Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Loyola Law School. Her professional career includes working as a teacher, an attorney and a community activist.
As an attorney, Susan was a member of the litigation team that represented the Port of New Orleans and successfully settled the Port of New Orleans’ suit against its insurers for Hurricane Katrina-related damage to 22 miles of riverfront property.
Susan has served on the Council’s Utility Committee since 2010. Early on, Susan focused on an agenda growing New Orleans’ green industry and energy efficiency, including spearheading the implementation of the Council’s award-winning Energy Smart program. In late 2010, she received the Urban Conservancy’s Leadership Award for her advocacy in the New Orleans area.
Susan has served as Chair of the Council’s Criminal Justice Committee throughout her tenure on the council. In that role, she has displayed an unwavering commitment to reform New Orleans’ criminal justice system and to protect its most vulnerable residents. She tackled budget reform with all of the city’s criminal justice entities. She facilitated the agreement between the non-profit BreakOUT! and the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) that led to BreakOUT!’s involvement in shaping the language on Bias-Free Policing in the federal consent decree. Her reconciliation work with the NOPD and the Mardi Gras Indians virtually ended hostilities and inspired a new era of mutual respect between the two groups. Susan worked to end the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s office’s policy of cooperation with the Immigration Service on “ICE Holds” that kept people in jail beyond the time that existing laws allowed. She has championed various other reforms, including keeping New Orleans’ children out of the adult criminal justice system, safely reducing the city’s rate of over-incarceration and reducing penalties for marijuana possession.
Susan says that she owes much of who she is to her mother, Gail Compagno, and her husband, Hervin Guidry.
It is both a pleasure and an honor to present the award for Political Leadership to such an incredible friend and ally as Susan Guidry. I know that you don’t want to miss the opportunity to applaud her and all of this year’s Acclaim Award recipients as they each take the stage at our gala on October 8. I cannot wait to see you there!
Yours in Equality,
Forum for Equality
2016 Acclaim Award Recipients
Chairs’ Award: Michael and Earl Benjamin-Robinson
Political Advocacy: Louisiana Trans Advocates
Political Leadership: Councilmember Susan Guidry
Have you bought your tickets to the Acclaim Awards Gala? Purchase here now.
All-American Acclaim Awards Gala: Saturday, October 8, 2016
The Westin New Orleans Canal Place
100 Rue Iberville, New Orleans