An online campaign to help raise $50,000 for the Council for Development of French in Louisiana is going into its final week. With seven days left on FrancoJeunes’ “100,000 Cajuns, Creoles and Friends of French in Louisiana” fundraising drive to save CODOFIL programming, the group has raised $27,283 as of Wednesday morning.
When Gov. Bobby Jindal’s June 15 line-item veto slashed $100,000 in CODOFIL funding, which equates to almost 40 percent of its budget, FrancoJeunes and its founder Mandy Migues responded with an online campaign asking “100,000 Cajuns, Creoles and Friends of French in Louisiana” to donate $1 or more to save CODOFIL’s mission.
FrancoJeunes is described on its website as a group that “supports and promotes Francophone endeavors and French-friendly businesses, encourages bilingual signage and services in both public and private sectors, supports an increase in the visibility of French in all sectors of the community, all to make French an integral part of Louisiana’s cultural economy.”
“For this particular fundraiser, the main goal was to show the power in numbers of people,” says CODOFIL’s public relations coordinator Erin Stickney. “They definitely appreciate the larger contributions, but they’re really hoping to see if we can get a big mass of people to donate small amounts of money.”
If the group meets its fundraising goal of $50,000, the website hosting the fundraising effort will take a 4 percent cut, Stickney explains. But if the group fails to meet its goal, the website is entitled to 9 percent of the total money raised.
Donations of various sizes are rewarded with gifts, including copies of the “En Francais” CD by Bayou Teche Brewing, CODOFIL T-shirts and Acadiana patches made by Parish Ink. Most recently, world-renowned local artist Francis Pavy donated 10 signed prints of his “Moss Picker in the Swamp” for donors who give at least $750 to the cause.
Francis Pavy's "Moss Picker in the Swamp"
In addition to the web campaign to save CODOFIL programming, Cochon restaurant in Lafayette is hosting a separate fundraiser for CODOFIL from 5-10 p.m. Sunday. More than a dozen musicians/bands are on the lineup, with food and beverages provided by LA 31, Cochon Restaurant, The Black Pot All Stars, Saint Street Inn, French Press and more. Stickey says though both fundraisers will directly benefit CODOFIL, the money raised at Cochon Sunday will not go toward the $50,000 goal of the online fundraising campaign.
Visit the FrancoJeunes website to learn more or to donate.
MAY 20 This post by blogger CB Forgotston draws parallels between Gov. Bobby Jindal and two individuals he probably doesn't want to be aligned with: President Obama and former governor Edwin Edwards. CB says Jindal's trying to jack up the debt ceiling (an Obama play, according to CB) and buy votes from GOP leges who normally wouldn't go for that (an Edwards play, CB says).
MAY 20 Here's a post in the Baptist Message from an alumnus of Louisiana College. The author, Larry Burgess, calls on the leadership of the private school to take care of some pressing problems. Physical plant issues are critical and unaddressed, some faculty make so little they need government health care, and there is an atmosphere that does not encourage honest discussion, he writes. It's time to get things back in order, he says.
MAY 20 This post in Gambit tells of a benefit concert scheduled to raise money for the 19 people shot during a Mother's Day second line on Frenchmen Street in NOLA. Among them was Gambit blogger Deb Cotton, who spoke frequently about violence in the city and reported on the city's second line culture. Gambit's foundation, along with other NOLA non-profits, also is selling t-shirts to raise money for the victims.
MAY 20 Blogger Robert Mann is critical of the personal interest some legislators take in their work here, sharing the comments one NOLA solon made in explaining his decision to vote against a bill that would require people to stop discriminating against female workers. His wife might lose some salary, so he was going to have to vote against the equal pay bill, Conrad Appel said. Appel and everyone who heard him should have been ashamed, but they weren't, and that's what is wrong in that building, Mann argues.
MAY 20 American Press columnist Jim Beam writes about the budget again here, urging kudos for the House and its efforts to try to fix the budget as opposed to passing on a flawed and messy rubber-stamped document as it usually does. The Senate already is poo-pooing the effort, but instead Senators should be trying to find a way to improve it as well, Beam argues. He also has some predictions in here from LABI and CABL.
MAY 20 Here's a link to the photo gallery from Tulane's graduation this past weekend. Dr. John and Allen Toussaint played together and received honorary degrees. The Dalai Lama was so entranced by their performance he got up from his seat and walked across the stage to stand next to them. He even participated in a second line with his own personal, saffron-colored umbrella. To the graduates, he urged them to think about creating a peaceful, hopeful life and society.
MAY 20 This Picayune story questions the rhetoric of NOLA officials who say the city, aside from having a "murder problem," is safe. The talking points generally are that the criminals are killing each other, but everything else is OK. The police chief there says that even Lafayette is more dangerous than NOLA. But crime experts interviewed here say that NOLA's numbers indicate one of two things: either people are so used to violence they don't report it, or somebody's "fudging the numbers."
MAY 20 The Advocate's Mark Ballard writes about some of the background maneuvering that took place during the development of budget alternatives in the Legislature. From Rep. Joel Robideaux being called a "tax and spend liberal" to robo-call influence, Ballard lets us in on some of the work that happens behind the scenes but usually doesn't make it into the Advocate's daily coverage of the session.
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