Community writer experiences Jackson-Jefferson dinner

By Mada McDonald

NEW ORLEANS—Nearly 2,500 people gathered at the Hyatt Regency Hotel here for the Louisiana Democrats 2012 Jefferson-Jackson and Lifetime Achievement Awards Dinner, Saturday, August 4, 2012.  There were about twenty-five hundred people in attendance.
Party chair Senator Karen Carter Peterson gave the welcome followed by prayer and pledge.  Mayor Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans, welcomed everyone to New Orleans and opening remarks given by Congressman Cedric Richmond.  The opening keynote speech was given by Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland who was introduced by Gretna Mayor Ronnie Harris.  There were several Lifetime Achievement Awards presented.
The first award was presented to Representative Alphonse Jackson, Jr.  The award was presented by Mayor Cedric Glover, Shreveport, Louisiana and was accepted by Former Senator Lydia Jackson.  The next award was presented to Leah Guerry.  It was presented by Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson and accepted by David Guerry.  Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell presented the award to Sibal Holt and Speaker Pro Tempore Walter “Walt” Leger, III, presented an award to Kerry McKernan.  It was accepted by Diane McKernan and Burton LeBlanc.  The last Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Mary Wisham by Senate President Pro Tempore Sharon Weston Broome.  It was accepted by Edward Wisham.  Mayor Cory Booker, Newark, New Jersey gave an outstanding closing keynote speech.  The introduction was given by United States Senator Mary Landrieu.  The program ended with closing remarks by Chair Lady Karen Carter Peterson.    
The menu for the evening served to all in attendance: First Course – classic caesar salad with parmesan cheese, sundried tomatoes w/herb crusted ciabatta croutons.  Second Course – grilled bavette steak with corn and truffle whipped potatoes and summer vegetables. A vegetarian dish was prepared  – pappadelle fricassee of wild mushrooms, olive oil and parmesan sauce. Third Course – caramelized pecan pie with whipped cream.
A reception/social hour was held from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. prior to the awards dinner which commenced at 7:00 p.m.  If anyone is interested in becoming a patron of the Democratic Party, one time donation is one-thousand dollars and eighty-four dollars for twelve months is being accepted at this time.  For further information the website is WWW.LADEMO.ORG or @LADemos.
Some representatives from the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 21 LA  and other prominent constituents attended the reception/awards dinner.    
It was truly a very festive occasion and a very good opportunity to network and meet new people.

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