New Orleans City Council leaders hope to end impasse

May 16, 2012

A proposal that might make it easier for black candidates to win posts on New Orleans' City Council now has the support of all current council members.

The council president and vice president made that announcement Wednesday evening.

The only two African-American members of the 7-member council have stayed away from recent meetings after the council deadlocked on the issue earlier this month.

There was already one vacancy on the council, so the apparent boycott by Jon Johnson and Cynthia Hedge-Morrell made it impossible to get the quorum needed to conduct business.

It remains unclear whether the two council members will return for Thursday's meeting.

Council leaders also are assuring the two that committee assignments won't change if an interim member is appointed to fill a vacant council seat.