Publicity over story times for children featuring transvestites provoked the citizenry in one large Louisiana city, while it largely elicited a yawn in the state’s largest city. In Lafayette, many in the public expressed concern over the concept, and opposition by Mayor-President Joel Robideaux led to the resignation of his appointee to the board that runs parish libraries. By contrast, similar events in New Orleans haven’t generated any real controversy.
This creates starkly divergent political environments. In Lafayette, many elected officials bear some accountability for board actions, and also they can influence it marginally through appropriations. In New Orleans, with an entirely independent source of funding, as long as Mayor LaToya Cantrell doesn’t mind what goes on (and even she has a limited scope of action, as she appoints one board member a year for nine-year terms), it can do what it wants free from any accountability.