She has a vision, a plan for building a future for all the people of New Orleans, where no one is left out or held back, where we’re the first to try new ideas and new approaches to old, difficult problems.
Some jobs aren’t just jobs, but affect the way you see the world. Building is like that. Desiree Charbonnet’s great grandfather was an architect and a builder—he helped build Corpus Christi Church. His close attention to detail, determination in working step by step from start to finish, always measuring twice, and his emphasis on quality was passed on to Desiree’s father, also a builder. The hard working example of her father and grandfather shaped the woman Desiree has become.
A lifelong resident of New Orleans, Desiree’s family traces their New Orleans roots back to the 1790s. She graduated from Cabrini High School, and went on to Loyola University for both her bachelor’s degree and juris doctor (law degree). A scholar of the law, Desiree is a sought-after lecturer and has been awarded a research grant by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Desiree is a judge nationally known for her thoughtfulness, and a public servant whose career has been one of “firsts.” She was the first woman elected to serve as Recorder of Mortgages for the parish of Orleans, where she served for 10 years. Her office was one of the first to re-open after Hurricane Katrina, providing desperately needed property records to the city’s displaced residents. She was the first woman elected to the bench of Municipal Court in New Orleans, and the first to be elected Chief Judge. As a judge, she has taken a special interest in cases involving domestic violence, prostitution and human trafficking. She was among the first in the country to try alternatives to incarceration. She has also given back to the community outside of work serving as President of the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Louisiana, on the board of directors of My House, and as a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association.
Public service, when it’s done well, is a calling and a craft. Desiree has always taken the same care, and has that same work ethic, her grandfather and father taught her years ago—she’s a builder, too. She has a vision, a plan for building a future for all the people of New Orleans, where no one is left out or held back, where we’re the first to try new ideas and new approaches to old, difficult problems. Desiree Charbonnet will be the first woman to be mayor of New Orleans, and the right mayor to move the whole city forward.