s it now? That’s kind of what it was in the beginning, a joke candidacy to get an inside look into Louisiana politics and how that affects economic growth, yet less than 6 months later, I was faced with a generation waking up and realizing their country had changed overnight.
Your first probable question, do I know what I’m doing?
“Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just… *do* things.” ― The Joker
When it comes to numbers, I’m at home. I was a back office asset manager managing $30 million in fixed income assets for private accounts at a small financial firm in Phoenix, Arizona. Before that I worked as an actuarial analyst helping to manage a $500 million portfolio for a mid-sized Insurance firm, Oxford Life. My degree was in pure mathematics, focusing on probability and complex topology. I balanced books and provided financial forecasting, I only ended up in Louisiana on my way to work at a hedge fund in New York City. I came for Mardi Gras, but the first night I was on Bourbon Street was the night the Saints won the Superbowl. I fell in love and I was home. There’s a lot that followed in the next 6 years before I returned to pursue my Ph.D. in Financial Economics, but I just had this harebrained scheme of trying to understand campaign finance from the inside.
The universe is fully known because it is ignored. Enlightenment comes when you don’t care. — Jack Kerouac, The Scripture of the Golden Eternity
The fact was I had messed up with my classes, I had devoted too much time learning about renewable energy and transmission methods and basically bombed my probability class at UNO. I had met some of the most powerful people in Louisiana and received respect from too many who played the game but kept hoping for new blood. I had helped form the local Our Revolution chapter and got a grasp on campaign finance. So the plan was apply for real jobs, but Trump WON and then the next night the call was put out and we marched.
I was there for every night of the Trump protestsI’ll go over a lot of the details of what went down, the broken glass at a bank, the vandalism, not everything people were reading in the news was entirely accurate. It was surreal how much different stories were to those events. I kept at it though, I was working with an activist group of purely African Americans most of whom are legends, like Miss Eloise and Andy Washington. I also helped form two activist groups of primarily white millenials, the MobilizeNOLA group and Our Revolution NOLA. All of this requires a lot of discussing, but the votes I got and the difference I was making was visible to me and that’s what mattered. z
Also, nobody really wanted to hire me
F*** damnation, man! F*** redemption! We are God’s unwanted children? So be it! – Tyler Durden
I could see it, nobody really wanted to hire me except for the adult entertainment clubs I worked at before I quit to go to school, but I just couldn’t go back. That life wasn’t for me, I pretty much gave up my partying days, speaking in front of the council, working with the activist groups, I managed to get hired at a daiquiri shop right where the shooting occurred in 2015 on Bourbon. Shortly after I started working at the bar where I live and have stayed since.
The surface of my story and what I have to tell you has barely been scratchedNo, my candidacy isn’t a joke. I have the education, granted not from international schools, but my life is far from ordinary. In the ensuing posts you will learn much more about the current state of affairs of New Orleans. Even if you don’t like me as a person, you will appreciate the candor and depth of my work. Thank you for reading. If you would like a media perspective on my background, here’s my first interview, from the amazing Tom Aswell of the Louisiana Voice.https://louisianavoice.com/2016/09/29/native-of-puerto-rico-resident-of-new-orleans-former-hedge-fund-manager-now-taking-on-scalise-political-establishment/