Democratic Faithful Turn Out To Salute Activist Lynda Woolard

Dozens of elected officials and politically active Democrats from across Louisiana gathered at the uptown home of newly elected Democratic State Central Committee member Pamela Steeg and her husband Rob on Tuesday, May 28 to bid a fond farewell to Lynda Woolard, one of the state’s most prominent Democratic women. After 30 years of helping shape politics and policy in Louisiana while electing numerous Democrats to state and parish offices, Woolard is returning to her Wilmington, Delaware ancestral home to care for family members.

It’s a bittersweet departure for Woolard who over the decades has become an important part of the fabric of Louisiana. In addition to Steeg, among those who turned out to praise Woolard and her many accomplishments were Helena Moreno and J.P. Morrell, City Council President and Vice President respectively; Sheriff Susan Hutson; Democratic State Party Chair Randall Gaines; Democratic State Party Treasurer Dustin Granger; School Board member Carlos Zervigon; Judges Diane Alexander, Nakisha Irwin-Knott and Simone Levine; woman’s legislative advocate Julie Schwam Harris; political consultant Cheron Brylski; author Liz Monaghan; Tulane professor Rosalind Blanco Cook and event co-host Melissa Flournoy, a former state representative and co-founder 10,000 Women Louisiana – the network for advocacy for state and local policy transformation. Also present was Aimee McCarron who in 2025 will be seeking the City Council District A seat currently held by her boss Joe Giarrusso. Giarrusso is expected to run for City Council At Large.

A long-time passionate grassroots activist and strategist, Woolard burst onto the Louisiana scene in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Her political life began in 2007 with the presidential campaign of Barack Obama. During Obama’s two elections, Woolard worked as a field representative, a regional organizer as well as state communications and digital lead. She won a seat on the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee where she served as secretary. Woolard also served two terms as President of the Independent Women’s Organization, the state’s oldest and largest Democratic women’s group. She later received the first Felicia Kahn Citizenship Award from the New Orleans Coalition. Kahn was Woolard’s mentor.

The Louisiana Democratic Party recruited Woolard to create and run their grassroots mobilization, Team Blue Dat, until Governor John Bel Edwards’ election in 2015. In 2016, Woolard was selected to serve as state director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. She was elected twice as an at large delegate to the Democratic National Convention and served as Whip Captain of Louisiana’s Clinton delegation and four years later as Louisiana Whip Captain for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.

Woolard worked against the repeal of President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2017 and on behalf of statewide efforts in support of the Unanimous Jury Coalition. The Louisiana Democratic Party recognized Woolard as Organizer of the Decade.

Most recently Woolard was involved in creating change within Louisiana’s Democratic State Central Committee through the successful Blue Reboot campaign which helped elect fresh enthusiastic members to craft new policies for the state party.

Woolard considers her participation in helping elect Barack Obama and John Bel Edwards to be among the highlights of her years here. With the elections of both Obama and Edwards, Woolard believes that health care became available for “a lot more people.”

“Louisiana has been my home for 30 years and it’s the only real home I’ve ever known,” said Woolard. “Since Katrina I bonded with the community. We had to rely on each other so much that we became family. My moving is like leaving family.” Even though Woolard will be living several thousand miles away, she hopes to stay engaged with New Orleans and Louisiana and visit often.

Lynda Woolard chats with City Council President Helena Moreno and Sheriff Susan Hutson. Woolard opened the doors for Hutson’s campaign and was always available for Moreno during her years as a state representative and now City Council leader.

“Lynda Woolard’s move to Delaware is a big loss,” said Sheriff Susan Hutson. “When I first ran for office, I needed friends who could help me break barriers and Lynda was very capable. With her strategic support I was able to become our city’s first female sheriff.”
City Council President Helena Moreno fondly described Woolard as someone who has been a friend for “a really long time.” Moreno praised Woolard’s tenacity and willingness to fight for the people of New Orleans and Louisiana. “Lynda stood by me when I was a legislator and now as a Councilmember. She is a fantastic advocate with so much knowledge here in New Orleans and across the state,” said Moreno.

“Lynda has kept the faith for the Democratic Party in Louisiana. She has given her time and her energy. Her work ethic and stick-to-it tenacity and persuasiveness inspire all of us,” said Flournoy. “We celebrate how Lynda has made a difference in Louisiana.”

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