Pelican Institute Announces New Webinar

NEW ORLEANS — The Pelican Institute for Public Policy (Pelican Institute) announced its launch of PeliCasts, a new webinar series focused around issues impacting Louisianans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From the press release:

The first PeliCast launched Monday and featured Daniel Erspamer, chief executive officer of the Pelican Institute, discussing the current situation in Louisiana and the organization’s recently released “Do’s and Don’ts” list for lawmakers during COVID-19. The list lays out steps Louisiana leaders can take to remove needless government burdens off the private sector to allow them to help citizens during this uncertain time.

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On Tuesday at 2 p.m., Ethan Melancon, director of education policy at the Pelican Institute, will host EQA Schools Operations Manager Aaron Jura to discuss how Louisiana schools are responding, plans to help students and teachers stay informed and engaged, as well as current barriers preventing greater success. Jura formerly taught English language arts, social studies, special education in Orleans and Jefferson parishes, and he has experience in digital learning and helping teachers establish virtual classrooms.

On Friday, the Pelican Institute’s general counsel, Sarah Harbison, will speak with Sarah Isgur, CNN political analyst and former director of the Office of Public Affairs in the U.S. Department of Justice, regarding constitutional concerns arising from the spread of COVID-19 and the state and federal government’s responses. Isgur has deep knowledge and experience with constitutional law, having clerked for the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, where she drafted opinions on some of the most salient legal issues before the courts. Isgur also currently works as a staff writer and host of the legal podcast Advisory Opinions for The Dispatch and as an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs.

PeliCasts will continue occurring over the next several weeks, with such topics being covered as the growing importance of occupational licensing reform, technological innovations and their importance to combatting COVID-19, good news stories around Louisiana and many others.  

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Erspamer said these unprecedented times call for more engaging conversations around the issues impacting people in real time, as well as reminders of the good being done by businesses and individuals to help those in need.  

“During these uncertain times, the Pelican Institute wants Louisianans to know that we remain optimistic about the future of our state and nation,” Erspamer said. “Louisiana is a state that has boldly stared challenges in the face and solved them in the past, and I’m confident we will all pull through this together. Over the coming days and weeks, it will be critical for our leaders to remain thoughtful and come together to analyze the evidence and allow informed debate to flourish. From there, we can work together to find a pathway to protect public health, minimize the impact of this virus, and get Louisianans back to work as quickly as possible.”

For more information the Pelican Institute and its initiatives, visit

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