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James Austin Gray II: Councilmember District "E"

James GrayBiography

Councilmember James A. Gray II was elected to the District "E" City Council seat on December 8, 2012, and re-elected in February 2014.

An alumnus of Morehouse College, the United States Marine Corps, and Harvard University Law School, Gray has lived and worked in his adopted hometown of New Orleans for nearly 40 years, and has been a member of the Eastern New Orleans community since 1988. Gray was born in Scottlandville, a small African-American enclave on the outskirts of Baton Rouge.

Gray's passions included the law and children. During his 45 year legal career, he worked on desegregation, civil and housing rights cases, and served on numerous housing and neighborhood development boards.

He found many ways to help young people in the New Orleans community, concentrating primarily on professional education and sports and recreation. Gray, a former president of the Louisiana Law Institute, taught law at both LSU and Tulane Law Schools. He worked as a volunteer NORD coach in baseball and basketball, and coached track and field with the USA Track & Field (USATF). Gray chaired the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of New Orleans, served as a board member of the Boy Scouts, and as president of the PTA at both Allen and McMain Schools. His civic and political activities included a term as a board member of the New Orleans Urban League, and two terms as Chairman of the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee.

Politics runs in the family. His wife of nearly 50 years, Ernestine Steward Gray, is the second longest serving state judge in Louisiana. His daughter, Cheryl Gray Evans, is a former Louisiana State Senator and a practicing attorney. He has two sons, engineer and attorney James Gray III, and an "adopted" son Pierre, who emigrated from Haiti in the 1980's. His son-in-law, Patrick Evans, is a commander in the Navy serving at the Pentagon. His daughter-in-law, DeVoyce Gray, is a practicing attorney. The Grays have four grandchildren: Morgan, Moriah, James IV and Emory.

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Contact Information:

City Hall, Room 2W60
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112

Phone: (504) 658-1050
Fax: (504) 658-1058

Maurice Baird, Chief of Staff

Rachel M. Clayton, Legislative Associate and Community Liaison

Mary M. Fontenot-Smith, Director of Strategic Organizing & City Engagement

Maria Mercedes Tio, Director of Communications, Scheduling & Events

Dominique Verner, Legislative Director

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