It began over lunch at Antoine’s. Two prominent business leaders from New Orleans, Darwin Fenner and Edgar Stern, Jr., were concerned about the economic and political well-being of Louisiana. They lamented the fact that a century earlier, Louisiana was one of the wealthiest states in the nation.
But decade by decade since the mid-1800s its economic fortunes had declined precipitously despite its abundant natural resources and enviable location at the mouth of the Mississippi River. By the early 1960s Louisiana was a political mess, racial issues had grown serious and businesses outside the state were all but boycotting Louisiana as a place for economic investment.
Fenner and Stern decided to consider what might be done, under proper leadership, to enable Louisiana to realize its potential and counteract the adverse trends that had appeared in recent years. They engaged a group of about 20 local business and civic leaders in a course of action to move Louisiana forward. The group quickly expanded statewide and in June of 1962 the Council for A Better Louisiana (CABL) was founded.
Over the course of more than 50 years, CABL has lived up to the promise of its founders and stayed true to its mission. The role it has played in reform, governmental restructuring and enactment of strong, forward-looking policies is undeniable as are the breadth of its accomplishments and the consistency of its effectiveness for the greater good of our state.