for a Golden Age
Our city struggles to take care of its basic responsibilities and before any other challenges are met, we must correct this. I'm calling for the creation of a committee to audit the government and investigate the causes of our inability to complete street repairs and other necessary functions of government in a timely and appropriate manner. One of the major issues facing the Sewerage and Water board is poor equipment maintenance. We need to ensure all the tools available to our city workers are in top shape and invest heavily in preventive maintenance programs. We need to use the best methods and technology from around the world to work smarter and more efficiently. We also need to use this difficult time as an opportunity to move toward a clean energy, hurricane resilient future where we harvest more of our power from renewable sources. I envision a future New Orleans where the air is clean, the grid is secure, the pumps work and our streets are in excellent shape.
Right now a lot of people feel uneasy simply driving or walking through New Orleans and something must be done to change that. I believe we need to give more support to our law enforcement agencies, bridge the divides between the various local jurisdictions, instruct our officers to focus on crimes of aggression, hold dangerous offenders until they are properly rehabilitated, build a safe, humane, facility for the mentally ill to get the help that they need, allow social workers and civilian response teams to handle non-violent situations so the police can focus on crime, and provide citywide free mental health services. We also need drastic action to end the epidemic of gun violence, so I am calling for a gun free zone on Bourbon Street with added penalties for illegal possession and more community outreach in the often overlooked neighborhoods where gun violence is more prevalent. I envision a future where no one feels in danger as they move through our city.
Support for Locals
The locals and all the character we possess make this city the special place that it is and we need to support each other. It's time to raise the minimum wage for both tipped and non-tipped employees while also increasing wages further up the line. We don't want to add more burden to our business owners, so we should offer tax breaks to help offset the added cost. We need to help both renters and landlords that have been devastated throughout this pandemic and offer grants to locals that want to open up the small businesses that we need to get back on our feet. Musicians, Artists and Service industry workers make us who we are and we need to support them with a special healthcare union that will give them better access to proper medical care. Teachers need raises and more money for supplies. Free preschool and daycare must be offered for our young children and mothers. Free entrepreneurship courses, technical training and continuing education opportunities should be offered to anyone who is seeking to better themselves and contribute to our community. Blighted and underutilized properties should be transformed into affordable housing. We need to make sure our tax dollars are spent in ways that directly benefit the people of our city. I envision a future where rent is reasonable, business owners and homeowners are doing well, our backbone workforce is properly compensated and the locals of New Orleans are filled with optimism about their prospects.
Our economy depends largely on tourism and it is necessary that we provide our guests with the best possible experience when they come to visit. We need to expand the French Quarter Entertainment District that currently only covers Bourbon Street to also include the commercial areas of Royal and Chartres Streets. We should follow Europe's lead and make the commercial zones of our historic district car free during specific times, open up the real estate in those areas to short term rentals, and make our premier attraction cleaner, safer and more appealing. We also need to focus on growing new industries and enticing more national and international businesses to open offices here. Through competitive tax breaks, aggressive lobbying and stronger incubation of local ideas I believe we can create new segments to our economy. Of course we must always protect our irreplaceable culture first, but if we want to compete and thrive in the future then we must open ourselves up to new opportunities. I envision a future where tourists go home thrilled, where locals are confidently opening new businesses and growth industries feel secure in making big investments in New Orleans.