Although it’s no secret, I am pleased to officially announce my candidacy for New Orleans City Council, District C. District C incumbent Kristin G. Palmer is running for an At-Large seat on the Council, thus leaving the District C seat open.
I’ve never run for office before but I’m no stranger to politics. As a columnist, I’ve covered many issues concerning city government. As a historian, I’ve studied and written about political history. In addition, I’ve volunteered on previous campaigns and have developed relationships with various elected officials.
All that, however, is quite different than actually throwing one’s proverbial hat in the ring. Since I started campaigning, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The question I get asked often, especially among friends who are familiar with all my other projects, is “Why are you running?”
The short answer is “I’m running because I’m pissed-off and I believe I can make a difference.” As a resident and business owner in the French Quarter, I see first-hand, on a daily basis, the challenges we face—from crumbling infrastructure to out-of-control crime to never-ending road repairs to penny-ante corruption.
I’m running for City Council because I don’t like what I see happening to our neighborhoods. Over the last several years I have witnessed first-hand our quality of life gradually diminish while our elected officials sit idly by and do nothing.
I’m a no-nonsense problem-solver and currently, City Hall has too many problems and not enough common sense. I’d like the opportunity to change that. I believe actually enforcing the laws we already have on the books would go a long way toward solving a lot of our problems.
I also believe residents know what is best for their neighborhoods. For that reason, I believe our City Council person must be accessible and responsive to residents. If elected, I promise to listen, attend neighborhood association meetings, and respond to residents’ concerns and ideas.
District C faces a lot of issues. Here are my thoughts on a few of them.
Affordable Housing—I will fight for affordable housing for all and will consult with local neighborhood associations for the best answer.
Blighted Buildings—I believe the city needs to do more about the removal of blighted buildings throughout the district. Historic buildings in disrepair should be renovated.
Brechtel Park—I support the revitalization of Brechtel Park.
City Hall/Municipal Auditorium—I oppose relocating City Hall to the old Municipal Auditorium.
Construction & Zoning Variances—I believe variances should be rare and granted only with the approval of neighborhood residents.
Corruption—I believe public service is a sacred trust. I will fight to root out corruption in City Hall.
Crime—I support community-based policing. Law Enforcement must work with residents to stop crime in our neighborhoods.
Criminal Justice Reform—I support criminal justice reform, including banning police chokeholds and legalizing recreational marijuana.
Enforcement—I believe we need to actively enforce the laws we have on the books.
Equality—I support full equality for all and will fight to expand legal protections to all marginalized groups.
Federal City—I support additional development for Federal City.
Gen. Meyer Commercial Corridor—I support the revitalization of the General Meyer commercial corridor.
Grocery Stores—I support the development of accessible grocery stores in food deserts.
Mental Health and the Homeless—I support increasing mental health resources for the homeless.
Night-Time City Government—We currently have a vibrant night-time economy and a day-time city government. I believe that city government should be accessible after normal business hours.
Park & Ride—I support the restoration of the Algiers Park and Ride, which has been defunct since Hurricane Katrina.
Potholes—I will work to fix streets throughout District C.
Public Art—I believe the city government should support the arts in general and public art specifically, especially in Algiers.
Public Transportation—I support expanding and improving the efficiency of public transportation.
Sewage & Water Board—I support a complete overhaul of the management of the Sewage and Water Board.
Short-Term Rentals—I believe the current ordinance governing short-term rentals needs to be strictly enforced.
Street Lighting—I will work to repair broken street-lights and add lights where they are needed.
Tourism—I believe we need a paradigm shift toward a more sustainable and enhanced model of tourism.
Voting Rights—I think it should be easier, not more difficult, for people to vote. I will oppose voter suppression efforts
I believe my unique and varied experience puts me in a strategic position to tackle the problems we face. As some readers may know, I wear a lot of hats—small business owner, educator, writer, community activist, President of a local non-profit organization, and Carnival Krewe Captain. I’m asking the voters of District C to let me put all that experience to work for you.
I’ve never run for office before and the only reason I’m running now is to make a difference in the city I love so much. To support the campaign, please make a contribution at https://www.frankperezcitycouncil.com/