Meet District D’s City Council candidates
New District D contenders wish to address crime, policy, and homelessness, as three political newcomers face incumbent Councilman Jared Brossett in this year’s city council election.
Thad Cossabone, a receiving clerk at Target, said he decided to run because he’s tired of seeing the same political insiders. He criticized Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s focus on taking down the monuments and City Council members’ handling of the issue.
“We need a candidate that wants to hear what the people have to say and works for the people,” Cossabone said.
Crime is one of the largest issues Cossabone would like to address, as he considered applying for the NOPD Police Community Advisory Board before he decided to qualify to run for District D. He said he wants to make the city home again, recalling how close his residence was to the triple shooting that occurred in Gentilly earlier this year.
Recruiting more police officers won’t decrease crime alone, according to him. “They still need the community to help out. We need people to step up and take pride in their community,” Cossabone said.
As for tackling problems like vacant lots and blight, Cossabone suggested organizing weekend community clean-ups for properties. He wants to maintain residents’ quality of life with making sure street projects stay on course, if he were to be elected.
During the election, Cossbone said he will likely be available to the public on a Saturday, such as in a Rouses parking lot, and that his campaign can be followed here on his facebook page.
“I’m running a grassroots campaign. I’m hoping to be up there and be a voice of the people,” Cossabone said.
Entrepreneur Joel Jackson works at the Contemporary Arts Center and platform includes the removal of traffic cameras, increasing transportation to New Orleans East, and creating a policy to allow one’s ID to not be run by the NOPD, if they report a crime. He also wants to work with City Council and the Mayor’s office to influence legislature in gun safety laws and the issue of minor offense over-incarceration.
Jackson announced in his video above that he will be doing videos often during the campaign. Beginning in late August, Jackson will drive around District D every weekend until Oct. 14 to give people rides and stop by churches, community events, and second lines.
District D candidate and Community activist Belden Batiste “Noonie Man” has served as a sports coach and Yellow Pocahontas Mardi Gras Indian. One of he issue he wishes to address is creating housing options and arranging funds to help the homeless population in the city.
Gentilly Messenger has not been able to get in contact with Batiste at this time. We will release new information when available.
Following three newcomer District D candidates’ qualification, incumbent Councilman Brossett held a “Build a Better” District D event at Norman Mayer Library on Monday, July 17. There he shared the district’s progress on a slew of recreational, economic and housing developments that are underway and how he’s committed to continue his work for the area.
Affordable housing in the district is coming in the former Bell Junior High School in Treme turning into loft and studio space for local artists, as well as the former Sacred Heart Church on St. Bernard Avenue becoming an apartment complex. On 1950 Saint Bernard Avenue, Liberty Bank has teamed with NBA and NFL athletes to invest in $10 million affordable housing project for senior citizens. Nearby, the city is rebuilding Nora Navra Library as a 7,800-square-foot facility.
On the economic development front, Brossett said he was proud of the impending construction of more health care facilities. Ochsner hospital will be coming to the former Lake Terrace Shopping center location on 1532 Robert E. Lee Boulevard, and CrescentCare, a community health center, will be coming to 1631 Elysian Fields, across from the UPS Store.
“So then they’ll be a hub to provide access for health care on that part of the district,” Brossett said.
The councilman said a new industry coming online in New Orleans is stormwater management, and that District D can benefit from new jobs and projects that will be plentiful in Gentilly.
“Economic opportunity, I mentioned before, I fathered an ordinance and it passed to require that all city departments report to the city council their annual DBE (disadvantaged business enterprise) attainment rates,” Brossett said. “We need to have that data to actually know who is actually working for the citizens for New Orleans and is there economic opportunity there? And who is benefiting from those specific contracts?”
Brossett also serves as the chairman of the New Orleans Aviation Board’s Transportation Committee and said the board is moving in the right direction for creating more job opportunities. He spoke to District D residents at the library of working with RTA to enhance bus frequency down I-10, in order to assist new employees and contractors in getting to work at the Louis Armstrong Airport’s terminal expansion.
“Any innovative, smart-growth city needs robust transportation options,” Brossett said.
The councilman ended the meeting at Norman Mayer saying he would keep pushing for a better district and better city. The municipal City Council elections take place Oct. 14