Two candidates withdraw from District D City Council race, leaving one challenger to Brossett
Thad Cossabone and Belden “Noonie Man” Batiste’s withdrawals from the City Council District D race leaves incumbent Jared Brossett up against a single remaining challenger, political newcomer Joel Jackson.
In departing the race, Cossabone said he thinks the federal government won’t be handing out more money for issues the city is currently facing. He urges citizens to get informed and make their own educated choice on who to vote for in Distrct D.
“I’ve had several people say they were still going to vote for me just so they wouldn’t vote for Brossett,” Cossabone said.
Belden “Noonie Man” Batiste, who was sued for unfiled tax returns, said he has filed a federal lawsuit in Baton Rouge. He explained that he doesn’t have to file tax returns due to his disability. He is currently waiting to hear back from the federal court on the lawsuit.
Between Brossett and Jackson, Batiste said he is leaning toward supporting Jackson, since he liked what he heard from Jackson at a meeting. As for the current District D councilman, Batiste said he is willing to oppose Brossett in any future political position Brossett goes for.
“I was going to run the district better than him,” Batiste said. “And I was going to be for the people.”
Jackson, who works for the Contemporary Arts Center, moved to New Orleans in 1994 and said one of the strengths of his campaign is that he can easily “take a page from” the different places in the country he’s lived in, in order to create positive change. His platform focuses on removing traffic cameras, supporting criminal justice reform, and creating a living wage for working class citizens.
“What I’ve been good at in my life is consensus-building,” Jackson said, describing the ideal role of a council member as a watchdog. “In terms of infrastructure in District D and other parts of the city, there has to be transparency and accountability.”
Jackson doesn’t consider himself an adversary to Brossett. He agrees with the legislation Brossett has passed so far, Brossett, such as a recent Entergy reliability resolution, although he hasn’t met the councilman personally.
“I think Jared is doing a great job, as far as I can tell on paper,” Jackson said.
Jackson’s campaign has touched on traffic cameras, due to accounts in the community he’s heard about tickets spiraling out of control. He said a lot of that money is going out of the city and that the cameras do not primarily function for public safety.
As for increasing work wages in the city, Jackson believes in supporting the establishment of more managerial training through New Orleans’ hospitality industry, where he thinks more middle class jobs can be in place.
“Unlike the film industry, if we’re incentivizing those companies to come here with tax breaks, I want to make sure part of the program is to train local workers for those jobs,” Jackson said.
The municipal City Council elections take place Saturday, Oct. 14.