MAYOR

DOWNLOAD FULL QUESTIONNAIRE:

Latoya Cantrell

Desiree Charbonnet

 

ANSWERS BY QUESTION

  Cantrell : For me, the term would apply to those that help define, embody and exemplify culture while bringing it to others. That can happen through music, visual arts, dress,dance, food, writing and possibly other forms including architecture and craftsmanship.  Determining hard fast criteria for culture bearers, especially New Orleans culture bearers, is going to be subjective and invite great, full-throated debate. In other words, when you try to define what is and what isn’t culture--and we see and hear these discussions in our restaurants, coffee shops, bars and now in social media channels--count on an argument. And it’s a fight worth having, but I think true leadership is about bringing people together, listening and building consensus. So I would prefer to create an atmosphere that can facilitate that, and to focus on preserving and celebrating our culture.      Charbonnet:  A culture bearer is a person steeped in a craft with a tradition, but who brings that tradition forward creatively. Culture bearers are important to New Orleans because they represent the very fabric of our city.   

Cantrell: For me, the term would apply to those that help define, embody and exemplify culture while bringing it to others. That can happen through music, visual arts, dress,dance, food, writing and possibly other forms including architecture and craftsmanship.

Determining hard fast criteria for culture bearers, especially New Orleans culture bearers, is going to be subjective and invite great, full-throated debate. In other words, when you try to define what is and what isn’t culture--and we see and hear these discussions in our restaurants, coffee shops, bars and now in social media channels--count on an argument. And it’s a fight worth having, but I think true leadership is about bringing people together, listening and building consensus. So I would prefer to create an atmosphere that can facilitate that, and to focus on preserving and celebrating our culture.

 

Charbonnet: A culture bearer is a person steeped in a craft with a tradition, but who brings that tradition forward creatively. Culture bearers are important to New Orleans because they represent the very fabric of our city.

 

  Cantrell:  As a New Orleans Councilwoman, I have prioritized creating affordable housing by creating the density bonus , redirecting the Neighborhood Improvement Fund to homeowners and neighbors instead of code enforcement attorneys, working with housing advocates and getting state funding for case management services for homeowners stuck in Road Home.  It’s not enough because our people continue to be priced out and forced to leave neighborhoods that their families have called home for generations. As mayor, I will do the following:   POLICY   DETAILS    Use all the tools in the toolbox , including many of those proposed in the local Put Housing First Platform.   EMPOWER   NEIGHBORHOODS    “Provide   affordable   housing   options   for   local   citizens”                      ●  Focus on preservation of existing affordable housing stock..                    ●  Offer incentives for landlords to moderate rent.                    ●  Encourage new housing in keeping with the character and affordability of our neighborhoods.                    ●  Transfer remaining Road Home properties to new homeowners / Incentives for local citizens.                    ●  Encourage employers to provide down payment assistance for their employees                    ●  Reform the lien process and provide property tax relief to struggling families.                    ●  Help families own homes and build wealth / First-time owner tax abatement program.                    ●  Prioritize vacant property development and increase access to capital for development.                    ●  In terms of STRs, bring neighborhoods into the discussion, examine new requirements and tighten enforcement.                    ●  Work with legislature on a constitutional amendment allowing the city more flexibility/oversight over property tax policy. Use this to incentivize affordable housing. (GNOHA questionnaire)                    ●  Incentivize energy efficiency projects for the landlord community, to help lower energy bills, while also creating more green jobs in our community (GNOHA)                    ●  Build affordable units: Gap financing program for developers leveraging other state and federal incentives (eg Historic Tax Credits, 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits)      Charbonnet:  As Mayor, my administration would emphasize facilitating musicians housing. The development of affordable housing in New Orleans, especially for our working people, has not kept pace with the growing demand. My administration will approach this problem aggressively by prioritizing the development of safe, healthy and affordable rental units and homeownership near jobs and essential public services.  We are losing our natural musicians village with fewer and fewer musicians living in Treme, the birthplace of Jazz. It is apparent that this city is in an affordable housing crisis, this crisis hits our cultural economy the hardest. I have put together a detailed plan to address the affordability crisis and made it public for everyone to view. Please visit DesireeCharbonnet.com and send me your thoughts and ideas.   

Cantrell: As a New Orleans Councilwoman, I have prioritized creating affordable housing by creating the density bonus , redirecting the Neighborhood Improvement Fund to homeowners and neighbors instead of code enforcement attorneys, working with housing advocates and getting state funding for case management services for homeowners stuck in Road Home.

It’s not enough because our people continue to be priced out and forced to leave neighborhoods that their families have called home for generations. As mayor, I will do the following:

POLICY DETAILS

Use all the tools in the toolbox , including many of those proposed in the local Put Housing First Platform.

EMPOWER NEIGHBORHOODS

“Provide affordable housing options for local citizens”

                  ●  Focus on preservation of existing affordable housing stock..

                  ●  Offer incentives for landlords to moderate rent.

                  ●  Encourage new housing in keeping with the character and affordability of our neighborhoods.

                  ●  Transfer remaining Road Home properties to new homeowners / Incentives for local citizens.

                  ●  Encourage employers to provide down payment assistance for their employees

                  ●  Reform the lien process and provide property tax relief to struggling families.

                  ●  Help families own homes and build wealth / First-time owner tax abatement program.

                  ●  Prioritize vacant property development and increase access to capital for development.

                  ●  In terms of STRs, bring neighborhoods into the discussion, examine new requirements and tighten enforcement.

                  ●  Work with legislature on a constitutional amendment allowing the city more flexibility/oversight over property tax policy. Use this to incentivize affordable housing. (GNOHA questionnaire)

                  ●  Incentivize energy efficiency projects for the landlord community, to help lower energy bills, while also creating more green jobs in our community (GNOHA)

                  ●  Build affordable units: Gap financing program for developers leveraging other state and federal incentives (eg Historic Tax Credits, 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits)

 

Charbonnet: As Mayor, my administration would emphasize facilitating musicians housing. The development of affordable housing in New Orleans, especially for our working people, has not kept pace with the growing demand. My administration will approach this problem aggressively by prioritizing the development of safe, healthy and affordable rental units and homeownership near jobs and essential public services.

We are losing our natural musicians village with fewer and fewer musicians living in Treme, the birthplace of Jazz. It is apparent that this city is in an affordable housing crisis, this crisis hits our cultural economy the hardest. I have put together a detailed plan to address the affordability crisis and made it public for everyone to view. Please visit DesireeCharbonnet.com and send me your thoughts and ideas.

 

  Cantrell:  I think in order for New Orleans to be considered a world class city, we need a world class public transportation system that takes into account o ur workers and not just tourists. I will want to fully examine the budget to see where the money can come from. Additionally, we should work with RTA and groups such as Ride to ensure we are taking advantage of all federal funding. I also interested in providing shuttles and other methods so musicians and other hospitality workers can safely and cost effectively get to work.      Charbonnet:  I am a strong advocate for public transportation, My administration will work with transportation experts and RTA to determine where our existing needs are. Right now our existing transportation system needs to be more efficient, frequent, and on time. Investing in and expanding RTA is essential.   

Cantrell: I think in order for New Orleans to be considered a world class city, we need a world class public transportation system that takes into account o ur workers and not just tourists. I will want to fully examine the budget to see where the money can come from. Additionally, we should work with RTA and groups such as Ride to ensure we are taking advantage of all federal funding. I also interested in providing shuttles and other methods so musicians and other hospitality workers can safely and cost effectively get to work.

 

Charbonnet: I am a strong advocate for public transportation, My administration will work with transportation experts and RTA to determine where our existing needs are. Right now our existing transportation system needs to be more efficient, frequent, and on time. Investing in and expanding RTA is essential.

 

  Cantrell:  This starts with creating a more equitable New Orleans. I think we need to address increasing wages and lowering costs. I have advocated for a higher minimum wage, but I have also worked hard to increase affordable housing opportunities, and to create better transit options for our people. I am going to continue to do so as mayor.  I am also working with the masking community to create a city-recognized council that could provide a means of support for Mardi Gras Indians, social aid and pleasure clubs and other communities to be able to benefit from the marketing and branding of their culture. We need to end the exploitation of our people and create means by which our musicians can profit off of the culture that profits off of them. I also believe we can do a better job of connecting some of the organizations that have access to funding like NOTMC to our musicians.  Something that I would consider is expanding the Mayor’s Office on Cultural Economy to include economic growth for the local music industry. Finally, we already have organizations like NOTMC, that are well-funded to market our culture, why can’t they be leveraged to educate businesses and create opportunities based off of these tax incentives? We need to be more collaborative and strategic. That is the approach that I have taken as a community organizer and councilmember and it is the approach that I will take as mayor.      Charbonnet:  As Mayor I am willing to take the next step to work together with musicians and stakeholders in the music industry to determine what is the best way city government can help facilitate economic growth for artists working in our cultural economy.  One way is to treat musicians as small businesses. Many musicians work not only in the music industry, but also as creative business owners, in the hospitality industry, and in many other unique jobs. The city can work to help musicians develop everything from a business plan to connecting them with other musicians can help increase revenues. As important to our city as music is, and it’s essential, we must adopt “best practices” when it comes to fostering a thriving music community.   

Cantrell: This starts with creating a more equitable New Orleans. I think we need to address increasing wages and lowering costs. I have advocated for a higher minimum wage, but I have also worked hard to increase affordable housing opportunities, and to create better transit options for our people. I am going to continue to do so as mayor.

I am also working with the masking community to create a city-recognized council that could provide a means of support for Mardi Gras Indians, social aid and pleasure clubs and other communities to be able to benefit from the marketing and branding of their culture. We need to end the exploitation of our people and create means by which our musicians can profit off of the culture that profits off of them. I also believe we can do a better job of connecting some of the organizations that have access to funding like NOTMC to our musicians.

Something that I would consider is expanding the Mayor’s Office on Cultural Economy to include economic growth for the local music industry. Finally, we already have organizations like NOTMC, that are well-funded to market our culture, why can’t they be leveraged to educate businesses and create opportunities based off of these tax incentives? We need to be more collaborative and strategic. That is the approach that I have taken as a community organizer and councilmember and it is the approach that I will take as mayor.

 

Charbonnet: As Mayor I am willing to take the next step to work together with musicians and stakeholders in the music industry to determine what is the best way city government can help facilitate economic growth for artists working in our cultural economy.

One way is to treat musicians as small businesses. Many musicians work not only in the music industry, but also as creative business owners, in the hospitality industry, and in many other unique jobs. The city can work to help musicians develop everything from a business plan to connecting them with other musicians can help increase revenues. As important to our city as music is, and it’s essential, we must adopt “best practices” when it comes to fostering a thriving music community.

 

  Cantrell:  I feel that we are often nickeling and diming our people and its effect is obviously more impactful on our poorer residents. It’s unfair and I want to reform our fees and fines structure.      Charbonnet:  Social Aid and Pleasure clubs are some of New Orleans’s most important civic institutions. Government has to work with these clubs to make sure they are paying a fair and equitable fee for their annual second lines. Under the current fee structure, Second lines clearly pay more than their fair share of fees. My administration will work with Safety and Permits to reduce these fees, while still making sure that all safety standards are met.   

Cantrell: I feel that we are often nickeling and diming our people and its effect is obviously more impactful on our poorer residents. It’s unfair and I want to reform our fees and fines structure.

 

Charbonnet: Social Aid and Pleasure clubs are some of New Orleans’s most important civic institutions. Government has to work with these clubs to make sure they are paying a fair and equitable fee for their annual second lines. Under the current fee structure, Second lines clearly pay more than their fair share of fees. My administration will work with Safety and Permits to reduce these fees, while still making sure that all safety standards are met.

 

  Cantrell:  I support the plan in theory but the execution of the plan will dictate my overall support. I support the use of crime cameras but I would open up the budget of the plan to other possible uses and I would be more communicative with neighborhoods about where cameras will be placed and how they would be used.      Charbonnet:  I support the installation of security cameras in 20 crime hotspots throughout the city. New Orleans is facing an undermanned police department and crime cameras can help deter crime, make our citizens feel more secure, and help the police solve crime quickly and efficiently.  I would work with bars and business owners in the French Quarter to come up with effective ways to make sure their patrons are safe, without forcing them to close their doors at 3 am. New Orleans is known for its twenty-four hour French Quarter and unless there are compelling reasons to the contrary we should work to keep it open for business.   

Cantrell: I support the plan in theory but the execution of the plan will dictate my overall support. I support the use of crime cameras but I would open up the budget of the plan to other possible uses and I would be more communicative with neighborhoods about where cameras will be placed and how they would be used.

 

Charbonnet: I support the installation of security cameras in 20 crime hotspots throughout the city. New Orleans is facing an undermanned police department and crime cameras can help deter crime, make our citizens feel more secure, and help the police solve crime quickly and efficiently.

I would work with bars and business owners in the French Quarter to come up with effective ways to make sure their patrons are safe, without forcing them to close their doors at 3 am. New Orleans is known for its twenty-four hour French Quarter and unless there are compelling reasons to the contrary we should work to keep it open for business.

 

  Cantrell:  This is part of policy platform for jobs, businesses and transportation. P rovide access to capital and resources to small business such as barbershops, beauty salons, bars, music venues and other bricks and mortar businesses. Too often, these businesses have been overlooked in our emerging entrepreneurial community, but incubators like Propeller are expanding their focus to include them and I will support this effort as mayor.      Charbonnet:  My administration will create a task force that will work as a liaison between the mayor’s office and artists to propose specialized policies and hear complaints. This liaison will be from within the local music industry, and will be able to “speak the language” of local musicians and understand their points of view. The best way that government can support neighborhood venues is to hear directly from them, what their thoughts and concerns are.   

Cantrell: This is part of policy platform for jobs, businesses and transportation. P rovide access to capital and resources to small business such as barbershops, beauty salons, bars, music venues and other bricks and mortar businesses. Too often, these businesses have been overlooked in our emerging entrepreneurial community, but incubators like Propeller are expanding their focus to include them and I will support this effort as mayor.

 

Charbonnet: My administration will create a task force that will work as a liaison between the mayor’s office and artists to propose specialized policies and hear complaints. This liaison will be from within the local music industry, and will be able to “speak the language” of local musicians and understand their points of view. The best way that government can support neighborhood venues is to hear directly from them, what their thoughts and concerns are.

 

  Cantrell:  The way we regulate noise and sound does not work for anyone. Our current noise ordinance is not enforceable, and when officials try to enforce it, the approach is heavy handed. We should discuss the curfew in context of reforming the ordinance. I do think we can do better, but I will not make any changes to the current ordinance until I re-engage with the music community, neighborhoods and anyone else that could be affected by changes to the current law.      Charbonnet : We need to work together to find a middle ground when it comes to musicians working past curfew. I am willing to work with advocates and other members of the community to figure out what is the best way to balance working musicians and the needs of neighbors. We should take a common sense approach and sit musicians and stakeholders in this community down to figure out how to get everyone on the same page. Our musicians are a valuable part of our community and my administration will reflect that in every decision.   

Cantrell: The way we regulate noise and sound does not work for anyone. Our current noise ordinance is not enforceable, and when officials try to enforce it, the approach is heavy handed. We should discuss the curfew in context of reforming the ordinance. I do think we can do better, but I will not make any changes to the current ordinance until I re-engage with the music community, neighborhoods and anyone else that could be affected by changes to the current law.

 

Charbonnet: We need to work together to find a middle ground when it comes to musicians working past curfew. I am willing to work with advocates and other members of the community to figure out what is the best way to balance working musicians and the needs of neighbors. We should take a common sense approach and sit musicians and stakeholders in this community down to figure out how to get everyone on the same page. Our musicians are a valuable part of our community and my administration will reflect that in every decision.

 

  Cantrell:  As previously stated, I would like to look at expanding t he Mayor’s Office on Cultural Economy and creating a city-recognized committee for our music, masking and other culture bearer communities so that government is listening, collaborating and building consensus before implementing policies and decisions that affect these communities. This has always been my process--it worked particularly well with the smoke-free ordinance--and I will continue this process as mayor.      Charbonnet:  I’ve focused my career on being a bridge builder, and that will not stop when I become mayor. I will work with our many diverse communities on policies that take into consideration the values of each of these groups.   

Cantrell: As previously stated, I would like to look at expanding t he Mayor’s Office on Cultural Economy and creating a city-recognized committee for our music, masking and other culture bearer communities so that government is listening, collaborating and building consensus before implementing policies and decisions that affect these communities. This has always been my process--it worked particularly well with the smoke-free ordinance--and I will continue this process as mayor.

 

Charbonnet: I’ve focused my career on being a bridge builder, and that will not stop when I become mayor. I will work with our many diverse communities on policies that take into consideration the values of each of these groups.

 

  Cantrell : Investing in education, youth, and families is crucial for improving long term economic opportunity / equity, fostering the city’s economic growth, revitalizing neighborhoods, and improving public safety and quality of life. This should include cultural activity and I propose creating an Office of Youth and Families so that we can connect our kids with the vast amount of opportunities available such as NORDC, New Orleans Public Library, sports leagues and music and art programs.  For many years, I have supported our public library system and led Broadmoor’s effort to create the city’s only library and community center. One of the outstanding features of the Rosa Keller Library and Community Center is the wide array of programming, which includes cultural programs. I would like to see that effort expanded more and more throughout our city.      Charbonnet:  Culture is not only an integral part of New Orleans, but I truly believe it is an asset for crime prevention. I would expand existing programs, e.g. those under the auspices of NORD, to partner with other nonprofit organizations like YaYa and other members of our cultural community to truly help make New Orleans safer, while providing an outlet for our children. Better integration of the public sector, nonprofits, and businesses can help reduce crime while fostering our vital New Orleans culture.   

Cantrell: Investing in education, youth, and families is crucial for improving long term economic opportunity / equity, fostering the city’s economic growth, revitalizing neighborhoods, and improving public safety and quality of life. This should include cultural activity and I propose creating an Office of Youth and Families so that we can connect our kids with the vast amount of opportunities available such as NORDC, New Orleans Public Library, sports leagues and music and art programs.

For many years, I have supported our public library system and led Broadmoor’s effort to create the city’s only library and community center. One of the outstanding features of the Rosa Keller Library and Community Center is the wide array of programming, which includes cultural programs. I would like to see that effort expanded more and more throughout our city.

 

Charbonnet: Culture is not only an integral part of New Orleans, but I truly believe it is an asset for crime prevention. I would expand existing programs, e.g. those under the auspices of NORD, to partner with other nonprofit organizations like YaYa and other members of our cultural community to truly help make New Orleans safer, while providing an outlet for our children. Better integration of the public sector, nonprofits, and businesses can help reduce crime while fostering our vital New Orleans culture.

 

  Cantrell:  The city’s public schools will return to local control under the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) in 2018. This is an opportunity to improve our schools and involve communities. While the mayor’s office doesn’t directly oversee or fund public education, the office, through the creation of an Office of Youth and Families, can serve as a connector and facilitator between the public and private entities invested in education / youth and families.  As a Councilperson, I was able to find $10 million in unspent funds, which I redirected to our public school systems. Working with the Office of Youth and Families, as mayor I would be open to leveraging the work of that office to seek to opportunities to perpetuate this tradition within our school system.      Charbonnet:  Building partnerships with NORD and our school system, will help encourage our schools to implement programs that will instruct our students in the arts, music, and culture, maintaining our rich heritage.   

Cantrell: The city’s public schools will return to local control under the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) in 2018. This is an opportunity to improve our schools and involve communities. While the mayor’s office doesn’t directly oversee or fund public education, the office, through the creation of an Office of Youth and Families, can serve as a connector and facilitator between the public and private entities invested in education / youth and families.

As a Councilperson, I was able to find $10 million in unspent funds, which I redirected to our public school systems. Working with the Office of Youth and Families, as mayor I would be open to leveraging the work of that office to seek to opportunities to perpetuate this tradition within our school system.

 

Charbonnet: Building partnerships with NORD and our school system, will help encourage our schools to implement programs that will instruct our students in the arts, music, and culture, maintaining our rich heritage.

 

  Cantrell:  Yes      Charbonnet:  Musicians are valuable assets and creating priority loading/unloading zones for musicians is a good idea. Once elected I will use the transition period to review important suggestions like priority loading zone with business owners and musicians to determine the most effective way to achieve the ultimate goal, to keep musicans safe and help them be on time and ready for their performances.   

Cantrell: Yes

 

Charbonnet: Musicians are valuable assets and creating priority loading/unloading zones for musicians is a good idea. Once elected I will use the transition period to review important suggestions like priority loading zone with business owners and musicians to determine the most effective way to achieve the ultimate goal, to keep musicans safe and help them be on time and ready for their performances.

 

  Cantrell:  Building on what I’ve already addressed for that office, I would want to expand its vision to include seats at the table for our culture bearers so that their voices are heard and we can create policy, decisions and goals for not only maintaining our cultural economy, but also so we are providing resources for its survival. We need to honor our musicians and our culture bearers, and more importantly we need to give them resources so they can thrive. Musicians and the music community have clearly boosted the local economy, particularly the tourism industry, and yet the City hasn’t done nearly enough to recognize that contribution, nor share in the dollars generated. Too many musicians and their families live hand to mouth without health insurance. That needs to stop and under my administration, it will.      Charbonnet : Before I take office I will examine every department. Every office, public-private partnership, and recipient of public funds will be reviewed. Pending that review, my administration would work with the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy to further develop relationships with musicians and member of the cultural economy in order to facilitate economic growth specifically for them. The Office of Cultural Economy has done a great job helping coordinate cultural events on a large scale, my administration would focus more on keeping the actual musicians in the loop.   

Cantrell: Building on what I’ve already addressed for that office, I would want to expand its vision to include seats at the table for our culture bearers so that their voices are heard and we can create policy, decisions and goals for not only maintaining our cultural economy, but also so we are providing resources for its survival. We need to honor our musicians and our culture bearers, and more importantly we need to give them resources so they can thrive. Musicians and the music community have clearly boosted the local economy, particularly the tourism industry, and yet the City hasn’t done nearly enough to recognize that contribution, nor share in the dollars generated. Too many musicians and their families live hand to mouth without health insurance. That needs to stop and under my administration, it will.

 

Charbonnet: Before I take office I will examine every department. Every office, public-private partnership, and recipient of public funds will be reviewed. Pending that review, my administration would work with the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy to further develop relationships with musicians and member of the cultural economy in order to facilitate economic growth specifically for them. The Office of Cultural Economy has done a great job helping coordinate cultural events on a large scale, my administration would focus more on keeping the actual musicians in the loop.