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N.O. mayor, council are sworn in

12th May 2014   ·   0 Comments

With a host of challenges facing them, New Orleans’ mayor and city council members embarked upon a new era with Monday’s swearing-in ceremony in the Crescent City. During his acceptance speech at the Saenger Theatre, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu described some of the hard work and challenges that lie ahead for the City of New Orleans including violent crime, lingering blight, budgetary shortfalls, a police manpower shortage and the implementation of NOPD and OPP consent decrees, in addition to ongoing post-Katrina recovery efforts nearly nine years after the devastating hurricane hit the city.

Despite its struggles, the City of New Orleans has made some strides as the mayor pointed out Monday. Last year’s murder total, for example, represents a 30-year low for the city, which has long held the title of murder capital.”

On the economic side, the city’s tourism industry is booming, with the number of visitors to Louisiana reaching a new high of more than 27 million in 2013.. New Orleans and surrounding parts of Louisiana have replaced Hollywood, California as the top site for film production in the U.S.

New Orleans members of the City Council, sworn in on May 5, are from left: Nadine Ramsey, District C, Councilman-at-large Jason Williams, Councilwoman-at-large Stacey Head, Jared Brossett, District D, Susan Guidry, District A, James Gray, District E and LaToya Cantrell, District B.

New Orleans members of the City Council, sworn in on May 5, are from left: Nadine Ramsey, District C, Councilman-at-large Jason
Williams, Councilwoman-at-large Stacey Head, Jared Brossett, District D, Susan Guidry, District A, James Gray, District E and LaToya
Cantrell, District B.

The Big Easy is also in the running for the 2018 Super Bowl, which will take place during the celebration of the 300th anniversary of New Orleans.

The new New Orleans City Council is comprised of Jared Brossett, LaToya Cantrell, James Gray, Susan Guidry, Stacy Head, Nadine Ramsey and Jason Williams.

Guidry, Cantrell, Head and Gray are incumbents on the City Council, while former state legislator Jared Brossett, former judge Nadine Ramsey and former defense attorney Jason Williams are all council newcomers.

“New Orleans is the Queen City of the South, and we will work together to polish her up, take the tarnish off of some areas,” Williams, the son-in-law of former New Orleans Mayor Sidney Barthelemy, said Monday. “Polish her jewels so that the whole country and this whole world can see her in her glory.”

“Together and across all socioeconomic lines, we are going to be successful in leaving District D in a city markedly better than we found it,” Brossett, a McDonogh 35 Senior High School alum, promised.

With a nod to the mayor’s message of “One City, One Voice,” James Gray delivered a strong message to those in attendance at the swearing-in ceremony.

“If we really mean one team, it means everyone on the team has to have a fair shake,” Gray said.

“We are going to make this the great city that we thought it could be, the great city that we sometimes in the past pretended it was,” Gray continued. “But it was never a great city for all of its citizens. It was never an environment where everyone had a fair chance.”

Despite widespread opposition from Lower Ninth Ward residents, the majority-Black council voted to approve the development of high-rise condos on the site of the former Holy Cross High School.

This article originally published in the May 12, 2014 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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