In the State House District 102 race, there are two vying to replace state Sen. Gary Carter who won a special election earlier this year to replace former state Sen. Troy Carter after his election to Congress. The district encompasses almost all of Algiers, and Delisha Boyd and Jordan Bridges both believe they are the right person for the job.
Delisha Boyd, a longtime realtor who has been active in the Algiers community, says she has been preparing for this race for a decade. Six years ago, she successfully ran for the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee. Last year, she was elected to the Louisiana Democratic State Central Committee, and she has actively engaged in efforts to encourage residents to vote and become more involved.
If elected, Boyd says she will fight for fair and affordable housing for residents throughout the District. Boyd says one of the ways she will work to achieve that is by encouraging more homeownership and holding institutions accountable for rules and guidelines already established.
For instance, she says federal guidelines only require a 580 credit score to get approved for a FHA mortgage, yet most banks will require a higher score.
“And no one challenges that. But the federal guidelines give you something. And who does that hurt? It hurts people with careers like teachers, people with student loans causing them to have a high debt to income ratio that damages their credit score,” she says. “So I say better enforcement. We have guidelines. Let the guidelines stand. We have fair housing laws. Just follow the rules that you made.”
Boyd says her work as a realtor and her positions with both the local and state Democratic Party have put her in a position to work with people from various walks of life.
In addition to being the owner of her real estate company, Delisha Boyd, LLC, she is a board member of the Louisiana Realtors Association, the Algiers Economic Development Foundation and the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority.
“My goal is to get there and hit the ground running. And because of my role in the community, I already have relationships,” she says, adding that one of the biggest issues she plans to tackle first if elected is ensuring that Algiers residents understand and fare well in the upcoming redistricting process.”
Boyd says the last redistricting moved two largely middle-class, mostly Black neighborhoods out of District 102 and put them in District 105, which is largely comprised of areas in Plaquemines Parish and some parts of Jefferson Parish, with many of the impacted Algiers residents not even realizing that their district had been changed.
In addition to affordable housing, living wages and healthcare for all round out the candidate’s platform.
Jordan Bridges, who has worked as a project manager for the New Orleans Council for Community and Justice, says he will bring a fresh perspective to leadership that bridges gaps if elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives.
“I am a son of Algiers,” says Bridges. “I love my community so much and that is at the heart and core of why I decided to step out into a position of leadership. One thing that is a pillar of my campaign is to really champion my community as a leader in change and intergenerational progress. I want o build a community that welcomes our young people and retains the talent, but also honors our elders and the progressive work that has been done.”
Redistricting, infrastructure, economic development and public safety top Bridges’ list of the issues facing District 102. He says that if elected he will work to tackle them from day one.
“Over the past 10 years, my career in social justice and leadership development has centered around youth justice, advocacy and empowerment, and community development,” says Bridges. “Now more than ever, we need fresh approaches in policy making and leaders who are equipped to build bridges of progress between the challenges of today and the opportunities of tomorrow.”
When it comes to addressing public safety, Bridges says he will advocate for solutions that focus meaningful, purposeful work, education and mental healthcare to holistically approach the issue.
“We need to have a public health conversation at the same time as we have a public safety conversation,” he says.
As for redistricting, Bridges says he will work to ensure that the people of Algiers are represented equitably and fairly and that money from the federal and state levels finds its way to Algiers.