“My varied life experiences along with my political upbringing gives me a rare insider/outsider mix of knowing the game but being able to negotiate through red tape gives me a unique perspective,” Rink answers concerning his readiness to assume public office.
Rink cites the top three issues facing the city of New Orleans as police and public safety, equity among residents, and infrastructure problems.
“The police department needs to align itself with a top-down community police plan,” he offers. “By being involved at the street level, we can create an environment where the police are with the neighborhood, rather than being seen as a necessary evil.”
Rink says economic development for all areas of the city is important. “Currently, the wealth gap among residents is too wide to support a viable economic outcome for most residents of New Orleans.” If elected, Rink will work to get fellow council members to adopt Step Up Louisiana’s 3-point platform—fight for $15 minimum wage law, ban the box (on employment forms that discriminate against formerly incarcerated people), and equal pay for equal work.
For District A, Rink will support improvements to public transportation, community schools rather than charter schools, and affordable housing. ‘With these improvements, we can create stronger communities for the district and the city. Inclusive zoning allows all New Orleanians a chance to live where they want; not just where they can afford to live. Bus lines moving with more frequency get people to work on time. Schools closer to home allows parents to not have to be concerned with extra time to get kids to class and makes it easier to get to after-school parent-teacher meetings.”
Rink vows to make infrastructure a major priority. “Public safety is at risk by bad roads and insufficient drainage. As a council member, I will work with the Department Public Works to create a systemic process of repair and get more oversight of the Sewerage & Water Board.”
As for the challenges confronting the African-American community, Rink thinks that city contracts should be more equitably distributed, community schools, community policing, without stop and frisk, programs to reduce Post-Katrina blight, and services for youth not jails can improve that community’s quality of life.