James A. Gray, II, an attorney, currently represents District E on the City Council.

Gray says more businesses, improvements to infrastructure, upgrades to NORD and the opening of the New Orleans East Hospital have occurred during his tenure.

“Serving as city council member gives me an opportunity to have a greater impact on the community than as a private citizen,” Gray explains.

“I’ve been coaching kids for 40 years. As a council member, I am able to have a greater influence on NORD (New Orleans Recreation Department), where I can affect 25,000 youth.”

Gray says his skills as an attorney also serve him well as a councilman.

“As a lawyer, I have developed skills that are helpful in analyzing problems, crafting solutions, and persuading people that my analysis and solutions are sound,” says Gray about his skills and ability to impact the community.

From his perspective, the challenges facing the city include economic development, crime, and blight.

If re-elected, Gray’s priorities include bringing more development and new businesses to District E.

“We need to focus on opportunities revolving around the Port of New Orleans, including manufacturing and assembly ventures that tend to be labor intensive and require small capital investments.”

Gray believes that if economic opportunities are not increased, the crime problem will never be solved. He also says NOPD needs more tech tools in its crime reduction strategy.

Concerning the problems facing New Orleans’ African-American community, Gray says increased economic development, criminal justice reform policies, and community redevelopment can have a positive impact on African-American citizens, many of whom suffer from chronic unemployment and underemployment.