Current City Councilman at-large Jason Williams says New Orleans is changing and he wants to ensure that the changes are ushered in “without harming or displacing what is already there.”

“It is not an easy task,” Williams says. “It is a task that requires creative thinking and a real commitment to responsible growth. I am running for re-election because I want to continue to reach across department and district and neighborhood and parish lines to ensure that all residents of our city have access to economic prosperity, safe streets, and housing opportunities. New Orleans can welcome new ideas, businesses, industries, residents, traditions, diversity and culture while nurturing what makes our home the most interesting and unique city there is.”

Williams says his background as a small business owner and criminal defense attorney combined with his first term on the City Council has prepared him to continue to serve the people of New Orleans.

“I understand, as both a long-term resident and business operator in New Orleans, the difficulties, blessings, and peculiarities of living in this great city. As current City Council president, I possess the leadership abilities, critical thinking skills, and commitment required to truly be a public servant.

As for the top issues facing the city, Williams says infrastructure, crime and criminal justice and affordable housing top the list.

“Public safety is my number one priority. We need safe streets for every neighborhood and for economic growth. I advocated for a pay raise for NOPD officers, and am proud of this accomplishment, but NOPD is not the only City agency that addresses crime. The issue of public safety requires not just tackling crime but also improving education, jobs, and addressing the criminal justice system’s harmful ‘tough on crime’ attitude that hurts individuals, families, and our community,” Williams say. “I am taking on each element of this brutal cycle through reforms, from the way we handle system-involved juveniles to holding the District Attorney’s office accountable. Additionally, although the City Council has no jurisdiction over our school system, we must invest in our young people to meet the needs of our children and families. Only through this kind of collaborative, long-term vision can we build a truly safe city.”

On infrastructure, he says, “the problems facing our crumbling infrastructure are a result of neglect by administration after administration . . . There are some opportunities to use funds we already have in the budget to make some basic repairs, but I think this also presents us an opportunity to rethink some of our infrastructure before we spend billions replacing old outdated systems.”

As a part of a larger plan to address affordable housing, Williams says he will “continue to work with local finance leaders and the Office of Community Development to give them the resources they need to enhance the programs they currently offer and encourage community building through investing in first-time homebuyers.”