District B Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell aims to continue serving all of New Orleans
“I’m running to make New Orleans better, to make our city a place for all of its citizens, so all of our people can feel their worth,” says Cantrell, who was first elected to the Council in 2012 and re-elected in 2014. “As I listened across the city to what the issues are and what people are feeling, they’re feeling disconnected from growth and opportunity…They feel nickeled and dimed and priced out. It’s like a tale of two cities. I’m running for mayor to expand my scope of leadership; particularly the results on the ground. I have a demonstrated track record of bottom-up approach in meeting people where they are and addressing the impact of their daily quality of life. I know I will be able to do much, much more for the city of New Orleans as their next mayor.”
If elected, Cantrell says she is committed to stopping “the bleeding in our streets,” referencing the city’s violent crime problem. Her approach to the issues includes reaching out to state and federal law enforcement to put more “boots on the ground” and working with “criminal justice partners” to improve clearance and conviction rates. Still, Cantrell says the city must also implement a major job creation and job training program to reduce violence by connecting at-risk citizens to living wage jobs and job training.
The candidate also would push for a national and internal search for police chief and “improved pay and benefits to retain and recruit quality police officers.”
Also relative to economic opportunity and equality, Cantrell says she is committed to supporting new businesses in advanced manufacturing, digital media, renewable energy and water management, while also providing access to capital and resources to small businesses, encouraging the hiring of locals and mandating at least 35 percent DBE participation in city contracts.
Infrastructure will also be a top issue for Cantrell if elected, with the candidate vowing to dedicate revenue form development projects to maintain streets and the water system; prioritize regular catch basin repairs and cleaning; and increase departmental coordination for street, water, electric and cable utilities.
“I have dedicated my career as an education advocate, community leader and City Council member to understanding and fighting for our city,” she says.
As citizen, Cantrell points to a myriad of accomplishments.
“I spearheaded the citizen-led recovery of Broadmoor after Katrina,” she says, adding that the effort brought in $50 million in outside investment, the rebuilding of Andrew H. Wilson School, and the renovation of the Rosa F. Keller Library and Community Center among others.
As a member of the City Council, she is most proud of the passage of smoke-free ordinance that she authored and supported—a law she says helps to protect hospitality workers while doing their jobs.