Mayoral candidates meet to discuss improving the African American quality of life

NEW ORLEANS -- It was standing room only at Xavier University as mayoral candidates Michael Bagneris, Latoya Cantrell, Desiree Charbonnet, Tommie Vassel and Troy Henry met to discuss improving the quality of life for African Americans in New Orleans.

Tuesday night's meeting is less of a debate and more of a forum, questioning mayoral hopefuls about child care, housing and public safety, to name a few areas of interest.

"My plan is to as oppose to incarceration. I want to do rehabilitation," says mayoral candidate Tommie Vassel.

"Public safety is very important and look, my plan does include the growth of police officers," says mayoral candidate Troy Henry.

"I intend to put together a complete recruitment program with professionals who know how to recruit,” says mayoral candidate Desiree Charbonnet.

"There are things we can do to enhance our ability to recruit," says mayoral candidate LaToya Cantrell.

"I am one of the parties that say we have to build up our police department because we do," Michael Bagneris.

African American Women of Purpose and Power co-sponsored Tuesday night's forum and there is a lengthy list of educational, business and neighborhood organizations pitching in as well.

The message to all: Collaborate, discuss and vote.