NEW ORLEANS — It’s a big election year for New Orleans, that includes five city council seats on the ballot, including District E — New Orleans East. It’s going to be a fight between former city councilman Oliver Thomas and incumbent, Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen.
New Orleans East, the city’s largest geographic area, has several serious issues, including crime and garbage. Here’s what Councilwoman Nguyen and Thomas had to say about the neighborhood’s trash pile-up.
“My constituents have direct number to my phone where when they are facing delays, they are texting me, and then we’re communicating directly with Metro,” said Councilwoman Nguyen.
“My neighbors just thanked me in this area for helping me get their trash picked up, because I called and talked to the contractor who picks up the trash and let him know how important it was. I took pictures and sent them to them,” said Thomas.
With the uptick in violence in the East, we asked both candidates their approaches on addressing crime.
“Next month, I’m going to have the juvenile judges come in. When I hear concern from my residents in reference to juvenile crime, we are bringing the entities that are working with these groups to make sure the system is moving,” said Councilwoman Nguyen.
“The east needs a different formula. You can’t divide up the city and say you’re going to give the same amount of officers to the East based on population for the other districts. Distance, landmass, times called for service, times crime — that’s the formula I would use,” said Thomas.
When we asked them “why” they wanted to run…
“The energy is still definitely there, my passion is still there. I would love another four years. In a short period of time, I really believe we got a lot of stuff done,” said Councilwoman Nguyen.
“It’s more than just a place that’s over the high-rise. This is one of the most important parts of our community man, and we need to treat it like it,” said Thomas.
Qualifying for the election begins Wednesday, July 14, and election day is November 13.
See below for Nguyen’s and Thomas’ full interviews.