Wednesday, 12 July 2017 13:09
Crouere: Elections qualifying to rid New Orleans of Mayor Mitch Landrieu
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CRIME SCENEThankfully, qualifying is finally here and the voters in New Orleans will have a chance to elect a new Mayor. After seven years of the divisive and ineffective leadership of Mitch Landrieu New Orleans is in critical condition. For the first time since Hurricane Katrina, the population of New Orleans is declining and it is no surprise why this is happening. New Orleans is the Murder Capital of the nation and the out of control violence in the city is getting worse. 

In the first half of 2017, shootings increased 55% as 365 people were either injured or killed by gunfire. The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) remains 500 officers below the bare minimum needed to ensure public safety. Due to the manpower shortage, Louisiana State Police officers are helping patrol the French Quarter, the main tourist attraction in a city dependent on that industry. 

 

Despite the extra assistance, there have been a number of disturbing incidents in recent weeks in which tourists were violent beaten and robbed, the victims of the infamous “Knock Out” game. In these incidents, captured on private video cameras, police officers were nowhere in sight. 

The vast majority of the thugs in New Orleans who commit crimes (66%) are never caught by law enforcement. If the criminals are actually arrested, the criminal justice system is so flawed that they are usually back out on the streets in short order. In fact, the Landrieu administration is so hostile to fighting crime correctly that it cut $600,000 in essential funding from the District Attorney’s office, almost guaranteeing more criminals will be roaming the streets of New Orleans. 

If political and law enforcement officials cannot immediately get the crime situation under control, more people will leave the city and the major industry, tourism, will start to seriously suffer. This will lead to job losses and more population losses for a city that has only recovered 80% of its pre-Hurricane Katrina population and has 100,000 fewer residents than it did before the historic storm 12 years ago.  

With a raging crime problem, it will be next to impossible to attract new businesses and jobs to New Orleans. While jobs, the economy, education, infrastructure, homelessness, poverty, drugs, street conditions and a host of other problems are important, nothing compares to the public safety issue. With a safe city, New Orleans will attract more tax and investment revenue which will help to alleviate all of the other problems. 

This is obvious to at least one mayoral candidate, former Judge Michael Bagneris, who told the attendees at last night’s Home Defense Foundation meeting that public safety would be his major concern. 

This is in stark contrast to the incumbent Mayor who in the midst of a crime surge just announced a new initiative to combat climate change. Certainly, this is not a major concern to citizens worried about their safety. 

The Mayor’s initiative will look good to national leaders in the progressive wing of the Democrat Party, but it is patently ridiculous in a city that is reeling from a high crime rate. Such diversions are typical for Landrieu, who wasted two years pushing for the removal of 4 Confederate monuments in New Orleans. 

Once his monument removal plan was approved by the courts and the City Council, Landrieu implemented a flawed process that did not have public approval and cost over $2.1 million. These are precious dollars that could have been used on much more constructive issues, such as public safety, the main apprehension of almost all New Orleans residents. 

In this election, let’s hope the major candidates reject the Landrieu formula of diversion and racial division. The last thing New Orleans needs is another progressive liberal like Landrieu who will push for the removal of monuments, climate change initiatives, solar trash cans, higher taxes, more red light cameras, the extension of parking meters, ineffective social programs like NOLA for Life, more Midnight Basketball leagues, yet will not adequately staff his police department or fund the District Attorney’s office. 

New Orleans desperately needs a new Mayor who will focus on the most important issue, public safety. Compared to keeping citizens safe, every other issue is minor. Landrieu wasted his two terms trying to please Democrat Party leaders and position himself for his next job. It is time for a Mayor who will only be concerned about pleasing one group of people, the law abiding citizens of New Orleans.

Last modified on Wednesday, 12 July 2017 14:00
Jeff Crouere

Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at Ringside Politics.

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Website: www.ringsidepolitics.com
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