Support Us

AT LARGE DIVISION 2

download full questionnaire

Jason Williams

David Gregory Nowak

 

ANSWERS BY QUESTION

Williams: I define a culture bearer as one who carries cultural traditions or practices with them through the lived environment and from one generation to the next. This spans many mediums from food to music to art to spirituality. I hesitate to place strict criteria on the term as so much culture is a living, moving entity that often can not be easily defined by the outside observer but is a dear and deeply personal element to those who identify as a culture bearer.   Nowak: I define a culture bearer as an individual who has shown throughout their life not just significant artistic contributions but also community service and mentorship to upcoming generations. The primary criteria I would use to define this would be a strong educational component. This educational component does not need to be in a formal academic setting, but show that culture is maintained through transmission much more than performance per se. Art is art, but doesn't become culture until it serves and enriches the community.

Williams: I define a culture bearer as one who carries cultural traditions or practices with them through the lived environment and from one generation to the next. This spans many mediums from food to music to art to spirituality. I hesitate to place strict criteria on the term as so much culture is a living, moving entity that often can not be easily defined by the outside observer but is a dear and deeply personal element to those who identify as a culture bearer.

 

Nowak: I define a culture bearer as an individual who has shown throughout their life not just significant artistic contributions but also community service and mentorship to upcoming generations. The primary criteria I would use to define this would be a strong educational component. This educational component does not need to be in a formal academic setting, but show that culture is maintained through transmission much more than performance per se. Art is art, but doesn't become culture until it serves and enriches the community.

Williams: The housing crisis in our city went unaddressed for too long. Families who have lived in New Orleans for generations are being pushed out of their neighborhoods and it is increasingly difficult for renters or homebuyers in a wide range of income brackets to find a safe, healthy place to live. Initiatives such as the Smart Housing Mix and changes to the Master Plan to allow for greater density will help us achieve  our development goals. As a current Councilmember At Large I have been involved in and supportive of the process for both. Additionally, I 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.   Nowak:  Housing costs are surging, and I have a number of policy proposals to deal with this issue. First and foremost we must recognize that the AirBnB legislation that my incumbent opponent passed is the primary reason for this surge. I will make all AirBnB listings have an attached homestead exemption requirement, and give some teeth to the penalties for running an AirBnB outside of regulatory framework. I have proposed a property tax mill increase freeze during my tenure. I also intend to build tens of thousands of tiny homes across the thousands of vacant HANO lots in this city. They will be used for housing first homeless remediation, as well as rent to own. I intend to create a New Orleans Federal Credit Union with a mandate to provide inexpensive financing to working class families with the goal of increasing home ownership rates across the city but especially among the African American community.

Williams: The housing crisis in our city went unaddressed for too long. Families who have lived in New Orleans for generations are being pushed out of their neighborhoods and it is increasingly difficult for renters or homebuyers in a wide range of income brackets to find a safe, healthy place to live. Initiatives such as the Smart Housing Mix and changes to the Master Plan to allow for greater density will help us achieve  our development goals. As a current Councilmember At Large I have been involved in and supportive of the process for both. Additionally, I 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.

 

Nowak:  Housing costs are surging, and I have a number of policy proposals to deal with this issue. First and foremost we must recognize that the AirBnB legislation that my incumbent opponent passed is the primary reason for this surge. I will make all AirBnB listings have an attached homestead exemption requirement, and give some teeth to the penalties for running an AirBnB outside of regulatory framework. I have proposed a property tax mill increase freeze during my tenure. I also intend to build tens of thousands of tiny homes across the thousands of vacant HANO lots in this city. They will be used for housing first homeless remediation, as well as rent to own. I intend to create a New Orleans Federal Credit Union with a mandate to provide inexpensive financing to working class families with the goal of increasing home ownership rates across the city but especially among the African American community.

Williams: I have been working with the RTA to push their Strategic Plan towards serving the low-income constituents who need reliable, affordable public transportation the most. Additionally, it is part of a responsible housing plan to include transportation issues and I am working towards improving infrastructure and bicycle/pedestrian safety to make travelling throughout our city safer and more efficient.   Nowak: First and foremost I am extremely displeased with city government handing over the operations of NORTA to Veolia Transport in 2008. We don't need a private for profit company running our public transport, as a profit motive underserves the utilitarian gains of public transport. I will seek to break this contract as soon as possible. I believe that is the necessary step to make transport investments to Algiers and New Orleans East, as we have seen the only investments being made currently in service of attracting more tourists. I would like to expand public transport to a light rail citywide system, and my first focus will be rail connections from NO EAST, Lower 9th Ward, and Algiers to the rest of the city. I have a platform goal of making every place in the city accessible within 45 minutes of public transit by 2025. We need to connect all job opportunities with all citizens!

Williams: I have been working with the RTA to push their Strategic Plan towards serving the low-income constituents who need reliable, affordable public transportation the most. Additionally, it is part of a responsible housing plan to include transportation issues and I am working towards improving infrastructure and bicycle/pedestrian safety to make travelling throughout our city safer and more efficient.

 

Nowak: First and foremost I am extremely displeased with city government handing over the operations of NORTA to Veolia Transport in 2008. We don't need a private for profit company running our public transport, as a profit motive underserves the utilitarian gains of public transport. I will seek to break this contract as soon as possible. I believe that is the necessary step to make transport investments to Algiers and New Orleans East, as we have seen the only investments being made currently in service of attracting more tourists. I would like to expand public transport to a light rail citywide system, and my first focus will be rail connections from NO EAST, Lower 9th Ward, and Algiers to the rest of the city. I have a platform goal of making every place in the city accessible within 45 minutes of public transit by 2025. We need to connect all job opportunities with all citizens!

Williams: In this year’s current budget cycle, I have proposed a new position be added to municipal government to better compensate and include our artists and culture bearers in City projects and decision making. This new position would address issues such as this and act as a liaison between the communities that maintain and create our culture to those who manage our tourism and infrastructure   Nowak: Economic and Income Inequality is a major pressing issue across New Orleans. It has been a primary policy focus of mine and I have two specific proposals that will get more tourist dollars in the pockets of our residents. First, I support #FightFor15 but I feel I must advocate for even more. I propose a minimum wage of $18/hr, as a recent study has shown that is what is needed to afford a two bedroom apartment in New Orleans. Furthermore, I will not forget about our tipped wage employees who have not recieved a raise from the $2.13/hr minimum since 1991. I will raise that minimum to $8/hr. That will do a lot to get revenues from tourism into the hands of our workers. Beyond that, I am proposing a Lagniappe Dividend. The monies distributed with be raised on a special tourist dense commercial zone 5% sales tax on alcohol sales. Checks will be distributed quarterly to every resident, and while not enough to ensure a Universal Basic Income, will build a supplemental safety net while we work towards a floor

Williams: In this year’s current budget cycle, I have proposed a new position be added to municipal government to better compensate and include our artists and culture bearers in City projects and decision making. This new position would address issues such as this and act as a liaison between the communities that maintain and create our culture to those who manage our tourism and infrastructure

 

Nowak: Economic and Income Inequality is a major pressing issue across New Orleans. It has been a primary policy focus of mine and I have two specific proposals that will get more tourist dollars in the pockets of our residents. First, I support #FightFor15 but I feel I must advocate for even more. I propose a minimum wage of $18/hr, as a recent study has shown that is what is needed to afford a two bedroom apartment in New Orleans. Furthermore, I will not forget about our tipped wage employees who have not recieved a raise from the $2.13/hr minimum since 1991. I will raise that minimum to $8/hr. That will do a lot to get revenues from tourism into the hands of our workers. Beyond that, I am proposing a Lagniappe Dividend. The monies distributed with be raised on a special tourist dense commercial zone 5% sales tax on alcohol sales. Checks will be distributed quarterly to every resident, and while not enough to ensure a Universal Basic Income, will build a supplemental safety net while we work towards a floor

Williams: I am very interested in learning more about and addressing this issue. Through budget hearings as well as reaching out to Safety and Permits personally, I believe we can create a more equitable structure.   Nowak: A fundamental inequity in parade fee structures gives the appearance of targeted and calculated systemic racism. We must immediately correct this if the city's official position is that is not the case.

Williams: I am very interested in learning more about and addressing this issue. Through budget hearings as well as reaching out to Safety and Permits personally, I believe we can create a more equitable structure.

 

Nowak: A fundamental inequity in parade fee structures gives the appearance of targeted and calculated systemic racism. We must immediately correct this if the city's official position is that is not the case.

Williams: While I believe that we need to continue to actively recruit NOPD officers and have them patrolling on the streets to better connect with community members and address constituent concerns, I do not support increased video surveillance of our neighborhoods. I believe that money could be better spent elsewhere and that under this current Presidential administration it will put vulnerable communities even further at risk to increase surveillance of them under the guise of security.   Nowak: No. I do not like the precedent it sets nor the direction it is heading. I do like the proposal to close off the first eight blocks of Bourbon to vehicles, with removal bollards so emergency vehicles can still get through. I would insist all video feeds to this Central Command be fixed to in service patrol vehicles and body cams, as well as any business that chooses to participate, but no business licensing should require it nor should we put in permanent fixed crime cameras on the street.

Williams: While I believe that we need to continue to actively recruit NOPD officers and have them patrolling on the streets to better connect with community members and address constituent concerns, I do not support increased video surveillance of our neighborhoods. I believe that money could be better spent elsewhere and that under this current Presidential administration it will put vulnerable communities even further at risk to increase surveillance of them under the guise of security.

 

Nowak: No. I do not like the precedent it sets nor the direction it is heading. I do like the proposal to close off the first eight blocks of Bourbon to vehicles, with removal bollards so emergency vehicles can still get through. I would insist all video feeds to this Central Command be fixed to in service patrol vehicles and body cams, as well as any business that chooses to participate, but no business licensing should require it nor should we put in permanent fixed crime cameras on the street.

Williams: I bring my personal business to local establishments every day. I also highlight local small businesses and entrepreneurs as a Councilmember through City Council proclamations, zoning legislation and social media.   Nowak: There are a number of encumbrances that small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs face in New Orleans. I will be seeking to continue the dialogue with open hearings, pare back excessive bureaucracy, and incentivize investment in our local communities. If there is anything my office can do I want you to always feel free to reach out. 

Williams: I bring my personal business to local establishments every day. I also highlight local small businesses and entrepreneurs as a Councilmember through City Council proclamations, zoning legislation and social media.

 

Nowak: There are a number of encumbrances that small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs face in New Orleans. I will be seeking to continue the dialogue with open hearings, pare back excessive bureaucracy, and incentivize investment in our local communities. If there is anything my office can do I want you to always feel free to reach out. 

Williams: Yes   Nowak: Yes. Certain allowances can be made in residential neighborhoods after community input, but there should always be 24 hour music zones for street musicians in the city, and I think any curfew before 10pm is excessive.

Williams: Yes

 

Nowak: Yes. Certain allowances can be made in residential neighborhoods after community input, but there should always be 24 hour music zones for street musicians in the city, and I think any curfew before 10pm is excessive.

Williams: I am a firm believer in hearing from all stakeholders in order to craft policy that best reflects our values and goals. My door is always open to meet with cultural groups from any medium or field. During my time as City Council President my office has reached out and continues to reach out to a diverse spread of musicians to perform the national anthem. This practice offers exposure for a wide range of musicians from steel pan to solo saxophone to four part quartets. As long as I am City Council President we will have live anthem performances and seek out cultural communities far and wide to participate.   Nowak:  I would like to empower Ambassadors of Culture to emerge by having frequent Public Hearings and Community Forums. Our city government needs to empower voices, especially in underrepresented communities, and so these efforts should be held with a variety of time and places in mind. NGOs such as MaCCO clearly have a role to play in all this.

Williams: I am a firm believer in hearing from all stakeholders in order to craft policy that best reflects our values and goals. My door is always open to meet with cultural groups from any medium or field. During my time as City Council President my office has reached out and continues to reach out to a diverse spread of musicians to perform the national anthem. This practice offers exposure for a wide range of musicians from steel pan to solo saxophone to four part quartets. As long as I am City Council President we will have live anthem performances and seek out cultural communities far and wide to participate.

 

Nowak:  I would like to empower Ambassadors of Culture to emerge by having frequent Public Hearings and Community Forums. Our city government needs to empower voices, especially in underrepresented communities, and so these efforts should be held with a variety of time and places in mind. NGOs such as MaCCO clearly have a role to play in all this.

Williams: I have fought hard for a more organized and better fund recreation department while an At Large Councilmember. These efforts must continue. I believe there is much untapped potential in partnering cultural groups with NORD facilities to bring interesting and important programming to our young people. I have also partnered with Kids Rethink New Orleans for several Young Leaders Series, a program which guides engaged high school students in workshops about history, politics, culture and leadership. We plan to continue this series in the Spring.   Nowak: I would like to see more funding and expanded programming at places like the Treme Recreation Community Center. I would like to see our culture bearers creating a positive feedback loop through mentorship programs at NORD locations throughout the city

Williams: I have fought hard for a more organized and better fund recreation department while an At Large Councilmember. These efforts must continue. I believe there is much untapped potential in partnering cultural groups with NORD facilities to bring interesting and important programming to our young people. I have also partnered with Kids Rethink New Orleans for several Young Leaders Series, a program which guides engaged high school students in workshops about history, politics, culture and leadership. We plan to continue this series in the Spring.

 

Nowak: I would like to see more funding and expanded programming at places like the Treme Recreation Community Center. I would like to see our culture bearers creating a positive feedback loop through mentorship programs at NORD locations throughout the city

Williams: Though the City Council has no governance or funding power over our school systems, I have been able to fund organizations that share musical and cultural traditions with younger generations through Harrah’s and Cox grant funds.   Nowak: My candidacy has a platform policy of expanding access to community college universally for all residents. City Council does not have much control over what the Orleans Parish School Board does with the 40% of the city revenue it receives. City Council can pick up the gauntlet for those failed by our public school system by providing redial classes at local community colleges, publicly provided 2 yr associate program, and a concerted and well funding effot by the New Orleans Public Library to get our residents to a 100% functional literacy rate. I want all these programs to work in synchronicity to an endowment efforts between public and private sources to fully fund the best musical programs in the academic world. Scholarships can be provided to some of our best and brightest for graduate level studies. Our culture bearers will be able to act as mentors to students across both higher education, and NORD community programming. I will give my bully pulpit support to candidates for OPSB who recognize the need for musical education and funding for our K-12 students. To pass the torch we need to minimize obstacles to participation for both mentor and student. That means paying our mentors and having tuition free classes for our students.

Williams: Though the City Council has no governance or funding power over our school systems, I have been able to fund organizations that share musical and cultural traditions with younger generations through Harrah’s and Cox grant funds.

 

Nowak: My candidacy has a platform policy of expanding access to community college universally for all residents. City Council does not have much control over what the Orleans Parish School Board does with the 40% of the city revenue it receives. City Council can pick up the gauntlet for those failed by our public school system by providing redial classes at local community colleges, publicly provided 2 yr associate program, and a concerted and well funding effot by the New Orleans Public Library to get our residents to a 100% functional literacy rate. I want all these programs to work in synchronicity to an endowment efforts between public and private sources to fully fund the best musical programs in the academic world. Scholarships can be provided to some of our best and brightest for graduate level studies. Our culture bearers will be able to act as mentors to students across both higher education, and NORD community programming. I will give my bully pulpit support to candidates for OPSB who recognize the need for musical education and funding for our K-12 students. To pass the torch we need to minimize obstacles to participation for both mentor and student. That means paying our mentors and having tuition free classes for our students.

Williams: Yes   Nowak: I support creating priority loading/unloading zones for musicians, but I would like to see both lower Bourbon and Frenchman closed to through traffic, so these zones I would like to have on the intersecting side streets. That way these musicians still have the zones available when these streets are closed off by pedestrian foot traffic, and they are working their biggest gigs.

Williams: Yes

 

Nowak: I support creating priority loading/unloading zones for musicians, but I would like to see both lower Bourbon and Frenchman closed to through traffic, so these zones I would like to have on the intersecting side streets. That way these musicians still have the zones available when these streets are closed off by pedestrian foot traffic, and they are working their biggest gigs.