(LWVNO) — New Orleans City Council District B candidate Seth Bloom spoke with representatives of the League of Women Voters New Orleans to discuss his thoughts on addressing a wide variety of local issues as part of the group publishes Voter’s Guide for Fall 2017 Elections.
1. What are your 3 top priorities as a City Councilmember, and if you are an incumbent what have you done to accomplish them?
Crime is the utmost priority. The issue of public safety is not one for only the Council, or the Mayor, or the Police, the courts, or the District Attorney. As citizens, they are our problems. We must all take up the collective challenge to find solutions, and I am looking forward to rising to the occasion to meet these challenges. Drug addiction, and specifically the opioid epidemic, have become national crises. My goal is to prompt law enforcement and the criminal justice system to treat those suffering from addiction and mental illness to be treated as patients rather than prisoners, so that our efforts can be focused on ridding our city of violent crime. As an 8-year OPSB member, I recognize the important role education plays in crime reduction and overall increase in quality of life. I will seek to promote education and youth empowerment throughout my work as councilman.
Additionally, citizens’ tax money should be used to improve their quality of life. Issues of infrastructure, such as floodwater management and road improvements, are essential. As councilman, I will seek to create solutions to problems affecting our quality of life not only in District B, but throughout the community.
Economic development is vital for our city. I will work to improve and create opportunities in our community for new and innovative fields, while working to reduce barriers for small business owners to establish new businesses. I will work to increase economic opportunity in District B, and lend my support for opportunities throughout the city…
2. What would you do to make city contracts for professional services more transparent? Should the Council adopt standards or guidelines for letting professional services contracts?
While the call for bids lies primarily with the Mayor’s office, I would advocate posting the calls for bids or qualifications on social media, news media and other outlets, so that bidders have knowledge of the available open positions. I also would advocate for open, transparent constituent input with mayor’s office, allowing public to weigh in on the bids.
I would seek to publicize council meetings in order to have public weigh in on the contracts before final approval by the city council. I will work to implement varying time slots for city council meetings, so that members of our community can attend the meetings and weigh in on topics that are important to the citizens who live in this city.
I pledge to use social media as a vital tool to communicate with constituents, using platforms such as Facebook Town Hall to open the lines of communication between my office and the public. Additionally, I will work to “live stream” council meetings whenever possible so that the public can access the topics being discussed in real time and be given an opportunity to comment on a public message board regarding the decisions being made. This, coupled with adequate publicity for meetings prior to those meetings in chambers, will contribute to more public awareness. This also should instill public trust in the contract awarding process, demonstrating that we are indeed working for the needs of the citizenry as a whole…