Editor’s Note: ViaNolaVie is working with the founder and producers of the The Listening Post. TLP is a community media project that aims to meet residents deep in their own neighborhoods, on porches, at libraries, in barbershops, and start conversations about local news in New Orleans and both get and share important information about life in the city.
Each week on their WWNO radio segment, TLP explores issues ranging from healthcare and WhoDat, to tattoos and transportation. Listeners are able to contribute via TLP recording devices at local libraries or via a text messaging service, which then became source material for these programs. This piece aired on January 8, 2015.
WWNO’s Listening Post project asks questions about local news in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and reports back on the community’s response. This week the Listening Post asks: what’s your new year’s resolution? What should the city’s resolution be for 2015?
Happy New Year New Orleans! For a look ahead at 2015 in the city we’ve enlisted a special Listening Post guest, City Councilmember Jason Williams.
Williams says his personal new year’s resolution is better time management.
“Time management for everything: constituent services, time management for my kids, time management for getting into a yoga class, time management for reading a book at some point.”
We also asked Councilmember Williams to talk about his goals for the city in 2015. He says his top priority is workforce development, something he sees as a solution to both poverty and crime in New Orleans.
“I’m talking about folks who do not have a skill set, folks who maybe did not finish high school, folks who may have gotten involved in the criminal justice system. And giving them specialized training to be prepared to take the jobs that are going to manifest themselves because of the economic boom,” he says.
Williams says he wants to expand mental health and homeless services. And he says he’s hoping to get a new City Zoning Ordinance passed in the first part of the year. That CZO document, says Williams, will define New Orleans for the next generation.
“I think we will look back on it and if we do it right we’ll say ‘this is why New Orleans is great right now.’ If we do it wrong, we will know that we lost a huge opportunity and we will pay dearly for it.”
Click below to listen to more of of our interview with City Councilmember Jason Williams about what’s in store for New Orleans this year, including the new CZO, workforce development, and a possible smoking ban.
As usual, we wanted to know what New Orleanians were thinking about our topic. We sent a text message asking:
“To do better than I did last year”
“I want to stay out of bars and cut down on drinking unless it is a special occasion. With the money saved, i could go visit family and take some other trip out of country. It will be a productive year.”
“To develop both my organization skills, and financial discipline”
“Act, don’t react, and communicate better”
“To be more positive about life”
“quiet meditative focused”
“I am going to have my knees replaced in 2015…I want to dance!”
“Money, fortune and love”
“Get rid of one thing in my house per week that I no longer use.”
“Stop smoking. Save more money. Fall in love”
“Who makes New Years resolutions anymore”
“Quit talking shit”
“go to the dentist”
“To be celibate for the year!”
“No fast food. No sodas.”
“More programs for incarcerated youth to be rehabilitated and finish school…rent control…more restrictions on AirbnB.”
“Minimum wage hike”
“No noise ordinance, except on bourbon!”
“Street repairs, education, Orleans Parish Juvenile Court/juvenile laws.”
“You don’t actually think the city of New Orleans has resolve besides diehard football fans and mardi gras and claiming everything is getting better?”
“Hire more qualified police…do something with Charity’s building.”
“Reduce noise and pollution”
“Shut down the sheriffs plan for a bigger jail”
“Attracting more tech jobs”
“I dont care – I’m moving”
“Cut down on crime, of course. Promote community building”
“A different approach to educating underprivileged youth”
“Preservation. Do not allow zoning changes that will harm the character of the city”
Councilmember Williams agrees. He says New Orleans’s reputation as a world class city is at risk in 2015 if the crime issue isn’t addressed.
“It’s a beautiful place, it’s historic, you’ll love it, you’ll have great food you’ll see great art, you’ll see great music…but you might lose your life. That’s not a great marketing strategy,” he says.