WWL>Topics>>1-23-14 1:10pm Angela: on the upcoming election

1-23-14 1:10pm Angela: on the upcoming election

Jan 23, 2014|

Angela talks with Richard Pavlick and Pearlina Thomas of Forward New Orleans about what we can expect from the candidates in the upcoming election in terms of their platforms.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well I hope your day is going beautifully it is another cool out there but were enjoying it no complaints but bundle up for tonight. We have three very interest in shows coming out and I'm so happy to be doing this next one because I think it. -- hits a lot of -- we all want accountability in government we all want. What candidates are saying to be true when not just for the Ole campaign trail. And so there is this fabulous organization. Who was making that part of reality. And certainly if you have any thoughts on this are you -- called do give us a call at 2601870. It's a coalition of civic business and neighborhood groups called former New Orleans which has released its scorecard. On the stands. Of mayoral and City Council candidates. On eleven platform issues. It's all to make it easy for voters to decide which candidate is for them. So joining us from forward New Orleans is Richard pavlik former president of the young leadership council and now forward New Orleans member. And pro Lena Thomas New Orleans area manager for the Louisiana associated. General contractors. And also a member of forward New Orleans and I cannot thank you both for being here -- busy people but this is. This gets right down to the core. Talk is cheap. Talk is cheap anybody can say anything they want when their running and it's -- -- gave me reality. So much what you'll tell me what you well did you meet with all of the candidates stand. We meet with all the candidates and we. At the meetings are an hour long and so we have to sometimes pick out some hot button issues -- we wanna make sure that we cover because of course we can't cover eleven issues in an hour. And with that we have a few standard questions that we asked. Mostly week we'd give them the platform in advance that they have a chance to to review it so we would expect them to be familiar with the platform at the time of the interview. And in we can have a discussion on the issues that they wish to pledge on we hope that they would pledge on all eleven. And so that's that's pretty much how the -- if you look out. Kind of stepping back a second this organization. That is wonderful in its diversity. Because it is just business -- isn't just civic it's it's the whole gamut each. Bringing something to that table what do you like thirty members -- 2530 members just almost thirty. Almost thirty moved so you'd at some point get together and decide. What what should these platforms would be. Yes and I'm just gonna read them very very quickly it's like criminal justice system city finance blight. Economic development economic opportunity city services sewage and water port city contract in public education. Best practice. So you all determined here are eleven issues important to citizens. Yeah and then I think the that their strength of of this coalition has -- its diversity its its people from the business community from the civic community. Where we all get together -- have a lot of diverse views in terms of coming on what the platform should be what the issue should be. And its strength is also in the fact that. Once we put these together there -- researched. We then meet with candidates before the election when running. But the real strength lies and accountability. And that is that we issue. Proper supports annually on our candidates he said you're gonna do this you pledged to commit to list. And every year release a score or progress report that says are you doing things. And we are there to hold them accountable but also there to help support them and achieving his goals and I think that's the real strength of the coalition is that it's not a we ask you do this and we walk away we're there holding them accountable but also supporting them and helping implement these and actually see the platform. Come for reality. Both in this that came out yesterday which is as you called the score card. It's really you are choosing no candidate you as an organization. Are not supporting a candidate you're just saying guys here's the -- Yeah absolutely and it misses that's where it's really about as we are an issue focused organization we we do not -- candidates. We. I guess you could say imports issues that we come up -- these issues and say this is what we -- city. It's about best practices government. And it's really about educating voters in -- these this is what we believe our best practices. Our candidates in a place to do these are not so it's really an education piece for voters. As much as it is about accountability down the line we let people know what's going on the candidates -- go to the polls and and and voters did. The it is for the mayoral candidates and the City Council candidates. And in receiving that yesterday. There were some candidates who. Pledged to nothing and I again assumed it's because they didn't participate at all. Yes a number candidates were where does scheduling conflict or they opted to not participate in the -- process that we can't week that don't have a scorecard for them. Because they did not participate. And for example. Council member. And the -- you can trashy she ran unopposed with the and we also did have an opportunity -- -- -- so that that's a good thing you can still participate -- it that there was ample opportunity for those who do use. So we we have only one candidate that actually showed up for the in -- chose not to plant but everyone else who participated in the unity. Did make a plant and I think it's very important to note. That on any given subject -- platform. A person can pledge or not pledge but pledge -- and other platforms so it isn't always a pledge everything. -- they can select the things that they -- to -- to and here to the wants that they want to support that. And and that's the great thing about the interview process because we can't have open dialogue and where. There were some candidates that actually felt like we should go farther as a coalition and require more. Of public servants. In regards to that part particular part of the platforms so that it was very interesting. Like that -- public servant you don't hear a lot. Forget that we've gotten away from we have sort of gotten appointment but we will not digress. As an example. We let's take a look at the civil service reform and I as I mentioned I'm gonna bring that up because. That was there a particular category were two of the candidates. Opted not to place now they pledged on almost everything else. But sort of wanted to look at that one saying OK what were the issues that. It was Cynthia Willard Lewis an at large candidate Eugene green said no pledged to -- it. And off fairness when you look at the pledged. Arm. It's yes or now to supporting that particular issue so just to make that clear. The folks on understand that there isn't there's no way for them to writing and while I'm not pledging because as he you know for that reason. In the interview there was some concern wind. The idea that. The civil service reform would be to wipe out civil service -- some -- would not be fair and equitable aren't at present great opportunities for advancement that he would not really. Cover the concerns that some classify workers have expressed Ferrari for years. And civil service reform it's not a new conversation we've talked about it for years we've talked about it with different administrations. It's just time. It's time that we take a stance for those people who are actually doing great work. In the public sector who who are those employees who don't have the opportunity for advancement is simply based on how civil service. Opportunities are categorized. It could be you have the skill set to advance but it there's no position. That's titled there's nowhere for you to go and so. There at the reform doesn't also it in an awesome to have an accountability. Having the ability to hire where you need to hire to be most efficient and fire. We need to fire to be most efficient but it it's it's really accountability efficiency. And making government perform. So that is the reform you're talking yes and you feel the prop prestige to candidates felt. Uncomfortable. Not with reform in total but in some aspects that he has not want to take a way that protection that -- services grant a civil service exists for a reason. And he should have public sector employees -- -- protected from the the elected officials they should not be subject to. To then at the same time we absolutely have to have transparent so we have to have a performance based culture we can't afford not to. It's almost like your tenure again yes and perhaps were all looking at those kinds of issues. We're gonna take a quick break and come back and we're gonna look at the various other platforms that are. Being looked Acton. Being voted on by the candidates so stay with us will be right back on Angela under the W well. Forward new world wanted to coalition of business and civic and just great people in our community. Who want to have a -- advised many sets of lines. On our political system to make it the best it can be -- every year comes down her every election year comes out. With platforms. That the candidates address and they can pledged to those platforms or not. This organization does not. -- support in the sense or endorse any of these candidates it's really for you it's really about how -- we hasn't. -- public become educated on what these people really stand for an equal to that is the hold them accountable so after they have pledged. To something then they spend the next you're so what are you keeping up with which edged. Let's just move on to one of the other platforms which is on everybody's mind of course is the criminal justice system -- Richard if you would. Personal you'd made it very interesting statement we need to clarify. About this is a process. Verses. -- It is yet and and you know a lot of ifs the stock Alatas platform. Really is about engaging in a process engaging in best practices. I'm engaging stakeholders thinking strategically. And and civil service reform is is a great example of that in the platform where. We're not. Dictating or asking for certain outcome. Were asking these candidates to pledge to committing to a process. Commits reform. Commit to a timeline. Commit to incorporating best practices. There's a lot of studies that have been done out there people have already done some of this work. And and and engage classified employees. Engage in civil service commission. And go through this process. And really with the nine towards committing to reform and a performance based culture. But it's it's not dictating an outcome it's asking them to commit to that and engage in that process and that's really key for. Still applying that to the platform. Criminal justice system that encompasses one. For the the criminal justice and as well it it's it in in in this wanderers a couple of items like I said there are some -- -- the -- we we've asked. These things look like they work with like more funding to go towards them but yet another example criminal justice is. About the the budgeting process about giving all the stakeholders the criminal justice system together. -- we're not telling them this is the amount of funding that he should have. Were asking all of them to come together pledge as a candidate as the city -- the -- that you're gonna get all the stakeholders together all of the agencies think strategically. Reward programs that work well. Measure the effect -- so so that's a great example of we are not telling them the dollars that should be awarded to each agency. But give -- them together and start thinking strategically so you're talking the police department the sheriff's office the court system. OIG. Everybody absolutely all of the agencies and that's really what it takes is because you can't. All of these agencies in Iraq at some point one and other. All of them some of them overlap. And it needs to be strategic budgeting process look for efficiencies. Look where he can save costs. I'm look Rican Parker more but everybody has to be around that table. One that budgeting is happening because they're related fighting for turf. Absolutely and we want to we want them to engage in meaningful process of discussion. And I think people would be surprised if they do that. Where you find there is common ground or there is overlap further efficiencies to be had and so it's really. Having them play it's about process. And I'm not so much as -- that's what the outcome should be. But again it's looking at whether it's the size of the jail in the number of courtrooms. You're talking like that. With with determining the police department the size of the police department we're not -- that we're experts and we know that number. But we're asking them to commit to two public safety be in a priority. And determining that and also to them with regards to retention hammer and recruitment. Looking at issues that are residency requirements are you willing to to. Relax that to allow for recruitment and and and then with the rice has of the GA now what's that number if we're reaching number -- that number should be increased or do you pledged to find the funding to to increase that jail size. And the rice has of the court system. You know whenever that determination is. Do you place to support that it it's getting to those best practices and and the result trip and on the platform of city finance what were the issues. A number things with the budgeting process. And and we asked that the candidates -- Two or consider pledging to start the budgeting process early. We have a number of concerns raised by the public regarding not actually participating in the public budget process. And so make you should at an opportunity is there and the budgeting for outcome. Beings that. Hand and -- are now implement it. Making sure that that those things become a part of the culture and and they become a part of institutionalizing. Those best practices. Bill OIG's office it's it files under city financing. And those things that we have we're showing great performance make sure that they become a part of the budget the budget process. Right now they do have budget hearings at City Hall -- I actually watched them on Saturday is -- life here at all. But. On the government channel but other than that the public really doesn't have access to the to the budget. Some of it is actually make in the public more aware of those meetings that that actually take place but the Atlanta administration they started bring in the budget to the to the public about a month before they start they start the public meetings. And they start introducing the budget that they're going to present to City Council if they wrap up the public meetings I think about two weeks before it's actually presented to City Council. We have some very concerned civic driven people who feel like they're being. Present at the budget they're not having actual in play. On where those funds and those resources and I count myself yes we have people that want that process to start earlier in the year so that they could see. Some things that they consider primary for their neighborhood that included in -- budget. Before it's prison it's it and they wanna participate. And we're gonna jump ahead to you have two categories here in his column on one platform is economic development I think we know what that is but economic opportunity. If you could better explain that. Economic opera. Unity that's one of the things that we have small. A local and disadvantaged businesses we we really do a lot to incorporate. The opportunities in the exposure to opportunities and and and had the candidates pledged. We now I have an office of supplier diversity that focuses on the growth and development. Disadvantaged businesses. And we're asking that the candidates sign onto cantina fun man office. Previously that office was staffed by one person and now they have a staff and a director and compliance officers and so it's very important. That we understand that the in order for the small businesses to grow they need to have their resource so that's one of the -- the air and and the opportunity and access. To those opportunities make sure that those things are available. That that and then also we. We really asked that are. Elected officials pledged to. To. Reject any legislation. That could potentially risk the growth and development a small businesses. And represented at the construction industry. An understanding that would general contractors a lot of times people. Had the understand how they believe that if you put. Restrictions on general contractors. They don't understand the trickle down effect of that. So so you have to be very careful when you -- you make rules and you write ordinances and -- -- include restrictions and provisions in there. That. Create hardship for a general contractor those things and it trickled down to the TVs and we have to be very careful very mindful of that. Let's tea. Please stay with this we're talking about something that. Really -- the first -- makes a lot of sense we needed something like this. And it's called them forward new world and stay with the we have another half hour to -- any questions don't hesitate to give us a call 2601. Point seven day. Let's go to the newsroom now and Dave Collins. What we're really talking about is keeping candidates to their words and forward New Orleans as an organization. That. Gives them eleven platforms to see if they choose to pledged to those platforms and this is all about. Good government so if they play agent. Do they keep their word after the election. With us is Richard pavlik and pro Lena Thomas both members of former New Orleans. Essentially around thirty. Organizations. Some businesses some just civic organizations just some great citizens. We were talking about the platform issues this year. And let's talk about if you would Richard those. Who in the mayoral campaign for this year who pledging to do it. And yet we so we that we interviewed. The the candidates. Merrill Andrew committed to do to -- to all the issues. Just -- ariston as well. Skiing did not show prisoner view so that that is why there is no pledge but it. Judgment Maris and and -- -- both committed to all eleven of the issues on the platform. And for. -- -- Tougher for a large division one Stacy had committed pledged all eleven issues. Eugene green pledged on all except for civil service system. And best practices. Yeah and for the at large council a division to. Freddie terminating. Simply has morale and Jason Williams all pledged for the implementation of all eleven issues. If anybody wants in this report. And again it. -- going to be the website W every dot for a New Orleans dot com and when you go there. You can dipped this most current platform. This most courts -- current scorecard but can also find. A platform for 2010. And the progress reports that have been issued every year since that tops in fund all the information on the web site. Okay and just because we need to talk about the -- and fascinated by accountability. I just think it's one of the most powerful words. We had and that an organization is saying. Not just sign off but we're gonna be following you on this it's very very important. So you have the last report which came out in September. Which is really looking at that the people who or the sitting council today. And mayor that's correct so give us a couple of things in that report. Where they kept their word they didn't. Yes -- that -- came out in September of 2013. And you know one of the examples is. For the criminal justice system that was also. One of the main issues in our last platform. And looking on a whole in terms of how progress was made so -- been good prop management. I'm in it's important for us to explain that. How we think there was that beat it's best practices began to be implemented the Investment Technology. There was better collaboration and partnerships. So it it wasn't necessarily reflective of the primary or the murder rate. It was that we are beginning to put all the movies. Practices. The structures that we need in place that evidence shows that what you put these things and in action it's gonna lead to a good results. And so on a hole we said there was there was good progress but an example is. We found that there was insufficient progress on funding and transparency. -- and that goes to the issue we talked about a little earlier. Where we still believe that all of the agencies need to get together and do a better job of strategic planning in terms of the entire criminal justice system. And budgeting and transparency who's getting one dollars. And make sure that that's efficient as possible so best example of we asked that of candidates last time. And we don't believe it's sufficient progress was made on the and that's why it's such an important issue again this time. -- and that's why we've asked them to pledge again. That they're gonna continue working towards that and make sure -- implement. OK so you do have follow up meetings with people who have signed off on yet -- we do we do and that and that's really the power of this is that. It it doesn't stop when they signed the form. There is accountability. And their support and you know we we don't just walk away. I'm in terms of our Irish show back company year and see -- you're dead. Or organizations are constantly engaged in this process. To support our elected officials to make sure that we can achieve these outcomes. I'm -- as much as we support them were also there to hold them accountable say you're not doing this this well enough. And the systems and -- -- demand you know we need to have efficient government and for an -- -- ground. In in what other areas in the report from September. Is area is work still needs it. But looking at just how would it take in a sewage and water were reform can separated and there but we. When the when the idea came that we -- needed to be a rate increase for -- -- -- And to support that rate increase there are things that we wanted to make sure that we held the board accountable for those promises made to ensure those rate increases. And then possibly to -- for reform like social service reform. That's been around for a long time and done after the necessary legislative changes took place today and allow for the charter change with the CD. That was brought to the people and voted on last year. We now want to make sure that we hold them accountable to those reforms and we have a board that's made up of people who has the academic and the experience to actually help the board function at its best film not just a political appointee not just a political appointee and it also. Gave the clarity. And the distance that City Council needs. It was very painful sometimes to watch council members who actually sat -- -- -- -- and for the good that the board they had to vote one way. And then and bring in it too before the full council to vote on it. And they had to really vote with their constituency and it it appeared that they can be hypocritical and it's absolutely not where their heart was. He sell it to take those folks off the board to allow them the opportunity to truly serving their role as a council person. That type of reformists is mine in mental -- -- -- -- functioning. Most attention will be right back stay with. Financial look under that deal. Our guests today are Richard pavlik and for Lena Thomas and they -- with forward New Orleans we were just talking about the example of sewage and water board reform but more importantly Carolina brings up a very good point about. If you wanna be element sewage and -- -- yes if you want to serve on the surgeon why -- the deadline for applications. As I'd Jane you -- 31 2000. Fourteen and you can apply. To sit on the social -- report at prospective board member applications. That as today BBE an old or. And rumor and you really just major Reza Mae and an affidavit there fine you qualifications. Ticket to apply. The board desperately really need people who. Are qualified in in the area of public health. Architectural construction engineering financing. There's so many different things that don't don't think you don't have a place on the social -- -- really take the opportunity to look at. The application process and NET if that's very hard isn't serving. Then please -- Very good let's again go back to the candidates for mayor and City Council were given him. Eleven areas of interest that they needed to pledge to or not pledged at a school for some of the other ones. There were on there such as city services and infrastructure. -- so and you. Three of three good examples of the kind of from -- can give people idea of what's included here nick and they can go find the full platform on the website but it. Two in the kind of go together is is asking candidates to pledge to establishing. A comprehensive. Plan for street like prepare. In four pop or repair. And again that is not -- dictating what the outcome should be it's saying. Please go through this process we we we demand that you go through this process and make sure that sufficient. And it's getting done correctly. What's that on the previous ones. The little city. I'm sorry well we started I eat that with seven platform items initially and and city services and infrastructure actually grew. It's it was one of the -- that was later and it. That the reason I bring that up is because we do sort of a weekly thing on neighborhoods here to kind neighborhood groups come in and they and we love it and they talk and they love their neighborhoods. They talk about all the victories that have happened post-Katrina. But to launch. -- talk about the frustration of lights and puddles absolutely and so to me that saying it's not getting to. And even though we have reports from the mayor's office of senator senator that there is some progress. People aren't seeing it as much so what you're asking foreign this is let's do coordinated thing with the time line. Absolutely and this is about. Asking them to commit to. We know that you're not merely drunk at all from fixed more now but you know there's a limited amount of dollars. And you need to sit down and anything strategically. About how this is gonna get on come up with a plan. And that's lacking right now in terms of how things are going it on at least efficiencies. And it at least of people complaining because. You know the most important possible the most important lights went out prayer house so -- its -- consider getting it repaired over the city. But it's really gonna take a strategic plan to make sure that it's every citizen to execute the stuff so that's a very very important one and that also includes -- It does and you know. More sees as -- the north commission is one important. Parts this platform and where were asking candidates to pledge to ensuring. The north commission's ability to provide essential services. We're asking to make sure. That they look annually making sure that the North Sea is properly funded. To commit to making sure. That they can achieve. Accreditation by the national recreation and parks association. In the very short term. And we believe that is so important because it's a long term investment. And I know there are a lot of immediate priorities that we need to look at. And and the coalition certainly recognizes that but this is a very critical long term investment we need to give our kids opportunities. We need to give them someplace to go and place in a safe environment how to develop those those personal skills. I'm that you get by playing on the team are being around other people to park in the summer. And so we we really view that says as as critical to the long term I'm solution to to some of the issues that we haven't said. Okay let's talk about city contract. Yet. City contract and one of the things that we looked at in and that platform is the securing. Funding to make sure that we continue to have chief procurement officer. And to look at best practices and and things that. What are now being implement it. With the CD would put our subcontracting with direct to check system where they you're actually able to now Chet. Track. The process on a contract from re acquisition. -- needed that contract. Through payment so firm -- position to check. That process being -- place in holding all the different. Aspects of the CD accountable. Legal that particular department it even goes to the mayor's office an end and the CEO's office all these people that have to touch that ever acquisition and that contract. Holding them accountable. -- remaining those things institutionalizing. Those things make -- part of the practices that. The next administration. Would not have the opportunity coming in and wipe those things out because we've actually proven that their best practices are you saying that anybody any citizen would be able to access this. -- the beginnings and yes -- meetings and it we really absolutely have to make sure. That the public understands public meetings largess that. You can't attend the committee meetings that are held in and the council chambers you can attend every council meeting held in the council chambers. You give any opportunity to make your voice heard on any of those issues so yes -- to check meeting is also a public meeting -- -- quarterly. Stay with -- we're gonna finish our wonderful talk with two people who care a lot about the city the people from former new Marlins stay with its. We are talking about it and I cannot thank pat Richard pavlik and -- Lena Thomas representing former New Orleans. Very important organization great coalition if you wanna know more about this report you go. I go to our website -- New Orleans dot com and you'll be able to find all the information scorecards the platform and read about all the issues and you'll better be able to pick who you want to vote for thank you so much stay with this. We're going to be talking to the coroner candidates fight after this now let's go to the newsroom and Christmas.