WWL>Topics>>4-14 3:10pm Jackie Clarkson

4-14 3:10pm Jackie Clarkson

Apr 14, 2014|

Angela hosts an Open Book with JACKIE CLARKSON…New Orleans City Councilwoman at large. We look at her career; her love for New Orleans…and her hopes and fears about her future and that of our Crescent City.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

I think we've had a very interesting day we started with some child's obesity rates and when it's costing both in lives and in money. And then a whole hour on gutter punks and the issue that people in the quarter and -- near facing a little more aggressive. Needs to be addressed but now we're going to have a very special hour. She has led an incredible life in politics business and family life. Jackie Clarkson raised five outstanding daughters. Was a successful real estate agent for almost forty years. And somehow found time to serve the city of New Orleans both on the City Council and in the legislature. For almost 25 years. In her spare time you could finder at any given fundraising. Showing up in her classic red dress at a morning -- a noon luncheon or an evening gala. Jackie Clarkson has been everywhere. And on the council she never hid from the difficult moments and there were Manny. But there -- victories to lots of them. Jackie didn't win her last election but don't think you won't see that red -- going from one end of this community to the next. The energy is still there the fight for what's right lives on. And the heart that cares so much for community she helped shape beat strong. Today we have a whole hour to find out what Jackie Clarkson next chapter is how she sees her legacy at City Hall. And what she hopes for the city -- months. And I do appreciate you being here Jackie Brown is excellent thank you as beautiful on on a copy -- have just. Almost don't know where to start I only one -- one little bit of business but we're gonna we're gonna get to that that's about the residency thing. But I want the health issue to find out what you were most excited about in this new chapter. I'm most excited about the fact that I can leave at the top he you know president of the council. An unblemished record. A budget chairman when we need a balanced budget went. More revenues and expenditures and a fund balance and the best budget -- that I have seen in the you know 24 years have been a part of it. But that'll be destroyed by the consent decrees that at least I'm leaving for good when I mean. I'm excited about leaving at the top because it was a passion for me to come in to this job. And leave a legacy not just have a job I had many jobs. I took a 50% cut in pay and doubled my hours to come into this job I didn't need a job. I wanted to do the work of the city. I mostly K because my father is ignored the audience recreation department was in taxpayer. And I felt I can help rebuild it. And I did a couple of times but this last time having the greatest thing I'd love about what I look behind NC. Is no Oregon and New Orleans recreation. Department of the city of New Orleans is is good is to have a wise. And my father would be very proud that. And my mother would have expected me to do. Just as you expected five daughters exacted a great women exactly and how they act out and start. And the other legs so that would be probably to leave like. To leave the city and good fiscal condition and to leave is the president of a City Council that stood -- reform. And stood for change instead for progress. Under our great mayor who has led us to a revival. And a total. Resurgence. And -- in America. To have led the council through that with him has been -- you know who else who could you which could US far more and a political arena I mean that's the ultimate job. And especially to leave it fiscally sound as it's -- -- was a great. Great self satisfying thing to me because I knew I wanted to leave it -- and I found it and I did. But the two most important thing until standout activity one will be ignored. I helped make -- banner and I'm so grateful for that because that was my daddy's passion and that's what brought me into city government. The other thing is a military and federal city because my father in law who was a command an office here than maybe when I when I first met them. And married -- as he is. He will be proud of the fact that the military was the second most important thing to me after the children of this city being kept out of harm's way. And them keeping the military here. Not just because they are federal protection. Not just because they are the greatest economic. Impact that we hand there are -- economy but because they bring -- the nicest people without a hand in this city and as a native I can say that. I always say from Boy Scouts to boardroom -- find our military. Whether there. On duty whether they're visiting whether they're temporary or whether they come back to retire and become permanent -- the best people with head in this city at. So my father in law will be is equally proud and those with two on my emissions when I came into office and it's a good feeling to go out knowing you've helped make -- banner. Absolutely we have a lot to talk about because this this woman has plans. But before we get into your future. On Thursday you. The council voted. With the exception of not councilman great unanimously other than non announcement -- for the residency vote who you and that was very very important. And from what I have read it was really -- acknowledgment of we have got to get more police. We do and -- trying to do every year and we are written it's our -- different ways. But I as was catered to take it when she wanted to get this issue and bring it back happen and I wanted to do it do that now has started take the lead. And I mean the co -- -- -- right set -- -- -- -- we were before because she will be here to follow it up this a lot of follow up to it. We. We need to give up the residency law in order to recruit it's just that simple. It's not something everybody wants to do we want everybody to live in new all in all of us of course. And we think new volumes as all of the best people possible to -- policeman. Which is the finest job in this city. That is not the problem -- promises not enough of us. For as many police as we need in a hurry. And that's the first problem and so we have to spread our wings in the metropolitan. Secondly since Katrina we are very tight metropolitan which has been our asset. Floodwaters. Crime and economic development do not stop at parish lines. And the sooner we learn that and perform accordingly the better off we all will be. You don't give up anything when you share with the region that's our kind of region. He make the pot -- he don't have the whole pie but to make the -- so much bigger. That -- piece of the pie is bigger than the whole -- you had before that's -- -- -- it. And we we should be going to the whole region to recruit -- eventually become New Orleans. Most importantly -- other lateral says we call them. Already trained police whether there are other parishes. Within their state police where their federal law enforcement. No matter where they -- they can transfer right into our police force and he'd have to -- which means instant police. That's incredible we are we budgeted and I'm proud of that in our budget was the first priority with the mayor and the council. A 150 new police on the streets this year is that enough no he is that the best start in the history of the city yes. And so -- we -- fill that 150 without having dropped the residency rule and not suspend we dropped it. And so -- an -- those existing police. And the ones who will command well it's far the ones coming yes it is not but it's not gonna change those who still -- -- -- area. But but a policeman please person today. In Orleans can't move to Jaffna OK so it is really the ones coming it's coming -- and so but remote what we but. This time is going to be more to it. Is going to be the -- there will be incentives. This will be talking about incentives on his counsel for four years and finally. You know people like miss -- and mismanagement and missed can't -- gonna take it to another level there really gonna work on summons senators whether it's. Whether it's pay package whether it's. Housing some kind of you know. Help with housing we're going to find incentives for -- well it's education. And promotion pay for education. -- we gonna try to build they can try to build some incentive packages to go with this residency. Which com will bring people into -- bearish I think we need help with housing. I that's the partisan it's become more expensive to live there and and it came -- an hour and it's some that's good news our price our property values have gone up tremendously. That's good news I'm looking at a real estate agent. Yeah exactly and I take it. And it's not because we have been raising taxes we rolled forward the militias was totally misunderstood in my campaign. We rolled following Milledge as we did not raise the Milledge. That the raising your property assessment comes from the increasing your property valleys that's called equity that's not called taxation. That's good news with built equity in this city in a city that was -- We've not only build jobs 4500 out of with not only built you know -- a more diverse economy we have build equity and homeownership would increase homeownership. And we increased equity so with that comps are more expensive lifestyle. And so there's no way that we can give incentives to help with housing that I think would be critically important to getting everyone to live year. And we should be looking into that all of our first responders not just our police. What has been the response you received from that -- overwhelmingly good. Overwhelmingly good. I can tell you -- last year. And especially on the campaign trail having traveled quite a bit around. Everywhere tune in all forms and everything people just they -- kept saying you know give us more police and everything will be better. That's all people wanted that was the most important that we gave you a 150 we're trying to get another 150. And they there's still struggling housing that dilemma lift and they also led a live anywhere. We don't care where they live -- Q where they work we want -- on our streets when they work and you know so it's the reaction. The day I was we were being -- bar. Before and now we're being praised for its wonderful to make people very confident one of the other issues facing them like because I hear this on the street all the time. Is the detail work yet well that's that's cut into their livelihood that's cut terribly and and some of us. You know again get blamed for that but it's not -- -- a consent decree that started it is there any it was wiggle room it was I don't know and that will be. The mayor and the next council's decision to follow. But we. Change it as much as we could. When I had an opportunity. When all of us on this past council had an opportunity we changes much as we could as far as a consent decree. Because. We all knew how important it was to their livelihoods when I'm trying to hurt our police -- -- and actually not but it was armed. The -- the details system once. Out of control. It was wrong in some Hispanics. I have to say that. Too much -- -- more -- get over corrected. In my opinion yes was that. The mayor on the council doing it now. So where this is -- balance out I don't know but I certainly hope he comes out in the favor of our good police. Well that is probably that -- said the number one issue people are concerned about it and you can really tell. The lack of police officers how absolutely and even with absolutely enormous push to pass and we had them on talking about it. They still only have what nineteen and at first class in the first class it'll feel now. It'll -- yes that that it looked a lot and we might be able to fill it was some lateral which means they hit streets of yeah -- that to me is an -- I didn't suggest tendon -- anybody cares but. What about those who just retired. Asked them to come back. Well they do through the reserve police. We were reserve police force which an and they get paid for that and isn't yes okay so that the retirees who want to continue working kid isn't -- photo opportunity you have OK they just have to be careful on how many hours they work weeks and don't violate their. Pension laws you know. You can only works with you on and if you're on attention -- they're just so many hours a week you can work is that to me sounds like. This would be perfect yet that's all that institutional knowledge that don't have to be trained well and we shouldn't lose at institutional knowledge at all and that expertise. Thank you and just sort of in hindsight what was the best moment. The best moment. How Lawrence who. Probably when I was sworn in. Just that you did it yes I I felt like I was representing my mother and daddy and everyone that came before me you know. One place and was stand there with me I had just been. Visiting with back to Mars casting him now -- me and my father England and Holland an apartment. No lord Jim Morrison administration. And standing there with me and dozens. Being sworn in by Jim McKay. Family friend is he is in -- from my best friends and realistic sound yet. As saying I was going Clayson -- kind of represented himself and and my daddy and and doctor Jeff who was ill and couldn't be with me that day and and chat Morrison and all those people at this is symbolic. I am you know I am gonna carry the torch I am here. To you know to carry on the mission. What about one of the worst moments. Katrina without it down Katrina was. Devastating. I was on job on duty Ellis at ground zero in the last ten on the left after -- and down. I went out and helped -- bag and not. Not search and rescue but I went out and evacuate people and it was tragic to find these people who war. You know housed in the group home listen and churches and and the reason wasn't because they didn't know any better and the reason why isn't because they. They didn't think it was going to be serious they had nowhere ago they had no -- ago. And so we got high water transportation out to -- I want -- vehicles. And -- out of harm's way before they became search and rescue that till this day I don't know if you know all of them. Survive I just recently through the campaign and -- eighty at down. Seventh ward neighborhood meeting who tell me how father had been rescued and one of those high water vehicles out of that particular part of town which was. Above saint Claude and before -- were in that area down in the same -- Area and and upper Ninth Ward which this group was calling the forgotten area and and they war and this was it. Not Claiborne group there was a seventh -- I'm not claiming to different groups that form form recently because they said that -- area that's been forgotten Afghanistan. And our -- -- and and I represented at together. We used to cover it together because -- The way the lines are drawn and you can't tell who represents what block -- to double cover was so worried about leaving them out but I knew the area well and I knew people White House there. And they thought it was safe because -- industrial canal broke east not west but they didn't know that the London canal was comments out. And I knew that from being at ground zero site in a car and in a police car with my deputy and we went out and outward Truman got word -- the National Guard against. High water vehicles and there and his lady told me that her father was one of the people's lives I say. And that's only wanna -- contact with fans and Mina Saudi crying all over again but there's no experience like that and it was. It was devastating it was horrible the recovery was tragic and I hope America's learned. How get to how to better get us through this only number you need you know we do need to change -- Stafford act we do need federal help faster. We do need to remember world watching and how how we rebuild. Tokyo in Europe. And start rebuilding our -- Our own America and anyway will be the example we will -- well we're going to be the prototype of what disaster can do and what federal government should've done more. But will also be the prototype of the fastest resurrection. -- revival. In the last four years in the history of America absolutely. I mean if you're going through with a high water vehicle you thinking. Will never recover oh my gosh. How -- you know I went on international television national television which went pretty violent that point Angela. Had a couple of days later and it was on national news that came here and they said. What part of this city want to rebuild and I said how dare he. We're gonna rebuild it with -- is there any part of it is there any part of the city Kareem donuts and we will rebuild every inch of this city. And I actually talking about it -- -- CNET as an only by foot by boat by air by -- car my whatever. Where 80% underwater and he said how can you say you rebuild that. And I said the spirit of the people of New Orleans is never underwater. If you could have seen those people. Then I helped get out of those homes those churches and those group homes. Into high water vehicles they never own losses spirit we want a compact home. That's. That's a highly that's a high moment in the lowest moment in my life patrons but the -- -- -- -- hindsight sold 21. You would do -- I don't know I as I love everything I've done I've enjoyed it isn't just -- a job as I said it was a passion and emission. And armed. Yeah I had an an opportunity and the two were abuzz about a raise our daughters analysts are very proud of that and an opportunity at a business career. And so this wishes purely my personal mission and my family was behind me a thousand present to do it. -- my husband to which I'm eternally grateful. And now it's my turn it -- and take care of him he would like internal -- instead of being served him a styrofoam box and so. And armed. I don't know how does so because it was such a passion and I got to do so much I love. That I I is not that I enjoyed it wasn't like I ever worked and so I don't know of anything I would change. You know -- I really don't and I don't mean everything I do it was perfect and I mean that at all mom look for the -- with a tough Danny's on the council. The tough days -- more the older days you know when everyone wouldn't get along and -- exit exhibited publicly I didn't like that I was not comfortable. Airing dirty laundry in public I was taught that brewer family and family kept dirty laundry behind the -- yet. And so the last couple councils have been -- much better about that it's not that we all agree. And it's not that we all agree with the mayor quite the opposite. But we know how to build consensus and we know how to act like ladies and gentlemen in public and and I like that banner but what are your concerns for the future. That what I love best won't continue to be. Cared about his strongly everyone and that's everybody everybody has their own -- love you know. Hi I've told you about -- which I think will go on as strong as anything. And about federal city I think federal city is bothering me and I'll come back to that. But the thing that I have promoted the most in. There's two things I think are promoted the most and government one has been because in my real estate expertise sided the master plan for that for the city. And -- the first in the history of a 300 Urals city won national awards. And with finishing the comprehensive zoning ordinance to it which is like a rule book. Where you how you secure our residential integrity. And still build economic development where you do and don't build high rises were you doing don't put bars and we're not quite finished the second part to comprehensive zoning ordinance. And I hope that turns out well that's a real passion of mine and I'll be watching it. And the other thing that it was so important to me have been the arts. Because -- grew up in the arts we will always involved in the arts and my family. I'm an assistant at sang in the opera chorus with Norman -- -- I haven't daughter ice you know it's had a successful actors. We've had a lot of our family involved who have always been patrons of the arts and he's seen me Angela and everything in -- arts. And -- I served on every our board and museum board in this city and I I am not leaving that but I'm leaving the city with that I hope someone else in the city is gonna carry on some of that because. I made a difference for the most part despite being on those sports and being councilwoman to and fortunately this mayor is about his. Culturally astute. And you know as it comes so. And so he will carry a lot of it on it's I'm not too worried about that briefly but about central city federal I wanna run out of time veteran city okay. Federal city is not probably biggest baby. Mike is a military was so important to me we will we were going to lose on our military in Algiers where almost lost they'll chase. Which is just in my a couple of miles must we helped save Belle chase in 98. That in 2003. When it brat that's base realignment and closure reared its ugly head. Felt chase came -- helped us we never fought each other we knew we can keep everything on the West Bank right that it gathers to parishes. And we did saved. How we save most of it -- and as best we could. I started it I wrote the first piece of legislation but it wasn't anything you do alone took -- mammoth team of local state and federal. Elected officials and volunteers move you ahead but it and it just sort of it was created and then we didn't hear mine no -- I was kind of let me tell you what at what what was created consistent no one knows what's there. We have the largest marine reserve headquarters. In the world. And we of the largest Coast Guard district command office there. On the Mississippi River for the first time on the -- a -- and the Coast Guard control some Mississippi Europe you know meteors in Algiers. We also have a school a charter school or -- maritime military maritime school that's second to non we also have -- I'm a motel we also have a YMCA. We also hand -- Glad investment -- -- -- -- credit union to have this we have an auditorium mayor of the people -- for events. Federal city has a lot of stuff. I was accused of being thrown off the board -- -- to the world I was not thrown off that board I have a letter of retirement however is a resigning from that board. I was budget chairman. And the contributing factor of the money from the county is -- development district was not present a meaningful budget. And I had to play budget chairman -- hammer on the hit slept had been no -- that was a conflict of interest so I resigned. From. The federal city board and held a half -- with a hand to get the proper budget got it back on track. So now I will be going back on that sport I don't have to worry about being a -- budget chairman I will be out of office. And we will do the second half a federal city called free enterprise and retail and it'll work. That is outstanding and that is one of the things you'll be doing now that you have. Politics has been a great chapter you have another chapter head part of it will be federal city and I'm sure nine million other things and I stay on part of north. And I'll stay on some of the arts sports the most importantly most importantly. Buzz and I will enjoy. More fully. Our 24 and I have children are part of my daughter is ten grandchildren five a marriage. A great grandson and a great granddaughter on her way. And we will now we go to see ma'am we don't have -- Fly out and fly back we can stay a while we go see patty opened on Broadway and I -- We can stay awhile that's the great news. Thank you for all you have done Jackie Clarkson I know I speak for many many many. Enjoy it enjoy with -- this next chapter thank you and thank you Angela fault that you do and I'll be at everything steals is so I can see how that red dress I'm Lizzy you're nervous. -- thank you so much lately.