Mitchell "Mitch" J. Landrieu
How can voters contact you (phone, address, e-mail, website, etc.):
1516 Thalia Street
New Orleans, LA 71030
Ph - 504-529-5300
Lt. Governor, State of Louisiana
Date of Birth:
August 16, 1960
* Parents, Moon and Verna Landrieu
* Married to Cheryl Quirk Landrieu
* Five children, Katherine-21, Emily-20, Matthew-19, Ben-16, William-9
Juris Doctorate, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, New Orleans, Louisiana - May 1985
B.A., Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. - May 1982
Jesuit High School, New Orleans, LA - May 1978
Name one of your favorite books (other than the Bible). Why is it significant?
(No answer provided)
Years you've lived in New Orleans & in which neighborhoods:
Lifelong resident except when attending Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Lived in Broadmoor and Uptown
Political experience (current and former elected offices you've held):
12004 - present Louisiana Lieutenant Governor
1987 - 2003 Louisiana State Representative for 89th District
Please list the organizations & people that have endorsed you for Mayor of New Orleans:
Alliance for Good Government AFL-CIO
What will you do to address the crime situation in New Orleans and how do you plan to get citizens more involved in crime prevention?:
Making the city safe is my top priority. I plan to work shoulder-to-shoulder with a tough, honest, and effective police chief; to establish community policing in every neighborhood; to modernize the NOPD with the best technology targeting violent criminals; to fight corruption, waste and abuse in the department; to continue reforms in the juvenile justice system; to bring the criminal justice community together; and to focus on prevention by restoring NORD playgrounds and investing in afterschool programs.
I plan to seek help from citizens by promoting participation and investment of time or resources from community leaders, by encouraging neighborhood watch groups in every neighborhood, by ensuring regular dialogue between neighborhood groups and their NOPD officers, and by working with faith-based leaders, the business community, neighborhood schools, NORD officials and others to make sure police officers build relationships in the community, especially with young people.
What policies would you pursue to ensure that all New Orleans students receive a quality education?:
I will be a champion for our kids and our schools, so all children have the opportunity to reach their God-given potential. I believe that the Mayor can use the bully pulpit of the office to improve education.
Failing schools, whether traditional or chartered, cannot be tolerated. All of our children need and can have access to a good education. I will keep pressure on both the Recovery School District (RSD) and Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) to make certain every child has the option of attending a good school; work with the OPSB and the RSD to help secure additional funding for school facilities; make certain that the facility master plan reflects updated demographic data and provides all schools with good school buildings; ensure a long-term solution for facility management is put in place so our new schools and renovated schools are well maintained.
In addition, I will help our schools become centers for neighborhood renewal, urge our high schools to build stronger alliances with higher education institutions and employers to create more opportunities for our young adults, partner with schools to reduce truancy and increase attendance and work toward a long-term governance solution.
What was your nickname as a kid? How did you get it?
Mitch. Short for Mitchell.
Depending on who is doing the estimating, the city of New Orleans faces a potential budget deficit of an estimated $68 million for 2010. Name three specific cuts you'd make to help balance the budget and the savings they'd achieve. Name three specific areas you would not cut (or even increase funding):
The city faces a major revenue shortfall caused by inconsistent property and sales tax collections, fiscal mismanagement and political wrangling. I will operate government efficiently and honestly, while providing a better level of services. Before making specific budget cut recommendations, the overall budget and budgeting process must be reviewed.
I have experience in bringing fiscal discipline to government. In the last five years, I have transformed the Office of Lt. Governor/Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism from a respectable bureaucracy into an engine for economic development and a model of good government. Using Budgeting for Outcomes, I have saved taxpayers $16 million through smart cuts, reorganization and outsourcing while continuing to deliver quality services.
Is there corruption in City Hall? How would you guarantee that your administration would remain corruption-free?
As Mayor, I will bring a culture of open and honest government to New Orleans. I plan to create a level playing field for those who want to do business in our city; work closely with the Office of Inspector General; reorganize the way the city lets professional service contracts; use city budgeting process to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in city spending; and establish New Orleans as an honest place to do business.
To reduce dependence on foreign oil and address the problem of climate change, President Obama is promising that the federal government will make significant expenditures to promote the development of green technologies and energy-efficiency programs. What would you do as mayor to help New Orleans become a leader in the "green economy"?
I believe New Orleans should become a leader in the creation of jobs in environmentally-sensitive development and energy efficiency. Louisiana has one of the nation's most aggressive state tax breaks for use of solar panels on homes. Residents can obtain a tax break of up to 50 percent of the project's cost, and can combine it with a 30 percent federal tax break provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
My priorities for developing a green-job economic sector in New Orleans include establishing a city effort to provide information to New Orleans residents on what incentives they are eligible for and how to apply for them; ensuring that New Orleans positions itself to take advantage of incentives in pending federal energy legislation; and working with community partners to develop green job training programs for existing construction and renovation businesses and for entrepreneurs looking to start businesses using this technology.
Will any of your proposed plans require a change in taxes? Please be specific:
Local citizens and national observers want to see evidence that tax dollars are wisely spent in New Orleans. We must fix city finances in order to minimize the tax burden faced by New Orleans' citizens and businesses.
I will bring Budgeting for Outcomes to City Hall and instill a sense of fiscal discipline; ensure efficient, fair and equitable property assessments and aggressive tax collections; assess all city programs and departments; order a complete review of city properties and consider the sale of unneeded buildings; and work closely with the city Inspector General's Office in looking for ways to bring more efficient practices to city government.
Tell us what one of your favorite movies is, and why it is that you like it so much.
The Sandlot. It reminds me of playing ball with my friends, growing up in Broadmoor.
What is your solution to the blight still left behind by the Katrina disaster?
As Mayor, I will work aggressively to eradicate the more than 50,000 blighted properties as quick as possible while avoiding any legal pitfalls that could stall the process.
Aggressive code enforcement, neighborhood surveys, homebuyer incentive programs and sheriff's sales are among the tools that my administration will employ to address this issue. Additionally, large numbers of abandoned properties can be returned to market through the use of the Lot Next Door sales program, sheriff sales and financial incentives for first-time homebuyers.
As Mayor, I will:
* reorganize housing or code enforcement offices to ensure that elimination of blight is a central goal;
* hire more property inspectors, improve their training and make better use of technology to sustain an aggressive program of property inspections and enforcement steps;
* open a dialogue with the Preservation Resource Center and civic leaders to identify buildings of architectural or historical significance that should not be demolished;
* place fines, fees and hearing costs collected as a result of code violations into a Neighborhood Revitalization Fund, already authorized in the city code, thereby reserving monies for code enforcement work;
* work with city housing officials and the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority to provide technical assistance to homebuyers willing to take over blighted properties; and
* ensure the city's legislative delegation is educated and supported on efforts to remove any obstacles posed by the state constitution.
How will you work with federal, state, regional and other local officials to ensure the city is safe from flooding and future natural disasters?
Throughout my public service career, I have been an advocate for additional investment in levees and coastal restoration that will provide New Orleans with flood protection and give our businesses and residents a sense of safety.
I have lobbied Congress on this issue for years, and as Mayor, I will continue to push for congressional action that will order the Corps to make decisions based on long term effectiveness, not just cost.
Can you recount a difficult situation that required you to display a high degree of personal integrity?
When I was a legislator, I pushed for important changes in how our state does business - from ethics reform to juvenile justice reform. Before tough votes, there is always pressure to maintain the status quo, but I stuck to my convictions.
What is one of the biggest mistakes you've made in your life, and what did you learn from it?
I wish that I could have spent more time with my grandparents. They were beautiful and wonderful people and taught me to treat people with kindness, dignity and respect.
What was your biggest failure and what life lesson did you learn from it?
We all fall short. We all may miss the mark sometimes. I certainly do. I try to think of these times not as "failures" but as "teaching moments" that, hopefully, make me a little better.
Is there a racial divide in New Orleans? If so, how would you combat it?
We can't ignore the reality that race divides our city on a number of important issues. We have to work through it and work together as a city. If we do, our city can accomplish great things. The bottom line is that we need to elect a candidate for Mayor with the best experience, who can bring people together across racial lines and get the results we need to make this city work again.
Is there a piece of music or work of art that moves you deeply? Tell us why.
As a college student at Catholic University, I was moved every time I walked into the Basilica. The architecture and sacred art connect me to my Catholic faith.
What high school did you attend? What was your favorite class and / or favorite teacher?
I attended Jesuit High School. My 3rd grade teacher took me under her wing and taught me that I had something special to offer.
What will you do to attract new industry to New Orleans and which industries should we target?
New Orleans should not be a poor city. We have unbelievable resources - colleges and universities, an international port, a history and culture that is unique and unmatched in this country, Michoud in New Orleans East, Federal City on the West Bank, a burgeoning biotech industry and a booming film industry, among others.
To grow our economy, I will be aggressive about finding sectors of the economy we can cultivate to create jobs in every neighborhood for all types of workers. My priorities include
* marketing the digital media tax credits and other existing tax incentives to help growth this new industry;
* targeting health care and biotech industries as key growth markets that have the potential to provide high-paying jobs, building upon the new VA hospital, the new University Medical Center, the Cancer Research Consortium and the BioInnovation Center;
* increasing investment in job training for the entertainment industry;
* renewing efforts in New Orleans east to spur redevelopment of the Plaza shopping mall site and the closed Six Flags amusement park facility;
* making sure that New Orleans positions itself to take advantage of Clean Energy jobs incentives in pending federal energy legislation;
* continuing to grow the cultural economy by supporting cultural districts;
* forming an office of social entrepreneurship to cultivate innovators and nonprofit groups; and
* supporting entrepreneurship by working to create business incubation centers and identify ways to improve access to capital for small businesses.
What should happen to Charity Hospital, and how will you work with state & local leaders to get that done?
The Charity Hospital building is a historic structure that I will not allow to be torn down. The state of Louisiana has set aside $40 million dollars, and I will make sure it is refurbished for future use. Having supervised the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), I am aware of the many options for adaptive reuse. We have the opportunity to explore new ideas and develop something innovative for this important corridor.
Mitch Landrieu answers our questions about why he should be the Mayor of New Orleans
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.
The Baltimore Sun encourages civil dialogue related to our stories; you must register and log-in to our site in order to participate. We reserve the right to remove any user and to delete comments that violate our Terms of Service. By commenting, you agree to these terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.