Candidate name: Nadine Ramsey
The Nadine Ramsey Campaign
Post Office Box 58015
New Orleans, Louisiana 70158
I resigned as a Civil District Judge, Division J, Orleans Parish, to become a candidate for Mayor of the City of New Orleans.
Date of Birth:
October 17, 1955
Married to Craig Peters
Academy of the Holy Angels, New Orleans, 1973
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, Newcomb College,1977
Juris Doctorate, Tulane University School of Law, 1980
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:
I lived for most of my early life in the Lower Ninth Ward. I attended schools as a youth that were near my Ninth Ward home. My years spent in college found me on campus. I am at present a resident of Algiers where I have resided for ten years.
Political experience (current and former elected offices you've held):
Judge, Civil District Court of the Parish of Orleans Division J (1997-2009) (Chief Judge, 2007, 2008)
This is the only elected office that I have held.
Please list the organizations & people that have endorsed you for Mayor of New Orleans:
I have been endorsed by a group of Algiers citizens who operate under the name "Vision". I have been endorsed by hundreds of every day people who have signed an affidavit in support of my candidacy and who contribute to my campaign in various ways.
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?:
Crime Reduction: True community policing must take place if we are to begin to address the citya??s crime problem. Community policing includes foot patrols and directing officers to participate in community activities and to interact with neighborhood residents. In the police department of my mayoral Administration, at least 150 officers will be assigned to foot patrols and to actively participate in true community policing in especially high crime neighborhoods. My administration will conduct a nationally advertised search for a new police chief, securing a leader who shares my commitment to creating a true community policing operation within the department.
It is important to recognize that police play a role in reducing crime, but that a collection of problems must be overcome if our neighborhoods are to be safer. My administration will work with neighborhood groups to secure their assistance in identifying the best locations for crime cameras and in overseeing their operation and use. More emphasis will be placed on the role of code enforcement and blight elimination, with a focus on making all of our neighborhoods more attractive, and eliminating properties that harbor criminal activity.
Neighborhood Development: Our city's neighborhood residents have a tremendous stake in seeing their communities become safer, more attractive, and more economically viable. They know best where resources should be dedicated to help to create a better community. They are motivated to do more to make their neighborhoods more viable and attractive, as their own quality of life depends on such. My administration will seek funding and provide other forms of direct support to neighborhood associations that are viable, organized, and motivated both to assume some traditional functions and to assume responsibility for the well being and enhancement of their community. It is important to note that many citizens feel that City government has overlooked them in the quest to make our city and its neighborhoods more attractive and safe and more business supportive. My administration will reverse the trend that excludes neighborhood leaders and citizens from planning and decision making that impacts their neighborhoods. I will be a regular attendee at neighborhood meetings, and I will trust and require employees of my administration to trust and work with active and motivated residents who offer support to the long term neighborhood and city improvement goals of my Mayoral administration.
What policies would you pursue to ensure that all New Orleans students receive a quality education?:
Education: The Mayor of the City of New Orleans can play a most important role in enhancing educational opportunities for our citizens. For example, my administration will provide support for and strengthen applications for federal and state funding that are submitted by the various education support agencies in our city. My administration team will include the staffing of an Office of Education Support. This Office will work directly with the staff of education support agencies and private sector firms to strengthen especially public charter and public schools, but also with university and secondary school leaders as they provide educational opportunities for their customers a?" our citizens of all ages. The Office of Education Support will also work with private institutions, as allowed by law, to enhance their provision of better educational opportunities to our young people and adults.
What was your nickname as a kid? How did you get it?
(No answer provided)
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):
As of the date of my responses to your question, both the Mayor and the City Council have instituted budget measures that assume to balance our City's budget. However, there should not every year be problems anticipating what levels of revenues and expenditures will be encounterd by the Mayor and City Council in preparing a budget that will be due soon after the commencement of budget preparation and review.
Within six months of taking office my administrative team will have completed a full evaluation of our city's budget. The review will employ the services of city administrators, workers, and motivated citizens. My administration will make recommendations to the New Orleans City Council relative to what is required to create a more stable city budgeting process. It is obvious that we cannot continue to each year be uncertain relative to city revenues and expenditures, especially when this uncertainty results in predictions of budget deficits that affect the delivery of future city services. Citizen participation will allow a determination to be made of what sacrifices may have to be made to achieve measurable objectives relative to provision of city services. The government of the City of New Orleans must operate within the resources available to it. My administration will, through the exercise of a thorough budget evaluation, facilitate a determination by our citizens and city government officials alike of what services will be prioritized.
Is there corruption in City Hall? How would you guarantee that your administration would remain corruption-free?
There is corruption in many places where there are opportunities to generate money and to wield influence. However, the Mayor sets a tone that sends a message to city government workers and to our city's contracting community. My administration will at its onset hold a press conference to announce to citizens our intent to work closely wi th the Orleans Parish District Attorney and the United States Attorney's Office, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to discourage and to eliminate corruption in city government contracting and influence wielding capacities. There is no guarantee that every member of my staff will be smart enough to avoid opportunities for corruption. However, it will be clear that my adminstration will not tolerate corruption and that my team will be vigilant in overseeing operations and contracting toprevent corruption.
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"?
We must compete for whatever federal funding is available to support our city's participation in and benefit from the "green economy". The federal government under President Obama is making resources available to support innovative programs and ideas that can help the citizens of our city to reduce utility costs, to weatherize and insulate their homes, to do limited recycling, and more. My administration will be a very active applicant for federal funding to support our participation in the "green economy", partnering with other agencies of government and with surrounding cities and parishes if such will support our application.
Will any of your proposed plans require a change in taxes? Please be specific:
No. Our city has not taken advantage of the billions of dollars in federal resources that can support improvements to the quality of life in our city. The Ramsey Administration will support many operations in our city with the use of federal resources.
Tell us what one of your favorite movies is, and why it is that you like it so much.
(No answer provided)
What is your solution to the blight still left behind by the Katrina disaster?
Blight existed at unacceptable levels in our city long prior to Hurricane Katrina and the resulting flooding. It is also important to note that the blight problem is not simply about code enforcement and city government regulations. Tens of thousands of our citizens have left New Orleans over a number of years - prior to and since the flooding. Too many sections of our city and some neighborhoods are unattractive to people who are considering an investment in a new house or a stable place to rent. I will work with our neighborhood associations to make our neighborhoods more attractive, helping residents and visitors to see them as safe and economically vibrant areas.
The City of New Orleans annually conducts thousands of code enforcement and blight reduction related hearings. Such hearings are important. However, we must be sure to put code enforcement in its proper perspective. Issues such as crime and poorly performing schools impact our neighborhoods in ways that can lead to blight. The problem is more severe that code enforcement can handle on its own.
Code enforcement works best when there is a viable market for properties that remain in disrepair, requiring adjudication. The blight problem in our city has been growing for decades. There are some obvious measures that we have not employed in the fight against blight.
We have not employed the neighborhood residents in the fight against blight. My administration will conduct hearings in neighborhoods (!), enlisting the support of community leaders and to put additional pressure on owners of these blighted parcels. Viable neighborhood groups will also be awarded resources that can assist them in their efforts to reduce blight in our neighborhoods.
How will you work with federal, state, regional and other local officials to ensure the city is safe from flooding and future natural disasters?
My administration will include an office of Environmental Health. This office will work closely with and observe officials from the Army Corps of Engineers, and at the State Department of Environmental Quality, to determine how we can fight for the right of our citizens to live in environmental security.
Can you recount a difficult situation that required you to display a high degree of personal integrity?
The Civil District Court system is so very, very important to the maintenance of order and to assist in generating enhanced quality of life for our citizens. My most challenging times have been when I was required to make decisions that impacted people's lives. I was also pressured from time to time by those who contributed to my political campaigns. However, I am pleased that in my twelve years as a Civil District Court judge I made decisions that were in the best interest of our citizens. I served with integrity over those years, rendering hundreds of decisions which impacted lives according to the laws that have been created by our people.
What is one of the biggest mistakes you've made in your life, and what did you learn from it?
Mistakes and failures are part of life. Too many times, people remember and focus on one mistake or failure, forgetting that mistakes and failures alone do not define a person. I have made many mistakes. I have not focused on study in the correct area, I have ignored opportunities to advance myself with too much analysis, I have made decisions that I regret. However, I define myself by my ability and willingness to look forward as opposed to in reverse. I recognize that additional mistakes will be made in the future. However, I will always be committed to putting certain mistakes into their proper perspective, always striving to do better and to be focused on the overall objective.
What was your biggest failure and what life lesson did you learn from it?
Mistakes and failures are part of life. Too many times, people remember and focus on one mistake or failure, forgetting that mistakes and failures alone do not define a person. I have made many mistakes. I have not focused on study in the correct area, I have ignored opportunities to advance myself with too much analysis, I have made decisions that I regret. However, I define myself by my ability and willingness to look forward as opposed to behind. I recognize that additional mistakes will be made in the future. However, I will always be committed to putting certain mistakes into their proper perspective, always striving to do better and to be focused on the overall objective.
Is there a racial divide in New Orleans? If so, how would you combat it?
The best way to combat the racial divide is to acknowledge that there are racial concerns that divide some of our neighborhoods, our churches, our schools, our workplaces and more. These racial divisions result from hundreds of years of law mking and enforcement that denied the opportunity to participate in the social and economic fabric of our society. No amount of racial tension will erase the pains that were generated by segregation and by the use of laws to subjugate people based only on skin color. However, because many people fought and at times died to have these laws overturned, it is important for our citizens to refrain from a pre-occupation with race. Better times are ahead. My administration will work with our citizens, recognizing the unfortunate facts of the past, but while moving forward to enhance opportunities for all of our citizens to benefit from there resources in our city.
Is there a piece of music or work of art that moves you deeply? Tell us why.
I am Gospel music fan. I listen to the recording of Mahalia Jackson on occasion. Gospel music is motivating because the artists sing and compose based on motivations that are lofty and grounded in ideals and service to a higher authority.
What high school did you attend? What was your favorite class and / or favorite teacher?
Academy of the Holy Angels. English. I am an avid reader. My parents motivated me to be so. Books make it possible for people to see the world without necessarily traveling.
What will you do to attract new industry to New Orleans and which industries should we target?
It is important that our business community and government realize that we devote too many resources trying to attract businesses from other localities to relocate to New Orleans while ignoring the potential that we have in our own city. For example, the New Orleans Regional Business Park already includes manufacturing and distribution businesses, but our city and state spend resouces trying to attract competitors of the businesses that have already invested in our city and in their businesses. Our city's Economic Development personnel must work with our state government and with our private sector to be sure that our entrepreneurs have the support that they need. We must invest in expanded loan programs and in programs that support private sector lending. It has been some time since states were able to benefit from businesses relocating from one area to another. We must build our local entrepreneurial spirit and make it clear to those who have invested in our economy and their businesses that their investment is welcome and that our city and state will do nothing to hinder their ability to do business.
There is great long term business to an economy in encouraging manufacturers to expand their operations. The incentives are in place, but many of our manufacturers do not know of the incentives. The city and state must promote to the highest degree its programs and incentives that can help product producers to expand their operations here.
What should happen to Charity Hospital, and how will you work with state & local leaders to get that done?
The State of Louisiana, through custom and through law, oversees the operation of the State health care and hospital system. Much time has been invested and many decision have been made by state officials relative to the construction of a new hospital. My administration will support state officials in whatever manner is possible in getting the new or existing facility on line in an expedited manner. In the meantime, my administration's Department of Health will work with State officials to insure that public health clinics are able to and are motivated to provide the health services that our citizens need.
Nadine Ramsey answers our questions about why he should be the Mayor of New Orleans
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