Landrieu continues budget meetings in New Orleans East

People who live in New Orleans East and the 9th Ward told Mayor Landrieu more needs to be done abut safety in their neighborhoods.

It was part of the mayor's budget hearing across the city. It's aimed at getting public input from neighborhoods on next year's budget. Again and again, neighbors expressed that they'd like to see more done to cut down crime.

"Definitely," said Cheryl White, who's lived in New Orleans East for the last thirty years. "We all want to feel safe, and I haven't' felt that way in a very long time."

Residents say a lot of issues, like better street lights and clearing out blighted property, will all help make District E safer.

Leaders from a number of city departments also came to Thursday's meeting. Police Chief Michael Harrison talked about his plans to address problems, like the shortage of officers. The district attorney's office also talked to the group, updating residents on what they've been doing to cut down on crime in New Orleans East and across the city.

"We've reached out to what we call our federal partners, the FBI, DEA, ATA, to try to involved them in our prosecutions and work with the police," DA Leon Cannizzaro told the crowd.

Many people also wanted to know the mayor's plan for economic development in that area. The New Orleans East hospital opened Wednesday, and earlier this summer, a Wal-Mart also opened its doors. But neighbors say they want more restaurants and big-box retail stores.

"We want to see some of those chain stores that pop up in Chalmette," said William Bickham. "Why aren't they here. We've got lots of land to locate these people."

"We want Dillard's. We want Macy's. We want all those big stores, as well as Wal-Mart," added White.

The next community budget meeting is Tuesday, August 26 at 6 p.m. It's being held at the Touro Synagogue on St. Charles Avenue.

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