NEW ORLEANS - District "D" Councilmember and Budget Committee Chair Jared Brossett has released the following statement regarding the approval of the 2021 City Budget:
"Today, the New Orleans City Council adopted a 2021 budget that Mayor LaToya Cantrell believes best positions the City of New Orleans for the upcoming new year.
Arriving at the finalization of this budget was not an easy process. It took plenty of hours, days and months of hard work, factoring into account all areas of importance. We considered Mayor Cantrell's budget priorities. We looked at the human and fiscal toll from the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of federal dollars promised for recovery, and the impact on all city services. We also listened to the thoughts and concerns of our fellow citizens.
The immense challenges of the pandemic played a role in every choice made with the budget. COVID-19 has hospitalized and killed thousands of people who are our friends, loved ones and family members. It has dramatically changed our way of living, which we cherish so much. It also has crippled our economy and the economies throughout the world like never before.
Because of the pandemic and its resulting $100M shortfalls to the City's economy, the budget asks all citizens to work together to do things that aren't comfortable for the greater good, which will play a positive role in our future. It asks that we make sacrifices and, in a lot of cases, make due with less. It also asks that we find ways to be innovative with solutions to our daily problems.
Yet, the budget we have decided upon is able to continue to support the commitments the City holds near and dear. It maintains the commitment to modernize, repair, and maintain our aging infrastructure. It keeps providing for measures to support criminal justice reform while addressing the spike in crime and violence.
The budget allows the City to be able to search for ways to develop and expand affordable housing and prioritize the needs of marginalized populations. It also allows us to seek ways to invest in people and focus on intergenerational economic development.
Although difficult for all, we must take the fiscally prudent steps to continue down the path towards economic recovery and sustainability. These decisions and sacrifices with the budget will play pivotal roles in New Orleans' revival.
Hopefully, the answers discussed during budget hearings will lead to a strong rebound when conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic improve and give the residents of New Orleans the stability we need."