The upcoming election, which includes an open primary for all City Council seats, has been rescheduled for Nov. 13 due to Hurricane Ida.
To give voters a chance to learn the policies, platforms and personal attributes their City Council candidates plan to bring to the office, Uptown Messenger has sent questionnaires to all of the District A and District B candidates.
District A candidate Amy Misko reveals her answers below.
City Council District A
Amy Misko, Libertarian
Place of birth: Buffalo, New York
Schools attended: State University of New York College at Geneseo, New York Institute of Technology. 600 hours real estate education with special interest in property management and finance.
Current neighborhood: Lakeview
Profession: Semi-retired real estate professional
Memberships: National Association of Realtors, New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors, National Libertarian Party, Louisiana Sate Libertarian Party
Covid vaccination status: Had it and have it. I promoted the vaccine early and publicly with signs in front of my home that read “95% immunity to Covid-19 versus 0%. I’ll take that vaccine, please!”
What is your vision for the district?
Restoring our good name. Making it “Easy in the Big Easy to Work, Thrive and Grow.” Nullify outdated, unjust or discriminatory laws. Less regulation. Lower or eliminate filing fees, fines and taxes all across the parish. Make it easier for small and large businesses to thrive here. End corruption in City Hall. Close the planning and permitting departments. Start fresh with lower costs to everyone wanting to do business here in Orleans Parish. End political insider trading and corrupt deal making. Sell city-owned properties to raise treasury funds for us, the citizens of New Orleans. Invest Covid money in public safety departments all across the parish. Ban all City Council members and the mayor from indebting us without our explicit consent. All budgets must be pre-approved by voters.
What would be the first ordinance or resolution you would introduce?
End all mandates and open our city 100%.
What should be the spending priorities for the $388 million the city will receive from the American Rescue Plan?
First, restoring our public safety departments: NOPD, NOFD and EMT. Next, finish all new street construction and repair all roads. Last, dismantle the Sewerage & Water Board, sell the assets and invite new providers to come to Orleans Parish for all utility and energy services.
What would you do to better address juvenile crime?
End the “War on Drugs” and legalize victimless crimes. End pot tickets. Invest in more educational choices for parents and all children at all ages. I am providing free pre-K through grade 6 workbooks for learning all day everyday through my education charity, Libertarians for Learning, to serve the citizens, children and parents of this city.
Should cash bail be eliminated?
What ideas do you have to bring non-tourism jobs and economic activity to New Orleans?
Barriers to business are huge and very costly. Remove all barriers to businesses. Lower fees, eliminate burdensome licensing fees and requirements. End the vicious pay-to-play corruption cycle. Make it easy in the Big Easy to start a new business. Get the City Council and mayor out of the way. Take away the power they have written into law. Not all laws are just or good or fair. Most of our current laws prohibit and hinder us from working or dealing directly with each other. These terrible laws separate us from each other. That’s not freedom, that’s tyranny. And the current City Council does nothing to stop the tyranny of Mayor LaToya Cantrell. They all must go.
How can the city more quickly increase the number of affordable housing units?
Eliminate the city planning and permit departments. Stop zoning away our property rights. Give every business, large and small and smallest, and developers real lasting tax credits, not just the outsiders or the big guys. Hire a real estate professional to serve in City Hall.
Is the city successfully handling short-term rental licensing and enforcement?
No. The cause of the Airbnb mess is entirely created by City Hall. It starts with super high hotel-room and car-rental tax rates. City Hall “mandated” tax rates are to blame. Why would any tourist voluntarily spend up to 26% more for a room for the night at a hotel, if they had a cheaper alternative? Private homes are that cheaper alternative.
City Hall has seriously injured, crippled and destroyed one of our biggest economic engines. It may not return. We need to act now and reduce hotel taxes drastically to encourage hotel traffic. And we have to have a safe city for people to want to visit. We need a PR campaign, too. The mayor has thrown this city so far under the bus, I fear, we may never recover. The French Quarter is not safe at all today. And no more shutdowns. Open! Open! Open our city!
What can the Sewerage & Water Board do to reduce street flooding in non-hurricane events?
Invest the billions of dollars they collect from us and actually build new pumping stations and restore old sewer and water ingress and egress lines. Stop paying the City Council to (self) serve on its board. End the department’s gross corruption. Fire the guilty. Reward the honest … wherever they are found. If they are found.
Ultimately, I support opening our city to many utility providers. When companies have to earn the customers’ business, everyone benefits. We need more choices for electrical power, gas, communications, water, sewer, trash, internet and all other utilities. Government monopolies are bad for us, the citizens.
What is the most important personal attribute you would bring to city government?
Honest and trustworthy. I love this city. I want to see us prosper and grow and thrive! All of us, together, again.
The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 13 election is Wednesday (Oct. 13) in person or by mail or Oct. 23 through the GeauxVote Online Registration System.
Early voting is Oct. 30 through Nov. 6 (excluding Sunday, Oct. 31. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Nov. 9 by 4:30 p.m. Absentee ballots must be received by the registrar of voters is Nov. 12 by 4:30 p.m.