Roz Thibodeaux Seeks District B City Council Seat

Rosalind (Roz) Reed Thibodaux, a registered Independent, has thrown her hat into the race for City Council District B. “We need less politics and more policy. I am the leader who’ll put the voters of District B first. I’ll listen and support the ideas of our community above all else,” said Thibodeaux. 

Thibodeaux believes that some politicians are not working for the citizens. “Elected officials often spend a lot of time politicking and doing what’s best for the political powers that got them elected. In doing so, they overlook the citizens – the actual voters they are supposed to serve,” she explained.  “Instead of just complaining, I want to work with the citizens to make life better.”

A resident of Faubourg Lafayette, Thibodeaux is a wife, mother, grandmother and licensed real estate broker with offices in New Orleans and Lafayette. She and her husband Kyle, who works in the security industry, have a blended family of five children and four grandchildren.

Born in Breaux Bridge, Thibodeaux first moved to New Orleans as a rebellious teenager. After dropping out of high school, she earned a GED. Thibodeaux later went on to the University of Louisiana Lafayette where she received two degrees in psychology and anthropology. 

Thibodeaux planned to attend law school but her desire to start a family led her down a different path. “Life had other plans for me. Working in real estate just fit. I never missed a baseball game, dance recital, or PTA meeting. Now that my kids are grown I have much more opportunity to be involved in our community.” she explained. 

Thibodeaux has lived in her historic home for three years. “We’ve always had a house in New Orleans. I love my city and I love my neighborhood. It does have its share of problems, but I take it all with a grain of salt,” she said. 

Thibodeaux related a story about a homeless man who lived in a car in front of her house for three months. She could see the man was shooting up drugs every day. “It was very frustrating. I called the city repeatedly.” Eventually the man left. “Homelessness is not a crime. We need better solutions to help people, especially those with mental health issues,” said Thibodeaux. 

Her platform focuses on the city’s infrastructure, housing, police, crime, and business.

“The city’s infrastructure is a budgetary issue. Potholes and over-stacked cars with no place to park crowd streets and block corner views. They cause dangerous obstacles and accidents. While everyone agrees that drainage is a problem, we cannot agree on where the money will come from to fix the system. We also cannot grasp all that is required to do the job. The process is long, painful and uncoordinated. The administration that starts the repair will likely not be the same one that finishes the project,” said Thibodeaux. If elected, she will do everything in her power to address drainage and street conditions in the district.

Crime can appear to be a seemingly hopeless uphill battle, says Thibodeaux. “In recent years, the reputation of the police has been violently tainted, nationally, statewide, and in some sad cases, locally. I too have been a victim of crime in my own neighborhood and was discouraged by the police’s slow response. I even considered moving. But giving up on the police is not the answer. Working together to ensure community involvement and adequate training is the key.” Thibodeaux also advocates for more accountability of seasoned officers, including additional mental health assessments later in their careers and better access to tools that can help eliminate or reduce stress.

Often crime is related to housing and community standards. “We have a broken housing system that does not leave room for a simple fix. However, we also have extraordinary services available from non-profit organizations and others that can help balance our broken system. We need to make such services accessible to those in need,” said Thibodeaux. 

Building more affordable housing is essential. Too many blighted properties still exist throughout the district and must be placed in the hands of new owners. Banks and other lending institutions should create new programs to attract first-time homebuyers. Also, property owners- especially seniors- sometimes need help in maintaining their homes. More low interest loans must become available for maintenance and renovations. “A well-maintained neighborhood is a safer neighborhood. We must help property owners and renters keep our neighborhoods looking their best,” she said.

New Orleans needs a vibrant, full-reopened economy that creates sustainable jobs and economic activity, Thibodeaux explained. “Putting all our citizens back to work in jobs that pay a living wage is essential. Many businesses have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and are unsure when and whether they can re-open. “We have to be willing to re-imagine New Orleans as the region’s economic engine to help stabilize our existing businesses and attract new ones.” Consumers may need additional incentives to encourage more spending in the parish.

“Neighborhood prosperity is of upmost importance. It relates and connects to every issue – infrastructure, crime, housing, the business climate. Though New Orleans isn’t perfect, how we respond as a community and how we value our neighbors will determine our future success.”

Thibodeaux says she wants to be a servant of the people. “Looking in from the outside, I see a lot of politics and it makes me mad. I want to work for the citizens. I am independent and not part of any political machine. In the coming months, I will be bringing my campaign to the front porches of every neighborhood in District B to hear what citizens really want from their city government.”

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