NEW ORLEANS- "Being in the East is like being in the forgotten city," resident Jimmy Carmouche said.
He lives on Good Drive and says his neighborhood is finally getting back to normal after February's EF-3 tornado. Despite the progress, remnants of the tornado linger, plus there are other issues.
"They need more businesses so people can make money. They need more stores so people could buy food, buy clothes," Carmouche said.
It's not just more businesses.
"They have to pass that deplorable building and it's embarrassing," resident Jeffrey Duroncelay said.
Duroncelay says he can't stand seeing one abandoned property after another, like the empty Read Boulevard Shopping Center and the old Holiday Inn High Rise.
"We're tired of hearing somebody's going to buy it and they're going to rebuild it and they're going to renovate it. We've been hearing that for years and it hasn't happened," Duroncelay said.
On Tuesday, a candidate forum was held at New Home Family Worship Center. The candidates who participated in the forum included incumbent District E City Councilman James Gray, as well as challenger Cyndi Nguyen, Dawn Hebert and Alicia Plummer Clivens.
"We see happening in other areas of the city, but we don't see it happening here and it's time for that," Hebert said.
City council candidates addressed the needs in New Orleans East and the Lower 9th Ward, such as redevelopment.
"The progress that we've made. The hospital, the Walmart, the Big Lots. All of the stuff on Crowder. That progress will continue," Gray said. "That progress will continue."
They also discussed job opportunities for young people.
"If you want to create job opportunities year-round for our youth, we put Six Flags back in place," District E candidate Cindy Nguyen said.
"I think we need to bring back, first off, training in our schools. Training in our schools for vo-tech education," Alicia Plummer Clivens said.
For the men and women who call New Orleans East and the Lower 9th Ward home, they told Eyewitness News they are sick of talking about it.
"We're tired of hearing what's going to happen," Duroncelay said.
Now they want action and results
"They just need to honor their word and keep the truth. If you say you're going to do something, then do it," Carmouche said.
Election Day is October 14th.
In addition to talking about redevelopment and jobs, the candidates also talked about transportation, criminal justice reform, drainage and public safety.
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