NEW ORLEANS -- Walking onto the Civic Theatre stage to cheers and applause, Mayor Mitch Landrieu took the podium for his final State of the City Address.
"It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as your mayor," Landrieu said.
In his nearly 40-minute speech, Landrieu highlighted his seven years in office. Landrieu discussed the challenges his administration faced in 2010. From corruption and financial hardships, he says the city's come a long way.
"In seven years we have righted the ship of government, going from a budget deficit to a budget surplus, and the highest credit rating in the city's history," Landrieu said.
Mayor Landrieu did not shy away from major issues the city is still battling. Crumbling roads, environmental concerns and the biggest plight: the recent rise in crime. Landrieu called on everyone in the city to step up.
"The enemy is not overseas. It's not the Syrian refugee; it is not the undocumented immigrant. The murderer, the carjacker, the robber, the drug dealer, the drug overdoser; There are our sons and daughters," the mayor said.
"I thought it was just so important, not that we can police our way out of it, but we have to provide opportunities, equities and support our families so I think that was the big takeaway from this," District C Councilmember Nadine Ramsey said.
New Orleans resident Stacy Bonnaffons attended the State of the City Address. While she praises the mayor on his years and service, going forward she would like to see more job opportunities for long-time residents.
"We have opportunities, but we also don't have the right qualification for the opportunities. So making sure people have training. They can meet the opportunities when they come here. And not just have companies try to draw people from other places," Bonnaffons said.
Before leaving the podium for the final time, Mayor Landrieu offered a piece of advice for the next person who will fill his shoes.
"What we need to hear the new candidates tell us is how they plan to take on difficult challenges, how they're going to do what they say they're going to do. how they're going to pay for it. How long it's going to take to get it done. That means details not sound bites," Landrieu said.
Landrieu also told his audience that he still has a lot of work to do before leaving office.
Friday he plans on releasing a climate action strategy that will cut emission in half by 2030 and also create new jobs.
© 2018 WWL-TV