NEW ORLEANS -- It's a first for New Orleans: A mayoral candidate announcing his candidacy by releasing a rap video.
"This not a joke I want nothing more than to kill our killings," Charles O. Anderson raps to kick off the video.
Anderson is seen dancing in colorful clothing he hand-painted throughout the video, a sharp contrast to the usual black and blue suits political candidate's wear. And he's no stranger to expressing himself in unique ways.
"I'm running, running, running say it, I'm running for mayor," is one of the refrains of the song.
The idea to kick off the campaign with a music video came from a friend.
"He says 'you got to rap,' and my first reaction was there's no way," Anderson told us.
Anderson decided he wanted to run for mayor about four months ago. He knew he had to stand out, so he spent time working on lyrics and music.
"I mean, I'm not a rap artist," Anderson said. "I respect what they do, that was a lot of practice."
It turned out to be a fun video, but it covers serious issues that the New Jersey native says he's experienced first hand in his ten years in New Orleans. One of those things, having a gun pointed at him for praying.
"He said 'you got a gun to your head;' my eyes were closed 'what are you going to do?'"
And even while Eyewitness News was filming this interview, police activity blocked off a part of Bartholomew and Derbigny a few steps away from his porch.
"Obviously it hits close to home," Anderson said.
He says these experiences have focused his campaign on one issue: Stopping the violence.
"Back in the day, we didn't have firefighters right? People put out their own fires. Now, we think it's insane that someone would put out their own fire," Anderson said.
Part of his agenda would be a four-year, 30-million dollar plan that implements outreach and support like the Ceasefire program.
When asked about whether he was nervous, Anderson said, "Oh yeah."
He knows it's a long-shot, but he believes anyone who wants to run should.
Anderson says he's still finalizing the paperwork, and he should be an official contender by the end of Thursday.
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