NEW ORLEANS-- Election Day is one month away and races across the New Orleans metro area are in the final stretch, including two City Council districts. Yet, some people living in part of District B said they feel their community has been forgotten.
In a city no stranger to blight, Gert Town is no exception.
'It's been bad [since] before Katrina, but it's worse [now],' said Eugene Simmons, who grew up in Gert Town.
It's neglect, which came up during a community meeting on Saturday, as residents there spoke out about their needs.
'Nobody knows about us,' said Emily White, who runs a senior center in the community. 'And it seems nobody cares.'
With the Council District B seat up for grabs in November, residents said they are trying to make their voices heard among the candidates. Among the top concerns: crime. Desmond Lewis coaches kids' football and baseball in the neighborhood and worries about nearby shootings.
'I understand the parents' concerns because when we have shootings in this area, it's not good for the children,' Lewis said.
'There's never been a true conversation with the community,' said John McKnight, with Gert Town Enterprise Economic Re-Development.
It's a conversation which residents said also needs to address not just blight in the area, but also poor infrastructure and a lack of amenities.
'It's been looking like this for quite a while,' Simmons said. 'The blighted land-- cut the grass. You know, a grocery store, a school, is very needed.'
Yet, those pleas are heard in other parts of the city, as well. Gert Town residents acknowledge they aren't the only ones facing those problems. However, they said they hope to see some change, no matter which City Council candidate ends up winning.
Dana Kaplan was the only candidate at Saturday's Gert Town forum. Spokespersons for the other candidates told Eyewitness News they were not aware the forum was being held. In the run-up to Election Day, each of the District B candidates will be on the Eyewitness Morning News later this month, during the 7:30 a.m. half-hour. LaToya Cantrell will be on Oct. 22, Marlon Horton on Oct. 23, Dana Kaplan on Oct. 24 and Eric Strachan on Oct. 25.