Giarrusso, who confirmed to Mid-City Messenger in January that he planned to run for the seat that will become open because Councilwoman Susan Guidry is term limited, promised to run a campaign based around public safety, improving streets and promoting economic development.
Read more from his campaign announcement below:
Joseph I. Giarrusso III, a 40-year old lawyer and civic leader, has announced his candidacy for the New Orleans City Council, District A in this year’s election. Giarrusso said he will be an “independent-minded change agent” on the Council who will fight for “safe neighborhoods, good streets and a strong local economy.”
“I want to be on the City Council to show that public officials can be public servants again,” Giarrusso said. “I want my daughters to grow up in a safe, livable city.”
PUBLIC SAFETY: “Public safety is job one for city government,” Giarrusso explained. “I will draw on my civic leadership experience to unite people to tackle crime and violence. We have to fight every day, in every neighborhood and on every block to make our city safe.”
“We need to strengthen the entire criminal justice system––from retaining experienced police officers to more effective use of technology to innovative community policing,” he said. “We need to recruit and hire at least 300 additional police officers. We need a well-trained and fully-staffed investigations unit to target habitual violent offenders and hot spots.”
STREETS: “The streets in District A are a national disgrace. They need to be fixed without delay,” Giarrusso said. “I will make sure District A gets its fair share of street funding. We need a sensible action plan not only to fix broken streets and decaying sewer and water systems, but to properly maintain them into the future. We can’t have a 21st century city with 19th century infrastructure,” he said.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Giarrusso sees economic development as crucial to the city’s future. “The people of New Orleans have done a remarkable job rebuilding after Katrina, and much progress has been made. We need to continue harnessing the city’s creativity and entrepreneurial spirit to build a stronger economy. I will use my civic experience to bring together the private and public sectors to create more job opportunities for all our people.”
Giarrusso has deep roots in District A. He and his wife Catherine “Cassie” Giarrusso, a local lawyer, are parents of two daughters who attend Edward Hynes School.
Giarrusso graduated from Jesuit High School summa cum laude in 1994 before enrolling at the University of Texas. He graduated from UT in 1997 with high honors and LSU law school in 2001. At LSU, he was a member of the Louisiana Law Review and finished in the top five percent of his class.
When Joe and Cassie moved back to New Orleans in 2004, they lived first in Broadmoor and later in the Maple Area. They now live in Lakeview. He is currently a shareholder at Liskow & Lewis with a litigation practice focused on complex energy-related, casualty and commercial issues.
In addition to his leadership of the Lakeview Civic Improvement Association, Giarrusso has also been president of the KIPP New Orleans charter network governing board, a board member with the Bureau of Governmental Research, and a president of the Young Leadership Council.
Dr. Eric Johnson, a native New Orleanian who started a career in urban development as an aide to City Councilman Jim Singleton and has since worked in major cities around the country, made a formal announcement Thursday of his candidacy for the District B seat on the City Council that will be vacated by LaToya Cantrell’s run for mayor.