A foreman for Manhattan Studios Beach Equipment Company, Nowak says he is running for City Council at large to raise issues that the people of New Orleans should be talking about.
Nowak, who unsuccessfully ran for a state representative when he was only 19 years old, describes seeking public office as a “bold, progressive” move.
“I have been a New Orleans homeowner since 2002, but supported myself with mostly service industry and/or blue collar work from then till this day. Not only am I aware of the common and desperate struggle many share in this city, but how many still haven’t, can’t, or won’t come back.”
According to the candidate, the top issues the city is facing are economic inequality, infrastructure and crime and public safety. When it comes to economic inequality, Nowak says the working people of New Orleans must earn higher wages.
“I think we need to, as a city, raise the minimum wage to not just $15, but $18 which is what it costs to afford decent housing. I intend to raise tipped employee minimum to $8 an hour. I am aware that the state legislature is blocking us on this, but I reject that defeatist apology and will push the conversation forward with the power of the one and only City of New Orleans.
When it comes to infrastructure, Nowak says drainage has long been at the top of his list.
“Drainage has been at the forefront of many people’s minds since the August 5 flood, but I am on the record talking about it before the August 5 in the IWO forum. I agree with the New Orleans Office of Inspector General in that the S&WB needs to be returned to city control.”
On crime and public safety, Nowak says combatting economic inequality would go a long way in helping the city get a handle on crime, adding that he also believes the decriminalization of marijuana will help free up resources to combat violent crime.
“I believe the city needs to acknowledge that every crime committed is not only a failure to protect our citizenry and cosmopolitan visitors, but it is a failure of the society that raised that criminal,” he says. “I do not believe more incarceration or militarized police response has or will make us safer. I believe an aggressively progressive economic policy is how you immediately triage the problem; but long-term, institutional investments must be made in commitment to our next generation of New Orleanians.”