Jackie Clarkson is president of the New Orleans City Council and a former member of the state Legislature. But she also has been involved in sports all of her life. Here, she talks about her favorite memories competing as NORD swimmer, her favorite athletes and about all of that darned pre-Super Bowl street construction.
1. Your father, Johnny Brechtel, founded NORD. What do you think about its status today?
I remember the creation of NORD, a lot of the meetings were at our home in Algiers around our dining room table. My mother was a great cook. We are now finally approaching a structure that we accomplish the same thing. We have a private-public partnership with a larger city budget and private money and resources being matched to create major improvements to facilities and programs with accountability. NORD was created to prevent juvenile delinquency. ... NORD is arts and athletics and includes all youth.
2. What is your favorite athletic experience, either as a participant or a spectator?
My favorite experiences were when I competed in swimming for NORD, and later watching our daughters compete in different sports. There were all good athletes.
3. Who is your favorite athlete of all time?
4. Who is your favorite current athlete?
5. Among the athletes you know of, who would make the best city councilperson?
Drew Brees — but he could be mayor!
6. If you could attend any sports event, what would it be?
The Super Bowl (and I will).
7. Some people in the neighborhood around Tulane’s new football stadium feel that game day there will create a lot of problems. Your thoughts?
If Tulane will work with the mayor, the council and especially the neighborhood, it can work.
8. Is all of the road work going on Loyola and Poydras going to be worth it?
9. Next week is Thanksgiving. What are you most thankful for this year?
That all of my family is healthy and we’re all so excited to have new grandchildren join the family as our grandchildren get married.