No one brings greater passion to New Orleans politics than Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, who has served the residents of New Orleans for nearly 20 years. Jackie is a proven leader, with a strong record of taking a stand on tough issues, tackling big projects, and bringing about real change.
Jackie, a licensed Realtor / Broker, has been a businesswoman for nearly 40 years and run two major companies. She was president of the Louisiana Realtor Association.
Jackie began her public service career in 1990 representing Council District “C,” which then included New Orleans’ historic French Quarter, Algiers, Bayou St. John, Marigny, Bywater, Treme, Esplanade Ridge, and St. Roch. She served two terms in that seat, as well as two terms in the State Legislature representing District 102. As a Representative, Jackie championed landmark legislation that focused on ethics and government reform, women’s health, fiscal reform, education, child protection, law enforcement, and neighborhood preservation.
Jackie is now serving her second term as Councilmember-at-Large. She won this seat in a special election in 2007 and was re-elected in May 2010.
Jackie considers her greatest accomplishment as an elected official to be the creation and development of Federal City. The largest economic development project in the state, Federal City saved the Algiers Naval Base and its billion dollars of economic impact and will create 10,000 new jobs over the next decade.
Federal City will house the largest Marine command center in the United States and the largest Coast Guard command in the world. It will also provide secure space for federal offices and create new opportunities for small businesses to thrive.
Jackie was also responsible for securing the initial funding that brought the D Day Museum (now the National World War II Museum) to New Orleans. She served on the museum’s original Board of Trustees. When its current expansion is completed, the museum will have an estimated annual economic impact to Louisiana of $102 million and create more than 500 permanent jobs.
Jackie has long been a leader in the effort to bring a thriving biosciences district to New Orleans to rival those of Johns Hopkins and University of Alabama in Birmingham.
Jackie has worked to make the health industry a major pillar of New Orleans economy, providing thousands of high-paying jobs for New Orleanians.
As a state legislator, Jackie authored legislation bolstering the fledgling economy of genetics research. Jackie was also integral in the development of the Tulane Cancer Center. She has continued to work with state and federal officials to secure a V.A. hospital in downtown New Orleans. She continues to work with leaders from Tulane and LSU medical centers to support the construction of a new academic teaching hospital and of expansion of services with the Cancer Center.
Hospitality, Tourism, and the Arts
Jackie is a leader in cultivating New Orleans cultural economy. She led the reopening of New Orleans’ Mahalia Jackson Center for the Performing Arts. She has also worked tirelessly on the public private partnership to reopen the Seanger Theatre – a development that will bring life to a Downtown Entertainment District, including the Orpheum, the Joy, and the State Palace Theatre. Jackie was the original co-author, with then-Rep. Steve Scalise, on state tax credit legislation that has helped filmed and live performances in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana flourish.
Jackie worked with Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu to institute Cultural Products Districts around the City, sales-tax free zones for vendors of unique local art. She brought artists back to Jackson Square as a district councilperson. She worked tirelessly to clean up the Quarter – the heart of New Orleans’ tourism economy. Jackie has served on the Board of or been a working supporter of almost every performing arts group in the City, including Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, the oldest continually performing community theatre in the country; the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra; the Louisiana Opera; the New Orleans Ballet; Tulane Summer Lyric; and the Southern Repertory Theatre.
Jackie fought corruption by authoring and leading the charter amendment to permanently establish the Office of the Inspector General. The amendment allocated a fixed percentage of the City’s annual operating budget to the OIG, an independent police monitor, and the Ethics Review Board, insulating this office from the whims of future elected officials.
Jackie fought insider dealing by leading the successful battle for a “Master Plan” for zoning. She authored an amendment to the City Charter that mandated the City Planning Commission draft a master plan for the future development of the New Orleans that, when complete, elected and appointed officials will have to abide by under force of law. This amendment corrects a long-time dysfunctional system of land use. It was a major win for neighborhoods, small business, major developers, and good government advocates.
Jackie has been a strong and active member of numerous civic organizations including:
Founding Member, National World War II Museum Board of Trustees
Board Member, University of New Orleans Board for Business and Higher Education
Board of Governors, Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre
Board Member, Cabrini High School
Board Member, Catholic Cultural and Heritage Center of New Orleans
Board Member, Overture to the Cultural Season
Board Member, GNO Young Audiences
Member, New Orleans Military Advisory Committee
Member, New Orleans Federal Alliance for Federal City
Member, LSU/Tulane Cancer Research Center Consortium
Advisory Board, Delgado Community College
Board of Ambassadors, Holy Cross College
Advisory Board, Louisiana Philharmonic
Advisory Board, NORD/NOBA Ballet
Member, Save Our Cemeteries
Member, Audubon Institute
Trustee, New Orleans Museum of Art
Jackie, a native of Algiers, and her husband, Buzz, have raised five successful daughters, including Oscar-nominated, Emmy-award winning actress, Patricia Clarkson. They have ten grandchildren. Jackie is the daughter of the late New Orleans legendary coach Johnny Brechtel, founder of the New Orleans Recreation Department.