The qualifying period has concluded for candidates seeking the office of New Orleans City Council. The responsibilities of council members cover a host of subject matter areas: criminal justice, housing, land use, sanitation, budgeting, transportation, and the environment, among others.

Too often, candidates seeking the office of City Council do not talk about the extraordinary power of regulating Entergy, our city’s electric power utility. Elections come and go without so much as a statement by candidates on what they would do to lower the cost of Entergy bills, or how they would support energy efficiency and home weatherization. According to data kept by the US Department of Energy, more than half of New Orleans residents pay a high energy cost burden that’s as much as 28 percent of monthly income.

In past council races, televised debates rarely question candidates on their plans for eliminating the frequent number of power outages that occur, rain or shine. Candidates developed platforms that did not connect, much less mention, New Orleans’ vulnerability to the climate crisis and our place in a region that is engulfed by industrial pollution. Voters seldom heard candidates share their vision for improving livelihoods and neighborhoods with equitable energy policies.

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