Current At Large City Council President Helena Moreno is the widely popular. She has introduced some progressive legislation. Many view her as a leading contender to be the mayor of the city in four years. Yet she has drawn two opponents who believe they can better serve our city. But can either catch fire or seriously challenge her? Will one of them gain enough support to force a runoff? This is our look at the NOLA City Council at Large Race.
Helena Morena moved from the media into politics back in 2010. She was elected to the state legislature. As a legislator, Moreno championed women’s rights. And after two hugely productive terms in the legislature, she was elected citywide in 2017. As a politician captures a niche as a Hispanic- woman- Democrat who champions progressive legislation. Her legislative wins include criminal justice reform and early childhood education to decriminalizing marijuana possession. Unquestionably Moreno’s policy work has benefitted New Orleanians.
- demanding a fair and unbiased justice system
- health care as a right, not a privilege
- living wages for our working families
- promoting real equity and inclusion
- securing and expanding civil and voting rights.
But some question her leadership on the city council. More could have been done sooner. Land use issues remain unresolved. Still potholes seem to grow larger instead of being filled. And Entergy gets what it wants when it wants it. Bike lanes with crazy pegs surfaced on city streets without community input. Being an at large council member provides jurisdiction over all citywide shortcomings.
And her challengers offer a litany of changes they would make upon election. Kenneth Cutno and David Nowak qualified to defeat the incumbent. Read about them in our look at the NOLA City Council at Large race.
Cutno says Moreno has been a do-nothing council member. “I ask people what she has done?” Cutno points to the bad streets, out of control crime and lack of jobs as the biggest problems. He says she is using the community for her own political gain.
- $20 per hour for all city workers and firefighters
- Embrace growth and change to boost our economy
- Leverage state and federal monies to improve infrastructure
- Rental assistance for in need renters
- Freeze property tax
- Support Bayou Phoenix’s Jazzland proposal
- Reopen Lincoln Beach in New Orleans East
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David Nowak is one of the many interesting New Orleanians you just stumble upon. He intends to make New Orleans better by running for office. And he likes running against incumbents like Moreno because as he says, “if I can get them on the record taking a position I like, then I can help create legislation.” In this election he says his number 1 goal is to stop modern slavery in New Orleans. He reminds us that slavery is illegal except as punishment for a crime according to the 13th Amendment. Nowak then explains that as the most incarcerated city in the world, the use of prison labor is modern slavery. His first legislative act would be to end the use of prison labor for all city contractors and vendors.
Nowak wants to:
- Ban the use of prison labor citywide
- Raise the minimum wage to $24 per hour immediately
- Increase sales taxes in designated tourist areas
- Double property taxes on all short-term rental properties owned by out of towners
- Build tiny home developments on city owned lots across town
Helena Moreno has the third biggest war chest in this election cycle. She has been overwhelmingly elected citywide and as president of the council is on TV frequently. Most voters know her name. Each of her opponents want change in her office. One thinks he can affect change just by running for office. The other wants to unseat her. Early voting starts on September 25th.