October 1, 2019

Jared C. Brossett, City Council



The next two months are going to be a busy time. There is a lot on the agenda for the City Council when it comes to shaping the future of New Orleans, and, as fate would have it, I will be a major player in this process.


As chair of the City Council’s Budget Committee I will be working with Mayor LaToya Cantrell on the 2020 Operating and Capital Budgets. In anticipation of the Mayor’s budget on October 17th, the Council has prepared a hearing schedule that will allow a robust budget review process. Budget hearings will begin on Monday, October 28th through Friday, November 1st and will continue on Monday, November 11th through Friday, November 15th. Hearings will begin at 9 a.m. each day. During the 2020 budget review process, I am committed to working with Mayor Cantrell and my colleagues to ensure that we allocate the City’s limited resources to the operating, capital, and quality of life priorities that best meet the needs our citizens want addressed.


Infrastructure challenges are a huge part of everyday life. I am working tirelessly as Budget Chair to ensure we are devoting all the resources possible to improving infrastructure. In my 2020 budget priorities letter, I urged Mayor Cantrell to leverage Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (GOMESA) revenues to expedite construction of hurricane protection infrastructure, coastal restoration and related drainage projects. Infrastructure is our City’s backbone, but every day, we see examples of the growing number of infrastructure challenges and vulnerabilities. As New Orleanians are regularly inconvenienced by boil water advisories, low water pressure, persistent potholes, drainage issues, and water leaks, we must continually seek innovative ways to address the City’s infrastructure issues. At the request of the Mayor, I authored a resolution calling for a special election on November 16th to return 3.0 mills to the tax rolls. The 3 mills will exclusively go towards infrastructure maintenance and public safety needs. The revenue would be used for upkeep of our roads, bridges, and to purchase desperately needed equipment, software, and vehicles for our first responders. The City has never had a dedicated source of tax revenue for maintenance costs, and soon voters will have the option of changing that.


I recently passed legislation to help residents avoid flood roadways. Working with the Mayor, the Office of Homeland Security, and the NOPD, I authored legislation creating the City’s first Automated Flood Warning System. The system will alert drivers to avoid commonly flooded roadways, integrate data from the Sewerage and Water Board, and share date with Real Time Crime Center and National Weather Service. The system will also help mitigate property loss, but more importantly, it may save lives.


I was proud to appropriate a grant of over $12 million from FEMA’s Flood Mitigation Assistance Program to help more than 50 homeowners and families across the city who experience severe and repetitive flooding in the past. This is a huge win for the City of New Orleans. More must be done to reduce the City’s flood risk, but we are taking steps to protect both property and people, implement stormwater management strategies, mitigate flood-prone structures, and improves the City’s resiliency.


Working with the Office of Homeland Security, I helped find money in the City’s budget to install 10 illegal dumping cameras around the City. These cameras are integrated into the Real-Time Crime Center and are already proving effective at reducing illegal dumping, especially of used tires, and improving residential quality of life.


In an effort to improve public transportation in the region, I have written a letter to the United States Department of Transportation in support of the Regional Transit Authority’s (RTA) energy-efficient electric fleet grant application. One of the major goals in the RTA’s Strategic Mobility Plan is to establish a fleet in which 75% of the vehicles were low to no emissions. Grant funding is critical to accomplishing this goal, and I am proud to work with RTA to push this forward. Throughout the lifetime of the energy-efficient electric buses, they will ultimately save money in both capital and operating expenses. Additionally, integrating the energy-efficient electric buses into the RTA’s fleet will play a major role in shaping the future of healthier and sustainable transportation options in our region. I believe it is important that New Orleans’ public transportation system is strong and dependable for our riders, residents, and city as a whole.


As Budget Chair, I am not only concerned with the City’s wallets, but I’m also concerned about residents’ wallets. That’s why I made a big push this year towards improving pay equity in New Orleans. In January, I created the Equal Pay Advisory Committee to help guide the City on best practices we can implement to reduce income inequality. Then, in August, I introduced legislation prohibiting the requesting of salary history from job applicants for both classified and unclassified positions. Using an applicant’s past salary to determine current compensation perpetuates systemic wage inequalities between men and women. I am working to end the cycle of pay discrimination that often begins during the hiring process and disproportionally effects women and minorities who are already fighting other forms of discrimination.


I have also introduced an economic benefit ordinance to protect public dollars. When the City gives subsidies and incentives to companies to come here, to create jobs for our residents, and to bring other economic benefits to our communities, the public should reasonably expect more than just claims or promises in exchanges for taxpayer money. My legislation gives the City the flexibility to recoup public dollars if a company does not live up to their promises of creating local jobs and economic benefits. These initiatives, along with the other work I already have done are proof that I am a tireless worker who is committed to improving the quality of life for all New Orleans residents. Still, we can’t rest on our laurels, because there is much more work to be done. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedules to meet with me this morning, and please join with me in the future as we work hard to improve this great city that we love.



Jared Brossett

Budget, Audit, & Board of Review, Chairperson

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