New Orleans council swears in new faces, political veterans

New council takes oath
New council takes oath(rob masson)
Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 4:47 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans City Council swore in five new faces on Monday. Most are political veterans, including one former council member who is returning at a time when crime and infrastructure are key issues the city is facing.

Oliver Thomas is back on the council and selected to chair the criminal justice committee and public works, after leaving the council 15 years ago following a bribery conviction.

“This group signifies hope. The people’s trust in us bears a heavy weight,” said Council President Helena Moreno.

New Orleans voters returned Moreno, who was re-sworn in and will serve as council president. District A Councilman Joe Giarusso will chair the budget committee, but five incumbents were voted out.

“No more are there seven individual members. We’re going to look at coalition politics as the big change on this day in New Orleans history,” said Fox 8 Political Analyst Mike Sherman. He says that coalition will serve as an effective check and balance to the mayor, with many attempting to differentiate themselves as they contemplate their next move.

“There are several members on the council that are already looking across the hall at the second floor at the mayor’s race just three and a half years from now,” said Sherman.

Of the five new members, four including Thomas are political veterans. Freddie King served on the staff of a former council member, Eugene Green served as a former city chief of economic development, and J.P. Morrell is a former state senator.

“It will take all of us working together with the mayor for change to come,” said Moreno.

Newly sworn-in District B councilmember Lesli Harris is the only political newcomer on the New Orleans City Council.

Harris has been selected to chair the quality of life committee. Kristen Palmer, Jay Banks, Cyndi Nguyen, and Jared Brossett all lost their bids for reelection.

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