Voter's Guide, 2021 Fall Elections, New Orleans
Position Councilmembers District B
NameRella Zapletal

Campaign Information

Campaign Web Site

Bio Information

Party AffiliationDemocrat
Present Employer / positionSoutheast Louisiana Legal Services
Length of residence in Jurisdiction
List of educational institutions and degreesLouisiana State University, B.S.
Tulane University Law School, J.D.
Prior elected and appointed positionsPresident, Touro Bouligny Neighborhood Association
Civic involvement and affiliationsTouro Bouligny Neighborhood Association, President
Touro Bouligny Security District, Commissioner
Touro Synagogue, Executive Board Member
Anti-Defamation League (Prior Board Member)
Katz Phillips Leadership class (2017-2019)
Hecht Trauma Institute, Board Member
Louisiana State Bar Association, Children’s Law Committee

Questions specific to the position

1. Do you feel like the wages for municipal employees, such as the NOFD and EMS are adequate, and if not, how do you propose raising them? No, I do not believe they are adequate. I applaud Councilmember Moreno advocating for a $15 per hour minimum wage for ALL city employees. I believe that $15 per hour is a good start, but that should be the floor and not the ceiling. I would support proper auditing, study, and changes to these wages to improve and expand essential services.
2. Will you support an ordinance to establish an independent external evaluation of the Ethics Review Board as called for in the Charter? Please explain your answer. I support all efforts to closely comply with the components of the City Charter, and because this is required we should quickly come into compliance. Moreover, we need to take every possible step to improve public trust and confidence in city leadership. Even the appearance of taking a lax approach to ethical review will decrease public confidence in the Council’s work.
3. In your role as the regulatory body for Entergy, what factors would you consider to increase rates? I will vote “no” on rate increases until or unless certain other criteria are met. First, we must cancel existing expensive contracts for “advisors” because their travel costs and other exorbitant legal fees are currently being passed directly on to consumers. We also must require an annual independent audit of Entergy’s services which informs the Council on its compliance with requirements to integrate the interstate-grid, which would reduce Entergy’s costs and should lead to consumer rate reductions. Furthermore, Entergy should also have to undergo an annual independent audit so that consumer prices don’t go up while their profits soar.
4. Where is the best site for a new City Hall and why? I interned at city hall in law school, so I am intimately aware of the horrible conditions city employees are forced to work in daily. The reality is that the current City Hall is in dire need of a complete overhaul, but that is a costly undertaking. I believe we should begin the process by obtaining as much public input as possible, but what should be at the forefront of any decision is ensuring that city services are accessible for all citizens. Currently, an RTA transfer stop is directly in front of city hall, providing access for all. The new location must maintain good public access for people from all walks of life and all areas of the city. This won’t be an easy solution to create, which is why I am focused on bringing people with different opinions and expertise together to give New Orleans the City Hall it deserves.