Voter's Guide, 2021 Fall Elections, New Orleans
Position Councilmembers District C
NameAlonzo L Knox

Campaign Information

Campaign Web Site

Bio Information

Party AffiliationDemocrat
ProfessionOwner/Operator Backatown Coffee
Present Employer / positionTreme Cafe LLC dba Backatown Coffee
Length of residence in Jurisdiction18 years
List of educational institutions and degreesSouthern University – Baton Rouge _ Graduated 1996
Law Enforcement – Associate of Arts _ Political Science – Bachelors of Arts

Graduate school (degree earned, institution, year graduated):
Trinity University – Washington DC _ Graduated 2004 _ Masters of Business Administration
Prior elected and appointed positionsHistoric Districts Landmark Commission - 6 years
Civic involvement and affiliationsLegislative Correspondent - US Senator Breaux (Washington, DC office)
Historic Faubourg Treme Association
New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc
Preservation Resource Center

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 pay my baristas more than the highly skilled NOFD and EMS workers who are saving lives.As the owner of Backatown Coffee, I currently pay my staff $13.25 an hour plus tips which averages $17.25 an hour. I know that the hospitality industry and city government workers especially 1st responders are the backbone of our City. I support the 2021 living wage ordinance that has a phased in approach over three years to ensure that contractors and some City workers receive $15 an hour by 2023. I would work with fellow council members to enact an additional ordinance that will work with the Civil Service Commission to apply to all city workers.
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. Yes, I believe it is important to review whether the Ethics Review Board is serving its purpose of providing opinions, interpreting rules, enforcing ethics codes, investigating matters, and imposing fines when necessary. The board should also be evaluated to ensure that they are not unduly influenced, having public meetings with a quorum of the board, adhering to term restraints and timely filling of vacanciess, and adhering to financial disclosures. I also believe that we must follow the Charter in that this external review must be every three years with recommendations and findings made available to the public, the Review Board, the Mayor, the city attorney, and City Council so that the Board can comply with recommendations within 90 days.
3. In your role as the regulatory body for Entergy, what factors would you consider to increase rates? I would not increase rates during a pandemic and economic suffering. With that said, to increase rates under normal circustance, I would need to see the cost of energy and the use. We must ensure fair schedules that valuate solar so customers know their true savings and transparent costs of energy use. I also would want Entergy to comply with “Green Button Standard”, a federally approved standardized energy use format so we could have transparency as to costs and use of energy.
4. Where is the best site for a new City Hall and why? With the understanding that the developer of Charity, 1532 Tulane Partners, appears to still be seeking/negotiating towards an anchor tenant for the redevelopment of Charity Hospital, I would revisit placing City Hall in the Charity building as the main anchor tenant.

I also would study the feasibility of City Hall being placed in Federal City which has failed to thrive and live up to its hope of being an economic catalyst for the Westbank.