Voter's Guide, 2021 Fall Elections, New Orleans
Position Councilmember at Large Division 2
NameJean-Paul 'JP' Morrell

Campaign Information

Campaign Web Site

Bio Information

Party AffiliationDemocrat
Present Employer / positionPartner, Morrell and Morrell LLC
Length of residence in Jurisdiction43 years
List of educational institutions and degreesSpring Hill College (BA Political Science)
Tulane University Law School (Juris Doctor and Certification in Civil Law)
Prior elected and appointed positionsLouisiana State Representative, District 97
Louisiana State Senate, District 3
Civic involvement and affiliationsBoard Member, Louisiana Children’s Museum
Board Member, New Orleans City Park
Board Member, Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response (STAR)
Member, Resilient Louisiana Commission
Member, Martinet Society of New Orleans

Questions specific to the position

1. What do you see as your role as council president? Primarily, the role of the president is to ensure meetings are well run, welcoming and accessible to the public, and to allow for all voices to be heard and that issues discussed are germane to the item at hand. The President also guides the Council's schedule and agenda. Additionally the Council President has the authority to call special meetings.
2. 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? The City recently passed a Living Wage Ordinance, but let’s be clear about something: it pretends to bring true equity to the hard-working men and women of this city, but it does not.

This request does NOT include a cost-of-living adjustment. It perpetuates the city prioritizing the budget over the needs of city employees yet again, by giving them stagnant wages that do not grow with inflation. This means that our Fire Fighters & Civil Engineers protecting us from fires & floods would see their wage frozen at $15 while the private contractors tearing up your street & pouring cement down your drains will continue to make MORE money than civil servants doing similar jobs. That’s exactly how we got stuck with a $7.25 in Federal minimum wage that hasn’t been raised since 2009.

But it gets worse.

NOLA is the only municipality in the State of Louisiana that does not provide for a cost-of-living adjustment for its civil servants. To add insult to injury, these same Councilmembers have enjoyed an automatic pay increase of 14% over the past 8 years.

If the Council had treated workers as well as they treated themselves, all city employees would have seen the same 14% pay increase in the same period. It shouldn’t be this hard to live in the city you love, and it's easy to see why it stays this way.
3. 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, the ethics review board should be complying with the charter and delivering a publicly-accessible, external review as authorized by ordinance.
4. In your role as the regulatory body for Entergy, what factors would you consider to increase rates? I don't think a public utility should be recording record profits for shareholders off the backs of everyday New Orleanians who are barely able to scrape by day to day to pay rent, groceries and water bills.

I think Councilmember Moreno has done an excellent job redefining the relationship between the Council and Entergy by actually acting like a regulatory agency rather than a partner with the energy giant.

I don't think there is a condition at present that would compel me to support a rate increase for Entergy.

Let's put this into perspective. Last year Entergy's profit was $1.4 billion. They are in the process of adding 940 megawatts to Louisiana's grid exclusively with solar at the cost of $924 million. Entergy New Orleans' capacity is about 1200 megawatts. It should then hold that, with less than the cost of one year's profit, Entergy could convert all of New Orleans to solar. But instead of meaningfully reinvesting in infrastructure, they're pocketing record profits. According to the recent United Nations report, we're facing an existential climate crisis due to carbon emissions and Entergy is making record profits.

I'll listen to a conversation about rate increases when Entergy has reached 100% clean energy. They can do it, and they can do it now. But instead they're making record profits.
5. Where is the best site for a new City Hall and why? City Hall should not be located in Treme. Dropping a huge government complex into a residential neighborhood steeped in history is beyond inappropriate, it is offensive. City Hall would be appropriate in Gentilly Terrace or Broadmoor, and it shouldn’t be in Treme.

There are two REAL solutions to the City Hall problem.

The State of Louisiana still has an interest in Benson Tower, which has ample, leasable, space. The City could enter into an agreement to lease space in that building while City Hall is gutted and repaired. The administration says repairing City Hall will cost over $150 million, but I would want an independent second opinion.

The other option is to look at any other swath of commercial land throughout New Orleans, including New Orleans East and Algiers. Civil District Court is not required to move with the rest of City Government, so a sprawling complex isn’t necessary. There is no reason why we couldn’t have multiple government complexes, like Jefferson Parish, to serve the entire community.

The options are endless, if leaders would remove the requirement that we must build a Taj Mahal and simply build office space with council chambers.