An architect and environmental engineer, Eugene Ben-Oluwole decided to run for office when he saw “housing options for working people . . . get more expensive while wages stagnated, putting stress on the communities that are the bedrock of New Orleans tradition and culture.”
He sees his preparation for office lying in his expertise in infrastructure and flood management projects as well as his management of both large public agencies and public works projects.
He helped advocate for the city’s updated Disadvantaged Business ordinance and the Disparity Study currently in progress. He is also working on a re-entry program that helps reduce recidivism.
One of his top issues is the city budget which underfunds mental health and family stabilization programs in Ben-Oluwole’s view.
To increase its efficiency he would discontinue some of the outsourcing of work.
“Often the city has personnel capable of performing the tasks, especially legal services. One example is the Entergy legislative council, which currently bills the city at a rate of $400/hour for simple work that does not always require advanced opinions and regulatory filings,” he says.
He explains that he would take a holistic approach to crime including re-entry programs, workforce development, equitable economic development, family and mental health services, the full funding of the public defenders’ office, affordable housing, and more job placement programs.
Another top issue for Ben-Oluwole is the lack of affordable housing. He would require developers “to include low to moderate income rentals as part of any large development, and to make sure these rentals are permanently available. He would insist on a community benefit agreement for any development and ensure that it is “not simply a vague promise of contributing to the economy.”