Congressman Troy Carter Discusses His Plans As Newly Appointed Representative for Louisiana’s Second Congressional District

Congressman Troy Carter was sworn in on May 11, 2021 to represent Louisiana’s Second Congressional District. Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly appointed Carter to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Small Business Committee where he will help play a crucial role in responding to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and related natural disasters.

One of Carter’s first actions was to show his support for the new debt relief program for socially disadvantaged farmers under Section 105 of the American Rescue Plan Act.

Carter tweeted “the USDA payment program presents an overdue opportunity for farmers who have been historically discriminated against access to new tools, allowing them to compete on level ground. This is an important step to advancing equity and addressing systemic racism.”

Carter has also started LA 02 Curbside which is bringing his staff into the district’s neighborhoods to assist constituents with their needs. The program kicks off tonight at PJ’s Coffee House at 5733 Read Blvd in New Orleans East from 3 pm until 7 pm.

Carter took a few minutes from his busy schedule to speak with us regarding his work in Congress.

DC: What inspired you to a life of public service?

TC: My Mother, my greatest inspiration was watching my mother overcome great obstacles and great odds to become successful in her own pursuits as well as in raising her children. She managed to accomplish all of this while also being active in the community, in church, and in helping others despite having very little ourselves. Her strength gave me the appreciation for community service which later morphed into government service and a strong commitment to community. What she most taught me is that you don’t have to have a whole lot to give a whole lot.

DC: What is your first legislative priority?

TC: My first priority has always been getting the people of our district the help we need such as: COVID relief including vaccines and stimulus as well as infrastructure renewal that will create jobs and get people back to work. To that end, I immediately jumped into my committee assignment on Transportation and Infrastructure and look forwards to advancing the President’s Agenda through the American Jobs Plan. 

DC: The other members of Louisiana’s delegation are all Republicans. How will you forge a strong working relationship with them?

TC:  I’ve always been able to work across the aisle to get things done for people. I certainly had to if I wanted to do anything in the Louisiana legislature. I pride myself on my track record in working with others to provide tangible solutions for constituents. That won’t change here in Congress.

DC: Tariffs put in place by President Trump have caused a price increase for everything from 2 by 4s to auto parts. How will you address the tariff issue?

TC: I fully support the President’s initiative to build back our domestic economy by putting American businesses first and incentivizing people to buy American. Building back the economy after the devastation of COVID will be a challenge. I look forward to seeing what trade deals the Biden Administration makes. 

DC: What new funding might be available to help combat crime in New Orleans?

TC: Smart funding our police will be critical in establishing fair policing and rebuilding community trust. Allocating federal funds to equip Chief Ferguson and his officers with the resources and training they need to better police our communities and weed out the bad cops is a step in the right direction. 

DC: How will you help create better health outcomes for your constituents residing in Cancer Alley?

TC:  Nobody should be forced to choose between their health and their job. I will push to get the comprehensive monitoring with the installation of independent third-party monitors and improved carbon capture technology that our River Parish residents deserve. I’ve pledged to work with them to find real steps that industry and government can take to create healthier communities. I have already met with Secretary Granholm to discuss these issues and have reached out to the EPA administrator to do the same. 

DC: Too many homeless still live on the streets in unsanitary conditions in downtown New Orleans. What can you as a Congressman do to help alleviate the situation?

TC: The most important thing I can do to provide support for the unhoused in our city is work for federal resources that can be allocated towards providing housing and social services for those in need. I have long worked in this area, as former chair of the downtown development district, we created the Low Barrier Shelter. Eradicating homelessness has been a passion of mine since my early years on the New Orleans City Council. 

DC: How will you help reduce child poverty in the 2nd CD?

TC: Yes, child poverty is devastating. Too many children rely on the free lunch provided at school as their only meal of the day. We must do better for our children by ensuring they have enough to eat and a safe place to sleep. Budgets reflect values and I am dedicated to making sure that our federal budgets reflect that we care for our most vulnerable, especially our children. This is consistent with my time in the Senate, I will continue to fight for early childhood education on the federal level just as I did on the state level.  

DC: Will you prioritize early childhood initiatives including government backed day care?

TC: Early childhood education was a part of my platform during the campaign and it’s a point I intend to focus on in Congress. Preschool through Kindergarten should be a right for those in our district, moreover, getting children this early education will greatly help reading development by the time they are in 3rd grade. Studies have shown that if a child struggles to read by the end of 3rd grade that it tends to be a pervasive issue for the rest of their schooling. 

DC: How will you help strengthen working families?

TC: Working families need support right now through stimulus relief until we finally can put the COVID pandemic behind us. Additionally, I intend to push for a minimum wage that is reflective of a true living wage and to dramatically reduce, if not eradicate, student loan debt. Astronomical student loan debt is an increasing burden to kids from working families and will continue to be until we offer support. 

DC: Why is investing in broadband so important?

TC: As shown by the pandemic, broadband internet is vital to not only the ability of small businesses to perform, but to our educational system as well. Children in rural areas who lack access to broadband have fallen behind since they have not been in the classroom. In 2021, affordable and accessible internet should be a given. The whole world is changing, and long-distance communication is essential.

DC: How confident are you that President Biden will provide the funding needed to replace our antiquated S&WB pumps and turbines?

TC:  President Biden’s visit to New Orleans was successful on a number of fronts, among those was his tour of the Carrollton SW&B facility. I assure you that his pointed questions demonstrated knowledge of the antiquated system and he understands the dire need to revamp the SW&B. As a member of Transportation and Infrastructure committee I will be on top of this critical issue for our district. 

DC: You specifically asked President Biden for funding for a new MR Bridge in BR and to take down the Claiborne Avenue overpass. Is there an estimated price tag for those projects?

TC: The costs of various infrastructure projects are being explored as Congress prepares to pass a comprehensive infrastructure plan. I am focused on weighing the costs with the benefits with my posting on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. For far too long we have thought too small and put off crucial maintenance on our infrastructure. The direct mention of the Claiborne Expwy within the American Jobs Plan shows that President Biden realizes how important it is to fix infrastructure in every neighborhood across the country.

DC: If the overpass is removed how will Port NOLA get 18 wheelers to 1-10 East?

TC: All possible solutions will be studied to both do right by the communities affected by this racially biased infrastructure while also maintaining traffic so as not to create congestion or serious detours. As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee I will have an opportunity to truly study this issue and work towards a viable solution. 

DC: Will you work with grassroots groups in 2nd CD to develop a strategy for change that will make a difference?

TC: I have demonstrated my willingness to work with community groups throughout the campaign and our partnerships will continue. I pledged to be a voice for everyone and I meant it. The best way to serve is to listen to the people! 

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