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Feb 15, 2024

In today’s episode, co-host Ryan Coonerty sits down with Louisiana State Senator Royce Duplessis. They discuss the challenges of serving in a superminority, the senator’s ability to pass core legislation in criminal justice by working across the aisle, and how he plans on helping low-income families with the earned tax income credit. Duplessis also talks about his goals to transition Louisiana off of hazardous fossil fuels and onto renewable energy, as well as how the disastrous impacts of Hurricane Katrina opened his eyes to the myriad climate and justice issues facing his community. In addition, he unpacks Louisiana’s recent battle over congressional maps, why he decided to serve on the new governor’s transition team despite ideological differences, and how he stumbled into a career in politics. And you'll also want to tune in for Senator Duplessis’s tips for experiencing authentic New Orleans beyond the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. 

  • (01:59) Senator Duplessis gives an update on Louisiana’s political landscape and its new governor, Jeff Landry.

  • (03:52) How the Senator is working with Governor Landry to create strategies for uplifting the New Orleans community and why his wife insisted that he had to do it.

  • (06:41) Unpacking the dynamic between New Orleans and Louisiana, and why it requires Duplessis to work across the aisle.

  • (10:00) How Hurricane Katrina spurred Senator Duplessis’s passion for the environment and justice, and how this informs his work.

  • (12:03) Why Louisiana is well positioned to be a leader in renewable energy, particularly offshore wind projects.

  • (13:53) The redrawing of congressional lines in the Pelican state and why it’s good news for voting rights advocates.

  • (17:54) Background on Senator Duplessis’ career and how his passion for service got him involved in politics.

  • (21:34) The challenges Senator Duplessis has faced serving in the legislature part time and as a new father – and why it’s so rewarding.

  • (24:17) How Democrats in the Louisiana superminority build the coalitions they need to get solutions-focused policies passed, including Senator Duplessis’s groundbreaking criminal justice reform measures.

  • (29:53) Senator Duplessis shares his tips on how to explore New Orleans beyond the French Quarter and Bourbon Street!