2023 Election Issues: Quality of Life

Two people dancing in the street at a festival
Election Guide 2023

Issues
Quality of Life

Quality of life and opportunity is something young voters say they care a lot about.

On Oct. 14, when you vote for mayor-president and for council, quality of life is on the ballot.

Local government — that is, the mayor-president and the councils — impacts quality of life in Lafayette in three ways: infrastructure, economic development, and public policy.

Infrastructure

Budgets reflect our priorities as a community. LCG sets the budget for public parks and recreation centers in Lafayette, and it controls how much public money goes to things like Festival International, the Heymann Center and the Lafayette Science Museum.

The councils also oversee funding for quality of life infrastructure — things like sidewalks to improve walkability, bike lanes and transit access and placemaking for public spaces, like Parc San Souci and Parc International in Downtown.

LCG can also help fund private investments in parts of the city, like the Trappey Plant redevelopment on the Vermilion River.

Economic Development

Making Lafayette a more attractive place to live also means creating better opportunities to make a living here, and LCG has roles to play in that too, generally through economic development.

We can make investments to attract jobs that people want. Think about LUS Fiber, which took a huge public investment and is credited with attracting tech companies. Going back even further, the creation of LUS — our public utility system — set the foundation for modern industry in Lafayette.

During the pandemic, LCG offered small grants to local businesses to keep them afloat. And local policies and regulations can affect whether employers choose to locate here or whether a local entrepreneur gets their feet off the ground.

LCG is an employer, too. In fact, it’s the 5th largest employer in the parish with around 2,500 workers.

Public Policy

It’s not just what we spend. It’s what we say. For a lot of people, quality of life means feeling safe or welcome. And local government plays a big role in that too. Think about some major controversies lately:

Debates about declaring Pride Month, moving the Mouton statue, who sits on the library board or what the Bayou Vermilion District is meant for.

The mayor-president and council members have a big say in each of those issues, directly or indirectly. So when we choose our representatives, we send a signal about who our community is — and who is welcome here and who has an opportunity to thrive.

Whatever role you think local government ought to play, the fact is, local government can and does affect quality of life and opportunity. So if that matters to you, you should ask candidates about it. Here are three questions you can ask:

  • How will you make Lafayette more attractive to young people?
  • What can you do to bring us good jobs?
  • What does quality of life mean to you?

Read more about Quality of Life and Opportunity

Looking under LCG's hood

Here is a selection of items on the agendas for this week’s meetings of the City and Parish councils. To see the full agendas, check out the links below: Parish Council Executive Sessions Garcia v. LCG. The Parish Council will meet behind closed doors to discuss a lawsuit stemming from a 2021 car crash with […]