Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Field Report: Alliance for Affordable Energy

June Just Flew By

July is already here and I’m still trying to figure out what happened to June. The heat that everyone warned me about when I first arrived in New Orleans is  here, and I experienced it first hand during an event the Alliance for Affordable Energy was involved in on June 3Oth. It was an outreach event at the Palmer Park Art Market. The Alliance had a great location for our table, which was just down from the park’s center fountain where they had live jazzy music, and it was just a stone’s throw away from the food stands. Woody’s Fish Tacos were awesome and the snow cones were perfectly icy and sticky sweet.

Over all it was a good outreach event, but the Palmer Park Art Market wasn’t as big an event as I thought it would be. The coordinator’s event map showed hundreds of artist spots, but participation  shrivels up quite a bit because of the summer heat, but I hear their Fall and Spring events are huge.  We did have family’s and couples walk by our tent, and many stopped to talk , but the majority of them just rushed on by, and I didn’t understand why until  I got to walk around the park a bit myself. I checked out all the Artist’s wares and the other stands, but I too saw myself pick up the pace and look for a cooler, shadier spot under the  park’s trees. It really was a scorcher that day!

Gulf Restoration Network also had a table at the Art Market, and I met their outreach coordinator.  Her name is Ayn Pivonka.  Unfortunately, I only talked with her a short time, but I liked her fiery look and animated personality, which I’m sure GRN is benefiting from and thankful for. Both of us were training new volunteers to get signatures for each other’s cause, and yes, I did add my name to her cause list, and she signed ours. Thank you Ayn!

What is the Alliance getting signatures for? Well, the Alliance and the Sierra Club are working together  to expand Energy Efficiency rules throughout Louisiana. Right now, New Orleans has a program called Energy Smart, which offers energy audits and cash rebates to Entergy New Orleans electric customers, who invest in energy efficiency improvements of their home. Just so you know, Louisiana residents pay one of the highest in utility bills in the country, and we want to help lower those cost. The Alliance believes that a state wide program similar to Energy Smart will help Louisiana residents become more energy efficient, which will in turn shrink their energy bills considerably, and also help the environment.

We had a few other events during June, but it being the last event of the month, on the last day of the month pretty much summed up my month of June. The ever increasing heat, the tasty hot and cold foodies I ate, the cool art  and the hot music I enjoyed has prepared me, I believe, for a New Orleans’ July.


– Jon Scott, Tulane AmeriCorps VISTAAlliance for Affordable Energy


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Notes from the field from the AmeriCorps VISTA team at Tulane University.


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