EBR Elections Platform

2020 East Baton Rouge Mayoral and Metro Council Platform

The strain of COVID-19 and the current economic recession has put the future of East Baton Rouge in jeopardy, which will be all the more challenging without serious, solution-oriented leadership. The passion and optimism for the future of Baton Rouge is matched with a concern about the speed of progress and change. The parish’s citizens face tremendous challenges, some unique to our city-parish, and many shared by municipalities across the nation. The city-parish also has a great number of strengths, including its talented workforce, its situations as a center of higher learning, its multi-modal infrastructure, its neighborhoods and communities, its diverse people and culture, and its entrepreneurial drive. With so many assets and so much opportunity, there is a huge expectation for faster improvement and progress over the next four years than we’ve seen in the recent past.

The next Mayor and Metro-Council members of East Baton Rouge must change the tenor of city-parish politics, successfully manage recovery from COVID-19, and strive to build a special place where talented people want and have opportunities to live, work, and play. In this time of anxiety and economic difficulty, elected leadership must seek commonality, lead with dignity, and strive for the betterment of every parish citizen.

To that end, the business community strongly urges the next Mayor-President and Metro Council to do something unprecedented: Create a bipartisan agenda identifying common ground upon which to lead, acting collaboratively, and finding real solutions. Our elected leaders must demonstrate responsible compromise, civil discourse, and equitable justice.

BRAC’s big ideas and urgent priorities for the next Mayor President and Metropolitan Council members are:

1. Prioritize economic development and job creation, creating a unified vision to accelerate recovery from COVID-19
  • Drive industry sector diversification to increase economic resiliency
  • Increase counseling, financial assistance programs, and technical services to strengthen and grow small businesses and entrepreneurship
  • Use economic development incentives to spur investment and job growth
2. Develop and drive significant financial investment into redevelopment and economic development in North Baton Rouge
  • Implement the Plank Road Master Plan, the Scotlandville Community Plan, and other existing plans
  • Make measurable, visible progress by 2024
    • Locate a full-service grocery store
    • Significantly reduce the number of blighted and adjudicated properties
    • Drive at least $25 million in new private investment into the area
    • Increase the number and type of small business/retail
    • Through EmployBR, increase the number of North Baton Rouge residents holding post-secondary credentials
3. Improve and build traditional and multi-modal infrastructure
  • Engage in and support creation of a new Mississippi River bridge through the work of the Capital Area Road and Bridge District
  • Retain and attract talent by creating lifestyle-enhancing pedestrian and cyclist-friendly infrastructure. Urgently implement the new parish-wide Pedestrian-Bike Master Plan
  • Secure federal and state funding for commuter rail from Baton Rouge to New Orleans
  • Modernize and improve CATS
  • Bring Bus Rapid Transit to Baton Rouge
4. Make it easier and more efficient to do business in and with the city-parish
  • Privatize services such as permitting where it would improve efficiency and delivery
  • Streamline and improve city-parish business services
  • Modernize access to city-parish services
5. Aggressively drive redevelopment, blight abatement, and public maintenance
  • Reform code enforcement services to reduce blight, increase safety, and reinvest in communities
  • Deliver proactive maintenance of public spaces with the goal to eliminate weeds, litter, and high grass in public thoroughfares
  • Modernize the planning department into a more effective agency benchmarked on other U.S. metro best practices
6. Advance civic enhancement projects that will improve EBR’s quality of place
  • Complete revival of the LSU/City Park Lakes
  • Devise a plan to provide parish-wide broadband access and address our digital divides
  • Establish a Florida Boulevard Gateway Development Plan
  • Address drainage problems throughout the parish
7.  Increase the number of people earning high-quality, industry-based credentials via EmployBR’s workforce development services
8. Lower the crime rate and increase public trust in law enforcement
  • Continue using data-driven law enforcement practices to target bad actors, not communities
  • Increase compensation for law enforcement (and consolidate law enforcement agencies if necessary)
  • Ensure appointees to the Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board are fair and impartial; reform the Board in partnership with the legislative delegation, if necessary
  • Prioritize de-escalation and other related training
  • Increase transparency of law enforcement data and policies
9. Manage an equitable and transparent separation of the City of St. George, if the court challenge fails
10. Foster a culture of transparency and accountability
  • Require quarterly and annual reporting to the Metro Council on progress against goals and performance metrics for all city-parish departments and all parish agencies.
David Zoller

David Zoller

Manager of Governmental Affairs
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