I’m Considering Running For State Senate District 15

North Baton Rouge is my home. I was born in this community, raised here, and  started my journey here. For the past few years I’ve dedicated my life to helping ring the alarm on the issues our community faces. Because I grew up here, I remember when you didn’t have to drive miles to go to a decent grocery store. I remember when our community had equal access to healthcare. I could list five or six other I things I remember, but they all lead to one thing, our community has seen better days. For that reason, I’m considering running for state senate to do something about it. 

For years now I’ve written columns right here on The Rouge Collection to push for equal access to healthcare. I’ve shown up at council meetings, spoken at the legislature, served on commissions, hosted town halls, assisted in crafting plans for change, protested in the streets, and even been arrested speaking up for the rights of people in this community. I did those things because I love this city, I believe in its people, and that requires a willingness to fight for its future by any means necessary. 

Economic development has to be priority number one and two for North Baton Rouge, and Senate District 15. A lack of economic opportunity contributes to high crime in North Baton Rouge, there is no way of avoiding it. We have to come up with serious plans for development and applying resources to the right projects that allow us a real chance to compete in this market. North Baton Rouge can be an example of an urban renaissance in the deep south, but it requires that we move boldly to create new opportunities, we can’t just wait for them to come to us — we must envision them and build them. 

Education must also be a top priority for our district and state moving forward. The bed of our district is North Baton Rouge and we have far too many failing schools, which means our students and teachers aren’t getting all the resources they need to be successful. We also lack accountability for the lack of progress in our states schools and that must change. If we are going to attract business and industry to our community, if we are going to help small and emerging businesses grow, we must provide employers with a qualified workforce. If we are going to produce the entrepreneurs of the further, we need better schools to do that.  It no longer acceptable to keep pointing the finger at other people for why things aren’t happening to better the future for educating our states children. 

Healthcare has been, and will be a major issue for me. I spent the better part of 2016 pushing Governor John Bel Edwards and the legislature to work to get North Baton Rouge an emergency room. We have an emergency room now, but its still not enough. Too many people drive miles and miles for access to their primary care doctor or specialist. This travel across town cost our residents more to see a doctor due to fuel and inconvenience. It also worsens the traffic in our parish, because we force residents of North Baton Rouge to travel south for care. This can’t continue to be our norm. While I know, this district includes more than just North Baton Rouge, the issues that face North Baton Rouge, impact all of our district and community. 

There are other issues that you know I’m passionate about, police accountability and reform, criminal justice reform, equity and inclusion and other issues we’ve fought together to change. I’ve dedicated my life over the last few years to fighting for these issues with you, and I’ve realized that some things can’t be fixed from the outside. With that in mind, I’m looking at the race. This is about building and sharing a new vision for this district and our state. I’ve started having conversations with family and friends with positive feedback, over the next few weeks I’m going to expand those conversations. If there is support to launch a campaign and the resources to do so, I will build a team and we will share our vision with this community next year. I am who I am, and I know what comes with being a fighter, if you’d like me to fight for you in the Louisiana legislature I’d like to hear from you. If you’d like to contribute to the campaign if we launch or you’ll be willing to volunteer I want to hear from you — email me directly GChambers@TheRougeCollection.net After a month of conversations I’ll share with you what direction we are going in. No matter what, I’ll be fighting for North Baton Rouge, and a better Louisiana. 

In Solidarity, 

Gary Chambers