Metro Councilman, John Delgado, officially announced his run for mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish today.
With his wife Stephanie and daughter Lucy by his side, Delgado started by saying, “When people ask me, ‘Why politics? Why do it with all the slings and arrows thrown at you?’ The answer is simple, I do it for Lucy.”
Delgado talked just under 10 minutes before interviewing with the local media. He made comments about his 4 major areas for the parish: public safety, traffic, economic development, and education.
Delgado promised to help improve public safety by adding an additional 200 police officers to the force in Baton Rouge. He said, “We can’t pretend that crime is someone else’s problem, or that it just happens in some other part of the parish. We are all a part of this community. We share in the responsibility to solve our problems and address our issues together.”
Delgado went on to discuss traffic, which is another major topic for the 2016 mayor’s race. Stating that he wants to build on top of the success of current mayor, Kip Holden’s green light initiative. Delgado said he we need to expand roadways, fix bridges, and creating alternatives to the interstate system for travel across the parish. Delgado stated that he supports the proposed “BUMP” plan, which will connect interstates 10, 12, and 110 with, US190 and Airline Hwy. Delgado said, “We need to design our roads to address the problems of tomorrow, not just the problems of today.”
Economic development was next on his list of proposals. Delgado believes that the river is a prime opportunity for economic development. He went on to state, “Business development shouldn’t just happen in the southern part of the parish.” and “Good paying jobs are the quickest way to put the drug dealers out of work.”
In his final talking point, Delgado talked education. Previous mayors have left the fights of education up to the school board and the superintendent. Delgado thinks this isn’t the best route for our city to progress. He said, “We must commit, our full governmental resources to educating our children. Every option must be put on the table.” He went further to talk about seeking out additional funding for head-start programs and recruiting the best charter schools in the nation to Baton Rouge.
In short Delgado, spelled out what we at The Rouge Collection already knew, this election will come down to north Baton Rouge and the black vote. Though Delgado said nothing about race, the demographics show that the only way to win, is to carry the majority of the black vote or for the black vote to be broken up. The race comes down to north Baton Rouge, because crime, education, and economic development are the worst in the northern portions of the parish, and if those problems aren’t addressed it affects the entire parish. It seems Delgado understands this, but the question remains can he whip the votes?
The only other major candidate that has announced in the race for mayor is State Senator Sharon Weston Broome, who is term limited in the senate. As for now, they are the ones under the microscope and north Baton Rouge will be the hot topic. The question now is, who will bring real progress to the parish? Delgado has shown he’s smart enough to see the problems that need addressing, now it’s about getting that message out to voters. We officially have a mayor’s race, and it promises to be interesting. For the first time in a long time, we may actually see some progress in north Baton Rouge when it’s all said and done.