Over the weekend former State Senator Sharon Weston Broome who is now a candidate for Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish, weighed in on an article by The Advocate about the Baton Rouge Zoo and the possibility of it moving to south Baton Rouge. “Could it be the blight? Maybe, but let’s address the blight. Let’s address the zoo. And let the zoo grow and develop on the ample acreage that it has there,” said Broome.
While we at The Rouge Collection agree that the Baton Rouge Zoo should stay in north Baton Rouge, Sen. Broome’s statements about blight don’t help the case. The stretch of highway leading up to the zoo doesn’t actually have blight. There is simply a lack of economic development – which most residents in the area would benefit from as well as the zoo. The struggles in north Baton Rouge are many, but we don’t need areas of potential progress wrongly labelled as areas full of blight, when they just have not have investment.
Each state uses different criteria to determine whether property should be classified as blighted. Common criteria include: The property is uninhabitable. Well, on Hwy 19 heading to the zoo, simply needs economic development. We decided to fact check the blight, and to all current and former elected officials, maybe you should take a ride in north Baton Rouge, before we cast it all off as blighted…. It doesn’t really help the fight for progress. The area needs the zoo, because the zoo has the potential with good leadership to be an economic anchor for north Baton Rouge. Have a look for yourself.