It is election time, and we all know that it’s important to vote. As publisher of The Rouge Collection each year I take the time to share with you who I believe is best fit to serve our community. This year we have some very critical races before us, and I want to share with you my thoughts on the future of our community and who I’m encouraging you to support when you go vote.
On the ballot this fall are congressional races school board races, city constable, a city court judge seat, and a few constitutional amendments. Each of these races are crucial and we need to ensure to vote from the top of the ticket to the bottom.
Here are the candidates I’m supporting as publisher of The Rouge Collection.
Secretary of State
No Endorsement Until Runoff
Congressional District 2
Congressional District 6
City Court Judge
School Board District 2
School Board District 3
School Board District 4
School Board District 5
School Board District 6
School Board District 7
Zachary City Council District 5
Vote No On Constitutional Amendment 1
Vote Yes On Constitutional Amendments 2-6
Especially VOTE YES ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 2
Proposed Amendment No. 1 Act 719 of the 2018 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature proposing to add Article I, Section 10.1 to the Louisiana Constitution. “Do you support an amendment to prohibit a convicted felon from seeking or holding public office or appointment within five years of completion of his sentence unless he is pardoned?”
Proposed Amendment No. 2 Act 722 of the 2018 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature proposing to amend Article I, Section 17(A) of the Louisiana Constitution. “Do you support an amendment to require a unanimous jury verdict in all noncapital felony cases for offenses that are committed on or after January 1, 2019?”
Proposed Amendment No. 3 Act 717 of the 2018 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature proposing to amend Article VII, Section 14(B) of the Louisiana Constitution. “Do you support an amendment to permit, pursuant to written agreement, the donation of the use of public equipment and personnel by a political subdivision upon request to another political subdivision for an activity or function which the requesting political subdivision is authorized to exercise?”
Proposed Amendment No. 4 Act 720 of the 2018 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature proposing to amend Article VII, Section 27(B)(1) of the Louisiana Constitution. “Do you support an amendment to remove authority to appropriate or dedicate monies in the Transportation Trust Fund to state police for traffic control purposes?”
Proposed Amendment No. 5 Act 721 of the 2018 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature proposing to add Article VII, Sections 18(G)(6), 21(K)(4) and (M)(4) of the Louisiana Constitution. “Do you support an amendment to extend eligibility for the following special property tax treatments to property in trust: the special assessment level for property tax valuation, the property tax exemption for property of a disabled veteran, and the property tax exemption for the surviving spouse of a person who died while performing their duties as a first responder, active duty member of the military, or law enforcement or fire protection officer?”
Proposed Amendment No. 6 Act 718 of the 2018 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature proposing to amend Article VII, Section 18(A) and (F) of the Louisiana Constitution. “Do you support an amendment that will require that any reappraisal of the value of residential property by more than 50%, resulting in a corresponding increase in property taxes, be phased-in over the course of four years during which time no additional reappraisal can occur and that the decrease in the total ad valorem tax collected as a result of the phase-in of assessed valuation be absorbed by the taxing authority and not allocated to the other taxpayers?”
Special Note On School Board Elections
I believe our public schools in Baton Rouge are failing to improve at the rate they should, therefore I feel it is important to explain why I can only support one of the current school board members for re-election. We currently have dozens of failing schools and for the most part we’ve had the same school board members representing our children. The current leadership of the board has done what I believe is the best they can offer the citizens of this community. As a parent who has a child attending public schools in this community I’m deeply concerned about what we do to shift and change the trajectory of public education in this city. I don’t believe charters are the answer, nor do I believe they are the biggest issue we face.
We currently have a school board where one member has been caught on camera assaulting a teenager, the school board president recently sent text messages cursing a citizen out, and another member of the board is banned from teaching in East Baton Rouge Parish schools. Honestly, if I had my way I would scrap the entire board and start over — however some of the members of our school board have no challengers and therefore are automatically re-elected.
Considering the state of our school board, I can only in good conscious support one of the current school board members, and that is Dawn Collins. She was elected in a special election and has not served a full term on the board — as a result I believe she should be given the opportunity to serve a full term. Dawn fights, and shows up for her constituents.
Our failing East Baton Rouge Public schools are the alleged original reason for the push for residents in the south east portion of the parish to create a new city. The proposed city of St. George will probably be on the spring ballot of 2019, and our school boards failure to make drastic improvements to public schools plays a part in that. While I completely disagree with the push for a new city of St. George, I understand the frustrations of parents who want better schools for their children.
The candidates I’m supporting are energetic, issue focused people. I’ve had the opportunity to hear them all speak. While I don’t agree with all their positions on the issues, I believe we need a drastic change in public schools in Baton Rouge and that starts by bringing in a new board. I hope you will join me in supporting the candidates above.
No matter who you support, please get out and vote. Early voting starts October 23rd and ends October 30th. Election Day is November 6th, people get out and vote. Make your voice heard, get in the game.