Together Baton Rouge Grills Candidates on Law Enforcement, Tax Exemptions, Flood Relief & 'Food Deserts'
Says Together Baton Rouge (part of the Together Louisiana network): "These reforms haven't gone far enough yet, but what has changed already on Louisiana's biggest corporate subsidy program is historic.Read more
With Louisiana as the state with the third highest number of poor people, many of them working full-time, Northern & Central Louisiana Interfaith leaders are devising new ways to tackle poverty. Says Pastor Clayton Moore, "If you work, how is it that you're poor?"
NCLI leaders have launched Another Chance to Succeed (ACTS), modeling itself on Project QUEST in San Antonio and NOVA in Monroe, Louisiana. The goal is to train adults into higher wage jobs of at least $15 / hour. ACTS is targeting January 2017 as its start-up date.Read more
Then, according to Together Baton Rouge (TBR), sister IAF organizations across the country began contacting their congressional representatives and senators urging them to support the funding package â€” across partisan lines. Together Baton Rouge posted a video that, in less than one day, was viewed 55,000 times as leaders quickly spread its message urging people to contact their congressional representatives.Read more
Days before Congress adjourns for October recess, the word among lobbyists was that a proposal for flood recovery funding for Louisiana would not even get a vote for inclusion in the continuing resolution (short term budget).Read more
Before a packed house of leaders from Together Louisiana, and after eight intense rounds of public testimony, the Louisiana Board of Commerce and Industry voted to defer all renewal applications for industrial tax exemptions, including an application for property tax breaks by Koch Industries which would have cost (disaster-declared) East Baton Rouge Parish $1.9 million in revenue.Read more
A 'crazy' idea from 70-year-old Betsy Smith amidst the lack of an automated federal response sparked the effort: "Rather than just donate money....donate $120 to pay an unemployed person $15 an hour for an 8-hour day's work helping with the cleanup effort."Read more
At Governor Bel Edward's request, Together Baton Rouge will lead a discussion on police tactics and race relations, a conversation the Times-Picayune editorial board says "is important to have." Towards that end, the governor arranged a meeting between the organization and the Department of Justice Community Relations Service, which will convene public meetings to get input on what needs to change.Read more
A piece by the Christian Science Monitor digs into the question and includes a quote by Rev. Lee Wesley: "Policemen are going to have to get out of their cars, walk the street, and have a conversation with the black guy on the corner â€“ the black guy who has his pants hanging down â€“ and get to know him as an individual, not as a stereotype. Until we get those types of relationships going, we're never going to get our community moving forward."
TBR will soon hold meetings about community policing to address "how we employ people in our law enforcement agencies, how we vet them" and more. Together Baton Rouge also plans to address this issue with all mayoral candidates running this fall.Read more