Both challenger and incumbent for the House District 29 seat say education is the key to addressing poverty.
“I plan to do something different. I’ll try to see if I bring in some of the grass roots movement,” said state Rep. Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge.
Groups that are not traditionally part of the educational system could help a community “buy in” to the value of schooling and reinforce the efforts of educators, she said.
The election is Oct. 22. Early voting begins Oct. 8 and runs through Oct. 15.
Challenging Barrow is Edmond Jordan, also a Democrat, who is lawyer from Brusly.
“We have to make sure the kids are well-educated,” Jordan said. “If we do that, we’ll see a reduction in crime. We’ll see more jobs come to the district.”
Jordan said he does not oppose giving parents vouchers of tax dollars to spend on private schools or funding charter schools, which give public money to private entities running public schools outside the traditional oversight of elected school boards.
Critics say the two plans drain needed tax dollars from the public school system.
Jordan said he falls among the supporters who argue that proposals could produce better results in classrooms.
“My whole goal is that these kids receive a quality education,” Jordan said, adding that lawmakers should look at the results of individual schools. “We need to weed out the bad ones and reward the good ones.”
Barrow said some charter schools have good initiatives that provide a lot of different opportunities.
“All our kids learn differently,” she said, adding that she opposes vouchers.
House District 29 in north Baton Rouge curves along Greenwell Street from the Comite River, past LSU Earl K. Long Medical Center and across the Mississippi River into Port Allen and Brusly. About 79 percent of the district’s 41,209 residents are black.
During redistricting earlier this year, several north Baton Rouge precincts of Barrow’s district were trimmed off and were added to a new seat.
Additional West Baton Rouge Parish precincts were given to House District 29, giving the west bank 9,635 voters, or 32 percent of the district’s registered voters.
Barrow said the state government’s budget has been cut deeply during the past couple years. “I don’t know how much more can be cut,” she said.
Barrow said she is open to tax measures. “There has to be a balance. We need to evaluate what we pay out to what we take in,” she said.
Jordan also said state budget would need a mixture of both increased revenue and more budget cuts. “There are services government is going to have to provide. You can’t cut everything,” he said.
Jordan has practiced civil rights and personal injury law. He has worked on the legal staff of the Louisiana Public Service Commission.
Barrow, who was first elected in 2005, is running for a final term as a member of the House of Representatives. She chairs the House Committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs. Before being elected in her own right, Barrow worked as aide to state Sen. Sharon Broome, D-Baton Rouge.
Democrat, Baton Rouge.
45, mortgage specialist.
EDUCATION: Baton Rouge School of Computers.
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: State representative.
EDUCATION: B.S., Southern University; J.D., Southern University Law Center.
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: None.
WHERE TO VOTE
Ward/Precinct and location
East Baton Rouge Parish
1-17 DPW Traffic Engineering Building
1-23 Delmont Elementary
1-24 St. Gerard Extended Care Building
1-25 St. Gerard Extended Care Building
1-58 IFA Church
1-77 St. Mark United Methodist Church
1-84 Glen Oaks Middle
1-85 Banks Elementary
2-11 Sharon Hills Elementary
2-16 Glen Oaks High
2-23 Merrydale Elementary
2-27 Sharon Hills Elementary
2-30 Glen Oaks Park Elementary
West Baton Rouge Parish
2A Brusly Elementary
2B Brusly Elementary
3 Brusly Elementary
5 Brusly Elementary
6 Brusly Fire Station No. 3
7A Brusly Fire Station No. 3
7B Brusly Fire Station No. 3
8 Lukeville Upper Elementary
9 American Legion Hall
10A Port Allen City Court
10B Port Allen City Court
11A K.C. Hall
11B K.C. Hall
12 K.C. Hall
13A Cohn Elementary School Gym
13B Cohn Elementary School Gym
14 Port Allen Fire Station No. 2
15 Cohn Elementary School Gym
17 West Baton Rouge Parish Building