We have lived in Baton Rouge for 46 years and have a deep love for our state but am embarrassed and disgusted by the latest statistics released by U.S. News and World Report. For the second year in a row our state is ranked as that worst state in the country based on health care, education, infrastructure, crime and other quality-of-life measures.

The ratings: Crime and corrections, 48. Economy, 44. Education, 49. Fiscal stability, 48. Health care, 47. Infrastructure, 44. Opportunity, 50. Quality of life, 42.

We can’t just blame this on our leadership because our apathy and lack of participation in the system have also contributed to these dismal facts. In our state , his is the average turnout for the following elections: Governor’s race, 40 percent; mayor, 30 percent; tax propositions, 10 percent. When participation is that low there are literally dozens of precincts opened and staffed for a full day, yet no one votes. This is absolutely disgraceful. Those who refuse to participate in the political process are contributing to our present dilemma. In history, 19 of 21 notable civilizations died from within and not by conquest from without. We are headed down that path if we do not wake up to our complacency and take immediate and massive action to resolve these issues.

Dale Brown

retired coach

Baton Rouge