One of Iberville Parish’s next council hopefuls has his sights set on economic development, infrastructure and accessibility. But, first, his sights are set on finishing high school.

Plaquemine High School senior Raheem Pierce, 18, said he has always wanted to hold a leadership position in his community, and with the District 6 election coming up in October, he figured now’s the time to start.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, not necessarily Parish Council but being some type of elected official,” Pierce said. “I’ve just always thought we need fresh ideas, young people with a seat at the table.”

Pierce, who graduates in May, serves as class president. He plans to attend Southern University in the fall.

He’s finishing out his last high school classes on an early-release schedule, so after he finishes school about 10 a.m. each day, he’s out in the community hosting senior breakfasts, planning movie nights for teenagers or putting the finishing touches on his upcoming Easter egg hunt for kids.

“I have the support of my classmates because I’m the class president, but it’s crazy because as young as I am, the community is behind me, and I have a lot of support from them, too, more than I thought I’d have being my age,” Pierce said.

District 6 covers Seymourville, True Hope and the Fort area in Iberville Parish. Having grown up in the area, Pierce said he knows many of his prospective constituents but has been out knocking on doors, reaching out on social media and making phone calls to win over the rest ahead of this fall's election.

“I can’t take all that for granted, so I’m just out there preparing for Oct. 12,” he said.

Pierce’s mom, Deon Wicks, said she has long thought the Parish Council could use change. When she found out that change may include her teenage son’s name on the ballot, she said she wasn’t surprised.

“Always, from 13, 14 years old, he was out doing youth gatherings and getting the community together,” she said. “I’m really active in the community, too, helping with feeding the homeless and food bank drives, but even as a child, he wanted to be involved.”

Pierce also is the chairman of the Louisiana High School Democrats, a volunteer firefighter with the Plaquemine Fire Department and, at 15, joined the Cajun Navy in 2016 flood recovery.

Being a proud parent is an understatement as far as Wicks is concerned.

“He’s out doing service for our community. I’ve always believed for him and knew he was going to run for something just by his commitment to the people,” she said.

Pierce said his five-point platform includes addressing infrastructure, community involvement, economic development, identity and self image, and accessibility and transparency.

“I know that’s not the only things going on, but I feel that it’s the most important thing and I believe if we can get past those not only District 6 but Iberville Parish as a whole can blossom,” he said.


Follow Emma Kennedy on Twitter, @byemmakennedy.