It is characteristic of Kathleen Blanco that the former governor, battling a terminal illness, does not want tributes or statues in her honor, but is thinking about the longer future.
She will be honored by her alma mater, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, by creation of the Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center housed at the university’s Dupré Library. More than 500 well-wishers attended a Friday dinner where Gov. John Bel Edwards and other luminaries spoke in her honor.
The center will make her extensive papers from a long career in public life available to researchers. Over the decades, she has been a legislator, member of the Public Service Commission and lieutenant governor as well as serving as chief executive, 2004-2008, including the traumatic years of hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the long recovery from them.
But the center is also intended to generate research on Louisiana’s current and future problems, including education and poverty concerns that she has long sought to address. “The center will design stronger futures for our children and grandchildren,” Blanco said.
We hope so and welcome a new policy voice in Louisiana’s future.