BJ Amador (I)

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Do you believe Baton Rouge has a race problem, and if so what 2 steps would you take as mayor in your first year to address it? 

Yes. I think what happened on Airline Highway was precipitated by the Alton Sterling shooting. If I’m elected mayor, if any man working for me fired on an unarmed man, he would be fired immediately. There’s a loss of credibility in our community. No matter what the FBI decides, there’s the belief in our community that people won’t be treated fairly. As mayor, I would hire nothing but African-Americans in the BRPD until we got to a 50-50 split, and I would dispatch one black and one white police officer in every car to work together.

I also think that for job creation, junior college should be available at no cost. The current mayor laid off a lot of people, a lot of them African-Americans. I would hire back as many of those people as possible and pay for it with the increase in sales tax revenue that we are going to see from people rebuilding their homes.

East Baton Rouge Parish and its residents were severely impacted by the August floods. What specific ideas do you have to rebuild our community and strengthen its people?

One is using that extra sales tax revenue to help with rebuilding and with housing. No matter where people flooded they’re probably going to buy their items in Baton Rouge so we’re going to have extra revenue. I’m part of the Homeless Alliance and we’ve been meeting every week to figure out what to do with the people who are having to leave the River Center. Istrouma High could be available, and I would like to work with the governor and the school board to use it as a shelter. Revenue could be used to buttress rebuilding for low income people trying to rebuild and for whom FEMA is not going to cover the whole thing.

In order for you to consider your first term as mayor a success, what is the No. 1 thing you hope to have accomplished?

I would say addressing crime and traffic with increased police presence. I would put up security cameras to catch criminals. With traffic, I would see if we could jointly put a loop around the city with help from state.

His background:

Retired accountant. Worked for state Department of Revenue. Former IRS investigator.

Was an investigator for the Internal Revenue Service, where he was trained in law enforcement tactics. A Navy veteran of the Vietnam War.

Use local dollars to pay employees of federally funded antipoverty programs so all of the federal money is spent on program activities. Establish new homeless shelters at closed schools. Repair low-income housing. Help laid-off city-parish employees find jobs. Cap the salaries of city-parish employees (including the mayor-president) at $100,000. Hire equal numbers of black and white law enforcement officers. Have black and white officers patrol together. Consider creating a volunteer civilian police auxiliary to help patrol the city. Work to address concerns of St. George movement so they don’t incorporate.