Braylon Hyde (R)

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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? 

I do believe have Baton Rouge has a race problem, but only due to the fact that America as a whole has a race problem. We as leaders need to address it. At the end of the day, there’s nothing we aren’t able to do in terms of getting laws passed. Like Martin Luther King said, the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me. We need zero tolerance laws and policies regarding racial discrimination. It’s taken a disaster for this community to come together. It would be sad if that’s the only thing that brings us together. We need to continue to fight for equality, fight for justice and fight for zero tolerance policies on racism.

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?

It’s going to take financial support, so one of the first things is to go to the Metro Council and use the undedicated funds in the budget so that we have enough capital to assist in a feasible or tangible rebuilding effort, such as opening new shelters and rebuilding homes. We need to put progressive policies in place so we’re being productive on drainage and sewage issues. We need to put in safeguards to soften the blow of any future natural disaster.

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

Justice and law enforcement reform. Some type of compromise that will satisfy both officers and the community. We need funding in the police department for pay raises for police offers and a full psychiatrist, because sometimes in high stress jobs our subconscious takes over. You say goodbye to your family and you don’t know if you’re coming back. Police need the technology and the resources to protect the community by any means necessary.

We also need to bridge the economic development gap in East Baton Rouge Parish. We want to make sure East Baton Rouge Parish is setting the standard for economic development in the state. Take tourism. When people think of tourism, I want them to think of Baton Rouge. I want Baton Rouge to be a tourist destination, beyond just football and Bayou Country Superfest. I want us to tap into the hundreds of millions of revenue we’re missing out on, funds that would be able to push economic development in North Baton Rouge.

His background:

LSU student. Community activist. Youth minister.

A 22-year-old from a military family. Worked with the NAACP in Oklahoma. Advocated for public school reforms in Georgia that would benefit students from military families. Involved locally in Next Generation Pioneers, a coalition of young black men, and the Louisiana chapter of Urban Game Changers, dedicated to “raising the voices of everyday people” and “holding elected officials accountable.”

Priorities would be job creation and criminal justice reform. Encourage businesses to get involved in local schools. Consider incentives to increase investment in underdeveloped areas. Heavily promote tourism. Increase spending for law enforcement and ensure officers have the best training available. Ensure police officers receive regular psychiatric evaluations. Promises to create a list of goals each year and give up 20% of salary if goals not met.