Greg Lafleur (D)

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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 don’t think we have a race problem. It’s more of a poverty problem, and we have to do to better job of creating more jobs. Once we create more jobs that will go along in improving race relations. I have an idea called “Add One” where if every thriving local business or company that is doing well could just add one employee, we’d do something about unemployment. I also want to recruit more companies to come to Baton Rouge. And I want to do something about education. Although the City Parish is not directly involved in education, we need to establish a special high school in north Baton Rouge that will partner with business and industry and that will have the kinds of curriculum that will attract kids.

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?

We have to realize that there’s a real flood risk in our community—we all live in a flood plain. The Comite Diversion Project is long overdue and its time for the Federal government to help fund it so we never experience this again. We also have to stay on top of our drainage. We now know how critical it is it is to keep our drainage clear.

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

Bringing the city together because Baton Rouge is a special place, and I would want everybody to feel good about Baton Rouge again. We have been tested over the last three months, and with the flooding we’ve learned that we care about one another. People rescued one another. They cared for other people, and I always knew that Baton Rouge was like that. You never know until have you a disaster what you’re made of.

His background:

Former LSU and NFL football player. Former Southern University athletics director.

Worked for the state Department of Education and directed athletics programs at Texas State, Chicago State and Southern universities. Was fired by Southern after being arrested in a prostitution sting. After his acquittal, sued the university for breach of contract and earned a settlement.

Recruit new jobs. Improve training and continuing education for police. Aggressively pursue federal funds for more thoroughfares. Work with the public school system, universities and community colleges to create an alternative career-oriented school.