BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Sharon Weston Broome wants to hear from you. The Baton Rouge mayor decided to use her annual State of the City address as an opportunity to reach out to the public through a series of town hall-style meetings.
Called ‘State of the City Continued,’ the first of four events drew a small group Thursday evening to the McKinley Alumni Center.
Broome spent the first half hour recapping positive developments made in the parish in 2018 and outlining her vision for 2019. The talk was a recap of her official State of the City speech delivered last week to the Baton Rouge Rotary Club.
Broome promised to kick off road projects approved by voters in her MovEBR plan. She also pledged to give jobs to 500 young people this summer, and announced a master workforce development plan to address families who can’t afford basic needs.
“Our goal there is to make sure that we put people on a path of financial stability,” she explained.
Questions from the audience included concerns about emergency housing for seniors, the high rate of HIV and other STDs in the city, the lack of an accessible GED program in South Baton Rouge, as well as a lack of basic services like grocery and drug stores.
Broome also addressed this week’s unsolved murder of Janessa Hartley in the Sherwood Forest neighborhood.
“We as a community certainly grieve over instances like this and the loss of Ms. Hartley, and certainly our condolences are with her family,” Broome said. “One crime like this is one too many.”
Broome said the community must work better with law enforcement to identify the small percentage of criminals in the parish and take them off the streets.
But in a room filled with more staff members than the general public, the message only reached a handful of folks.
“I want people to be a part of this process, to be engaged and be concerned and committed to this community,” Broome said.
There are three more ‘State of the City Continued’ events open to the public:
French Truck Coffee
- Tuesday, January 22nd at 7:30 a.m.
- 2978 Government Street
Jones Creek Café
- Tuesday, February 5th at 6:00 p.m.
- 15005 Market Street
Southern Grind Café
- Wednesday, February 6th at 6:00 p.m.
- 8418 Scotland Avenue