EBR mayoral candidates debate at SU Law forum

Candidates for EBR mayor-president face off in virtual forum hosted by SU Law Center

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It’s not just the presidential race voters will decide upon come Election Day (Nov. 3). There are a number of local races as well.

Thursday night (Oct. 22), the candidates for mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish spoke about how they would change the community moving forward.

The Southern University Law Center Student Bar Association hosted the forum.

One big question posed to the candidates was what specific policies they plan to implement to create a pathway for new businesses in north Baton Rouge.

“In order to effectively recruit new industries aggressively, we’re going to have to fix a lot of issues in that part of town, such as blight, such as the poverty-stricken areas,” said Jordan Piazza.

“You have to address the crime in order to attract new businesses there. Once you do that, I think there’s an opportunity to offer tax incentives,” said Rep. C. Denise Marcelle.

“We already the changes to policing and crimes that has to be fixed, but the bigger thing and the most important thing is education,” said E. Eric Guirard.

“So we’ve already started the work, so this is my vision for the future: to accelerate private investment in disinvested communities,” said Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, who is seeking reelection.

“When you talk about tearing down blighted and condemned dangerous buildings, by tearing those down, you’re doing a couple of things. One, you’re going to improve people’s lives,” said Metro Councilman Matt Watson.

The final question to the candidates was why they believe they’re the best person for the job.

“I have demonstrated transformative leadership in trying times. It’s been said you can see the character of a leader during times of crisis,” said Broome.

“I want to go out and I want to serve every person in the community. I want to be on the front lines and show that I’m not above doing any of the work people would be out there doing,” said Watson.

“I believe that I want to not only come to the table and tell you what I’m going to do, but hear from the citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish. What is it that they want?” said Marcelle.

“We have to understand that we have challenging times, and I think it’s going to take a lot of energy, stamina, and persistence, and I know I have those qualities and capabilities to bring everyone together for a better Baton Rouge,” said Piazza.

“I think I can be the leader that can take us to the next level. I think I can be the leader that can show us a new way, can think out the box a little bit more,” said Guirard.

Steve Carter did not participate in Thursday evening’s virtual debate.

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