Report from Louisiana: Ready for Election Day?

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Are you ready to vote Tuesday?  Done your research?

In Louisiana we have several races of interest, most of them local issues, and I guess at the top of that for me is the Shreveport mayoral race.

It’s no secret that Shreveport is in an economic decline and ranks low on many of the desirable places to live lists.  There are a lot of great things about Shreveport; don’t get me wrong.  I absolutely love living in Louisiana.  I think what frustrates so many of us that have lived in Shreveport our entire lives is the list of missed opportunities and mis-management that has left our city crime ridden and without many prospects of economic growth.

We’ve spent a lot of time and resources squabbling about Confederate monuments and discussions of building a basketball arena on a toxic waste dump rather than in productive efforts to bring big business and manufacturing back to our city.

We have the beautiful Red River running right through our city but development of the riverfront has consisted of casino gambling and a dog park that is often closed because of flooding.

Crime in our city is out of control with daily and nightly shootings a common occurrence.  For the first time in almost sixty years I don’t really feel safe in my city or worse, my neighborhood.

Is it the same everywhere?  I honestly don’t know.

I do know that these are all topics of discussion in our upcoming mayoral race.  Our present mayor is a really nice lady with a background in education and administration, but I’m not sure that Shreveport has progressed under her tenure.

Local politics matter.  Whatever the issues in your city, whatever the races on your ballot, do your research and get out and vote.  We’ve had a huge early voter turnout, unprecedented huge, and I’m not sure what that means but I’ll be at the polls Tuesday ready to cast my vote.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation.  Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.