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Thursday, August 25, 2016
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Panelist Bio


Austin J. Badon, Jr.
State Rep. (D), Chairman of the House Education Committee

Louisiana State Representative Austin Badon Jr. is a native son of New Orleans, LA. Before he began to serve the people of the great State of Louisiana as a member of the House of Representatives in 2004, he earned his high school degree from the internationally known St. Augustine High School; he then went on to earn an under-graduate degree in Political Science and Sociology from the University of New Orleans. Later, he went back to school to earn a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Troy State University. Representative Badon began to delve into the word of politics while attending college. During his under-graduate work, Austin worked as an intern for the New Orleans City Council. Upon completion of the class, he missed working there so much that he volunteered until he found his first REAL job. After job stints in Atlanta and Houston, he came home to the City and State that he loves. After his election in 2004, he has authored and co-authored major reform efforts in New Orleans as well as in the State. His most notable measures have included the consolidation of the seven Orleans assessor office’s into one, the change in qualifications of those serving on levee boards, the implementation of the Recovery School district in Orleans Parish schools, a ban on smoking in Louisiana’s restaurants, testing of inmates for HIV and Hepatitis, the proposed ban on text messaging and cell phone use while driving, the implementation of a scholarship program in New Orleans public schools and many other quality of life instruments. He prides himself on never missing a day of work in any Special or Regular session. As one of the most highly respected members of either legislative chamber, he has served as a Floor leader for both Governor Kathleen Blanco and Governor Bobby Jindal. In 2008, Representative Badon has earned the appointed of Chairman of the House Education Committee.

His motto is “Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it.” Representative Badon has been recognized for his accomplishments by the Loyola University Black Law Student association, by the Alliance for Good Government as the 2007 Legislator of the Year and by numerous civic and social organizations. Representative Badon was re-elected in 2007 with an overwhelming mandate from his constituents because of his professionalism, accessibility, tenacity and caring manner. Just like so many other people in the New Orleans area, Representative Badon had to overcome tremendous obstacles while rebuilding his flood damaged home. But he believes that God has placed him in this position to help others. He is married to Therese Badon and they have one dependent, a toy poodle who thinks he is a Rottweiller named Romeo. He is a gourmet chef, expert angler and kayaker and he loves the outdoors.

Current Topic


08/16 - Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference (encore)

What difference has a decade made?

Due to severe flooding in Baton Rouge and the surrounding communities, the recording of “Black & The Blue,” which was to be the August episode of Louisiana Public Square, was cancelled. Instead we will be broadcasting an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference.” More information, including broadcast dates and times, is below.

“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference”
Eleven years ago, Hurricane Katrina swept through Southeast Louisiana, triggering what would become the nation’s costliest disaster. Less than a month later, Hurricane Rita inundated Southwest Louisiana forever altering the landscape. The storms uprooted residents, while the rest of Louisiana and its neighboring states welcomed them with open arms.
What affect did the storms have on economic development along the I-10 corridor? Just over a decade later, how have public services changed? How prepared is Louisiana to handle hurricane evacuees? And how did the hurricanes change the demographics of the state?
This month Louisiana Public Square takes a look at where the state is now on an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” airing Wednesday, August 17 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 21 at 11 a.m. on LPB HD.

The panelists are:
· Andy Kopplin, Office of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu
· Paul Rainwater, Rainwater Consulting, LLC
· Stephanie Riegel, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report
· Nihal Shrinath, The Data Center

The program includes interviews with Jason El Koubi, One Acadiana; Chris Guilbeaux, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP); Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals; Allison Plyer, Executive Director of the Data Center; John White, State Superintendent of Education; and Christopher Bohnstengel and “Byrdie” Lane, owners of Byrdie’s Gallery and Café in New Orleans.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney, and Kim Hunter Reed,Ph.D., who served in the Blanco administration during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, moderate the discussion.
“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” will also air in New Orleans, on WLAE. It can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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