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Thursday, February 23, 2017
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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


     02/17 - Black & the Blue

What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve?
Last year’s shooting of an African-American male in Baton Rouge by two white police officers re-ignited a national debate on how law enforcement interacts with minority communities. Nationwide demonstrations were ultimately marred by the targeted ambush of 12 white officers in Dallas and the killing of three members of law enforcement in Baton Rouge. What can be done to improve trust among the police and the public they serve? How can Louisiana’s Capital City productively move beyond these events? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on a special town hall edition, “Black & the Blue” Wednesday, February 22 at 7pm; Sunday, February 26 at 1pm and Tuesday, February 28 at 10pm after the State of the Union address on LPB HD. In New Orleans on WLAE, Wednesday, February 22 at 7 PM. (Recorded Monday, February 20)

Our panelists will be:
• Fr. Rick Andrus, St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Together BR
• Darrell Basco, state president of Fraternal Order of Police
• Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President of Baton Rouge
• Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge; Public Safety Task Force
• Stephanie Riegel; Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Reverend Raymond Jetson, pastor of Star Hill Church host the program. Robyn Merrick with the Southern University System and Bob Mann with LSU’s Manship School will moderate the discussion.
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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     03/17 - Fiscal Reform 2017

Is it time to reform Louisiana’s tax code?

Recent Topics


     01/17 - Healthy New Year!

What is the best approach to shedding pounds in a state where cuisine is part of its culture?

     12/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home (Encore Presentation)

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

     11/16- Beyond the Flood

What lessons did residents and state officials learn from this historic event and what challenges remain?

     10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?
»»» View all Topics!
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Thursday, February 23, 2017
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