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Panelist Bio


Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden
City of Baton Rouge

Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden was overwhelmingly re-elected to his third term as Mayor-President of the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish in a primary victory on November 6, 2012. Under his leadership, East Baton Rouge Parish has achieved unprecedented top ten national rankings: the #1 best city for business growth; #4 for new corporate facilities; #3 best performing city for salary growth; #7 best city for jobs; #8 best place to live in America; one of top 25 places in America to retire and a top 10 city for young adults.
In 2012, Mayor Holden worked with the District Attorney to launch the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination project – called BRAVE -- a local initiative to reduce violent crime. Working with the District Attorney, School Superintendent and Sheriff, he opened the Family and Youth Service Center, the parish’s first truancy center to improve school attendance and reduce juvenile crime.

The Mayor’s Green Light Program has committed over $500 million to street improvements, with nearly 30 projects completed by the close of 2012. Active in the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Mayor Holden launched a successful “Healthy BR” program in partnership with the Healthy Cities Initiative. His Healthy BR Initiative promotes better nutrition and active lifestyles, and has tackled the critical problems of childhood obesity and access to healthy food, making a difference in the quality of lives of children throughout the parish.

Prior to 2004, he had achieved a 20-year distinguished career in public service, elected Mayor-President by a broad, diverse base of support throughout the parish to become the first African American Mayor-President in parish history on January 1, 2005.

Much of the success of his first term in office can be traced to the foundation laid by a diverse team of over 100 community leaders, citizens and university students Mayor Holden assembled immediately after his election in 2004 to form his “Green Light Baton Rouge Citizens Council” to help develop the “Framework for Progress”, a planning document which serves as the basis of his administration’s goal to make Baton Rouge America’s next great city.

With experience on the Metro Council and as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and Senate, Mayor Holden has extensive knowledge of East Baton Rouge Parish government.

Born in New Orleans on August 12, 1952, Mayor Holden is married to Lois Stevenson Holden and is the father of five children, Melvin, II; Angela; Monique; Myron and Brian Michael. He is a member of Greater King David Baptist Church.

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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     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

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     03/17 - Fiscal Reform 2017

Is it time to reform Louisiana’s tax code?

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     10/16 - Election 2016

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»»» View all Topics!
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