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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

10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?

The presidential election may be getting all of the attention, but Louisiana residents will be making several important decisions at the ballot box in November. The U.S. Senate seat left up for grabs by retiring Sen. David Vitter has drawn a field of 24 candidates. Louisianians in the south- and northwest parts of the state will also be voting on congressmen. So, what national concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall? What statewide issues should be on the mind of Louisiana’s next Congressional leaders? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on “Election 2016” Wednesday, October 26 at 7p.m. (Taping Tuesday, October 25)

Our Panelists:

• Elizabeth Crisp / The Advocate
• Greg Hilburn / Gannett Newspapers
• Martin Johnson, Ph.D. / LSU Manship School of Mass Communication
• Albert Samuels, Ph.D. / Mandela School of Public Policy, Southern University

• Guest Host: Patricia Smith / Assistant to Dean of Political Science Dept., Southern University

Learn More!

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