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Panelist Bio


Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith
(D)- Baton Rouge

State Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith has become well known in Baton Rouge and throughout Louisiana for
her tireless effort to champion causes she believes in. She has been a force for improving education in
public schools in East Baton Rouge Parish and the state. Smith is a former two-term president of the EBR
School Board.

The Baton Rouge native is currently serving second terms in both the Louisiana House of
Representatives and as chair of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus.

Rep. Patricia Smith attended St. Francis Xavier and Southern University Laboratory School before
graduating from Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio. She received her BS degree in Education
from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. She did post graduate work at Youngstown State in Ohio and
Louisiana State University. She has taught in public schools in Ashtabula, Ohio and Baton Rouge.
Smith retired from ExxonMobil in 2003 after working 22 years there in Community Affairs.

Rep. Smith serves on the Appropriations, Education, Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, and
Labor & Industrial Relations committees of the Legislature. She has many appointments, including to
the House Executive Committee and the Remedial Education Commission.

Her awards are too numerous to list here but include the first Martin Luther King Distinguished
Leadership Award in Politics, the “Fannie Lou Hamer Political Award” from Grambling University, the
Nurse-Family Partnership “Champion Award” and she was named “Legislator of the Year” by the
Louisiana School Board Association. She was recently accepted into the prestigious Henry Toll
Fellowship Program.

Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith is married to Freddie Smith Jr. They have six children and 11 grandchildren.

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 7 p.m. on LPB HD and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recording Monday, February 20)

Invitation, details and directions (pdf format)

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.
Learn More!
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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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