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Friday, September 30, 2016
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Panelist Bio


Walter Brooks
Executive Director of the Regional Planning Commission for Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany Parishes

Mr. Brooks is the Executive Director of the Regional Planning Commission for Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany Parishes. He has been with the Commission since 1976 and holds degrees from Tulane and the University of New Orleans.

As the Metropolitan Planning Council, the RPC has been very active in the Post-Katrina re-building effort. Mr. Brooks is a member of the Louisiana Recovery Authority's Infrastructure Task Force and was co-chair of the Land Use Committee of the Bring New Orleans Back Commission. RPC continues to provide technical assistance to federal (FEMA), state (Louisiana Speaks), and local communities in the planning and recovery efforts. Mr. Brooks' current activities have been directed to securing FHWA Emergency Relief funds for the restoration of transportation infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Prior to coming to the Commission, Mr. Brooks worked as a District Planner for the Boston Redevelopment Authority serving the neighborhoods of Charleston, South Boston and East Boston. Mr. Brooks directs RPC's unified planning work program activities in transportation, infrastructure, economic development and environmental areas. His work involves extensive outreach and coordination with business, civic, and governmental entities at the local, state, and federal levels.

Mr. Brooks is active in the New Orleans community. He is a member of the New Orleans Regional Business and Industrial Park Board, ex officio member of the Jefferson Parish Chamber of Commerce Board, and a member of the World Trade Center's Intermodal Committee. He is a past Director of the Metro New Orleans Section of the American Planning Association; past President of the Louisiana Planning Council; and a former board member of the New Orleans Chapter of the American Public Works Association.

Current Topic


09/16 - Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System

How well is the state’s public school system really performing?

One national survey ranks Louisiana as 49th for academic achievement of public school students. Another national report ranks the state dead last. So, how well is the state’s public school system really performing? Where is there room for improvement? What will the new federal “Every Student Succeeds Act” mean for education in Louisiana? And how have the historic summer floods changed things? Louisiana Public Square explores these issues and more on “Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD and in New Orleans on WLAE.

The panelists are
• Superintendent Michael Faulk, Central Community School System
• James D. Garvey, Jr. , BESE Board President
• Scott Richard, Executive Director, Louisiana School Boards Association
• Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, D- Baton Rouge; House Education Committee

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and LSU Manship School of Mass Communication professor Robert Mann host the show. The program features interviews with Louisiana Education State Superintendent John White; Debbie Meaux, President of the Louisiana Association of Educators; Brigitte Nieland with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and Caddo Parish School Superintendent Dr. Theodis Lamar Goree.

“Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” 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.

Learn More!

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Special Presentation


05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


10/16 - Election 2016

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

Recent Topics


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

What difference has a decade made?


07/16 - Regular and Extraordinary: Legislative Review

Who are the winners and losers in Louisiana’s budget battle?


06/16 - Symbol or Statement? History in Public Spaces (encore)

Is the display of Civil War statues in public justified or do they belong only in museums?


05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

»»» View all Topics!
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