It has been my privilege to serve as an EBR Metro Councilmember since 2013. I am proud of the work that we have been able to accomplish to this point, but the job is not done.
Several weeks ago, I qualified as a candidate for a third term in the November 3rd municipal election. My attention was soon directed to the care of my mother, Estella Square Banks. After my mother passed, I was diagnosed with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and have since made a full recovery.
During these challenging times, I often reflected on the importance of walking in my purpose. Confident that God will continue to give me the provisions and resources to make things happen, I launch my campaign. I will continue to provide both the efficient and effective leadership that our District 2 residents deserve, while encouraging economic development and promoting local opportunity.
We have made tremendous progress with the expansion and renovation of the Baton Rouge Zoo and Greenwood Park. The first phase, estimated to cost between $25 and $35 million, involves moving the zoo's entrance from Thomas Road to a connection off of La. 19 where a new 30,000-square foot entry complex will be constructed. It will house a gift shop, and space for camps and party rentals. A separate facelift for the adjoining Greenwood Community Park to better integrate it with the zoo. It also expands on the park's landscape adding more trails, sporting fields and such recreational amenities as zip lines, a mini golf course and outdoor concert venue.
My goals remain to create high quality jobs, launch new businesses, and increase property values. I am committed to working with all residents to insure that we live in a city-parish we can all be proud to call home. I ask for the opportunity to continue to serve as your advocate. Together we can build on our recent successes and keep District 2 moving forward to an even brighter future.
Successfully, we brought a halt to plans for a tire shredder plant to be located across from the Baton Rouge Airport. Now we are optimistic in our goal to pursue the relocation of the EBR Parish Prison and the Juvenile Detention Center. The available land use will foster economic development and commercial revitalization opportunities along the airport corridor that will benefit all of north Baton Rouge.
I have demonstrated my commitment to our community by actively serving. I have remembered my campaign pledges to you every day of my two terms and I have delivered on them. There is so much more we can still accomplish, and I am ready to take on the challenges.
Over the past year we have accomplished a great deal of progress towards the goals for District 2. Being re-elected will allow me to continue the work towards our ultimate goal: to make Metro District 2 a great place to live, work, play, and worship!
An appeal desire to see collaboration between the Scotlandville community and Southern University Baton Rouge campus is a welcomed partnership. We believe all the benefits that will come with a Scotlandville Historic District and a Scotlandville Cultural District will enhance the quality of life features for both the university and the local community.
Our entire EBR City-Parish as a whole has gained momentum in the area of health and wellness. We will continue to create opportunities that benefit EBR City-Parish citizens today while preserving it for future generations to come. I believe we are headed in the right direction. Let's keep the momentum!
Recently, our community celebrated a new public-private partnership, which ended the long term vacancy of the New Era Medical Office Complex in Howell Place. Oceans Healthcare, Capital Area Human Services, Ochsner Health, and the Louisiana Center for Eyes will occupy the facility to provide care. Building a stronger community for better health by increased access to quality care in north Baton Rouge has been a tenacious pursuit. The project is expected to create over 100 new jobs, in addition to driving commerce in the surrounding area.
As a member of the city council, I have added to my understanding of local government and networked with other communities by attending conferences and other activities offered by the National League of Cities.
Banks vision for the city-parish include her District 2 council goals with this plan. Some of her key goals include:
• Continue to serve with Integrity;
• Continue to explore economic development;
• Continue to champion progressive opportunities for the district;
• Reviewing/revising the Plan of Government;
• Working to continue to improve Infrastructure; and,
• Improving community facilities and public services.
Councilwoman Banks is a career employee with East Baton Rouge Parish School System. She believes that the school system, though a separate political subdivision, plays an important role in both the success of the children and growth of the community.