By BR Weekly Press Staff Writer
BATON ROUGE, La. — As the race for Louisiana's next governor intensifies, former Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Shawn Wilson emerges as a prominent Democratic candidate with a unique vision for the state. Wilson's campaign centers on the imperative of fostering unity in a politically polarized climate and propelling Louisiana forward. Here is an in-depth look at his platform and priorities:
Unity in a Divided Landscape: Shawn Wilson's campaign message resonates with many Louisianans who are weary of the escalating polarization in politics. He acknowledges the extreme partisan divide and its adverse effects on the state. Wilson firmly believes that bridging this divide is crucial for the state's progress.
"I have a sense that we have become so extreme, and I looked at the field of candidates and saw that the divide that we have in our state in terms of partisanship and extreme politics, they’re not going to work to make us smarter, not healthier, nor will it make us wealthier," Wilson remarked. Building on a Legacy of Public Service: With over 25 years of experience in state government, Wilson is poised to build upon the investments initiated during the previous administration. He advocates for retaining the half-cent sales tax to fund essential initiatives and prepare the state for unforeseen challenges. "How will we make long-term investments to not put us in a predicament where we’re back to those Jindal deficits we saw in 2015?" Wilson questioned.
Advancing Education: Despite recent strides in early childhood education, Wilson believes that Louisiana has not gone far enough in this critical area.
"We haven’t done enough because hundreds of young people will go without because of the decisions that were made in the legislature that funded an unprecedented amount. But it was not as much as we could have funded," Wilson asserted.
Wilson places education at the forefront of his priorities, recognizing its role not only in enriching the state but also in addressing the issue of crime.
Addressing Crime at its Roots: When it comes to tackling juvenile crime, Wilson proposes a holistic approach that delves into the root causes rather than relying solely on building more detention facilities.
"How are you investing in mental health? How are you investing and addressing the unhoused issue in communities that makes people unsafe? We need to be talking about those things, not looking at just locking people up," Wilson explained.
Bipartisan Solutions for Criminal Justice: With discussions of potential rollbacks in criminal justice reforms, Wilson highlights his track record of working across party lines to find common ground in addressing the crime issue.
"You've got to start with a bipartisan approach to dealing with real solutions. Let’s not just talk about symptoms," Wilson stressed.
Tackling the Insurance Crisis: Wilson advocates for calling a special session to address the ongoing insurance crisis, emphasizing that the incentive fund was a last-resort solution and more proactive measures are needed.
"The big insurance companies making billions of dollars off of the Louisiana taxpayers, they’re going to be the ones who are going to come back next year and say we need another incentive," Wilson warned.
A Different Stance on Social Issues: Regarding social issues that have taken the spotlight in recent legislative sessions, Wilson criticizes the governor's decision to veto bills aimed at the LGBTQ community, including the state's version of the "Don't Say Gay" bill.
"I think we’ve got too much bureaucracy placed on teachers. I think that is going to hamper them," Wilson opined.
Abortion and Women's Rights: On the topic of abortion, Wilson supports adding exceptions for cases of rape and incest to the state's strict ban.
"I have learned the importance of separating what I believe, what’s good for me and my family, from what’s good for the public," Wilson affirmed. "I believe that women ought to have that right to make a decision with a doctor."
The Call for Informed Voting: Wilson encourages voters to scrutinize each candidate's accomplishments when making their choices at the polls. He underscores the need for practical solutions and a commitment to the betterment of Louisiana.
As the primary election draws near, Shawn Wilson's campaign stands as a testament to his dedication to unity and progress in the Pelican State.