My name is Patricia Haynes Smith, I’m a wife, a mom, a grand mom, and I’m running for the Senate District 14 seat in East Baton Rouge Parish. I’ve served the community of Baton Rouge as an East Baton Rouge School Board member and President, and as the State Representative of District 67 for 12 years.
But my journey of service begins long before that…. I first ran for office in Ohio, where I attended Kent State and became a teacher. I didn’t win my first time out, but knew that I wanted to serve. I moved to Baton Rouge and taught for a while, but ultimately went to work for Exxon, where I later retired from. It was at Exxon that I got a chance to really work in the community, especially the community around the refinery, and especially with students and young people. I provided many students with work opportunities that led to permanent jobs, including Torian Hatch, the rapper Lil Boosie’s brother.
I believe education is the greatest opportunity for people, especially our youth to become whatever they want to be in America. I believe we have to start educating children as early as possible. Parents and families I implore you to take educating your children and the children in your family with the utmost seriousness. It makes a difference in their earned income potential and their quality of life. The Jump Start initiative is one way our education system is working and helping young people gain credentials for gainful employment. Learn more about it. I will always fight for education from the State of Louisiana Education Department all the way down to the Early Childhood Education Centers! School systems, teachers, and support staff I will fight to get you more money! I know you deserve it!!
I also know that people sometimes make mistakes and that is why I fight for Criminal Justice Reform. Many people are languishing in prisons for $20 infractions. The American criminal justice system has proven to be broken and unfair to black and brown people, and changes are underway. But there is more work to be done. The Criminal Justice Reform I’ve done that helped lead to the Felon’s Voting Rights recently was a 5 year journey of being denied until it was finally heard and passed. I also created a task on incarcerated women. There is more work to be done, and you need people that are willing to DO the work that it takes, despite the obstacles. I’ve done the work, and will continue to do the work.
Another area I’ve focused on includes advocating for the Deaf community, and the Deaf/Blink community. They had been forgotten in the education system, and they are people that need just a little help to have productive lives. I will continue this work, and invite you the reader to join me in helping this community of wonderful people!
Equal pay for women and raising the minimum wage are also areas I advocate for. It’s sad that women make .47 cents to .67 cents on the dollar to what men make. It’s really unjust! It’s also sad that the minimum wage is not a living wage, and hardworking people are putting in 40-60 hours work weeks, and still don’t have enough for rent, groceries, car note, and life’s necessities. I will fight to get that minimum wage increased and also to get business owners to realize that if you pay people more, it will stimulate our economy, because people are going to spend what they make. That’s a fact.
I’ll wrap this up by saying I’m not bought, for rent, for lease, or for sale. Character and Integrity do count in this Senate District 14 race, and I hope they matter to you as voter. A vote for me is a vote for someone that lives in the Senate District 14 area, and a vote someone that will always give you the best that I can offer. On October 12th vote Patricia Haynes Smith – Senate District 14.