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Progress Report: Mayor Darnell Waites Propels Baker's Advancement

Since my election in 2016, my vision for Baker's future has only grown more robust. Today, I stand even more optimistic about our city's trajectory. Together, we've achieved significant milestones, and as we look to 2024, I am confident in our ability to foster community cohesion, realize collective aspirations, and propel Baker forward as one cohesive unit.

During my tenure, we've encountered unprecedented challenges, from natural disasters to pandemics. Yet, through collaborative efforts and community input, we've devised comprehensive plans to not only address these hurdles but also surpass community needs. I take pride in our accomplishments since 2016, and my commitment remains steadfast in delivering results for our constituents.

As we continue to lay the groundwork essential for long-term prosperity, we consistently reassess our strategies to maximize impact. Our focus on enhancing quality of life, upgrading infrastructure, and facilitating residential and commercial expansion forms the bedrock of Baker's enduring growth.

I'm delighted to highlight some key achievements of my administration thus far, underscored by the remarkable increase in city revenues. From $7.622 million in June 2016 to $12.497 million in June 2023—a notable 64% surge—we've demonstrated fiscal resilience and prudent management.

Infrastructure enhancements, such as the revitalization of Martin Luther King Park and the implementation of LYNX by CATS Microtransit, reflect our commitment to modernizing amenities and improving accessibility. Notably, LYNX has provided over 94,000 rides to date, showcasing widespread adoption and community support.

Investments in youth and family well-being, exemplified by upgrades to recreational facilities and partnerships with organizations like BREC, signify our dedication to nurturing vibrant communities. Additionally, collaborations with Urban Restoration Enhancement Corporation (UREC) and Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) have bolstered home rehabilitation efforts, enhancing safety and stability for residents.

Moreover, our infrastructure initiatives, including street resurfacing and residential real estate development like Sunshine Gardens, signify tangible progress and renewed investor confidence. Strategic partnerships with local, state, and federal entities have secured significant grants for infrastructure improvements, underscoring our commitment to resilience and safety.

The forthcoming addition of a second fire station and the construction of a new high school underscore our proactive approach to public safety and education. Furthermore, plans to integrate innovative technologies, expand transportation alternatives, and bolster infrastructure will enhance property values and enrich community life.

Baker's recent accolades, including recognition as the safest city in Louisiana by Safewise and a top-10 ranking by Redfin, affirm our collective efforts in fostering a thriving, secure environment.

Together, we've made substantial strides in propelling Baker forward, setting a promising trajectory for the future. I remain steadfast in my commitment to advancing our city, ensuring a prosperous and flourishing community for all.

With steadfast determination, let's continue our journey to move Baker forward, united as one community.

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