"You know I’m a fighter for our community. You know my record of getting results. Now, let’s RE-IMAGINE a District 6 beyond drainage, crime, and blight. Let’s imagine a thriving, bustling regional attraction unique to the City of Baton Rouge."
Arts, Culture & Industry District: Across the nation, there are successful examples of Arts & Culture Districts that revive communities. We have a unique opportunity to marry and leverage our existing assets and diversity. Mid-City on the western end of central Baton Rouge has developed into an amazing community based on the needs of their residents and businesses. Let’s re-imagine our community on the eastern side of central Baton Rouge. With the various already incorporated districts in the area, as well as with input from our residents, an ACI district can do more than repair the disinvestment we have watched over the years. An ACI district can be a regional attraction and add great value to our living experience in the city-parish of East Baton Rouge.
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE): As a result of part of the work Dawn Chanet Collins’ own small business (Cogent Concepts and Project Management, LLC) contributed to the 2019 Disparity Study commissioned by Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, the city-parish government now has a new DBE program to help ensure all businesses can have their fair share of government contracting opportunities whether they are minority-owned, woman-owned, or veteran-owned small businesses. Dawn will continue to help improve this new opportunity. #AlreadyDone
Beyond DBE’s – A Business Hub for District 6 Small Businesses: We have to strategically think about our own back yard while adding value to our great city-parish. District 6 has over 1,600 small businesses with ranges of capacity and specialty. We need to be able to address their wide range of needs from shared open-office spaces to learning centers and meeting spaces. We need a place where our existing businesses and new businesses have the ability to collaborate, organize and build the area. We also need strong partnerships with existing entities that already do amazing work to support new and growing businesses like Southern University’s College of Business, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center, initiatives from city-parish government, and more. We can be our own drivers of economic development. We just have to re-imagine what that looks like for us.
Integrated, Sustained Community – Re-imagine District 6 with our own:
Health Equity District so that we don’t have to fight traffic on the south side of town for basic healthcare needs.
Healthy food security that includes the existing diverse grocery markets we currently have like Hi Nabor, Asian Supermarket, and La Morenita to name a few, but also goes beyond Florida Boulevard to help alleviate the grocery desert along Greenwell Springs Road.
Strategic Blight Elimination– 311 is not enough. We have to take new innovative approaches as a community effort. Blight Remediation Teams will report during quarterly Metro-council 6 meetings where each neighborhood’s designated Blight Captain(s) will report data to help us prioritize and be more strategic with:
Aggressive outreach to property owners when 311 complaints are filed but are slow to be remedied.
Education of residents on the city-parishes blight tracking system, tools, and code enforcement process so that residents can better be a part of the process.
A city-parish plan that includes the use of Decision Support Scorecards by city-parish workers that lay out the steps for handling a reported property and makes code enforcement more efficient.
A city-parish Blight Remediation plan that uses data to develop predictive models that analyze home values, fire, crime, tax, census, and utility shut-off data which would facilitate proactive blight mitigation.
Safe Neighborhoods– One of the core roles of local government is Public safety. It ensures the well-being and protection of citizens.
Community Policing: In addition to addressing policing issues across the city-parish, we must develop a community policing model in partnership with District 6 neighborhoods and law-enforcement.
Police Pay: Dawn believes that, just like educators, police are underpaid while being expected to fill more social needs. It puts community in a Catch-22: everyone deserves a just and equitable system of law enforcement, but you get what you pay for. Dawn supports pay increases for law enforcement but also demands that we hold law enforcement accountable as professionals who are answerable to a community accountability system.
Recruiting Law Enforcement Officers: It is important for communities to have members of law enforcement who are personally connected to the communities they serve. There is a shortage of law enforcement officers who come from communities of color and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. Dawn believes one way to address this issue is to work in partnership with local and state school districts to develop a Jump Start Pathway in select high schools to prepare students with an interest in serving their communities through a career in law enforcement.
Domestic Violence – As a domestic violence victim herself, Dawn understands domestic violence is an issue for every demographic of our community. She is committed to working with community partners to develop policies that help mitigate factors which contribute to domestic violence.
Address Fatalities on Florida Boulevard: Florida Boulevard used to be known more for being a center of a bustling economy. Now, based on news alerts, it appears to have some of the most fatal auto and pedestrian intersections in the city. We must re-imagine modernized service roads and safer crosswalks.
Broadband: We have a tremendous need for more connectivity in a world whose rapid change has been greatly accelerated by COVID-19. We need parish-wide connectivity in a public-private partnership where taxpayers own the infrastructure and can keep costs reasonable while we benefit from the expertise of already existing providers.
Drainage: Almost every neighborhood in the parish has concerns about our drainage and sewer systems, and rightfully so. There appears to be political will across the parish to address this paramount issue. Dawn will not only fight to help ensure District 6 gets its fair share of investment and mitigations, but that we also don’t repeat past mistakes of contract bidding that resulted in lesser quality materials to build the long-lasting infrastructure we need.