As the current gubernatorial and legislative races kick into high gear in the coming weeks, several good-government advocacy groups are seeking a switch from political grandstanding to substantive ideas.
They are right. And it is up to us to demand it from our candidates for public office.
The effort, RESET Louisiana’s Future, is being led by the Committee of 100, the Council for a Better Louisiana and the Public Affairs Research Council. Those are three groups with a great name for the work they do. And they are getting behind a laudable goal – shifting from raw politics to actual change that will make our state a better place for our kids and grandkids.
“We’re tired of being 50th, 49th, 48th, whatever that number is. We can do better. Louisiana has too many assets to be last,” said Committee of 100 CEO Michael Olivier as the groups announced their ambitious initiative.
Now is the time to seek and demand the change we deserve, the groups say, because term limits are forcing a huge turnover in the state Legislature even as the governor’s race continues to heat up.
Unfortunately, so far, the statewide race has focused largely on partisan divides rather than unifying Louisiana’s people behind ideas that make sense for the long term.
Among the group’s goals are getting more fairness in the state’s tax structure, doing more to get educational opportunities to those who need them the most, putting into effect some sort of expanded funding mechanism for roads and bridges and maintaining the important criminal justice reforms that received bipartisan support in 2017.
Those important steps would put Louisiana on a path toward bettering our state for everyone. But they will require voters to insist upon fundamental change rather than political talk.
And that, in turn, will require all of us to take active roles in the ongoing political season. Get out to campaign events such as candidate forums. Ask questions and demand real answers. Let your officials and those who want to be officials know that you are serious about Louisiana’s future and that you demand more than stock political responses.
It took decades for us to dig ourselves into our current fiscal mess. And it will take years to climb out of it. But the process must begin, and it must begin now.
Please do your part – and insist on the same from your candidates – to get Louisiana moving in the right direction.
Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.