Over the next few years, one of the greatest challenges on the Northshore will be to produce a workforce that meets the needs of the new economy. Sadly, too many businesses have been unable to fill job openings, forcing many to leave the region and state. Ever since Katrina, the Northshore has been facing an acute labor shortage. Our area has a large number of retail and restaurant businesses resulting in the need for thousands of low to moderate wage jobs that are currently not being filled. In many consumer-oriented businesses, seeing help wanted signs is not uncommon.
On the Northshore, our workforce development problems have been exacerbated by a lack of affordable housing for low to moderate income employees, which is one of the most pressing problems we face. The average wage in our area is the lowest in Metropolitan New Orleans, approximately $660.00 per week, or $34,320 per year, making it very difficult for average income workers to find affordable housing on the Northshore. The result is that thousands of local workers must travel to and from our area creating more of a strain on our infrastructure.
On the Northshore and throughout the state, the housing market is imploding while home insurance costs continue to escalate. The answer is not more high-density, multi-use developments, which are plentiful, but developing more affordable housing that will sustain our growing workforce.
What is the solution? We certainly need serious planning about how to address this problem. If elected to the State Senate, I believe I can take a leadership role on this issue.
I am committed to provide safe and decent affordable housing for our workforce, which is one of the reasons I am proud to serve on the board of Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West. Habitat works in partnership with people in need to build and renovate decent, affordable housing and sold for no profit and with no interest charged to qualifying people. It has enjoyed tremendous success on the Northshore working with partner families to build homes that fill a true need in our community.
Due to the labor shortages we face and the lack of affordable housing, it is time to investigate changes in zoning restrictions to allow more starter homes to be constructed in certain regions of our district. In many areas, current restrictions make homes unaffordable for many people in our workforce.
As your State Senator, I will be committed to addressing this issue which will benefit not only our businesses in need, but also the working families of the Northshore who currently have few housing options.
Throughout the campaign for State Senate, I will continue to provide you my observations and suggestions on significant issues facing the state. It is time for leadership in Baton Rouge, and I stand ready to lead as the next State Senator for District 11. The election will be held on Saturday, October 20. Please join me in this campaign to not only become your next State Senator, but to also begin the long process of turning around the great State of Louisiana.
I encourage you to contact me with your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. I can be reached at (985) 612-1034 or via e-mail at
Candidate for LA State Senate, District 11