Who to Watch: Councilwoman Chauna Banks
Chauna Banks has lived her entire life in Scotlandville district where she has served seven years as councilwoman. A graduate of Southern University Lab High School and Southern University, she has found her life’s purpose in being a public servant beyond her master’s degree in counseling and full-time job. She has argued for equitable resources for the northern part of Baton Rouge, saying the area “has been systematically subjected to political, economic, cultural or social degradation because its residents are majority Black. It is inflicted with several forms of discrimination: economic, recreation, retail, housing, media and infrastructure.” She moves into the final year of her second term with more recognition in part due to her fights to keep the Baton Rouge Zoo at Greenwood Park in North Baton, to end the contamination of Devil’s Swamp in Alsen, Louisiana, and to have Baton Rouge police
release the 911 recordings on Alton Sterling. She continues to believe that there is a solution to every problem, and “when we work together, everybody wins.”
MEET COUNCILWOMANCHAUNA BANKS, 56
Moves made from 2015 to 2017:
• Tasked the North Ba- ton Rouge Blue Ribbon Com- mission to work toward qual- ity of life assets in the north- ern portion of the parish, such as an emergency room and other healthcare options.
• Organized the Alsen/St. Irma Lee Advisory Board to look at bringing resolve to the years of environmental justice.
• Increased city-parish funding for Jewel J. Newman Community Center building and grounds upgrades.
• Awarded several grants: The KaBOOM! In the amount of $15,000 towards a “Community Playground Build” Project, an annual ExxonMo- bil Grant of $2500, and just recently, the Capital Area United Way grant for $30,000 to operate the JJNCC TeenWorkPrepBR, $25,000 BRAF Flood Relief Grant to renovate JJNCC computer room.
• Supplement revenues via an annual JJNCC Capital Campaign: Masquerade Ball, Back-to- School Rally, and Annual Senior Appreciation Luncheon.
• This fall we added a GED Adult Education Program to offerings.
What to expect in 2018 from you:
• Maintaining the Baton Rouge Zoo at its current Thomas Road location and expanding the concept of “The Zoo at Greenwood Park” with sig- nificant upgrades.
• Advocating for a middle class housing sub- division for young professionals with growing families.
• Reducing the time for rehire of city-parish workers with a positive marijuana read from three years to one year.
• My long-range goal is to have a performing arts theatre built in District 2.
Personal resolution: My personal res- olution is to be dedicated to God by doing my best to exercise kingdom principles in earthly affairs.
Life/business motto: Work smarter, not harder. Business resolu- tion: My business resolution is to maintain and promote a high standard of professional ethics and practice impartial- ity, fairness, and an equitable discharge of services without bias.
What is your #1 priority right now? Maintaining the Baton Rouge Zoo at its current Thomas Road location and expand- ing the concept of “The Zoo at Greenwood Park” with significant recreational upgrades.
Best advice you have ever received: Rules without relationships bring on rebellion.
Role models: Both my grandmothers, my mother, and my aunts.
What has been a deciding moment or an experience that pushed you forward? Rearing a male child as a single female parent propelled me to be a very responsible and involved parent.
What music are you listening/dancing to? Contemporary Gospel is what I listen to daily, but I also like ‘70s R&B.
What are you reading? HOLY BIBLE
What’s entertaining you? CBS shows
Social media: Facebook/CouncilwomanChauna Banks