District 11 Candidate: Jonathan Snyder

Metro Council Candidates

Biographical Information:
Jonathan Snyder is a life-long resident of Louisiana and current resident of the Eleventh District.
He brings immense experience in the community, public, private, and nonprofit sectors earning a
reputation as an innovative, results-oriented leader. Snyder serves as the Executive Pastor at Antioch Baton Rouge and is the local business owner of Pelican Janitorial, LLC. He discovered his calling to public service at an early age. In high school, he organized humanitarian campaigns where he led the way in bringing clean drinking water and feeding programs to Haitian and Ugandan communities.

In 2011, his local Rotary Club honored the accomplishments by naming him Young Person of the Year. While completing his undergraduate degree, he helped attract businesses to St. John the Baptist Parish while interning in the Economic Development department. Snyder furthered his understanding of the day-to-day realities Louisiana constituents face as he interned in Constituent Services for Governor Bobby Jindal. This set his course for a lifetime in public service.
His priorities as future Councilman include building a strong local economy through improving
local infrastructure, supporting small businesses, prioritizing public safety, and creating an
efficient city government that addresses the needs of residents. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Louisiana State University and
will earn his MBA in early 2021.


Personal Information:
Cell Phone Number: (225) 828-8075
Email Address: jonathan@snyderforbr.com


Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

Website: snyderforbr.com
Facebook: facebook.com/snyderforbr
Instagram: @Snyder4BatonRouge


What is your response to the Black Lives Matter movement?
I support the statement “black lives matter.” As a multiracial individual (African American and
Caucasian) I have experienced first-hand the discrepancies, whether intentional or not, in our
nation surrounding the equality of those who are black.

As a whole, we must do better at seeking to understand our neighbors and provide equal opportunities to all. While I support the statement “black lives matter,” I do have concerns about the official Black Lives Matter movement. Some of the official movement’s organizing beliefs do not align with my personal beliefs concerning family units, religion, public safety, gender and more.


What do you think needs to be done to promote social and racial justice?
I believe each resident needs to step outside his or her “bubble” and make a friend. As we engage
with those different from us (ethnicity, tax bracket, zip code, etc.), with the sole purpose of friendship our assumptions and worldviews will be challenged.

This will result in each recognizing that we have more in common than we realize. We will understand that we all are human and possess the same desires of wanting what is best for our ourselves, families and communities. This is the first of many steps needed to begin the dialogue of social and racial justice.


Are you in favor of police reform? If so, what should it look like?
Yes, I am in favor of police reform. Law-enforcement agencies have an obligation to our city and
its residents. We must create and enforce policies to ensure a culture of transparency and
accountability.

Our department policies should work in tandem with proven law-enforcement training methods and proper supervision. An accountability board, devised of impartial parties, should meet periodically to review performances and offer objective opinions ensuring law-enforcement agencies are held to the highest standard.

These standards should be statutes agreed upon by law-enforcement and city residents. This results in every person having peace of mind about their safety. If statutes are unmet, appropriate courses of action will be taken by the accountability board.


What are your thoughts on how the U.S. has responded to the coronavirus pandemic? What would you want to be done differently?

While I agree with our nation’s initial responses, I have reservations about actions taken once we
knew more about COVID-19. I believe the federal government took the appropriate measures in
closing our nation’s borders and mandating stay-at-home orders. With the limited number of
ventilators available, it was imperative that our nation avoided overpopulation in hospitals. Once
hospital cases were manageable and we learned more specifics about the virus, I do wish at a
federal, state and local level we would have used more common sense practices when deciding
upon re-openings.

In my opinion, it would have been wise to advise those who fall into the “at increased-risk” category to stay home, while allowing “at low-risk” residents to continue everyday life with the understanding each should apply common sense precautions (where masks in high traffic public areas, frequently sanitize hands, etc.). During the extended period of time where we mandated businesses to remain closed, or at low functioning levels, we may have created more harm than good for our nation, at-large, moving forward.


Do you support more stimulus money? If so, how should Congress pay for the stimulus?
There are numerous complexities surrounding this question. I would avoid approving another
round of stimulus and focus more energy on opening our economy. While the primary goals of
stimulus funds are to jumpstart the economy and help families in times of need, Congress failed
to provide a practical solution to how the United States could afford to pay for the first round of
stimulus. Congress approved The U.S. Treasury to borrow more money, ultimately increasing
our nation’s debt. The probable solution will be higher tax rates on individuals and businesses in
the coming years.


What do you believe is the biggest issue constituents in the district you are running for are
facing?

  • Infrastructure Quality
  • Small Businesses (being able to financially to keep their doors open)
  • Public Safety
  • Inefficiencies in Local Government (primarily budgetary)

What are the principles of your campaign and why?
When asked why I am running for Metro Council, my response is simple: I have very little desire
to be a politician, but I do have a high desire to be a public servant. Our community needs people
in positions of authority who desire helping people and the community at-large. I plan to work
extremely hard, on behalf of my district and city-parish, ensuring that East Baton Rouge Parish
produces results that we can all take pride in.

Why do you feel that you are the perfect candidate for metro council?
I believe my immense experience in the community, public, private, and nonprofit sectors is
needed on our Metro Council. I believe a lot of our issues result from inefficiencies in our
city-parish budget. As Executive Pastor at Antioch Baton Rouge and owner of Pelican Janitorial,
I specialize in budgeting. I plan to use my knowledge and skills to help our city-parish become
better stewards of how we spend tax dollars.

Also, for far too long, our council members have voted for their parties and have been unwilling
to find common ground. I believe if we want to see tangible progress made in East Baton Rouge
Parish we must be willing to have tough, respectable dialogue where we find the best solutions to
move our city-parish forward. I want to play a part in spearheading these conversations to help to
bridge the gap in our city-parish. It is time that we stop playing politics and begin to fulfill our
role as public servants.

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