District 12 Candidate: Councilwoman “Jen” Racca

Metro Council Candidates

What is your response to the Black Lives Matter movement?

I join many across America in recognizing that we can listen and learn from one another. Racism should not be tolerated in our society and we must do our part to seek justice and equality for all. In some states, we have seen peaceful protests across the country turn violent.  I disagree with those who destroy businesses and communities.  These acts overshadow the peaceful and positive message most are desperately trying to convey.

What do you think needs to be done to promote social and racial justice?

Promoting justice begins within each one of us. Listening more, examining ourselves, and being willing to have tough conversations as a community are great places to start. We should always be in pursuit of a more perfect union.

Are you in favor of police reform? If so, what should it look like?

My career has included serving as both a city prosecutor and public defender. My experience qualifies me with a unique perspective when it comes to law enforcement and our criminal justice system. I believe we need to give law enforcement the tools and resources to do their jobs effectively and safely. Standards need to be raised for this profession, but in order to raise standards we must also raise pay.  There is no substitute for education and training. The best employees of any business are those that are well-paid, educated in their craft, and dedicated to doing their job ethically and effectively.

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

COVID-19 has presented unprecedented challenges across our community. I am grateful for all of the healthcare heroes and public health officials that have guided us through this difficult time.  We began this year with no real expertise on COVID-19.  Moving forward, we should model our approach after cities, states, and nations that have been successful in keeping their citizens safe and their economy going.

Do you support more stimulus money? If so, how should Congress pay for the stimulus?

I support an additional round of stimulus checks for working families in need. Many have been out-of-work or seen increased costs due to COVID. Mothers and fathers have juggled virtual school coupled with full-time jobs coupled with lack of childcare.  We must be sure that our economy remains stable and help families get back on their feet. Congress should pay for the stimulus package by reducing wasteful spending on needless projects in Washington DC. 

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

A big issue I foresee is continued economic development. This issue connects to crime, growing our business community, having better schools, and so much more. Economic development and opportunity is at the core of every thriving and strong community. I pledge to work with all stakeholders on this important issue. 

What are the principles of your campaign and why?

The simplest principle of my campaign is just “do the work.” We can have theoretical debates and talk about policy, but that really does not get the job done. Partisan politics do not belong in Planning and Zoning meetings or in most Metro Council meetings. If we can focus on doing our homework and being informed, applying written laws when making decisions, and doing what is right for our City as a whole, we can make Baton Rouge a better place for everyone.

Why do you feel that you are the perfect candidate for metro council?

Based on my experience, I have learned that most answers to issues that come before the council can be resolved by simply applying the law.  My education and experience have prepared me to answer those types of questions.  Having a working knowledge of the law leaves the City Parish (and taxpayer dollars) less exposed to lawsuits. 

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