Biographical Information:

Rowdy Gaudet is a leader in the areas of executive management, community resilience and committed public service, who has focused his career on helping organizations innovate, improve their performance and achieve their missions.

Professionally, Rowdy works as Vice President and Managing Director for Louisiana-based management consulting firm Emergent Method, which was recently recognized as the seventh fastest growing consulting firm in the world by Consulting magazine. In this capacity, Rowdy is responsible for working with both private and public-sector organizations as they navigate complex issues and work to achieve their business goals, as well as expanding Emergent Method’s strategic and crisis communications, community resilience and disaster recovery practices.

Prior to joining Emergent Method, Rowdy served as the Assistant Chief Administrative Officer for East Baton Rouge Parish, overseeing such critical areas as homeland security, community development, public safety, and as lead on affordable housing and blight elimination efforts. In this capacity he managed strategic operations for several City-Parish departments, developed solutions to tackle the blight issues challenging Baton Rouge, purposed over $170 million in place-based investments, served as the Mayor’s liaison to the Restore Louisiana Flood Recovery Task Force, and led community beautification efforts.

Some of his most notable accomplishments include working to secure over $2 billion in transportation and drainage infrastructure investments, restructuring the parish’s community development programs, implementing the parish’s first Bike Share program, leading the City-Parish efforts in securing a $30 million Choice Neighborhood Initiative grant, working with housing partners to develop the City-Parish’s first Affordable Housing Strategy, and organizing several community-wide cleanup efforts known as Operation Fresh Start.

Previously, Rowdy served as Chief of Staff for the State of Louisiana’s Disaster Recovery Unit, overseeing a team of people implementing over $14 billion in recovery and resilience investments in Louisiana. He also has previous experience in legislative affairs and emergency management.

He is very active in local organizations, including currently serving as a member of the board of directors for the Capital Area YMCA, the University Laboratory School Foundation and the LSU Early Childhood Education Laboratory Preschool. Additionally, he previously served on the East Baton Rouge Planning and Zoning Commission, as well as Board Chair for both the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank and for the Charles W. Lamar YMCA. Rowdy has been recognized by the Baton Rouge Business Report as a Forty Under 40 award recipient, by the Boys & Girls Club as a Great Future’s Honoree, and he enjoys coaching youth sports and teaching Sunday School.Gaudet holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from McNeese State University, a Masters of Business Administration from Louisiana State University, and has completed the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government Executive Education Program. 

Personal Information:

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media: Website: www.rowdyforebr.com; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rowdy-Gaudet-for-EBR-Metro-Council-100912178331016; Instagram: rowdyforebr; LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rowdy-gaudet-4510aa4/

What is your response to the Black Lives Matter movement? 

My response is to listen. It’s only when someone feels heard, that a cause can be advanced and bonds become stronger. The same is true for our society. People want to feel heard, and the Black Lives Matter movement, on behalf of the African American community, wants to feel heard in their message regarding structural racism and injustices. There is work to be done at a societal level, and those improvements can start here in our community. 

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

More education, more action in the community, more listening, more promotion of diversity, more volunteering, be willing to have difficult conversations, vote, run for office, challenge your own assumptions. 

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

I’m in favor of precision policing. This focuses on fostering more positive police-community relations through community outreach and careful analysis of crime data. Using this approach, law enforcement recognize what our law enforcement departments in East Baton Rouge Parish are telling us now: 1) the violent criminals who disrupt our community are a small percentage of our population; and 2) when police interact with the far larger percentage of the population who strengthen our communities, we further our efforts towards minimizing crime. 

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

Candidate did not reply

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

Candidate did not reply

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

Infrastructure improvements, economic growth and public safety. 

What are the principles of your campaign and why?

Our Metro Council serves the role of a Board of Directors, representing independent and diverse perspectives while performing the duties of strategic planning and oversight of our City-Parish government. As a Council member, I look forward to engaging in respectful and forceful debates about what is best for the future of our parish. Those debates must focus on advancing strategies that create and enhance an environment that affords upward mobility, providing everyone with the opportunity to succeed. I believe these are shared goals for many across East Baton Rouge Parish, and I feel very strongly that my experience and demeanor will lend themselves to the advancement of these goals.  

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

I am very concerned about the lack of unity and collaborative leadership in the city-parish, and I firmly believe my demeanor and approach to problem-solving is one that demonstrates responsible compromise, civil discourse, and equitable justice. As a metro council member, I’ll work to identify common ground upon which to lead, acting collaboratively, and finding real solutions.