District 4 Candidate: Tenika James

Metro Council Candidates

Biographical Information:

My name is Tenika James, I am a local business woman and daughter of an Airforce Veteran. Born on an Airforce base in Fort Worth, Texas, I relocated to Baton Rouge over 25 years ago. I am a resident of District 4 and proud to call Baton Rouge my home.

I am a two-time University of Phoenix graduate, earning both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Business Management, with a minor in Human Resources. In 2010, I founded a behavioral health firm, one that provides mental health treatment to young children and adolescents, families and senior adults, and I work on behalf of clients in need all across the State of Louisiana. The unique challenges that define others’ lives have helped shape my enduring respect for them and a profound level of understanding concerning the burdens fellow citizens carry. As a certified provider of mental health services, I recognize the vulnerabilities people struggle with every day, and am committed to help them enjoy their best quality of life. 

As a working Mom, I am especially thankful for my wonderful daughters, two gifted young women who are a blessing to me and to many other people. They have accomplished a great deal on their own. Leah, the oldest, graduated from Dillard University after attending first Redemptorist High and then Parkview Baptist. Her younger sister KayVic is a former Miss Scotlandville Magnet High and is currently enrolled as a sophomore at Southern University. I am the fortunate daughter of parents who understood the meaning of community involvement and dedicated service, and I am especially proud to see the values of family and faith, formal education, compassion for others, and a dedication to community service in both of my adult children.   

Personal Information:

P. O. Box 41995, Baton Rouge, La 70835

Phone: (225)249-6238

Email: Tenika@votetenikajames.com

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media: 


Facebook: @vote4tjames  

What is your response to the Black Lives Matter movement?

The Black Lives Matter movement is a present-day fight to preserve our civil rights as Americans, and specifically for Black Americans who are dying at the hands of rogue police officers who are not protecting and serving.  The movement has awakened America of the deep and underlying conditions that still threaten our democracy, such as racism and bigotry.  

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

In order to promote social and racial justice, we must first work in every way to distribute government resources to our most vulnerable and neglected populations in a more equitable way.  This includes fair housing, quality schools, livable wages, etc.  We must also completely reform our criminal justice system that currently is the highest in the world in incarcerations.  Reforms include alternative sentences, rehabilitation, bail reform, ending habitual offender laws, and ending mandatory sentencing.  

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

I am in support of using police resources to improve hiring and screening practices, holding rogue police accountable through stronger disciplinary actions including immediate termination, allocating more resources to cultural sensitivity training, funding more social workers on the police force, and utilizing de-escalation techniques as a requirement when police and the public lives are no in jeopardy.  

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

The United States has not responded well to the coronavirus.  The federal government did not respond as quickly as it should have in containing the virus and providing information to the public to prevent the spread of the virus.  Louisiana’s Governor and Baton Rouge’s Mayor President have responded well with stay at home orders, testing, and enforcing the use of masks.  These best practices should continue. 

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

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

Yes, Americans are suffering due to the economy as a result of this pandemic.  I support an added stimulus.  The dollars should come from the federal budget.  The biggest issues facing my constituents is drainage/flooding

What are the principles of your campaign and why?

Economic Development

  • Focus on the growth and development of small, women, and minority owned businesses.
  • Increased access to City contract opportunities for local businesses.
  • Creation of a Mentor-Protégé program that matches small businesses with larger companies to learn to effectively build their business.

Workforce Development

  • Expand workforce development programs to offer every citizen the opportunity to gain job ready skills.
  • Increase business partnerships with technical schools to offer incumbent workers the opportunity to grow their workforce skills.

Mental Health 

  • Ensuring that every citizen of my district and our parish has access to mental health services is essential to the quality of life of our city-parish.   

Flood Recovery & Eradicating Blight

  • Make every family whole that has been impacted by the Great Flood of 2016. 
  • Place back into commerce homes abandoned as a result of the Great Flood of 2016. No neighborhood that has recovered, should have to deal with eyesores of homes that have not returned since the flood of 2016.  I want to connect with those residents, or the banks that have foreclosed, on blighted homes and find ways to put those properties back into commerce. 
  • Address flooding by mandating that the city’s ditches, canals, and drains are regularly maintained and kept clear of debris.  This also includes citizen accountability of not filling our canals, ditches, and drainage with items that stop the flow of water throughout our city.
  • Beautification projects to focus on litter clean-up, removing broken curbs and sidewalks, eliminating debris, blighted properties and cutting overgrown grass.

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

It is my desire to serve as your new Councilmember for District 4. As part of a loving extended family, as a hardworking business owner, a degreed and certified mental health professional, and as your conscientious neighbor, I pledge to focus on the long-lasting ideals of our district’s people, not the politics of any given moment.

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