Editor: Mayoral candidates turning a blind eye to rising poverty
It hasn't been hard for Mayor Kip Holden and chief rival Mayor Pro Tem Mike Walker to find areas of disagreement during this mayoral campaign. "At forum after endless forum, it's bluntly clear to anyone paying the least bit of attention that these two share little in common when it comes to solving the problems of this parish or in their visions for the future of Baton Rouge," says Business Report Executive Editor JR Ball in his latest column. Combating crime, downtown investment and economic development are popular issues the candidates have discussed at great length—putting their differences on display time and time again. "Yet Walker and Holden are in agreement on one point: a willingness to ignore the escalating poverty rate in this parish, a rate that, according to the Census Bureau, is now estimated to be at 20.1%," Ball says. "Think about that: One out of every five East Baton Rouge residents is living in poverty. Even worse is incorporated Baton Rouge, where the number is one in four. … Why isn't Holden or Walker—or long-shot candidates Steve Myers and Gordon Mese—talking about the No. 1 problem facing this parish? Why are they ignoring a reality that's both alarming and embarrassing?" Read the full column here. Send your comments to email@example.com.
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