Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Blanchard announces bid for District 76; Pearson termed out

Blanchard announces bid for District 76; Pearson termed out
Posted: Feb 28, 2019
Categories: Front Page, Headlines
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SLIDELL---Parish Council Member S. Michele Blanchard, a business owner and practicing attorney, announced today that she is running for the Louisiana State House of Representatives, 76th District.

"To me, being a state representative is about serving the people and improving the well-being of our state. I would like to put my knowledge to use for the benefit of our community and to help the people of District 76."

The seat has been held by Rep. Kevin Pearson, who is term limited out from running for re-election this year.

Over the last four years, Blanchard has served the people of Parish Council District 13. During that time, including a year as Vice Chair and a year as Chair, she has helped solve numerous problems for St. Tammany Parish.

"As a Council member, I have recognized that St. Tammany needs to diversify its tax base to reduce our reliance on property taxes. I have worked to attract businesses by improving infrastructure and supporting economic development. In addition, I actively seek new and varied options to enhance educational and cultural opportunities and to provide additional recreational outlets for our children."

Many issues facing St. Tammany Parish, however, cannot be fully solved locally but require state government.

"With the vast majority of District 76 vulnerable to flooding and drainage problems, more state and federal funds need to be available to St. Tammany Parish," Blanchard said. "Capital outlay funding has been minimal for the past few years. More of the tax dollars that St. Tammany Parish sends to Baton Rouge need to be returned to our community in the form of capital outlay projects. We need these dollars returned to the District and to our Parish to protect and improve infrastructure, education, and economic development.

"Louisiana is unique, and its greatest resource is its people. We need creative and forward-thinking solutions to address the many issues currently facing our great state. With common sense and a willingness to do what is right, I feel confident that we can overcome the challenges that confront Louisiana today. As a legislator, I will work to resolve the budget crisis by advocating a systemic change in Louisiana's budgeting and taxing practices.

"I will work to foster economic growth and a skilled and educated workforce that will allow us to compete in a global economy, and that will give our children meaningful opportunities to stay in Louisiana.

"On the local level, I will seek funding for flood protection that balances the environmental needs of our unique ecosystem with the protection of property from floods. Louisiana has many challenges, but we also have many assets, and we need to make decisions today that ensure a better and a brighter future for our children and grandchildren."

Michele has received multiple awards and recognition for her leadership and community service. Michele has been married to her husband, Jake Airey, also an attorney, since 2003, and has two children, Belle, 14, and Jackson, 12.