Now the first question people ask when they hear I’m running for City Council is… “Are you out of your mind?” Believe it or not, the answer is no, I am of sound mind and intent. The trickier question is “Why?”
When I look at social media, I see apathy, venom, and ridicule towards our city on a daily basis. It hurts me to see people giving up on Shreveport, as if the idea of improving our city is a lost cause. The only way the cause is lost is if we give up, and I’m not one to give up! And I refuse to believe that there is nothing we can do.
We have a community full of good and caring people, especially here in our district, and folks like us have the power to make a difference. Let me give you one example: Last year, I was having lunch at a local business – Deli Casino. The owners, Mr. and Mrs. George, are among the nicest and most hard-working people in our community, but a massive road project in front of their business on Kings Hwy. was severely hurting business. Mr. George said, “Pat, this construction is killing us. We may have to close.”
I certainly hated to hear this and I told him I’d put a post on Facebook to hopefully encourage a few more people to come in. Imagine my surprise, when I saw that post was shared over 5,500 times in two days! The story was picked up by the local news and the next day there was a line out the door. People were waiting an hour and a half to get a sandwich. Businesses were placing to-go orders for their staff. Mr. George told me he had more business in two days than he’d had in several months. He was seeing new customers from all over the city, many of whom have since become regulars. Mr. George said that response saved their business. I was so proud of the response of our community to help these fine people. It reinforced something I already knew — that people here care!
From there I started thinking, if that was the least I could do, what is the most I can do? As I talked with Susan and the kids about getting more involved, doing more to help Shreveport, we came to realize that this is the right time for me to step up, get involved, and make a difference.
So you might wonder what political experience I have. To be honest, the answer is none – and I believe that to be a strength. Look at all of the experienced people in City Hall. How is that turning out? I believe that motivated people who believe in their city and its people can learn how to do anything. I can assure you I am motivated and ready to learn. I have done my research and spoken with those who came before me. I understand that the job will at times be difficult and frustrating but I, along with my family, believe it’s worth it.