LeVette grew up in Shreveport, where she was raised by her police officer father and teacher mother, so she understands the challenges our public servants face. She will support our police officers and invest in our communities to address the root causes of crime and violence. She knows that we can help our officers fight crime by investing in communities that have been neglected for too long. We can also prevent crime and lighten our police department’s workload by focusing on mental health services, community-based youth programs, and infrastructure.
LeVette is ready to tackle crime. She will champion higher salaries and the best training and equipment for police officers in order to fill the more than 100 job openings in the department and retain current officers. She will prioritize transparency among SPD, city government, and community through all available means, such as an independent police monitor and citizen review board. She will partner with local nonprofits and government agencies to expand after-school programs for sports, the arts, mentoring, and tutoring to give our kids more opportunities to grow and shine outside of school. She will also partner with LSU-HC to create mental health response teams, allowing police officers to focus their time and resources on crime and accidents. She will direct city funds to repairing infrastructure, improving parks and facilities, and removing blight, so people can use and enjoy safer, cleaner neighborhoods.
What has LeVette already done to improve public safety?
- Voted for a 13% raise for all Shreveport police officers and firefighters.
- Hosted a town hall about crime with Police Chief Wayne Smith, Sheriff Steve Prator, Director of Juvenile Services Clay Walker, and Real-Time Crime Center director Keith Hanson.
- Improved Highland Park through work with Shreveport Green and ReForm Shreveport.
- Removed 10 blighted properties in Caddo Heights by working with ReForm Shreveport, Shreveport Volunteer Network, and Property Standards Department.
- Called for a Department of Justice investigation into the deaths in custody of Tommie McGlothen, Jr., and Wavey Austin.
- Secured funding to repair downtown sidewalks.
- Worked with ReForm Shreveport to create a website where citizens could report water outages to the city during the winter storm of February 2021.
- Used ARP (American Rescue Plan) funds to purchase new equipment for police officers and new equipment for property standards.
As a resident of Highland and co-founder of ReForm Shreveport, LeVette sees first hand the infrastructure problems that plague our city. She knows that research shows that when we invest in infrastructure, we are also investing in families and preventing crime. Shreveport deserves smoother roads, new sidewalks, and beautiful parks. In order to have nicer neighborhoods, though, we have to plan how we will pay for them. We cannot consider further bonds before determining our return on investment. In other words, until we know whether the bond money was used effectively and efficiently for its intended purpose, we cannot spend more money.
To maximize the impact of infrastructure spending, we need to cap annexation. LeVette will not expand our city’s boundaries before we take care of the people and resources we already have. Due to Shreveport’s sprawl, police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and sanitation workers are all spread too thin. Our Public Works Department also struggles to maintain water lines, sewer lines, and drainage. However, repairing our infrastructure can help us support local businesses and create jobs. LeVette will work to give contracts for infrastructure repair to local companies, so our neighbors can have new employment opportunities, and we can all benefit from working drains, sewer lines, and water lines; safer sidewalks and roads; and updated parks and community facilities. LeVette understands that revitalizing our infrastructure will revitalize our neighborhoods by making them safer, friendlier, and happier places to live and work. When we focus on our neglected core neighborhoods, we strengthen our whole city.
What has LeVette already done to improve infrastructure?
- Proposed a measure to suspend further annexation and reduce strain on city resources.
- Funded sidewalk repair in downtown.
- Worked with ReForm Shreveport to create a website where citizens can communicate easily with government about water outages.
- Hosted a town hall about infrastructure issues with representatives from the Metropolitan Planning Commission and the Department of Property Standards.
- Voted against the Cross Bayou Development, which would have expanded infrastructure without the money to maintain it.
LeVette has spent the last fifteen years working in public service and community organizations, so she knows that economic investment should create thriving neighborhoods anchored by prosperous small businesses. She wants to capitalize on and preserve our historic districts to safeguard communities, ensure equitable access to business opportunities, and secure strong wages. Investing in local businesses and improving infrastructure will attract larger corporations, and LeVette recognizes that corporations engaging in business in Shreveport must demonstrate their benefit to our citizens, especially those living in our most vulnerable communities. Shreveport will prosper when every neighborhood prospers.
LeVette will make it easier for local businesses to thrive. She has long advocated for removal of barriers to business creation, such as simplifying permits, easing tax burdens, and reducing red tape. Simplifying the process will spark more economic growth, but reducing taxes and eliminating red tape will give new businesses room to breathe. She will fight for further streamlining of these processes as well as the creation of checklists and procedures to make the first steps towards opening a business more transparent and accessible to aspiring entrepreneurs. LeVette will also support the workers who are the backbone of Shreveport’s economy by ensuring safe, clean work environments. All of these steps will help Shreveport say “yes” to both existing and new businesses while supporting workers as well.
What has LeVette already done to support workers and businesses?
- Amended Architecture and Engineering committee ordinance to give more leverage to local and minority professional service providers.
Fiscal Responsibility and Transparency
During her time on Shreveport City Council, LeVette has insisted on transparency time and time again. Our community has the right to know how their tax dollars are spent and they deserve to see results. LeVette respects our hard-working citizens and will only spend their money with careful planning and strategic use of resources. She plans spending with the goal in mind. She will not chase the newest, flashiest technology or toothless initiatives. LeVette will invest our tax dollars into programs and repairs proven to benefit our community and improve our daily lives, and she will not propose more bonds unless they offer guaranteed results. With LeVette as mayor, our citizens will not wonder where their tax dollars are going– they will see results!
LeVette will share a detailed budget written in plain language with the community, so citizens can see and understand what their tax dollars fund. LeVette will look at the whole picture and find expenditures that address multiple problems at once, so that Shreveport receives maximum return on investment. For example, when we repair roads and clean up litter, we improve neighborhoods for families, but we also make neighborhoods more attractive for local and national businesses. Transparency will also be of primary concern during all bidding and contract processes between Shreveport and businesses. LeVette will prioritize giving contracts to local businesses to keep money in our city where it can help us grow into the safe, vibrant Shreveport we envision.
What has LeVette already done to promote fiscal responsibility?
- Voted against a bond proposed by Mayor Perkins because it required further consideration
- Proposed a pause on annexation until the city can obtain funds to pay for the maintenance of infrastructure within the annexed land
- Voted for raises for police and firefighters to attract new officers as we are currently understaffed
- Opposed awarding an inexperienced contractor a recycling contract unless there was a performance bond to guarantee fulfillment of the contract