*****Programs and events are on hold during the pandemic*****
Public Policy Series
On March 3, 2020, the Blanco Public Policy Center hosted the inaugural session of the Blanco Center Public Policy Series. The series is designed to bring together experts and leaders in state and local policy dedicated to informed discussions of issues essential to Louisiana’s future.
For this inaugural event, the Blanco Center partnered with the Committee of 100, the Council for a Better Louisiana, and the Public Affairs Research Council to develop a program featuring RESET Louisiana 2020: Nothing Changes When We Wait. The program was designed to dig deeper into three policy areas from the RESET Louisiana initiative.
The conference focused on what needs to be done to move Louisiana forward in the areas of education and workforce, Louisiana’s finances, and transportation infrastructure.
The event was made possible thanks to sponsorships provided by Sasol, Acadian Companies, AT&T, Lafayette Economic Development Authority, Resource Environmental Solutions, Haynie & Associates, and Parish Brewing. As we work to create forums like this for in-depth discussions about our state’s needs, participation and support is a critical part of developing a well-rounded perspective as we work together to advance evidence-based policies to make Louisiana a better place to live and work.
Photo Credit: RESET Louisiana's Future
On September 21, 2018, the College of Liberal Arts hosted a colloquium to mark the foundation of the Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center featuring a stellar panel to examine issues central to the former Louisiana governor’s tenure. The issues discussed at the event included higher education funding, criminal justice reform, and improving social services. The panelists examined what progress has been made and the challenges that remain in these policy areas.
Former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu moderated the program and the panelists included Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, Louisiana's Commissioner of Higher Education; Dr. Michael Neustrom, former Lafayette Parish Sheriff; Terri Ricks, Deputy Secretary, State Department of Children and Family Services; and Dr. Shawn Wilson, Secretary, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Several members of UL Lafayette’s faculty also participated incluiding Dr. DeAnn Kalich from the Department of Sociology, Dr. David Khey from the Department of Criminal Justice, and Dr. Christine Maloyed from the Department of Political Science.
The moderated dialogue between the audience and panelists set the tone for one of the Blanco Center’s primary goals: to foster discussion and collaboration among the public, policymakers and scholars.
Following the September 2018 Colloquium, roughly 500 guests attended the Legacy Gala, which was held at Le Pavillon in Parc Lafayette. Among the many guests were Governor John Bel Edwards, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, and former US Senators John Breaux and Mary Landrieu. Remarks were offered by a number of guests at the gala, including comments from Kathleen Blanco herself. Proceeds from the event benefitted the policy center.