Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory has created a new position in his administration in an effort to focus on the needs of minorities.
Carlos Harvin, his former opponent on the campaign trail, was appointed as the first-ever chief of minority affairs.
News Ten’s Lora Lavigne explains what this means and how the community is weighing-in.
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In light of the Martin Luther King holiday, many elected officials are speaking out about unity and that’s exactly what Mayor-President Josh Guillory hopes to bring by creating a new position that can focus specifically on how to advance inclusion efforts here in Lafayette Parish.
The Lafayette Consolidated Government recently announced the newly created role in a press release.
“We were proud to announce the first-ever chief of minority affairs. This is someone who can help us bridge the gap between the government and all of our community.”
We caught up with the two men at the MLK celebration in Lafayette where Harvin says this is exactly what ‘the dream’ is about.
“I think the fact that the our mayor-president Josh Guillory, a republican, myself a democrat, built bridges on the campaign trail. Now, look at God. We’re working together to make all of Lafayette parish a better place for everyone.”
According to the release, Harvin will serve as the liaison for all minority affairs issues on a day- to- day basis.
But, uncertainty from some on what that exactly means prompted Guillory to address rumors today.
“Someone said, look I could be wrong, but Carlos is the person in the minority community that we have to go through him before we can go through the mayor. Look, I don’t know where that came from, but dispel it. Carlos is here to be a leader. To bridge the gap.”
The president of Lafayette’s NAACP chapter also became very vocal about her concerns on Facebook and questioned Harvin’s intentions.
“I was vocal because Carlos said he wasn’t endorsing Guillory, yet his face came up on many of his flyers. So, that too many people signaled an endorsement.”
She doesn’t agree with the tactics being used and hopes their is a genuine concern for the blacks, specifically those on the north side.
“Alot of the elected officials in general, they come to our community. They tell us all the great things they’re going to do and it seems that once they’re elected, they experience some form of amnesia of some sort and they don’t deliver.”
Harvin, who was the only candidate of color in the mayor-president race, says they’re taking steps in the right direction.
“So over the next four years, we’ll be able to see areas that may have felt neglected. Felt left out. They’re right we’re all working together.”
“We’ve seen he’s spoken about transparency. Let’s see how transparent he’s going to be.”
“Our mayor is open. He’s got an open heart and an open ear and I think alot of people are going to be surprised.”
“Broussard says the NAACP chapter will be closely monitoring these efforts within the adminstraiton.
In Lafayette, Lora Lavigne KLFY news 10.”