YMCA to host panel discussion for Shreveport mayoral candidates


All 10 candidates who have qualified to run for mayor of Shreveport are expected to be at the BHP Billiton YMCA of Northwest Louisiana for the Mayoral Forum this Thursday from 6:30-8 p.m.

The event, which will be held in the gymnasium at the BHP YMCA (3455 Knight Street), is free and open to the public.

“This is the third panel discussion we have had like this,” said Jeffrey Goodman, Director of Marketing and Development for the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana. “The last one, we had close to 100 people in attendance. We expect even more for this one – we could have anywhere from 100-500.”

The purpose of the event is to give the public the opportunity to meet and hear from the candidates. Qualifying candidates include incumbent Mayor Adrian Perkins (Democrat), local attorney and former Shreveport City Councilman Tom Arceneaux (Republican), District 10 Caddo Parish Commissioner Mario Chavez (Independent), Louisiana state Sen. Greg Tarver (Democrat), Shreveport City Councilwoman LeVette Fuller (Democrat), Darryl Ware II (Democrat), Tracy Mendels (Democrat), Melvin Slack (Republican), Julius Romano (Independent), and Lauren Ray Anderson (Libertarian).

The primary elections will be held Nov. 8 while the general elections will take place Dec. 10.

This is not a debate. The format includes two-minute introductions by each candidate followed by seven questions from the moderators (each will respond to the same question and have one minute to respond; order in which each answers will change with each question). The forum will conclude with each candidate being given one minute to talk about why they should be mayor.

Once the forum ends, each candidate will have a table where they can speak with attendees and answer any further questions.

Questions will not be accepted from the audience. If anyone has a question they would like the YMCA to consider as one of the questions for the candidates, email the question to jgoodman@ymcanwla.org.

While the panel discussion is a new initiative for the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana, it follows in the tradition of YMCAs around the world that – since the late 1800s – have sponsored lecture series similar to those of the lyceum.

“The YMCA of Northwest Louisiana plans to organize a number of community-focused discussions over the next year,” said Goodman.

In its new initiative called “Shreveport-Bossier: My City, My Community, My Home,” the YMCA is conducting weekly interviews with a wide cross-section of individuals in the community. The goal is to highlight the positive aspects of Shreveport-Bossier to foster more engaged and hopeful thinking in the community.

New episodes of the podcast interviews are published every Thursday. This week’s episode will be the 19th in the series. To locate the interviews that have been published to date, visit the YMCA’s YouTube channel, YMCA of Northwest Louisiana.

Contact Harriet at sbjharriet@gmail.com