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Tuesday, October 23, 2018
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Panelist Bio


Austin J. Badon, Jr.
State Rep. (D), Chairman of the House Education Committee

Louisiana State Representative Austin Badon Jr. is a native son of New Orleans, LA. Before he began to serve the people of the great State of Louisiana as a member of the House of Representatives in 2004, he earned his high school degree from the internationally known St. Augustine High School; he then went on to earn an under-graduate degree in Political Science and Sociology from the University of New Orleans. Later, he went back to school to earn a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Troy State University. Representative Badon began to delve into the word of politics while attending college. During his under-graduate work, Austin worked as an intern for the New Orleans City Council. Upon completion of the class, he missed working there so much that he volunteered until he found his first REAL job. After job stints in Atlanta and Houston, he came home to the City and State that he loves. After his election in 2004, he has authored and co-authored major reform efforts in New Orleans as well as in the State. His most notable measures have included the consolidation of the seven Orleans assessor office’s into one, the change in qualifications of those serving on levee boards, the implementation of the Recovery School district in Orleans Parish schools, a ban on smoking in Louisiana’s restaurants, testing of inmates for HIV and Hepatitis, the proposed ban on text messaging and cell phone use while driving, the implementation of a scholarship program in New Orleans public schools and many other quality of life instruments. He prides himself on never missing a day of work in any Special or Regular session. As one of the most highly respected members of either legislative chamber, he has served as a Floor leader for both Governor Kathleen Blanco and Governor Bobby Jindal. In 2008, Representative Badon has earned the appointed of Chairman of the House Education Committee.

His motto is “Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it.” Representative Badon has been recognized for his accomplishments by the Loyola University Black Law Student association, by the Alliance for Good Government as the 2007 Legislator of the Year and by numerous civic and social organizations. Representative Badon was re-elected in 2007 with an overwhelming mandate from his constituents because of his professionalism, accessibility, tenacity and caring manner. Just like so many other people in the New Orleans area, Representative Badon had to overcome tremendous obstacles while rebuilding his flood damaged home. But he believes that God has placed him in this position to help others. He is married to Therese Badon and they have one dependent, a toy poodle who thinks he is a Rottweiller named Romeo. He is a gourmet chef, expert angler and kayaker and he loves the outdoors.

Current Topic


     10/18 - Louisiana Veterans Back Home

What are the programs and initiatives helping our veterans successfully transition to civilian life?
Since 2001, 2.6 million service men and women have been deployed to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Twenty-six percent of Louisiana’s veterans fought in these conflicts. The needs for these veterans are plentiful including securing employment and housing, and dealing with the mental rigors of transitioning from military back to civilian life.

Louisiana Public Square explores the unique programs and initiatives that are helping our state’s younger veterans successfully overcome these challenges on “Louisiana Veterans Back Home” Wednesday, October 24 at 7 p.m. on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recording Thursday, October 18.)

Veterans Coming Home is a collaborative, multi-platform public media project between Wisconsin Public Television and Kindling Group in partnership with local stations and other national organizations. Veterans Coming Home is made possible with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Logos of funding providers for Veterans Coming Home


2016 “Louisiana Veterans Coming Home” program. | View Online.


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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     11/18 - An Eye on Admissions

How does this affect our students and institutions?

Recent Topics


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

     06/18 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?  (ENCORE)

Is Louisiana a Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?
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