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Saturday, January 20, 2018
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Panelist Bio


James T. Dixon, Jr.
State Public Defender, Louisiana Public Defender Board

James 'Jay' Dixon is the State Public Defender and member of the Louisiana Public Defender Board. Dixon was born at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY into an army family. He moved throughout his childhood and graduated from high school in Madrid, Spain. After graduating from Bucknell University, he enrolled at Loyola Law School in New Orleans to pursue a law degree. Since graduating, his legal experience has been diverse. Mr. Dixon served as a law clerk at the Louisiana Supreme Court for former Justice Pike Hall. He had a private practice in New Orleans, while serving with the Jefferson Parish Public Defender's Office as contract counsel and later joined the St. John Parish Public Defender Office as a full-time line defender. He then served as the Attorney General for the Republic of Palau, a small island nation in the Pacific Ocean. Upon his return to the United States, Mr. Dixon was the Judicial Administrator for the 12th Circuit Court for the State of Virginia. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, he and his wife felt compelled to return to Louisiana.He accepted a position as a contract defender for the Lafayette Parish Public Defender Office. He was later selected and accepted the position of District Defender for the Parishes of Calcasieu and Cameron where he has served from January 2011 through November 2013. He is married and has two beautiful children.

Current Topic


     01/18 - Early Education Matters

Should early childhood education be a priority?
It’s estimated that issues with early childhood education cost the state economy more than $1 billion per year. Business professionals and politicians agree that there is a severe lack of access to high-quality child care in the state. But with the state facing a $1 billion budget shortfall, can funds be found to make this a priority?

Louisiana School Finder, a first-of-its-kind performance guide on early care and education centers is a useful tool for parents seeking care for their children. Can it also be a mechanism to improve performance? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Early Education Matters” January 24th at 7 p.m. on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE.

Our panelists are:

· Melanie Bronfin, La. Policy Institute for Children

· Rep. Stephen Carter, R-Baton Rouge; Education Committee

· Stephen Waguespack, La. Assoc. of Business & Industry

· Supt. John White, La. Dept. of Education

Barry Erwin, CEO of the Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) moderates the discussion.

The program includes interviews with Belinda Creel Davis, Ph.D., with the LSU Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs and co-author of the Losing Ground study of childcare issues and workforce productivity in Louisiana; Melinda George, Child Care Assistance Manager with the La. Dept. of Education; Brigitte Nieland, V.P. for Workforce and Education for the La. Assoc. of Business & Industry: and Shawanda Jefferson, a mother whose improved employment status has put her Child Care Assistance Program benefits in jeopardy.
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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     02/18 - Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment in Louisiana

How widespread is the problem in our state?

Recent Topics


     12/17 - Healthy New Year! (Encore)

What is the best approach to shedding pounds in a state where cuisine is part of its culture?

     10/17 - HIV/AIDS in Louisiana

How many people are living with HIV/AIDS in Louisiana and what resources are available to them?

     09/17 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges face our returning veterans?

     08/17 - Studying TOPS

Is TOPS a worthwhile incentive or a middle-class tax break?
»»» View all Topics!
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