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Panelist Bio

James D. Garvey, Jr.
BESE Board President

In 2007 Mr. Garvey was elected to serve a 4 year term on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), representing District 1, which covers all of St Tammany Parish, roughly the East Bank of Jefferson Parish, and the Lakefront, MidCity and Uptown areas of Orleans Parish.

In 2008 and 2009 he served as Chair of the State Authorized School Oversight Committee and as a member of the Finance Committee. In 2010 he served as co-Chair of the School Innovation and Turnaround Committee and as a member of BESE’s Accountability Commission. He continued to serve as co-Chair of the School Innovation and Turnaround Committee through 2016.

In 2011 he was elected as the Vice-President of the board. Also in 2011, he was re-elected to serve a second 4 year term on BESE. In 2012 he was elected as Secretary-Treasurer of the board. In 2013, 2014 and 2015 he was elected to consecutive 1 year terms as Vice-President of the board. Also in 2015 he was re-elected to serve a third 4 year term on BESE. In 2016 Mr. Garvey was elected as the President of the board.

He graduated from Loyola University with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting in 1987, and a Law degree and a Masters in Business Administration in 1991. He is also a Certified Public Accountant, on In-Active status. He works for the regional law firm of Hailey-McNamara, with a primary practice in commercial insurance defense.

His civic activities include current or recent service on the boards of directors of the Metropolitan Battered Women’s Program, the Jefferson Community Foundation, the Jefferson Business Council, the Louisiana Student Financial Assistance Commission, the Louisiana Tuition Trust Authority and the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Advisory Council.

Current Topic

     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?
In 2017, Louisiana’s legislature passed the Justice Reinvestment Act, which sought to reduce the state’s highest-in-the-nation incarceration rate. The bill was championed by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and received bipartisan support including from community and business leaders. Now, just over a year later, the legislation has become a political football. State Attorney General Jeff Landry and Senator John Kennedy, both Republicans considering a run against Edwards in 2019, suggest that the reform package is a failure. They cite murders committed by two inmates released since the Act’s implementation.

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended? Has the legislation put more residents in harm’s way or are plea deals part of the problem?

Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Revisiting Reform” Wednesday, September 26 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE.

Our panelists are:
• E. Pete Adams, Executive Director, La. District Attorneys Association
• Alanah Hebert, ACLU of Louisiana & Justice Reinvestment Task Force
• Andrew Hundley, Louisiana Parole Project
• Sec. Jimmy LeBlanc, La. Department of Corrections

The program features interviews with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry; Rep. Terry Landry, D- New Iberia, with the Justice Reinvestment Oversight Council; Deputy Assistant Secretary Natalie Laborde, with the Louisiana Department of Corrections; and Stephanie Riegel, editor of the Baton Rouge Business Report.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney and professor Robert Mann with the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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Special Presentation

     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!

     10/18 - Louisiana Veterans Back Home

What are the programs and initiatives helping our veterans successfully transition to civilian life?

Recent Topics

     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?

     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?
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