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Sunday, August 19, 2018
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Panelist Bio


James Mayo
Mayor, Monroe, Louisiana

The Honorable James E. "Jamie" Mayo was elected at the 28th mayor of Monroe, Louisiana in October 2001. Since its incorporation in 1820, Mayor Mayo became only the second African-American elected to serve as Monroe's mayor.

Mayor Mayo is a graduate of Bastrop High School and the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration.

After over 20 years of business experience with companies such as State Farm Insurance, Allstate Insurance and Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation, Mayo's public service career began in 1995, when he was first elected to the Monroe City Council. Jamie was re-elected to the Monroe City Council in 1996 and 2000 and served two terms as City Council Chairman before being elected Mayor in 2001.

Mayor Mayo was re-elected in 2004 under the campaign slogan of "Monroe…One City, One Future!" A theme used to emphasize city-wide progress through unity. Progress has definitely been made under the Mayo administration. Projects of note include: 500 NEW Monroe businesses opened; $80 million in capital infrastructure projects started or completed; Completion of a $4 million dollar Fire and Police Public Safety Center; Securing long-needed pay raises for all fire, police and transit system personnel; and, over $3.5 million in Parks & Recreation Improvements.

Mayor Mayo is married to Angela Mayo and they have two children, Jared and Ashley.

Current Topic


     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?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, 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.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

Thank you to our sponsors!
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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

Recent Topics


     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?

     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

How much does Louisiana spend on nursing homes versus home and community-based care?
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