SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - His is one of the more recognizable names in the Shreveport mayoral race.
And Steven Jackson, the Caddo commissioner who last year served as that panel’s president, says he’s the candidate who can hit the ground running.
“I think I’m the candidate that comes in Day One with a vision and a plan.”
Jackson says his experience is one of the most important things he’ll bring to the mayor’s office.
“I have that intimate knowledge of local government. You have to know what you are talking about."
Jackson says, if elected, he’ll first sit down with all department heads and talk.
One of his first priorities is looking into Shreveport’s water billing.
"I don’t see a need to waste additional money on an audit. I think you have to get to the actual bottom of what’s going on with this billing situation and why individuals continue to be overbilled and right that on Day One.”
Jackson’s been outspoken about addressing crime in Shreveport, pushing the Caddo Commission to consider camera and gunshot systems that detect gunfire.
As mayor, he says, he plans to focus on the root causes of crime, like poverty and a lack of mental health services.
He also wants to begin the process of replacing Police Chief Alan Crump and push more officers to live in the neighborhoods they patrol.
“A lot of times, we put the blame off on citizens. Well, they aren’t cooperating; they don’t want to cooperate. I understand that’s an element of it. But, at some point, we have to own the problem and be serious about addressing it.”
Jackson believes lowering crime is one piece of the puzzle when it comes to economic development.
He also plans to hire a team of independent economic development professionals to keep businesses here and attract new ones.
“We have to let the world know that we are serious about recruiting jobs here.”
Jackson says he’s running for mayor because Shreveport needs someone who is willing to stand up and take the city in a positive direction.
“I’m not here selling folks unicorns and UFOs. I think this is a serious situation we are in.
“Shreveport can no longer sit aside and coast along,” he continued. "We have to be very intentional about what we are trying to do. And we have to let the world know that our doors are open for business, our citizens are safe and our neighborhoods are clean.”