Last week Gov. John Bel Edwards signed an executive order formally establishing the Governor's Advisory Council on Rural Revitalization. The Council will identify the needs and issues facing Louisiana’s vital rural communities as well as solutions to removing any barriers that prohibit them from being more productive, healthy and attractive places to live and work.
"Rural communities across the country are in crisis, and we are no different here in Louisiana. They bear a disproportionate burden of poverty, lack adequate access to healthcare, education and other basic necessities. This council will help us identify their unique challenges and help implement effective and innovative Louisiana solutions," Gov. Edwards said. “It's in the best interests of our state to engage in a centralized and coordinated effort to further the revitalization of our rural areas and make certain the resources are available to help them grow in a sustainable way."
The advisory council will be comprised of 34 key state and local stakeholders appointed by the Governor who also appointed his retired chief of staff, former Senator Ben Nevers as chairman.
Ben Nevers, a Bogalusa native, served as Chief of Staff to Governor Edwards. From 2004 to January 11, 2016, Nevers was a member of the Louisiana State Senate for District 12, which includes parts of Washington, St. Tammany, and Tangipahoa parishes. From 2000 to 2004, he was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for District 75.
The Council will develop and submit a comprehensive strategic plan to the Governor by January 5, 2021 and annual progress reports thereafter.
Click here for the Executive Order and more information.