|54th Governor of Louisiana|
January 12, 2004 â€“ January 14, 2008
|Preceded by||Mike Foster|
|Succeeded by||Bobby Jindal|
|50th Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana|
January 8, 1996 â€“ January 12, 2004
|Preceded by||Melinda Schwegmann|
|Succeeded by||Mitch Landrieu|
|Member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission
from the 2nd district
|Succeeded by||Jimmy Field|
|Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
from the 45th district
|Succeeded by||Jerry LeBlanc|
December 15, 1942
New Iberia, Louisiana, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Louisiana, Lafayette|
We have witnessed the most extraordinary devastation. The magnitude of the situation is unbelievable. It's just heartbreaking.
I know that government doesn't have the all solutions that real solutions do not come from the top down. Instead, the ways to end poverty come from all of us. We are part of the solution.
Poverty is everyone's problem. It cuts across any line you can name: age, race, social, geographic or religious. Whether you are black or white; rich, middle-class or poor, we are ALL touched by poverty.
We didn't lose as many lives as had been predicted although we're still in the process of finding those we lost.
When I'm out hustling up new industries, I can offer Louisiana's many selling points. We have unmatched natural resources, a unique culture and fantastic workers.
Think about it: Every educated person is not rich, but almost every education person has a job and a way out of poverty. So education is a fundamental solution to poverty.
At the state level, we must take a careful look at what went wrong and make sure it never happens again. The buck stops here, and as your governor, I take full responsibility.
Let me be clear – I want all Louisiana citizens to have choice – including the elderly and persons with disabilities – and their families – who rely on the state for their care.
When your whole system, your whole civilized system goes down, this is pretty much what you get left with. We have no communications, no running water, no electricity, no real help.
The first light of day today revealed what we had feared. The devastation is greater than our worst fears. It's just totally overwhelming.
My values, our values, aren't about pointing fingers. They are about offering a helping hand.
God calls us to care for our fellow man, especially the neediest. I feel that call to lift up the less fortunate; the call to improve our communities and our state. It drives me to serve Louisiana as governor.