“The clients didn’t have access to other schools other than what was mandated to them.”
Faith. Family. Freedom. These are the values of Barbara Thomas, candidate for State Representative for District 63 in Louisiana. She is a strong, driven, and smart woman of action who has proven her conservative stance with these three core values. District 63 lies in the Scotlandville area in East Baton Rouge, which a minority majority district. Barbara has been a longtime leader in this community as she is the founder of the Family Values Resource Institute, Inc. which is also known as the North Baton Rouge Women’s Help Center located at 7515 Scenic Highway in Scotlandville. When I arrived to meet Mrs. Thomas at the Help Center, she greeted me with a hug. Her demeanor was easy-going, professional, warm, and contemplative.
“Although regulations are needed, they are not needed to the point where it negatively impacts the growth of business in the end.”
So what exactly has compelled her to run for state representative? Barbara explains how education is a key factor motivating her to run for office:
Well, although I never planned a career in politics or anything like that, I became interested with my experience here at the Center. When we started the organization years ago, we knew that we were going to need to do more than what we had on the drawing board as far as the education of our clients was concerned. So we started with the GED and literacy program which then made us take note of our regular school system. The clients didn’t have access to other schools other than what was mandated to them. I was in favor of home schooling, and since I’ve done my own research, I see a very strong need for school choice and other alternatives.
Education for Economic Development
As for economic development, Barbara also started an expansion education project with vocational training in 1998. She took the GED program and worked with young families to learn a trade while taking care of their responsibilities as parents. “I want to help people learn how to earn a living and take care of their children. I am for providing jobs in the community, and whatever it takes to allow the small businesses to gain, rather than rely on the present governmental atmosphere which does not encourage that.” She continues to explain, “In my experience, we ourselves at the Help Center have had to lay-off staff members, so I understand the challenges of running a small business. Although regulations are needed, they are not needed to the point where it negatively impacts the growth of business in the end.”
“And you’ve got to be in touch with the people in order to work for the people”
True to Herself and Her Community
Barbara Thomas feels the need to take her community work a step further by serving in the state legislature because she recognizes the need to help this district embrace the traditional conservative values it has always possessed. She wants to see those in her area learn to become productive citizens with a voice, rather than tied down and dependent on the entitlement programs which are encouraged by big government. Once a Democrat, she decided that in order to be true to her beliefs, she was better suited as a Republican. Not only that, she also extended her involvement by becoming an elected member of the Republican Sate Central Committee two years ago. “One day I just woke up and decided I was disgusted and that we need to get out of this mess. Even though I was always conservative, I was a Democrat, but finally realized how I could more effective in the community with my conservatism on the Republican side.”
Experience Speaks for Itself
When asked what it is that puts her ahead of her opponents, Barbara promptly answered that her experience and close involvement within the community helps her achieve her mission of spreading the word about self sufficiency and limited government being the answer to true freedom. Her one-on-one relationship with the people makes her the ultimate grassroots candidate straight from the front lines. Barbara wants to strengthen the district and ultimately the state by channeling the conservative principles to wean the public off of the governmental programs that have been suffocating their freedoms for many years. “And you’ve got to be in touch with the people in order to work for the people,” she stresses, “…and from what I’ve seen, very few elected officials have actually been here when needed, and I am among those who want to change that.”