"We are undaunted in our commitment to make certain that we strengthen CODOFIL and we strengthen what all of you have a tremendous interest in doing that is beneficial to the state of Louisiana on multiple fronts," says Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne.
|(From left) Rep. Vincent Pierre, Rep. Mike Huval, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, Rep. Stephen Ortego, Rep. Jack Montoucet and Philippe Gustin, director of Le Centre International de Lafayette at CODOFIL's office Thursday morning.
Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne wants the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana to know he's got its back — and its future — with a plan that includes grants and the promotion and support of economic development outreach and tourism opportunities already in place with Francophone countries.
"We are undaunted in our commitment to make certain that we strengthen CODOFIL and we strengthen what all of you have a tremendous interest in doing that is beneficial to the State of Louisiana on multiple fronts," says Dardenne. In town for French Ambassador François Delattre's visit, Dardenne outlined his plan for CODOFIL Thursday in a press conference prior to a CODOFIL board meeting.
There's also another plan in place to utilize social media to help CODOFIL replenish its lost funding.
When Dardenne's Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism felt a loss of $2 million two weeks ago at the swipe of Gov. Bobby Jindal's veto pen, CODOFIL had $100,000 lopped off in the process.
"This is not a political issue. This is something that's good for the economics of Louisiana. It's good for tourism in Louisiana," says Dardenne. "And tourism in this state means jobs and it means money coming from outside the borders of Louisiana, investing in Louisiana and it minimizes the burden that our taxpayers have to pay to make good things happen in government."
Dardenne says there's a tremendous untapped potential from a tourism standpoint to capitalize on the relationships "we're building now to convince those Francophone countries that this little slice of the world in the southern most part of America is a place that is welcoming to them and shares their culture and shares their language and shares many of their interests."
Jindal's cuts hurt the 2-year-old Escadrille Louisiane initiative that sends teachers to French universities to learn the language and teach it to Louisiana students.
"It was unexpected. It's very unfortunate. It was unnecessary," Dardenne says. "It is one of the programs in Louisiana that is working at a time when we're attempting to create jobs and create economic opportunity for Louisiana. CODOFIL is one of the agencies that makes that happen."
Dardenne says Louisiana needs to capitalize on the "incredible and intense interest on our state that exists in Francophone countries all over the world," something he saw in a trip to Quebec and one he plans to promote in France and Belgium when he goes to "reinstitute the accords that exist between Louisiana and those countries and to talk about the incredible opportunities that exist from an education and an economic development standpoint."Along with the grants, Dardenne's CRT plans to cover CODOFIL Director Joseph Dunn's expenses to Europe for what he calls "a very important trip and one of the most important international trips that the State of Louisiana has made in recent years to reach out to our business partners in France to thank them for what they do, encourage them to expand what they do in Louisiana and to create opportunities for Louisiana businesses to do business in France."
Mandy Migues, a teacher and president of FrancoJeunes, is on board to help through a campaign called 100,000 Cajuns and Creoles that is soliciting $1 from French-speaking Louisianans and those who support CODOFIL. Go here for more information.
"If we can do our part to help, that's what we're trying to do," says Migues. "I'm hoping once we get the word out, I'm very comfortable we'll reach our goal."
The Lafayette superintendent insists the budget is illegal and vows to fight on.
"I am not a scientist," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said numerous times, a response that other members of his party have parroted.
Republicans are running strong races against endangered Democratic incumbents in states such as North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska. Republicans are also looking to replace retiring Democrats in Iowa and West Virginia with a GOP lawmaker.
Republican congressman Vance McAllister is trying to make up to Louisiana voters for getting too close to a married former employee.
You may not like all of “it,” but U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, unlike many of her colleagues, isn't sitting around twiddling her thumbs in Congress.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro says he "can't wait" to play against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The heat keeps rising for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal as a new slate of corruption allegations surfaced this week.
If opposing defenses sell out to stop the Packers' passing game, they risk being gashed by powerful running back Eddie Lacy, a New Orleans-area native.
At the horn the officiating crew trotted to the tunnel and left security personnel to clean up after them.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.