"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 fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
US cities bidding on Olympics; Guard prevents more Ferguson riots; storm threatens travel and more national and international news for Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.