As we embark on 2008 and the new Jindal administration, Blueprint Louisiana is very encouraged about the possibilities for our state. From Acadiana to Arcadia, the excitement about our future is unmistakable, and we sense a real commitment from elected officials and citizens alike to move our state forward. As we’ve said throughout our existence, Blueprint has been about helping to create the state we deserve.

With the help of citizens across the state, we identified in 2007 five agenda items (ethics, education, workforce development, health care and transportation) and reasonable action steps to address those long-standing issues. We also acknowledged the importance of coastal restoration and hurricane protection and are evaluating any additional action that may be needed at the state level.

The intent from the outset was to develop a citizen-driven effort to implement essential changes to fundamentally improve Louisiana. It was about all regions of the state working together around common themes — a reform agenda that impacts everyone.

While there certainly will be naysayers, please think about this wise tale: The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago; the next best time is now. We have two choices as a state. We can wallow in disappointment about not planting our trees 20 years ago or we can do something about it now. What’s your choice?

Our new governor and Legislature are poised to fundamentally improve Louisiana’s future, but they will need a critical mass of visible, public support to get the job done. Blueprint Louisiana will be leading the charge at the Legislature, but we will need everyone’s participation to help us turn our recommendations into law. Please visit our Web site often, www.blueprintlouisiana.org , to learn how you can contribute to this worthwhile effort.

It’s time to create the state we deserve.

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