For some time now, I have lamented the fundamental breakdown of community as one of the core challenges hindering our politics and civic progress. It seems that, despite all the opportunities to connect virtually via social media, people are less close than they once were. I have to admit, other than talking, I’ve not done enough to address this unfortunate trend myself. And this breakdown means that coming together with our neighbors and fellow citizens to address community concerns is much more difficult.
Enter Together Baton Rouge, a nonprofit organization that has built a powerful coalition of community groups and church congregations to advocate for progress across all parts of Louisiana’s capital city. Here’s a video that introduces their work…
The organization’s purpose is succinctly described on their Facebook page: “We’re an organization of congregations and community-based organizations, building trust, developing citizen leadership and improving life in Baton Rouge.” While just a few years old, the list of issues the group has championed and significantly impacted is long. Notably, they’ve been a major voice on the disparities between North and South Baton Rouge in terms of economic development and overall investment.
Together Baton Rouge recently launched a petition initiative to address the issue of healthcare access for North Baton Rouge residents. But rather than propose a plan focused only on one part of town, they are proposing a more expansive health district that takes into account the healthcare access needs of other areas outside the city core, as well. They’re hoping to unite voices of residents from across the parish. Here’s the link to the petition.
I’m so happy to see a community organization focused on building diverse and collaborative relationships and developing the capacity of citizens to be leaders on the issues they care most about.