POSTED: Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 10:27pm
UPDATED: Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 10:34pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — It's no secret that's Louisiana’s got a lot of problems with crime, and punishment, education and healthcare.
So now faith based leaders are all joining together to see if they can do something to help the state address the major issues that affect the citizens of Louisiana.
Over two hundred people got together Saturday to figure out how to get past the problems holding Louisiana back. And one Baton Rouge pastor says today they took their first step in the right direction.
"Here's the thing that has brought us together, we've identified as issues that are crucial to us are the same issues that are crucial to people state wide," said Rev. Melvin Rushing.
Rev. Melvin rushing sees first hand the issues in our community that haven’t improved, so now he's doing his part to help change that.
“As religious leaders and member of faith communities we understand that we have a biblical mandate to involve ourselves especially when those policies being promoted harm those who have little voice or no voice," noted Rev. Rushing.
People from all different communities and congregations are coming together with one common goal; to become experts in Louisiana’s issues and then spread the word, in their own ways.
“It helps us become more effective in building relationships are to tell stories are our experiences around those issues that we've talked about so I hope," said Rev. Rushing.
With poverty at an all time high, incarceration rates soaring and health care plummeting, these people are sharing ideas to come up with a way to help the state succeed, not fail.
“I think the most pressing issue at this time is governor Jindal’s tax proposal we want to make sure people are greatly informed about this before it goes before our legislature,” said Together Baton Rouge member, Dianne Hanley. ”Things move very quickly with the legislature so we know that we need to be informed now."
And pastors like Rev. Rushing say these kinds of gatherings are a way to create a new public vision for our state.
This conference is kicking off a 2 year campaign of "civic academies" to educate voters on major issues in the state.