Jonathan Goins wants to bring positive change to District 3

 Attorney Jonathan Goins, a native of Samtown in a home at the corner of Block and Juliet streets, hopes to sit in Councilman Charles F. Smith’s District 3 seat.

The Southern Law Center graduate made his intentions known in a formal announcement Monday, April 14, on the steps of City Hall.


 Goins is a Peabody High School graduate. He passed the bar in 2006.

This is the full text of Goins speech:

Every child deserves at least one person in his or her life who would sacrifice everything for that child’s well-being; I had at least two. Not far from here, in a wood frame home on the corner of Bloch and Juliet Streets down in Samtown is my family home. 

My mother and grandmother resolved that they would give us the best that they could, and they did. They taught us at a very early age about integrity and character.  They taught me that you better stand for something or you will fall for anything.  They would go without, so that my brother and I could go with.  Many times they would send their last down to Southern University just to ensure that we had books and food. In all of my 26 years, they provided me with the tools to be competent in life:  patience, dexterity, 


Beyond my home at Bloch and Juliet, the Samtown/Woodside community nurtured me. Peabody Magnet High School nurtured me.  My church, Second Union Missionary Baptist, and my pastor, Rev. Joseph Martin have nurtured me. 


 It did take a village to raise this child, and I am proud to say: this is my village.

Of course, as I have come along, my village has expanded. It includes Southern University and so many good friends I made there. It includes my law school, Southern University Law Center. It includes Silver Trowel Lodge #18, Peabody Tailgater’s Association. It includes many of my mentors, Mr. Joe Fuller, Lou Howard, Earl Cross, Bridgett Brown and Ingrid Johnson.


Those of us who know better must change the conversation about where this community is going. Our community is growing too fast and the issues are too pressing to ignore any longer. Whether it’s the future of our roads, the future of our neighborhoods or the future of our government, the people of Alexandria want leaders who are thinking about where we’re going and who are courageous enough to chart a wise course. That’s exactly what I’m going to do.


 I’ve got a simple philosophy: Put the citizens of Alexandria first.

It starts with solutions. We need leaders who are committed to solving problems, not creating them. The people of Alexandria are pleading for change, and they wonder whether our City Council remembers who pays the bills around here. We’re paying more and more for utilities and getting less and less in return.


Alexandria prospers today because of the leadership we had a generation ago. We are not planting the seeds for future prosperity. When I look ahead to the future, I know that we need to give Alexandria the kind of government it deserves, a government that is efficient, a government that is effective, and a government that works for us — not a government that we work to support.


We also need opportunity. We need to create more opportunity in Alexandria, not less. In District 3, large numbers of children arrive at school unprepared to learn. Many of our children have seen so little opportunity, so little responsibility, so little loving, so little caring, that they literally cannot imagine the life we are calling them to lead. But they must, and we must do our part to expand their horizons. We need them to build lives of accomplishment, not lives of broken dreams. The City can help.

The City can help by being fair across the board.  The same funding that is used over in Compton Park in Charles Park.  Let’s use those funds to make sure Frank O. Hunter Park is up to those same standards if not more.  The same funding that is used for Heyman Lane and Versailles lets make sure that Jones Street and Lincoln Road get that same type of attention.


In closing, I want to remind you that District 3 is not just a collection of neighborhoods; District 3 is a much larger village that is home to all of us. All of us out here either live or know someone in Acadian Village, Samtown/Woodside, or the Lower Third area.  We have an obligation to leave this area in a better condition than we found it. In so many ways, what we are called to do today is akin to what my mother and grandmother did for me throughout my life. They sacrificed for me so that I can stand here today, a product of a village that has taken such good care of me. Now, it’s my turn to take care of my village.


Our Community, Our Change, Our Future


What do you call a single woman over 40years old? Read the April 15 issue of The Light to get the answer



Click here to read The Light, April 15, 2008.



Attorney Jonathan Goins seeking City Council seat

The Light received an e-mail about 4:17 p.m Saturday, April 12, that Alexandria Attorney Jonathan Goins will make a formal announcement to take Councilman Charles F. Smith’s District 3 seat on the Alexandria City Council.

The annoucement, according to Goins e-mail, will be 5 p.m. Monday, April 14, on the steps of City Hall.

Goins is a Southern University Law School graduate, who passed the bar in July 2006.

Lower Third native sees promises, potential with TIF


By Sandra Bright





In the next few weeks, residents of the Lower 3rd community will have many issues on which to decide and participate in. A legislative proposal by District 26 Rep. Herbert Dixon for establishment of a TIF district to include the Lower 3rd community will be voted upon in the state legislature. The forces for and against the TIF are busy rallying their supporters. State Sen. Joe McPherson has already voiced his dissent against the TIF as has District #3 City Councilman Charles F. Smith in whose district the Lower 3rd area encompasses.


As with any new plan that will change the landscape of a town or area, great debates are going on as to whom or what entity this TIF will benefit. The members of the motel/hotel association voice their opinion that the TIF is a smoke screen to give the Hotel Bentley and Alexander Fulton Hotel unfair advantages over them; others in the business community pronounce that the TIF will levy additional taxes on the population least afford to pay them. Other points of dissention are that the TIF proposal has not been fully explored and that the plan was hastily pulled together; still others say an additional economic development board that would be established by the TIF is one too many in lieu of two other additional economic development boards already in place in Cenla.


Proponents on both sides will be inundating the Lower 3rd community residents with data related to their positions. The savvy consumer must do some research on what’s best for them, their community and city of Alexandria overall.


Having been a resident of the Lower 3rd community all my life, I see an area of great decline compared to what it used to be. Illegal drug use and selling has invaded a community that was once family friendly a couple of generations ago. Dilapidated housing, convenience stores that sale alcohol as their major  source of revenue, accumulation of garbage and trash that litter the streets make the neighborhood look like a place in a third world country. Along with the decay, there are bright spots in the community. New housing units being built-even though they are rent to own (rent for 15 years before the house can be purchased), senior apartments on Willow Glen River Road and a planned water park for Cheatam Park; and finally clean up of the toxic waste site at the Ruston Foundry.


What are lacking in the community are consumer friendly businesses such as a drug store, grocery store, outlet or strip mall stores, boutiques. If the TIF proposal will bring in much needed businesses into a community that has been neglected for so long by the citizens themselves as well as the local and state elected representatives, then I am all for it. If not a TIF, what will bring economic development into an area that has not seen any in many years? Sometimes when people have no incentive for doing better, a spark in the right direction can inspire a person as well as a community to become motivated for the better.


This is what I am hoping for Lower 3rd-once an incentive begins, it will snowball into the residents cleaning up and improving their properties and working to eradicate the drug problem in order to attract businesses. Each resident of the Lower 3rd community is a stake holder and should voice their opinion pro or con for the TIF. Even if the TIF was not proposed, the issues of what the parent governing body of the city can and should do to help this area recover should be in the forefront for economic development. When one part of the body (city) is broken or diseased, eventually it will affect the rest of the body.


On April 21, 2008 at 6 p.m. at the Broadway Resource Center, a public meeting will ensue regarding the reuse status of the Armour Building located at the corner of 3rd and Xavier Streets. This building shares an adjourning wall with the 20 room efficiency apartment complex known as Olive House-a permanent residence for persons who have previously been homeless. The Armour Building along with the former warehouse into which the Olive House was transformed was donated to Inner City Revitalization-a non profit organization whose goal is to provide affordable housing in inner city neighborhoods. Funding for the Armour Building was depleted during construction of the Olive House.


Funding sources to complete the plans for the Armour building have been almost non-existent until a proposal was submitted by Inner City for a CBG (community block grant) from the City of Alexandria thru HUD for the FY 2009. Along with that proposal came a survey to see if the Armour building fit into a historical preservation category. Local and state historical preservationists validated that it did and declared it an historical site worthy to be preserved. The problem with this designation is that the local and state preservation agencies do not have monies available at the present time to allocate to restoring this property. HUD money cannot be used to tear down a property once it has been declared historically significant-only to restore it. The amount of money needed to restore this building for reuse into apartment is in the 1.6-2 million dollar range. If the building is “deconstructed” and rebuilt from the ground up into new apartments, the price is considerably less.


Another important issue of an urgent nature is that the roof on the Armour building has been in disrepair for many years. Water leaking from the holes in the roof soak into the Olive House community room causing flooding and crumbling of the brick common wall that the two building share. Engineers have issued urgent warnings about the stability of the roof such that immediate attention to a replacement roof is urgently needed. I have concerns that if persistent heavy rains occur, the roof and adjourning wall will cave in and cause harm to a resident (s) of Olive House. On April 21, 2008, citizens of Alexandria are urgently needed to come out and voice their opinion on reuse of the Armour Building-deconstruct and rebuild a new apartment complex from the ground up with funding from HUD or wait years on funding for restoration that may or may not be forth coming. Also, another possibility is, if a TIF is implemented in the Lower 3rd area, funding can be sought for either restoration or deconstruction and rebuilding. Citizens call, e-mail or write your comments to on the Armour Building reuse issue:


Inner City Revitalization

1902 Main Street

Alexandria, LA 71302

Ph 442-1502




Sandra W. Bright

Alexandria, LA 71302

Community meeting set to discuss TIF and its impact on Lower Third Street and surrounding areas

The Ministers of Economic Development, a organization made up of black pastors in Alexandria and Pineville, are calling for a community meeting to discuss the benefits of Rep. Herbert Dixon’s House Bill that proposes a Tax Increment Financing District for the city of Alexandria.

The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 11 at Peabody Magnet High School in Alexandria.

According to the announcement, the purpose of the meeting is to 

1.  Understand the neighborhoods affected by the TIF Bill

2.  Find out what type businesses that may develop in the Lower Third and Samtown-Woodside communities?

3.  Find out how a TIF works?

4.  Let your voice be heard about improving your community

5.  Talk to Elected Officials:  State Senator Joe McPherson, Alexandria        Mayor Jacques Roy and State Representative Herbert B. Dixon

6.  Find out about the Red River Development District

Are there any good black men in Central Louisiana?

Who says there are no good black men? I know hundreds, not including my family and friends.

Do you know any? If so, why don’t you nominate them to be honored as a Man of Substance. The Light will honor 10 men in the June 15 issue, and it will celebrate them in an Awards Dinner, to be held June 16, at the Main Street Community Center.

Please click on this link for the nomination form. men-of-substance1

 The deadline is May 15.

The Light is now on MySpace

Check out The Light’s new MySpace page at

There you will find a slide show from the 2008 Women of Distinction Awards Dinner.