April 29th, 2013, “Our Views: Poor need coverage,” The Advocate
April 24th, 2013, “Medicaid expansion wins support,” The Advocate
April 24th, 2013, “Editorial: If Gov. Jindal won’t accept Medicaid expansion, lawmakers should,” The Times Picayune
April 23rd, 2013, “Advocates rally for Medicaid expansion as new analysis shows it could be fiscally beneficial for state,” The Times Picayune
April 23rd, 2013, “Marshall resigns position at CATS,” The Advocate
“A victory for Together BR,” The Advocate
“The biggest success to me, is that we have established and created a culture change in this city,” said another group leader, Edgar Cage. “It’s not just in the hands of the politicians anymore, it’s the people who have actually grabbed hold of the process, and see that they can make a difference.”
“Our Views: A new push for transit,” The Advocate
The voices of the poor rarely register in the clatter of debate in City Hall, or legislative chambers. That Together Baton Rouge takes up this cause, and appears to be getting something of a hearing, is really a different way of doing business in our city.
We like it.
October 12th, 2011
“BR cemetery suit applauded,” The Advocate
More than 150 community activists on Tuesday applauded a state agency’s move to sue the owners and overseer of a historic north Baton Rouge cemetery they say has fallen into an embarrassing state of neglect.
The three lawsuits, filed Monday, set the stage for appointment of a receiver to take over managing Gilbert Memorial Park Cemetery, Assistant Attorney General Ryan Seidemann told members of Together Baton Rouge at a luncheon meeting at St. Mary Baptist Church.
May 27th, 2011
“Coalition voices concerns,” The Advocate
These were the stories told by residents Thursday night at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in front of more than 1,000 people.
The problems pinpointed represent what Together Baton Rouge has identified as issues plaguing East Baton Rouge Parish — regardless of race, religion and wealth.
And at the Thursday night assembly, the faith-based community organization asked several local leaders to commit to working with the group to improve the parish by addressing some of those issues.
May 26th, 2011
“Concerned citizens hear from community leaders about issues crippling city,” CBS WAFB Channel 9 News
The head count at Shiloh Baptist Church was around 1100. The crowd of concerned citizens spilled into the foyer of the church. These faces represent different races, religious denominations, and walks of life. But they’re here because they have a lot in common.
May 21st, 2011
“Changing BR together: Pastors organize community to fight crime, poverty,” The Advocate
“We want to pack it out with somewhere between 800 and 1,000 individuals as we share with elected officials the direction we think our community ought to be moving in,” Wesley told Together Baton Rouge supporters during an April planning meeting at First United Methodist Church. “They know that we are going to hold them accountable for what we have elected them to do.”
May 19th, 2011
For the past two months, the 17-member panel, selected by faith-based community group Together Baton Rouge and the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, has researched ways to improve the Capital Area Transit System to make it both usable for riders of need and desirable for “riders of choice” who already have transportation.
May 18th, 2011
“Our Views: Bus service as an option,” The Advocate
The commission, pushed by the Together Baton Rouge community coalition and chaired by the Rev. Raymond Jetson, has avoided gloom-and-doom talk about the fiscal crisis this fall. Instead, it has gathered information about what other cities do — generally with much higher taxpayer funding than CATS gets — to provide transportation alternatives for people.
May 3rd, 2011
“Group developing options to improve bus system,” The Advocate
The presentation identified transit incentives that would affect both riders who rely on the service because they don’t have a car and those who may be indirectly affected because of benefits like economic development, reduced traffic congestion and being able to help their employees to work.
April 16th, 2011
“One bridge, and others,” The Advocate
A sense of accountability on the part of public officials depends on an active and engaged citizenry. Together Baton Rouge is one way to make government better by getting people engaged.
April 7th, 2011
“A complexity of solutions,” The Advocate
We welcome the efforts of organizations such as Together Baton Rouge that are attempting to promote a more holistic approach to social problems such as crime in our community.
Addressing problems in this way takes a lot more time and effort, but it’s the only way, in our view, to advance sustainable solutions.
April 1st, 2011
“New group wins commitment to replace span,” The Advocate
Together Baton Rouge got across the message it wanted to convey by packing the council chambers on the Blue Grass Drive bridge issue — namely, that the coalition is a force to be reckoned with.
March 25th, 2011
“Mayor introduces mass transit panel,” The Advocate
The commission was formed by Together Baton Rouge and the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.
“The charge to this commission will be to come up with a plan that the city can support; that the parish can support,” said the Rev. Melvin Rushing, a member of Together Baton Rouge and pastor with Progressive Baptist Church and Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church.
March 24th, 2011
“Commission forms to implement FuturEBR transit Goals,” Baton Rouge Business Report
A 17-member commission charged with implementing transit goals outlined in the 30-year FuturEBR master plan was announced this morning by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Together Baton Rouge and Mayor Kip Holden.
March 23rd, 2011
Together Baton Rouge gets first victory; Wins reconstruction of Blue Grass Bridge in Glen Oaks
“Glen Oaks residents: Fix bridge,” The Advocate
Leaders of a coalition of religious leaders and civic groups known as Together Baton Rouge said they were pleased with commitments the city-parish has made to replace the deteriorated Blue Grass Drive bridge in Glen Oaks, which the state ordered closed in February 2010.
March 23th, 2011
“Bridge Building,” NBC Channel 33 News
Resident Dorothy Thomas says it all would not have been possible without the help of a local community group, “We couldn’t get anything done without Together Baton Rouge.”
March 22th, 2011
“Glen Oaks residents say new bridge is long overdue,” ABC WBRZ Channel 2 News
Residents said things started to come into place after they met with the independent citizen’s organization, Together Baton Rouge.
The residents now plan to attend the Metro Council meeting on Wednesday, March 24th to seek a commitment from city leaders to rebuild and reopen the Blue Grass Bridge.
March 23rd, 2011
“St. Jean Vianney Church working to make Baton Rouge a better city,” The Catholic Commentator
In August 2010, St. Jean Vianney was the first Catholic Church in this area to become part of Together Baton Rouge.
Father Tom Ranzino, pastor of St. Jean Vianney, said he wanted the church parish to be involved in Together Baton Rouge because he believes deeply that living in the city of Baton Rouge is a cultural responsibility. “Catholic social justice means I can see through the lens of my faith to be a part of that which affects us all,” he said.
March 3rd, 2011
“Violent crime call to action”, The Advocate
“This is a moral crisis that cannot fully be answered by more squad cars, more jail space and more prosecutors. Baton Rouge’s schools, faith-based organizations and civic groups such as Together Baton Rouge also must be part of the remedy.”
March 1st, 2011
“Gathering brings black, white residents together”, The Advocate
“We’re making the human connection. It makes it personal,” Holland said. “Look at the folks that are here, they have the same dreams — a safe place to live and work. It’s not a black thing, or a white thing, or a north or south thing.”
February 28th, 2011
“Together Baton Rouge reaches across racial lines,” ABC WBRZ Channel 2 News
The group’s goals include taking on neighborhood blight, failing schools, and crime. But organizers say before they can find answers, they had to reach across racial lines and explain the problems.
February 28th, 2011
“Making a better Baton Rouge; interfaith groups unite behind a common cause”, NBC WVLA Channel 33 News
Members of both the Shiloh Baptist and Saint James Episcopal churches joined at Shiloh Baptist Church in the latest of 200 planned meetings of “Together Baton Rouge.”
February 25th, 2011
“Together Baton Rouge moves on to next stage”, Baton Rouge Business Report
“When 20 or 30 individuals build relationships across racial lines, that can transform those individuals,” says Rev. Mark Holland of St. James. “When forty or fifty congregations and organizations, with a collective membership of over 25,000 people, do the same thing and resolve to take action together—that can transform our entire city-parish.”
February 17th, 2011
“Holden said close to securing CATS cash”, The Advocate
In the meantime, a “Blue Ribbon Panel” guided by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, representing business interest, and Together Baton Rouge, a faith-based citizens group, will come together to make recommendations about the future of CATS and other city-parish transit issues.
February 17th, 2011
“‘Vision’ builds on existing strengths”, The Advocate
In a somewhat surprise announcement, Mayor-President Kip Holden unveiled a new “blue ribbon panel” made up of representatives from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and Together Baton Rouge — a group of more than 100 ministerial leaders — to study mass transit in the city and offer recommendations to the Metro Council regarding how the struggling Capital Area Transit System can be made viable.
February 16th, 2011
“BRAC, religious and civic leaders to work on transit”, Baton Rouge Business Report
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber and Together Baton Rouge, a coalition of more than 100 religious and civic groups, have agreed to work with the city’s planning consultant team and the Metro Council to find solutions for the transit issues, Mayor Kip Holden says.
January 8th, 2011
“Bridging differences”, The Advocate
Together Baton Rouge, a parishwide network of more than 100 faith and civic groups that crosses racial and denominational lines, plans to host 200 “house meetings” across the area in both white and black neighborhoods.
January 1st, 2011
“A Year of Helping for BR Churches”, The Advocate
Then there was the group that symbolized the year’s spirit of cooperation, Together Baton Rouge. The coalition of more than 100 faith and civic groups announced in November it would help to fight crime and blight and improve the educational system, infrastructure and economy.
December 16th, 2010
“Making a case for poor areas difficult to do”, The Advocate
Baton Rouge has two tales, all right. One is the story that officials and lawmakers hear from the influential and the connected every day. To paraphrase not Dickens but an English poem, Gray’s “Elegy,” the other story is untold, the annals of the poor whose miseries are unmourned and whose causes are unknelled.
Maybe, just maybe, Together Baton Rouge can change that.
November 16th, 2010
“New model for change”, The Advocate
The Very Rev. Thomas Ranzino, pastor of St. Jean Vianney Catholic Church, said his parishioners are involved because “Our faith looks to Scriptures as to issues of social responsibility and human dignity and because our parish has a longstanding commitment to be faithful citizens in caring for Baton Rouge.”
November 10th, 2010
“Group plans to fix city-parish ills”, The Advocate
“This is the largest group of its kind I have ever seen in the city-parish,” Mayor-President Kip Holden said after the news briefing. “This will make my job easier with all these people working together to make our community a better place.”
November 9th, 2010
“New organization hopes to solve Baton Rouge problems”, WBRZ Channel 2 News
After two years of planning and organizing, community leaders today announced the formation of a multi-issue initiative called “Together Baton Rouge.”
The initiative will focus on issues such as crime, neighborhood improvement, economic development and education. Organizers will start by hosting a three-month campaign of small group conversations called “house meetings,” where members of the group from all denominations will sit and discuss ways to solve crime issues.
November 9th, 2010
“New organization tackles tough issues; Together Baton Rouge launches three-month campaign”, NBC WVLA Channel 33 News
Thousands of people have signed on the to newest organization geared towards tackling serious issues facing the Capitol City. Approximately 35 groups, ranging from churches to civic associations, make up the newly formed Together Baton Rouge Citizen’s Organization. That’s about 25,000 people who are ready to make a difference.
“We’ve made a difference already,” says founder Reverand Lee Wesley. “Just being able to bring such a diverse group of people together. That gives us hope that we will make a great impact on this city.”
November 9th, 2010
“Together Baton Rouge kicks off”, Baton Rouge Business Report
More than 75 representatives from dozens of local churches and faith-based organizations gathered this afternoon for the kickoff of Together Baton Rouge, a citizens-based coalition that intends to address community problems such as crime, blighted housing, and workforce development by building trust and relationships across racial and economic lines.
October 5th, 2010
“Building Relationships”, Baton Rouge Business Report
More than two years ago, a group of black pastors from a handful of local churches got together to try to figure out how they could address some of the many problems affecting the largely low-income, black areas of the community.