From The Publisher: March 2015
03/13/2015 07:43AM ● Published by Aimee Cormier
By Art Suberbielle
Have you heard about the One Acadiana initiative? Interestingly this was the brainchild of a gentleman from Baton Rouge who recently moved to Acadiana. Jason El Koubi was hired as the president and CEO of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and quickly set out contacting community leaders to learn what they considered the most important issue for Acadiana. An overwhelming majority of the responses emphasized our need to work together as a region.
We’ve got a full length article about how El Koubi pulled nine Acadiana parishes together to form this alliance of business and economic development that should prove to benefit all of us. You can read Lisa Hanchey’s article on page 42. This concept is already showing results. Lafayette City Parish government has developed a Project Front Yard campaign that encouraged residents to clean up and beautify their own property, collectively improving the appearance of the entire parish. When news surfaced recently about how Iberia Parish lost a potential major tenant at Acadiana Regional Airport due to unsightly property and litter, parish leaders began looking for a way to address the problem. Up steps Lafayette, offering the entire campaign material and implementation plans to Iberia at no charge. And Lafayette also offered it to any other Acadiana parish that wanted to use the material.
Hopefully this spirit of cooperation will filter down to the individual governmental bodies in each parish. There are too many instances of bickering going on between elected members of the same body instead of working together for the common good.
One Acadiana can work for all of us, if we can each put our parochial interests behind us. For much too long, neighboring parishes have failed to see the big picture and have acted only for their own benefit without regard for how others might benefit as well. Let’s all support the One Acadiana initiative. It’s a concept whose time has come.