Leaders from St. Charles Parish came together on Oct. 21 to host the parish’s first “Night out in D.C.,” an event aimed at showing national leaders how important a comprehensive hurricane protection plan is for the parish.
Parish President V.J. St. Pierre and council members Carolyn Schexnaydre, Terry Authement, Paul Hogan, Dennis Nuss and Shelley Tastet attended the event, as well as officials from the School Board and local companies.
“We received excellent face time and attention from members of our Louisiana delegation and had the opportunity to point out exactly what we need and why we need it,” St. Pierre said. “We also had an important opportunity to educate those from around the country, which will certainly help in our fight for federal funding.”
St. Pierre said it was important to make the trip to Washington D.C., rather than having the event in St. Charles Parish.
“We’ve seen that it is much more effective to meet these busy representatives where they are, so trips to Washington (D.C.) are becoming increasingly necessary,” he said. “We also wanted to highlight how important our parish is to the economic health of the entire country. If a hurricane were to wipe out St. Charles Parish, there would be major shortfalls for the rest of the nation.”
Tommy Faucheux, Dow St. Charles Operations public affairs manager, said his company was happy to attend the event and help the cause.
“Hurricane protection is needed to protect the quality of life we enjoy in St. Charles Parish,” Faucheux said. “Dow was happy to lend its voice in Washington to this important cause. There may not be a more important issue facing our parish. We are not just industry. We are neighbors who live in this community.”
The theme of the event was, “St. Charles Parish: A Gem Worth Protecting,” and it demonstrated the impact a catastrophic event in St. Charles Parish would have on the entire community.
Included in the 250 people who attended were Congressmen, Senate staff and representatives from the Obama administration, including the Corps of Engineers and FEMA.
“The more people know about us, the more they’ll accept and support our push for federal funding,” St. Pierre said. “After all, bills don’t pass without a majority of congressional members voting for them.”