Caroline Fayard is one the top candidates in this year’s US Senate race in Louisiana, currently polling first among Democrats in the race. Millennial editor Robert Christian asked her about her views on public service, her faith, and more in the following interview.
Growing up in Livingston Parish, I have been very fortunate to have parents who never set limits for me. They told my brother and me the same thing, which I think is important for young people to hear – you can be whatever you want to be in this life. It was with their voices in mind that I was able to become valedictorian of my high school class at Episcopal in Baton Rouge, established my very own law practice in Louisiana, and helped start GLO Airlines based in New Orleans. I never let doubts about my drive or capabilities as a woman stand in my way. I let them motivate me.
I’ve been fortunate for my blessings, but I’ve also seen a lot of hardship that Louisiana has endured during my lifetime. I’ve lived through the struggles that we’ve all had to overcome as a community: the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina & Rita, the BP Oil Spill, and the mismanagement of our state government by Bobby Jindal. And our challenges are not over. Now we’re facing the highest gender wage gap in the nation, the highest incarceration rate, and failing marks in education, all the while tackling the tremendous challenge that the historic floods have brought upon our state in part by climate change. Louisiana needs a new voice and a new generation of leadership to face these challenges. It will take forward thinkers to overcome the challenges that lie ahead.
I am running because we need a new generation of leadership. A new direction and a new approach in Washington. And I am proud to be one of the only women in this race. It’s important for me to represent the folks out there who are tired of the same old political games being played by my opponents. I believe it’s time for a new generation to stop playing the same political games of the past 40 years and go to work to make sure Louisiana is a great state for this generation and the next. That is why I am running.
I first heard about your campaign at the Governor Casey Whole Life Leadership Award reception, where Gov. John Bel Edwards was the recipient. Does that ‘whole life’ approach reflect your approach to human life and dignity? What role does protecting the vulnerable play in your approach to politics?
I find the “whole life” approach refreshing because in today’s 24-hour political news cycle, folks tend to focus in on certain issues or one aspect of issues without taking into account the meaning or symbolism behind the policies. If we truly care about life, we need to focus on human lives holistically, both in terms of their quality and vitality. It breaks my heart to constantly see Louisiana near the bottom in education and poverty year after year. And I truly believe that most, if not all, people want to work, want to better their lives, but often they are not given the chances or the resources early on to succeed. In order to help folks better their lives, to make our state more economically vibrant, we need to come together and do our best to provide the resources needed for development in all communities, not just the few.
How does your Catholic faith influence you as a person and how you approach public service?
As Catholics, it is important to always challenge ourselves to reflect on the world through the lens of social justice, and I believe a large component of that starts with understanding others. I do my best to keep this perspective, to listen to others when they are talking, and to truly hear their point of view. In politics, it is so easy to get caught up in partisanship and labels, but behind every Democrat or Republican, there are usually people who want to help, want to do right by people. I do my best to always see issues from the other’s perspective. Read More