Meet Our Mayor
Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden
City of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge
Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden was overwhelmingly re-elected to his third term as Mayor-President of the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish in a primary victory on November 6, 2012. Under his leadership, East Baton Rouge Parish has achieved unprecedented top ten national rankings: the #1 best city for business growth; #4 for new corporate facilities; #3 best performing city for salary growth; #7 best city for jobs; #8 best place to live in America; one of top 25 places in America to retire and a top 10 city for young adults.
Throughout his two terms as Mayor-President, Mayor Holden has maintained public safety as his top priority, with all first responders under the Mayor’s administration receiving the highest national accreditation in their respective areas: the Baton Rouge Fire Department; Baton Rouge Police Department; EMS and the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
In 2012, Mayor Holden worked with the District Attorney to launch the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination project – called BRAVE — a local initiative to reduce violent crime. Working with the District Attorney, School Superintendent and Sheriff, he opened the Family and Youth Service Center, the parish’s first truancy center to improve school attendance and reduce juvenile crime.
The Mayor’s Green Light Program has committed over $500 million to street improvements, with nearly 30 projects completed by the close of 2012. Active in the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Mayor Holden launched a successful “Healthy BR” program in partnership with the Healthy Cities Initiative. His Healthy BR Initiative promotes better nutrition and active lifestyles, and has tackled the critical problems of childhood obesity and access to healthy food, making a difference in the quality of lives of children throughout the parish.
Recognized nationally in 2005 for his leadership during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Holden led his community through Hurricane Gustav in 2008, which required a different, but equally important response when the city-parish received extensive wind damage and three-week power outages in some areas. With East Baton Rouge Parish the most populated parish in Louisiana as of the 2010 Census, Mayor Holden led a community-wide planning effort that resulted in strong public participation and a master plan for growth and development – called FuturEBR – that was unanimously adopted by the Metro Council and is a blueprint for progress in our community for the next 25 years.
Prior to 2004, he had achieved a 20-year distinguished career in public service, elected Mayor-President by a broad, diverse base of support throughout the parish to become the first African American Mayor-President in parish history on January 1, 2005.