NEW ORLEANS, LA—Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced he has named former state senator Diana E. Bajoie to serve as the interim Councilmember for District B. Bajoie represented much of the area in District B during her more than 30-year tenure in the Louisiana legislature. District B includes neighborhoods such as Central City, Garden District, Warehouse District, Gert Town, and Broadmoor plus important landmarks such as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, and Xavier University
“Senator Bajoie has long represented the residents of District B with grace and dignity,” said Mayor Landrieu. “I think the people of the district can implicitly trust her and know that she will be working tirelessly for them. She is a compassionate, experienced leader who has a history of working with legislators and community leaders from all backgrounds to help bring people together and move the city forward. And her budgetary experience on the Senate Finance committee will be particularly important as we work through creating the 2013 budget.”
Bajoie said, “I am honored to have been chosen by Mayor Landrieu to serve the people of District B for the next six months. My record is one of working with anyone and everyone to get things done. I represented one of the most diverse districts in the Louisiana Senate, and I look forward to partnering with my fellow councilmembers, the mayor, and community members to continue the progress that has been made in our city.”
Diana Bajoie has long been a trailblazer – working across gender, racial, and party lines to serve the people of New Orleans. In 1976, when she began her public service in the Louisiana House of Representatives representing District 91, Bajoie was the only woman serving in that body. In 1991, she was the first African-American woman ever elected to the Louisiana Senate when she was elected to Senate District 5, which included most of Uptown and the Central Business District. In 2004, when she took the oath as Senate President Pro Tempore, she was the first woman ever elected to the leadership post in the Louisiana Senate.
As a state legislator, Bajoie helped lead the way to create school-based health clinics, form the Minority Health Care Commission, and increase health care coverage for citizens with mental health disorders. A breast cancer survivor herself, Bajoie was a key supporter of the Louisiana Cancer Research Center and secured important funding for cancer research. In the legislature, she was also a major supporter and advocate for institutions in the district such as the Superdome, the New Orleans Arena, the National World War II Museum, Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Convention Center, Ashe Cultural Center and Café Reconcile.
Since 2008, Bajoie has served as Director of Community Relations of LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, where her responsibilities include strategic direction, development, implementation and operation of programs that provide information to the community about available education and health resources at the Health Sciences Center. She has also worked on K-12 initiatives to address public health concerns. And she has been a key advocate of the new University Medical Center being built in District B.
Bajoie currently serves on the board of Orleans Parish Hospital Service District A, which has opened a 24-hour urgent care facility and is working on rebuilding a full-service hospital in New Orleans East. She is also the founder and former chair of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus and the Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus. She also previously served on the boards of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, Xavier University Board of Visitors, National World War II Museum and WYES.
Bajoie has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern University and A & M College in Baton Rouge. She is presently pursuing a master’s degree in health administration.
As the interim councilmember, Bajoie will not be permitted to participate in the election to permanently fill the District B seat.