For the last year, Monroe businessman Friday Ellis has been talking with groups of residents about the possibility of supporting his bid for Monroe Mayor. This week he made it official, he will be a candidate for Monroe Mayor next spring.
Ellis says after hosting hundreds of listening meetings with residents over the last year, he has learned that there is a yearning for a new direction and new ideas. He wants to create an atmosphere, with new leadership, for great ideas to come forth as a “Magnet” candidate that will attract the best and brightest of the city to come forward and plan a new direction for the city.
In his prepared statement, Ellis noted that he worked for five years in the City’s Engineering Department as a Project Manager and is a veteran who served in the United States Marine Corps. He has been a vocal proponent of expanding opportunities for small business growth and an advocate for developing specific plans to put the city on an aggressive improvement track.
“Our city is at an important crossroads. Do we continue down the path that led us here, or do we work for new leadership? I believe that our community needs a revival — an economic revival, a quality of life revival, and a spiritual revival — for us to achieve our full potential,” said Ellis. “We need a mayor that will work to unify our city, bring people together, and reach across racial, political and parish lines to bring our region, city and community together.”
Two of our most critical issues, crime and flooding, are growing concerns. We must refocus our efforts to actively secure the funding and support we need to attract industry, train the best workforce, retain our local businesses, and begin improving our roads, lighting, technology and
other infrastructure,” Ellis said.
Ellis told the Free Press that he has met with many leading personalities in the Black community and will be open to responding to the needs of all citizens of the community.
He said he is inclined to work to attack the root causes of violent crimes in the entire community.
“There are many groups and agencies in our community that have expertise in this area, I want to tap their expertise and bring them all to the table,” to focus on attacking the root causes.
He identified crime, drainage and attracting business to the community as high priority concerns.
Ellis is focused on building relationships with divergent groups, across the city, to bring fresh ideas that will improve Monroe’s business ecosystem.
“Friday Ellis has demonstrated the ability and willingness to work constructively with others, regardless of where they live in
Monroe, through accountability and transparency to bring a solutions-based approach to solving problems. He enlisted in the Marine Corps immediately following the destruction of the Twin Towers on 911, so that he could go where he was needed most. Monroe needs him and his
courageous leadership now,” said Monroe City Councilman Michael Echols.
Ellis operates a Monroe-based business in Monroe’s Garden District, that also produces their own line of cigars in Nicaragua that are sold globally. Ellis says the relationships built as a small business owner, experience as a project manager for the City, and service in the Marines Corps, has given him critical insight into the prioritization and process gaps that are holding
Monroe back from achieving its full potential.
The Monroe mayoral race is scheduled for April 2020. Qualifying will be in early January. Others who have publicly said they will be candidates include: Marie Brown, a community activist; Fred Louis, an educator; and Rev. Ike Byrd, a local pastor.