Thank you, Matt Stuller and everyone involved in Parish Proud.  Parish Proud officially launched Wednesday at Lafayette's LITE center with Matt Stuller announcing to those in attendance, "Behavioral changes are needed to make this a much nicer place to live in, which I think we all deserve".  Stuller is on a mission to curb litter in Lafayette, Louisiana.  Bravo Sir, Bravo!

Lafayette's litter problem is an epidemic.  You would think that people who live here would not do that.  But then again, look at how some people care for their own cars and homes.  Is that behavior taught?  Is it a lack of education?  Is it financial?  Or is that I don't give a damn, I'll do whatever the hell I want to mentality?  Or I guess it could be that people don't care about our state anymore 'cause we can't seem to elect government officials that can find the means to even get the grass cut along our highways, byways, roadways bridges and ditches.  If Baton Rouge doesn't care about how the state looks, why should we, right?

Whatever the reason, litter is disgusting.  And if you think image doesn't matter, think again.  It is imperative that citizens of Louisiana understand all the cities and states that major corporations can locate and build.  We, especially here in Acadiana, must comprehend what goes through the minds of decision-makers and CEOs when they enter Louisiana, in particular, Lafayette.  Image plays a huge role in whether or not a company locates here.  Corporations must think of the needs and desires of their employees.  Will their employees enjoy living here?  Are our schools good enough?  Does the city look like a dump?  How are the roads?  Are the kindness of Cajun folk, good cooking and a bar on every corner enough?

Fact is, in spite of what you've heard in political advertisements this year, Louisiana ranks dead last nationally in economic growth.  And it's time we do something about it.  And tidying up our community is a start.

If anyone knows how to move the needle, it's Matt Stuller.  Wednesday, in the LITE center, he attracted over 100 movers and shakers of this community.  They addressed issues like fast food containers, alcohol bottles, cups, cans, cigarette butts, illegal signs and illegal dumping, trash from garbage trucks and more.

Stuller and others talked about adopting a vehicle cigarette bin program, how citizens can become a Parish Proud partner, donations and more.

Thank you, Parish Proud, for addressing issues that have been needing addressing for a long long time.

Learn more about Parish Proud at parishproud.org.