When Liz Webb Hebert left Lafayette for college at Northwester State University, she had no intentions of ever returning to her hometown. Of course, fate had other plans. She decided that if Lafayette would be her forever home, she was going to do everything in her power to make it the best place to live as she possibly could. She believed the best way for her to do so was to run for Lafayette City-Parish Council.
What made you decide to run for office? Why not have a seat at the table? I always knew I would run for office, but I didn’t know when. For the 2015 election, my mentors and friends approached me and let me know that the District 8 seat was open and they thought I would be a good fit. Change takes time, and I want to establish projects that will affect Lafayette in the future. I want young people to move here and stay here, and I want to help create opportunities that will bring them here.
How did the Adopt a Bus Stop program come about? That came from being sad that people were standing in the rain! As Lafayette Consolidated Government, we can only afford to build 11 stops a year. There are 650 that have yet to be covered. So we created a public, private partnership. The account is held at the Community Foundation of Acadiana. Businesses and organizations can donate to adopt a bus stop. In less than one year, we have had thirty stops adopted.
Were there some changes with recycling when you took office? Yes, we switched to Republic Services. They told us that they would only collect what would be recycled, and that was only two types of plastic. I worked with them for a year and half to improve on that. They made some investments to now be able to recycle all seven types of plastic.
What else have you established while in office? We created Safe Exchange Locations. If you buy something online, these safe exchange locations remove the scary elements of meeting someone you don’t know or being sold something inauthentic. They are three parking spots at the Lafayette Police Department. They have cameras rolling 24/7. You can even call and have a police officer come down if you want. They’re also a great option for custody exchanges as well.
What are your other involvements outside of office? I’m a big animal lover and a proud dog mom. I sit on the board of the Acadiana Animal Aid, which is the only no kill shelter in Acadiana. We established that our main strength was transport, so that’s really been our focus. We pull from other area’s kill shelters and transport those animals to forever homes, foster home or to a shelter where the typical turn around for adoption is three days. One of the most heart warming experiences is watching them load up a plane with 200 dogs and cats and know that their lives are being saved.
What are your dreams for your community? I would love for us to continue to be more and more diverse. I’m excited to play whatever role in that diversification I can, whether it’s personally or through my work on the council. I hope Lafayette expands and that we keep moving in the direction we’re going. I want us to continue to beautify – I want us all to be able to drive or walk around town and see a beautiful town that we’re proud of.