Juan LaFonta: The son of a bricklayer and a public school teacher, I am no stranger to hard work. Since I was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 2005, I have been an active and dedicated representative for the people of New Orleans. A lifelong resident of Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District, I have always believed in the values of faith, family and community. I still live on the same street where I grew up, taking every opportunity to maintain my connection to the people I represent. My single-minded focus is on the needs of my neighbor is reflected in my life and my work in the legislature.
I am committed to economic development in my community, working to ease the tax burden on local businesses to help create jobs. I am a believer in affordable healthcare, championing the effort to rebuild Charity Hospital and pushing legislation to expand healthcare coverage and requirements on insurance companies. I serve on the House Commerce, Insurance, and Retirement Committees, and on the House Special Committee on Disaster Planning, Crisis Management, Recovery and Long-Term Revitalization, formed after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area.
The second child of George LaFonta, a bricklayer, and Joanne Bagneris LaFonta, a public school teacher, I have worked my way through college. My father has laid brick all over New Orleans, and my mother has touched the lives of literally thousands of students in her long and distinguished career.
In 2005, I was elected to represent the people of House District 96, which includes Bywater, Treme, Gentilly, the French Quarter and Faubourg Marigny, in a special election. I was re-elected in 2007 without opposition and was the first freshman legislator ever elected to a chairmanship in the Louisiana State Legislature when I was elected Chairman of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, a position I held until July 2008.
The reality and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina have defined both myself and the Congressional District I am fighting to represent. I was elected to the State House just months before the hurricane and was personally involved in pulling family, friends and neighbors, who had retreated to the high dry ground of the Mount Olivet Mausoleum, from the flood waters.
I earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of New Orleans before acquiring my Law Degree from Southern University. I am a member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity and was an adjunct professor at Dillard University for five years and serve as a mentor to many in youth in the city of New Orleans.
In 2002, Juan LaFonta opened his law firm, Juan LaFonta and Associates, L.L.C. Within the first year, LaFonta had won approximately one million dollars in verdicts and settlements for his clients. Juan LaFonta and Associates has represented thousands of clients in serious personal injury cases involving: automobile accidents; 18 wheeler accidents; company vehicle accidents; motorcycle accidents; boating accidents; hit and run; pedestrian industries; bicycle accidents; head/brain injuries; wrongful death; and medical malpractice. Finally, LaFonta continues to be heavily involved in his community and ongoing committees.