Sharon Weston Broome (SCA ’84) knows what it takes to face a challenge head-on.
As the city of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge parish’s first African American female mayor, she successfully secured a second term as mayor-president last December after defeating seven challengers, including winning a runoff election.
It was a capstone to an even more challenging term that witnessed historic flooding in her city, social unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet through it all, Broome kept her head up and her faith strong. “I’ve often heard people say, ‘We’re not perfect servants, we’re public servants’,” Broome shares. “As Christians, we should be leading the way and demonstrating to people by our lifestyles and by our love what is really needed in our nation—and right now that’s prayer.”
Before entering public service, Broome’s passion was communications—a path that led her to pursue a master’s in communication from Regent University.
“One of the themes of my experience at Regent, beyond the degree, was that it was always instilled in us to be in positions where you can make decisions. That’s how you can really change the course of things.”
In her more than 30 years of public service, Broome has been leading from positions of influence. From serving on the city’s Metro Council to serving in the House and Senate—including becoming the first female to hold the second-highest leadership positions in both legislative chambers (speaker pro tempore and president pro tempore)—Broome has proven herself to be a skilled decision-maker.
Most recently, in her role as mayor-president, Broome has made it her mission to enhance the quality of life for the more than half a million residents of the city of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish. In her first term, she helped secure over $2 billion in infrastructure investments, implemented an initiative to help cover lost tips and wages suffered by the hospitality industry, and launched a $1 million microgrant program to help locally owned small businesses impacted by the pandemic.
Broome believes there is still so much more to do, thanks to her passion for people and the calling of God on her life.
“I never thought about having a career or being in public service for most of my life. I was simply being obedient to the call,” she explains. “This has all unfolded because of the personal relationship I have with Jesus Christ. I love people, and I tell my staff we are in the people business. I want to see people’s lives improve. While I know that government cannot solve all the problems, we are certainly a conduit to uplifting and empowering people’s lives.”