James C. Simmons, Jr. is a lifelong resident of the westbank of Jefferson Parish who was educated in Jefferson Parish Public School System.  He is a father, Pastor, scholar and a distinguished military veteran. During his 30-year military career, he has proudly served his country, the citizens of the state of Louisiana and Jefferson Parish as a member of the Louisiana Air National Guard.  For his outstanding service he was awarded the prestigious Louisiana Legion of Merit Medal.  The Legion of Merit Medal is one of the highest awards presented to a member of the National Guard for service to the state of Louisiana.  He was presented the U.S. House of Representatives Certificate of Special Recognition for his dedicated service to the State of Louisiana and the United States of America.  He was also presented the Jefferson Parish Council Proclamation for his tremendous service to the citizens of Jefferson Parish during Hurricanes Ivan, Cindy, Katrina, Humberto, Gustav, Isaac, Tropical storms Matthew and Edouard and the BP oil spill.  He was awarded the Jefferson Parish Council Certificate of Merit for his work within the westbank community and the JPSO STAR Program.


He is a retired Reserve Division Captain/Commander with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.  As a commander, he has spent countless hours listening to the cares, concerns and issues to of the citizens of Jefferson Parish.  For his service he was awarded the JPSO Class “D” Commendation award for risking his own life by saving the life of a young boy who was nearly hit by a speeding vehicle while sustaining minor injuries himself.  He is the Executive Pastor of Beacon Light International Baptist Cathedral and a volunteer pastoral counselor at Loyola University Student Life and Ministry Team. He has a tremendous track record of community service and the ability to build a consensus and bring people together for a common goal.


James C. Simmons, Jr. understands firsthand the importance of service, sacrifice and love for his community ingrained within his DNA.  His parents have been a pillar within the Jefferson Parish community his entire life.  His mother is one of the founders of the Kennedy Heights Booster Club which was significant in the building of what we know today as the Kennedy Heights Playground and Gymnasium. He watched and assisted his father who was a pillar within his own right.  For years, he served Jefferson Parish community as a member of the Jefferson Parish Community Development Board, Jefferson Parish Citizens Advisory Commission, President, Jefferson Parish Civic Association, WKB Volunteer Fire Department and President, NAACP Westbank Branch, just to name a few.


In 2011, the Jefferson Parish Council unanimously voted to rename the Avondale Community Center as the James C. Simmons, Sr. Community Center in his honor for his community service and advocacy.  James Jr. learned early to be devoted to the citizens of Jefferson Parish.


• Graduate of L.W. Higgins High School

• Community College of the Air Force, Human Resource Management

• Upper Iowa University, Public Administration (Magna Cum Laude)

• Tulane University, Psychology

• Currently enrolled at Northcentral University, Doctorate of Public Administration w/Emphasis in Public Policy


• Stand with Governor Bel Edwards on the continued expansion of Medicaid

• Ensure our public schools, universities/colleges, Vo-technical schools and workforce development training programs are funded


• Control tax breaks given to large corporations. Particularly those who have not kept their promises to the State of Louisiana

• Increase tax incentives for small businesses so they can produce good paying jobs with proper benefits

• Support programs that focus on early childhood education and afterschool/summer programs for teens to increase classroom productivity

• Support our local law enforcement agency and National Guard


• Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, District Commander

• Habitat for Humanity, Volunteer/Mentor

• Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program, Mentor

• Louisiana Leadership Institute, Mentor

• Louisiana SPCA, Advocate/Financial Supporter

• March of Dimes, Advocate/Financial Supporter

• Loyola University New Orleans, Student Life and Ministry Volunteer


• American Society for Public Administration

• National Forum for Black Public Administrators

• Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc

• Congressional Black Caucus Institute

• Louisiana Free Enterprise Institute

• National Urban League

• National Emergency Managers Association

• International Public Management Association

• Society for Human Resource Management




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