New Mayor Promises to Increase Little Rock’s Inclusivity


Mayor Frank Scott Jr promises increased opportunities for minority communities during his term as Little Rock’s first black mayor. (Courtesy of Arkansas Times)

On Jan. 1, Democrat Frank Scott Jr was inaugurated as Little Rock’s first elected black mayor. As the previous State Highway Commissioner and executive of First Security Bank, Scott’s plan for his term as mayor primarily focuses improving transportation throughout the city and increasing the availability of jobs.

“Potential and ability are equally distributed across our neighborhoods in Little Rock, but opportunity, unfortunately, is not,” Scott said. “We need a clear vision for the kind of investments we need to make in our people, our infrastructure, and our institutions that can create the kind of local economy Little Rock deserves.”

In addition, Scott invisions an improved Little Rock School District (LRSD) that expands the opportunities offered to the youth. He recognizes that these opportunities are currently unevenly distributed, and hopes to establish after-school and summer programs and family and teacher supports for Little Rock’s public schools.

“We need to wrap our arms around the… remaining schools under state control with academic supports, mentorship programs and more impactful after-school and summer programming,” Scott said.

Scott also plans to extend opportunities to minorities in Little Rock. His Inclusion Agenda includes African-Americans, women, the LGBTQ community, Asian-Americans, and more. He hopes to encourage more diverse involvement in Little Rock’s government, police force, and judicial system.

“Rebranding the Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission is a step forward in signaling to the rest of the country, to citizens, families, and businesses, that we care about equity and opportunity for everyone,” Scott said. “We can’t unify Little Rock if every citizen doesn’t see themselves at the table.”

Scott’s election foreshadows positive changes in Little Rock’s future. Although our city has made substantial progress, Little Rock remains divided by race, primarily by Highway 630. The inauguration of a black mayor will hopefully help to bridge this racial and cultural divide.

“Scott will bring lots of positive changes to our city,” junior Eli Hicks said. “He has many progressive ideas that will help unify Little Rock.”

Having a young mayor with fresh, new ideas will be a refreshing change after the past 12 years with Mark Stodola as mayor. We think thirty-one year-old Scott will be able to implement policy and laws that reflect current issues and opinions, ensuring that Little Rock’s policies are progressive.

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