Lori was born and raised in Denham Springs, Louisiana, graduated from Denham Springs High School and attended Southeastern Louisiana University where she met and married her husband, Al Callais. She is a retired educator, wife, mom of three daughters, grandmother, community volunteer, and an avid fisherman.
After graduating from college, Lori and Al made their home in St. Bernard Parish where they ran a small family-owned grocery store and Lori taught school at St. Bernard High. Returning home to Denham Springs in 1989 to raise their children, Al established an accounting practice and Lori taught school at French Settlement High and Denham Springs High and later at the Livingston Parish Adult Education Center in Walker, Louisiana.
Through teaching, Lori developed her passion for helping her students and the families in the community by getting involved when people needed help. For example, when the parish required all students to wear uniforms, Lori established Clothe A Child, an organization that provided uniforms to thousands of underprivileged children in Livingston Parish. Additionally, since 2005, she has been an active member of the civic organization, the Denham Springs Pilot Club where she was Pilot of the Year in 2016. She currently serves as the president-elect and is involved in efforts to address the needs of children and adults with disabilities in Livingston Parish with projects such as an accessible playground in Denham Springs, Kid’s Corner Playland, and Challengers Field in Walker, a ballfield for persons with disabilities.
Lori is not afraid to stand up and speak out for people who are being unfairly treated, no matter where that takes her in Louisiana or even in Washington DC. After her oldest daughter experienced a life threatening reaction to a medication, Lori testified before a Congressional Committee in Washington D.C. After speaking before the committee, sharing her daughter’s story with multiple media outlets, actively working to inform and warn other parents and patients about the drug’s side effects, and challenging the drug manufacturer, her efforts were rewarded when the FDA required the drug company to include a rare black box warning to the medication packaging informing all patients of the potential deadly side effects.
Lori, an avid fisherman, knows the importance of maintaining our beautiful Louisiana waters and byways. Hunting as a young girl taught her how important it is to make sure that Louisiana truly remains a Sportsman’s Paradise so her own children, grandchildren, and all Louisianians will be able to continue to enjoy the many outdoor opportunities Louisiana provides.
Through her many years of teaching, Lori has learned the importance of asking questions, researching the answers, and finding out the facts. It is this quality that Lori will bring to the Louisiana Legislature. She will be a leader who talks to, listens to, and works with people, no matter who they are or what party they belong to. Teaching has taught her that cooperation and listening are essential to getting things done. That is what she will do in the state legislature, get things done for her district and her state. Lori believes we are Louisianians first, working together for the people of our state and our community and not for political parties or ideologies.
As a lifelong educator, Lori knows that making sure our teachers are paid and treated like professionals is key if we are to provide a top notch education for our children. In addition to education, another important issue that must be addressed is infrastructure, Louisiana must have good roads, safe bridges, and clean water which are vital to our future if we are to attract and keep good paying jobs. We must also listen to the concerns and needs of our small businesses which are the heart of the Louisiana economy. To do this, revenue issues and fiscal security must also be tackled if we are going to keep and position our state as a great place to do business.
Lori is willing to work hard, questioning the “way it’s always been done” attitude that has plagued our state for years. She is ready to be a full-time state representative for District 71 and to ask questions, find solutions, and endeavor to help our state go from the bottom of every national list and rise to the top. Louisiana has amazing people, fantastic food, a rich heritage, and a wonderful way of life yet was rated as the poorest state with the highest poverty rate in 2019. This is not the state we should be or need to be. It is for that reason the she is ready to work hard to represent District 71 and the people in her community and state. She will work to make a brighter future for our children, while still celebrating and protecting our unique culture, and ensuring that we have the best educated people working in the best jobs in the best place to live, Louisiana. It’s time to get to work!