Ashley K. Shelton is the founder and president of the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice in Louisiana. She is an advocate for climate justice, traveling to COP27 in Egypt to discuss the needs of Black communities and the ways in which they are harmed by climate injustice. Shelton is also a passionate advocate for environmental justice, voting rights and …
Some New Orleans absentee voters receive incomplete ballots for March 25 election
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – With a March 25 municipal primary election fast approaching, voters who requested them have begun receiving absentee ballots in the mail. But for some, the ballots they received are incomplete. There should be two judicial races on the ballot, and voters living in House District 93 also should have a runoff decision for the state representative …
Louisiana House 93 race heads to March runoff after low-turnout affair
A crowded race to replace Royce Duplessis in the state House of Representatives will go to a runoff after none of the six candidates secured a majority of the vote, in an election held on a busy day in the Carnival calendar that drew few voters to the polls.
New state utility regulator wants to reduce rates, introduce renewable mandatesqaws
After defying the odds to become the first openly LGBTQ person elected to a statewide office, Davante Lewis intends to use the momentum to take on utility giants such as Entergy and move the state toward more renewable energy in his first six-year term on Louisiana’s Public Service Commission. Many see Lewis’ victory as a sign of shifting politics around …
Second Annual Early Ed Month Focuses on Need for Investment
BATON ROUGE — From the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children: Feb. 1 marked the start of the second annual Early Ed Month, which is a month-long initiative to educate local and national policymakers, business leaders, parents and advocates on the need for robust investments in high-quality early care and education to support a strong workforce and economy in Louisiana. Created …
The Re-Up event allows students to refill school supplies for free
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) – At this point in the school year, kids may be running out of supplies. To help with this issue, a Shreveport teacher is helping replenish those supplies. Marvkevea’s Learning Center is hosting The Re-Up at Sci-Port. Parents and students have the chance to tour the new exhibits, get free school supplies and enjoy an evening dance …
HousingLOUISIANA President Andreanecia Morris Speaks on Extraordinary Special Session
This week, in an Extraordinary Special Session, the Louisiana Legislature is discussing the authorization of $45 million in funding to entice insurance companies to return to the Louisiana markets. We think that this is a misguided approach that will lead to more harm than good. Read HousingLOUISIANA’s full statement here: puthousingfirst.wordpress.com/2023/01/31…l-session/
Special session begins in effort to ease the mass exodus of insurance companies from the state
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – State lawmakers are back at the capitol to deal with the issue that’s costing many lots of money. There’s only one thing on the agenda at the special session and that’s dealing with the state’s homeowners insurance crisis. The session started at noon Monday, with the one bill being assigned to the appropriations committee to take up …
‘1619 Project’ docuseries gives voice to untold history
In the trailer for the new Hulu docuseries on the groundbreaking “1619 Project,” creator and host Nikole Hannah-Jones notes that, “No part of America’s story has been untouched by the legacy of slavery.” It was that viewpoint, reframing American history by exploring the impact of slavery and the contributions of African Americans to our nation, that underpinned the project and …
ACLU At Liberty Podcast: The 50th Anniversary of Roe That We’ll Never See
January 22nd marks the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that codified the right to an abortion. But this year on January 22nd, we’ll largely remember this anniversary as the one that wasn’t. For 49 years, Roe helped to allow people who could become pregnant decide what was best for them and their families, but on June 24th, …
State leaders reconsider early learning standards after pushback on social, emotional learning
In an about face, Louisiana’s top school board Tuesday voted to take another look at new learning standards for the state’s youngest students amid controversy on whether the benchmarks would allow politicized instruction. The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education had twice approved the revised guidelines, including on Dec. 13.
This Louisiana trend helped a progressive challenger steamroll a 17-year incumbent
Public Service Commissioner Lambert Boissiere of New Orleans started his re-election bid with a respectable warchest, three terms under his belt and the backing of some of the state’s most powerful Democrats. It ended in a rout. Boissiere got crushed by nearly 20 points by Davante Lewis, a 30-year-old progressive who lives in Baton Rouge and works for a left-leaning nonprofit …
State Voices Showed Up For The Critical Runoff Elections In Georgia And Louisiana
In November, our network educated voters, drove turnout in BIPOC communities, and ensured voters could cast their ballots free from interference and intimidation. Now we’re bringing the same energy and relentless focus on fair representation to Georgia and Louisiana as we did to our entire network in November.
Lambert Boissiere, Davante Lewis square off ahead of Public Service Commission runoff
The two candidates for the Public Service Commission district that represents New Orleans and parts of Baton Rouge sought to distance themselves from one another Wednesday in a testy debate ahead of the Dec. 10 runoff election. Commissioner Lambert Boissiere, who is facing a rare runoff for an incumbent, defended the commission’s record, touting Louisiana’s relatively low electric rates. He …
What Louisiana needs to know about 3 constitutional amendments on Dec. 10 runoff ballot
In New Orleans, all eyes are on the Public Service Commission runoff on Dec. 10, but in many parts of the state, three proposed constitutional amendments will be the only thing on Louisiana voters’ ballots. If passed, the amendments would clarify who can vote in state and local elections and would give the state Senate the opportunity to weigh in …
Head of Louisiana’s Office of Juvenile Justice resigns amid crisis in state’s youth jails
The head of Louisiana’s Office of Juvenile Justice has resigned amid a deepening crisis inside the state’s youth lockups including escapes, riots and a capacity shortfall that the agency recently said had forced it to stop accepting youth into its custody.
Louisiana voters rejected an antislavery ballot measure. The reasons are complicated
Out of five states that put measures to voters on the subject, Louisiana voters were the only ones to vote against banning slavery and involuntary servitude in the state constitution, according to calls by The Associated Press. This year, in Vermont, Oregon, Alabama and Tennessee, voters decided to ban slavery and involuntary servitude.
Four States Voted to End Slavery — But Not Louisiana. Here’s Why.
Voters in Vermont, Tennessee, Oregon and Alabama amended their state constitutions to abolish slavery and indentured servitude this week — but a similar initiative failed in Louisiana, garnering embarrassing headlines for a former slave state that remains infamous for modern mass incarceration and forced prison labor.
Where do the Louisiana Senate candidates stand on economic development?
SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – With inflation and the costs of oil and goods skyrocketing, the economy is a hot topic in the 2022 election. Where do the candidates for Senator in Louisiana stand?
Mark Ballard: Nation is apprehensive going into Tuesday’s midterm elections
WASHINGTON — Anxiety is the best description as the nation’s voters approach the Tuesday election that will decide which party controls Congress for the next two years.
In Louisiana, Democrats seize on abortion to motivate voters
NEW ORLEANS – As early voting began in Louisiana last week, Taetrece Harrison and her mother waited for the polls to open. Most of the people in line with them were women. Harrison and her mother were both galvanized by this summer’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, which triggered Louisiana’s near-total ban on abortion. More than 363,000 votes have been …
Members of Divine Nine organizations ‘Stroll to the Polls’ as early voting nears an end
SHREVEPORT, La.-In partnership with the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, members of the Divine Nine, a collective of Black Greek-lettered organizations, gathered in the parking lot of Remington College for a “Stroll to the Polls” event aimed at encouraging early voting in Shreveport. The event featured food, entertainment and fellowship as a way to highlight the secondary early voting location at …
Ahead of election, Louisiana activists know abortion ban is staying; but they’re still fighting
A group of four phone-bankers sat around a conference table at the offices of Women With A Vision in New Orleans, a group that advocates for abortion rights, about a month before the midterm elections, dialing up voters across Louisiana to ask them about reproductive rights. They didn’t use the word abortion — it tends to make people hang up …
‘Bike N Vote’ getting young NOLA voters to the polls for early voting
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— The organization, Young People Vote, is hosting a “Bike N Vote” initiative, which provides free bikes for the community to use during early voting for local elections. The initiative is especially geared toward getting people of color out to the polls to vote. “Voting is a part of our right as humans and our ancestors fought for years to …
Bike N Vote being held to inspire minorities to vote
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) – Young People Vote invites the public to bike through downtown Shreveport to go vote when the early voting is open. On Oct. 29, the nonpartisan state-based civic engagement and movement-building organization, Young People Vote is hosting Bike N Vote across the state of Louisiana with a focus on getting Black and brown people, especially gen Z, …
Voting Rights Activists Look Beyond Supreme Court To People Power
WASHINGTON, DC — Shortly ahead of arguing before the Supreme Court on a voting rights lawsuit that bears his name, Alabama attorney Evan Milligan was already looking forward to what needs to be done to secure permanent voting rights protections for all Americans. “My hope is not based on the court,” Milligan said at a recent news conference. “My hope …
Power Coalition for Equity & Justice President says ‘Every vote counts’
BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – If you missed the deadline to register to vote in person you still have a chance to register to vote online. The Power Coalition for Equity & Justice explains why it’s important you make your voice heard. “We must make sure that we are participating in this process, that we are voting and having our voices …
Vote Your Voice: In Louisiana, Power Coalition pursues justice at the polls
Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, a 2022 Vote Your Voice grantee, represents Louisianans like Deborah, who has a partial disability and walks with a cane. Deborah is one of the countless Black residents who, for over a century of Black voter suppression, have been forced to wage herculean efforts just to cast their ballots. Deborah was living in Red Cross evacuee housing …
How we fight gerrymandering in the South
As The South Votes, Episode 2. What gerrymandering looks like in the South—and what we can do about it before it’s too late.
Tech issues keep public out of Disability Voting Task Force meeting
Technical difficulties at the Claiborne Building plagued Louisiana’s Disability Voting Task Force meeting Monday, preventing nearly 20 people from attending via its virtual live stream — a critical means of access for some disabled people. Louisiana Secretary of State spokesman John Tobler said in a phone interview that the task force had experienced technical problems with YouTube’s live stream function …
Here’s how to reduce power costs, help coastal communities
Competition in the electric utility industry, and more solar, nuclear and wind power, represent the best ways to reduce power costs for customers, according to The Times-Picayune Power Poll. Louisiana historically gives power utilities a monopoly in their geographic markets, but the Public Service Commission is considering competition, which was the No. 1 choice of Power Poll respondents. Here are the weighted …
SCOTUS takes on voting rights case￼
WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – With midterms just over a month away, the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments on a case involving the Alabama electoral map and redistricting that could negatively impact Black voters in the state. Tuesday’s arguments present a test for the conservative-leaning court with more voting rights cases to come. This case could ultimately weaken the landmark …
Campus political groups seek to increase voter turnout
With midterm elections only a few weeks away, political groups on and off campus are working to mobilize student voters — a demographic that saw historic levels of voter turnout in the 2020 election. Margaret Easley, vice president of Tulane College Democrats, said the group aims to get people registered to vote for upcoming elections and make sure they have all the …
Do Louisiana’s Congressional districts discriminate? Supreme Court hears a related case
WASHINGTON — About 100 Louisiana students gathered Tuesday in the plaza in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as the nine justices considered whether Alabama’s congressional election maps meet the standards of the Voting Rights Act — a case that’s nearly identical to one from Louisiana.
Advocates show solidarity as SCOTUS hears redistricting case
BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — On Tuesday, The U.S. Supreme Court took up the case of the congressional maps for Alabama, which will have major implications for the Voting Rights Act and Louisiana’s case that awaits a hearing. Advocates rallied at the state capitol to push for a second majority-minority district. The Republican majority of the Louisiana Legislature voted to …
Cenla residents weigh in on rising utility bills
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) – For citizens concerned about rising utility bills, Oct. 4 was the final chance residents could voice their opinions, at the second of two forums hosted by the Alliance of Affordable Energy. The forum gave citizens a chance to learn more about the Public Service Commission, and what role they play in utility rates. The P.S.C. is ultimately …
Get Out and Vote Canvassing Efforts Begin to Engage Black Voters Statewide
Statewide, LA – Yesterday, Monday, September 26, 2022, the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (PCEJ) started an on the ground canvassing initiative in major cities like New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Alexandria and Lake Charles. The campaign is part of a statewide Get Out and Vote (GOTV) strategy currently underway ahead of the November 8, 2022 Primary Congressional election. In the …
The specter of second-class citizenship
International Democracy Day came and went this year with barely a whisper, but a quartet of human rights and community advocates from Alabama and Louisiana took the opportunity to reflect on the challenges to achieving America’s promise of equity and fairness. Among those challenges are the flurry of adverse rulings in redistricting cases soon to be heard by the U.S. …
New Orleans Needs More Money for Services, Not for Police
When the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed in 2021, White House officials were explicit: the $350 billion promised by the legislation was to be used by state and local governments to ensure sustainable, equitable, and inclusiverecovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. For communities of color hit hardest by both the pandemic and decades of socioeconomic inequality, it was a chance to build the kind …
Lawsuits Challenge Second Class Citizenship Status in Southern States.
International Democracy Day came and went this year with barely a whisper, but a quartet of human rights and community advocates from Alabama and Louisiana took the opportunity to reflect on the challenges to achieving America’s promise of equity and fairness. Among those challenges are the flurry of adverse rulings in redistricting cases soon to be heard by the …
Shreveport mayoral candidates exchange ideas during downtown forum
SHREVEPORT, La. – Candidates for mayor of Shreveport faced off Tuesday night at a candidate forum exchanging ideas about how to drive the city forward. The event held at the Performance Gallery downtown on Commerce Street. The event was moderated by Willie Burton.
Downtown Shreveport Mayoral Forum brings small crowd
SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — As election season continues, another mayoral forum took place in downtown Shreveport Tuesday. The crowd was small, and only five mayoral candidates were in attendance.
Black Southern Women’s Collaborative Celebrates National Voter Registration Day
BATON ROUGE, La. – The Black Southern Women’s Collaborative today celebrated National Voter Registration Day (NVRD), a civic holiday meant to encourage voters to register to vote. The collective, which organizes across the South to improve the material conditions of Black people, pledged to register thousands of voters on NVRD and beyond. They also vowed to address long-standing barriers to …
A Choice Toward Change
Voting has been an important aspect of community voices. It wasn’t until the 26th amendment that the minimum voting age for all citizens was 18 years old. This ratification enabled young adults in society to inspire change for newer generations as communities around the world continue to evolve.
Black Voters Are Fighting Racial Gerrymandering in Louisiana
Black women are uniquely saddled with student loan debt. by Ashley Shelton in Truthout From record inflation to attacks on reproductive rights, to an unfair and inequitable redistricting, it can feel like all hope has been lost this year. But many voters are not giving up. My state of Louisiana has faced multiple challenges, particularly when it comes to the …
Democracy Is Always On The Ballot For Black People
“As it has been for generations of Black Americans, freedom is on the ballot, along with the Constitutional rights that define our citizenship,” said BlackPac’s Executive Director Adrianne Shropshire.
Advocacy groups to hold briefing prior to International Day of Democracy
The briefing also comes a week before National Voter Registration Day, which is held annually on Sept. 20. Alabama Values and Spotlight PR LLC are scheduled to host a media briefing discussing “the state of democracy in the U.S” this upcoming Thursday, according to a release sent on Monday. The meeting is planned to coincide with the International Day of …
Family Fun Block Party being thrown by NWLA Makerspace, 318 Makes
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) – The NWLA Makerspace and creative group 318 Makes is inviting the public to bring their families to enjoy its Family Fun Block Party. The party begins on Sept 24, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a morning filled with music, family, food, and fun for all ages. These events are to be held on one …
Abortion ruling, laws energizing women in congressional midterm elections
Increases in voter registration in women were noticed nationally, following the Supreme Court ruling on abortion
Youth advocates demand more than a pause on juvenile transfers to Angola
Youth justice advocates are asking Louisiana residents to sign a petition to demand that Governor Edwards not move youth to Angola.
Who will protect communities of color from climate disaster?
Imagine waking up every day to the smell of sulfur dioxide, gas fumes and other foul-smelling chemicals. Even if you don’t live near gas export terminals on the Gulf Coast, you know the air must smell bad. Imagine your children are constantly breathing these chemicals and your elders have among the highest incidence of cancer in the nation. Now imagine that you also hear daily sirens …
Youth Justice Advocacy Group Fights To Keep Incarcerated Teens Out Of Louisiana’s Infamous Angola Prison
The state’s three juvenile detention centers, Bridge City, Monroe and Bunkie, have all suffered from chaotic violence and severe understaffing in recent months. On August 8th, youth justice advocates held a press conference outside of the Angola State Penitentiary in Lousiana in protest of the decision to move juvenile inmates into the facility. Dubbed “the bloodiest prison in the South,” …
Colors: A Dialogue on Race in America | Ep 112: “Disheartened: Black Women in the South Mobilizing for Change
Ashley Shelton, Founder, President and CEO of the Power Coalition says many Black women, are disappointed in what’s happened to them since the 2020 Presidential election. Despite, playing a decisive role in the election, they “have less rights than our grandparents had”, says Shelton. But that’s about to change. Podcast page: https://www.podcastone.com/episode/-EP-112–Disheartened-Black-Women-in-the-South-mobilizing-for-change
Dozens of advocates to hold protest over youth transfers to Jetson, Angola
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – Dozens of advocates will host a press conference to protest the state’s plans to transfer youth inmates to the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola and the Jetson Center for Youth. “We don’t have to do it this way,” Rev. Alexis Anderson from the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Reform Coalition said. In July, Gov. Edwards …
Black Southern Women’s Collaborative Urges Voters to Remain Committed to the Continual Struggle for Democracy
ATLANTA – After a bruising year that saw attacks on reproductive freedom and equitable and fair drawing of district lines, many people are heading into the midterm elections questioning whether voting matters. But advocates with the Black Southern Women’s Collaborative today reminded voters that they cannot cede power to those who wish to deny and abridge the right to vote. …
Drag queen tweet stirs controversy for Louisiana Department of Health
The Louisiana Department of Health faces backlash over a social media post that included a picture of a local drag queen at a health awareness event in Alexandria as part of LGBTQ Pride Month. The controversy began June 24 when LDH tweeted photos of a “family-friendly Pride event” at the Alexandria Convention Center with a description that said, in part, …
‘I can’t afford to eat’: Baton Rouge shoppers, grocery stores struggling under weight of inflation
Jada Gabriel goes grocery shopping for her family of four every two weeks. On her last trip, she noticed the price of butter had increased. “It was normally 98 cents,” said Gabriel, an ophthalmic technician who was on a shopping trip Wednesday at the Hi Nabor Supermarket on Winbourne Avenue. “Now it’s $1.18.”
African American Leaders Speak Out on SCOTUS Roe Reversal
Ashley K. Shelton, founder and president of the Power Coalition for Equity & Justice: “This moment is devastating. In a place like Louisiana, where you have the highest rate of maternal mortality in the country, you are literally sentencing Black women to death. Louisiana has a trigger law, and as soon as Roe came down, it automatically made abortion care illegal. …
Judge tosses new Baton Rouge school board maps, gives Wednesday deadline for new ones
A judge in Baton Rouge ruled Friday that new election maps approved last month are illegal and is giving the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board until 8 a.m. Wednesday to come up with new maps — or he will implement a rival set of maps that would likely flip the board’s racial balance to majority-Black.
Federal judge intervenes with new congressional district map after failure from legislature
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – A federal judge will redraw the state’s congressional map after state lawmakers abruptly ended a special session two days early. Saturday afternoon members of the Louisiana legislature decided there was no more moving forward with work to redraw the state’s congressional map. Dillard University political analyst Robert Collins says, “I think we were surprised by the …
Black Southern Women’s Collaborative to Hosts Juneteenth Voter Events
The Black Southern Women’s Collaborative today announced a series of Juneteenth events in Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, and Tennessee. The organization, which includes Black women organizers and executive directors in the South, will register people to vote, host a series of educational events and actions, and talk to communities about the true meaning of liberation. The group released the following statement:
Disaster relief system is broken – community activists gear up for wildfires and hurricanes ahead
At an Ethnic Media Services briefing, June 3, speakers and moderator – Ashley Shelton, Founder, President, and CEO of the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (Louisiana); MacKenzie Marcelin, Climate Justice Manager, Florida Rising; Chrishelle Palay, Executive Director of the HOME Coalition in Houston; Daysi Bedolla Sotelo, Senior Strategist for the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (California); and Moderator: Jennifer R. …
As Bacchanal turns 20, the Bywater ‘wine hang’ brings back part of its past
The first edition is Tuesday, June 14, from 5 p.m., with guest chef Marcus Jacobs, of Marjie’s Grill and Seafood Sally’s, raising money for the American Civil Liberties Union and the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice.
Disaster relief system is broken – community activists gear up for wildfires and hurricanes ahead
June 1 marks the start of wildfire and hurricane season. Community activists from Florida to New Jersey, California to Louisiana and Texas, under the banner of Organizing Resilience, for the first time, are working together to pressure elected leaders to address a failed disaster relief system and the PTSD, fear and economic impact that failure has had on their communities. …
Summer Feeding programs in Calcasieu Parish￼
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – Kids are out on summer break and while some families are focusing on fun in the sun, others may be worrying about where their child’s next meal is coming from. At least one in four children in Louisiana experience food insecurity according to Feeding America. Groups in Calcasieu Parish are working to help. “Due to …
State rep, lawsuit plaintiff & LA SoS react to congressional map redraw order
SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – On Tuesday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards called for a special legislative session in Baton Rouge to redraw the state’s congressional district maps before the upcoming election. The governor’s decision comes after a federal judge ruled in favor of a lawsuit claiming the maps do not accurately represent the state’s population.
Louisiana lawmakers must redraw maps, come up with second majority-minority district, judge rules
Louisiana legislators are going to have to return to the drawing board and come up with new maps that allow the possibility of a second minority congressperson to be elected in Louisiana, according to a 151-page ruling Monday by Chief U.S. Middle District of Louisiana Judge Shelly Dick in Baton Rouge. Dick’s ruling enjoined Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin – the …
A federal judge blocks Louisiana’s congressional map, calling it a racial gerrymander.
The judge ordered the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature to redraw the map to include a second district that gives Black voters the chance to elect a candidate of their choice. A federal judge ruled on Monday that Louisiana’s new congressional map represented a racial gerrymander and must be redrawn to include a second district that gives Black voters the chance to …
Getting Ready for Natural Disasters
Hurricane season has just begun in Louisiana. Activists in several states are “organizing resilience” to prepare their communities and they are pushing officials to fix a disaster relief system which many consider broken. “The one thing that has actually worked in the aftermath of disaster is the community coming together to help each other,” said Ashley K. Shelton, the Founder, …
Fight over staffing changes in Baton Rouge schools continues as school board debates budget
East Baton Rouge Parish School Board members on Thursday took a deep examination of Superintendent Sito Narcisse’s spending plans for next year, quizzing him and other staff on staff changes, new positions in bilingual education and cutbacks in student transportation. The fallout from the forced reassignment of more than 230 school employees in early May continues. A handful of local activists held a …
Jefferson School Board reverses course, rejects expansion plan; here’s what they did
In a dramatic turnaround from a month ago, the Jefferson Parish School Board opted Wednesday night to stick with the same nine-district alignment it has had since 2012. Last month, the board indicated — in a narrow 5-4 vote — that it intended to add two seats to the board and possibly double the number of majority-minority districts to four. The vote will …
The war in Ukraine may ramp up pollution in US oil and gas communities
For the past year, Roishetta Ozane has been trying to stop new liquified natural gas, or LNG, export terminals from being built in southwest Louisiana. “We are already inundated with LNG and oil and gas,” said the clean energy organizing director with Healthy Gulf, who lives in the town of Sulphur. “We’re surrounded by it.”
Task force will study voting rights for Louisiana’s disabled people
Louisiana lawmakers have commissioned a task force to study the expansion of voting rights for people with disabilities. House Concurrent Resolution 14, sponsored by Rep. Matthew Willard, D-New Orleans, received final passage Monday with a unanimous vote in the Senate.
Louisiana Senate Ignores Law Enforcement, Faith Leaders, Community Members and Advocates, Advances Permitless Carry Legislation
The Louisiana chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after the Louisiana Senate Judiciary C Committee voted to advance HB 37, dangerous permitless carry legislation to remove the state’s permitting requirement for carrying a concealed handgun in public. The vote comes despite fervent opposition from …
Louisiana Families for Vaccines hosting Day of Action at State Capitol
By Reggi Marion | BRProud BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – A new grassroots advocacy group, Louisiana Families for Vaccines, is hosting a diverse group of partners, including the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, for a day of action at the Louisiana State Capitol to support evidence-based vaccine policy in the state.
She Warned the Grain Elevator Would Disrupt Sacred Black History. They Deleted Her Findings.
By Seth Freed Wessler | ProPublica A whistleblower says a plan to build a grain elevator on an old plantation would disrupt important historical sites, including possibly unmarked graves of enslaved people, and that her cultural resource management firm tried to bury her findings.
Historic vote could add minority seats to Jefferson Parish School Board. See the proposals.
The Jefferson Parish School Board has published four redistricting proposals that the board will take up as it considers a generational shift that could add two new seats to the nine-member board. The four district maps published on the school district’s website include the current nine-member district alignment and three 11-seat options prepared by outside groups. The board is scheduled to vote on …
Crown Act bill advances in the Louisiana legislature
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Hairstyles come in all forms and a bill that advanced in the Louisiana legislature on Monday aims to prevent discrimination related to hair-dos. Some people say wearing braids, dreadlocks, cornrows, twists, curls, etc., has caused them to be discriminated against. House Bill 41 by Rep. Candace Newell, D-New Orleans, would prohibit such discrimination.
Demographer says political map to match Baton Rouge racial balance probably can’t be done
by Terry Jones for The Advocate Creating a sixth majority-minority district on the East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council could be impossible. While the city-parish’s racial demographics are pretty much 50/50 when it comes to the Black and White population, demographer Mike Hefner says the parish is still too geographically segregated to create the sixth majority-minority district that could even the power …
Arguments wrap up in battle to block congressional maps for upcoming elections
by Ariel Salk for BRPROUD BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — After five long days, arguments have wrapped up at the Middle District Court of Louisiana in the fight to challenge Louisiana’s congressional map. The evidentiary hearing for a preliminary injunction came to an end Friday. Civil rights groups argued the map is in violation of Section 2 of the Voting …
Challenge to Lousiana congressional maps opens; groups seek 2nd majority-Black district
by Charles Lussier for The Advocate A challenge to Louisiana’s newly drawn congressional maps opened Monday in federal court, with a coalition of civil rights groups hoping judges will eventually do what legislators wouldn’t: create a second majority-Black district.
Advocates asking federal judge to block recently passed congressional maps
by Ariel Salk for BRPROUD BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The next step to challenge Louisiana’s congressional map happened Monday at the Middle District Court of Lousiana. Civil rights groups are turning to the federal court, in what will be a week-long hearing, to block the congressional maps.
Rally to be held at EBR School Board Office
by Paula Jones for BRProud BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – A group of local organizations are planning a Thursday evening rally at the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board (EBR Schools) Office just prior to the Board’s 5 p.m. Public Hearing and Adoption/Ratification meeting.
In fight for more minority representation, Jefferson Parish School Board will add new districts
In a seismic shift that will dramatically alter Louisiana’s largest public school system, the Jefferson Parish School Board plans to add two seats to the nine-member body, its first expansion since 1982, in an effort to increase minority representation.
Residents ask Jefferson Parish School Board for more Black, Hispanic election districts
Board is two thirds White, school system one third White by Faimon A. Robers, III for Nola.com The Jefferson School Board has had nine members for more than a generation, but a number of impassioned speakers urged the board Thursday night to redraw its election districts – and perhaps add more – to reflect the parish’s mixed demographics.
Grain elevator: Ruling lets slave descendants suit go ahead
By Rebecca Santana | AP EDGARD, La. — Descendants of slaves who lived and toiled in southeastern Louisiana won a key ruling Thursday allowing their legal challenge to go forward against a $400 million grain elevator planned along the Mississippi River, although the company behind the project said it would likely appeal.
Courting litigation, EBR School Board OK’s election maps that likely preserve White majority
Setting up a likely lawsuit, the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board on Thursday voted along racial lines to give preliminary approval to a new election map likely to maintain the status quo of five White and four Black board members, even though the city’s White population has declined and its Black population has grown over the past decade.
Lawsuit filed to challenge Congress redistricting map in Louisiana veto override
Only a couple of hours after the Louisiana Legislature voted to override Gov. John Bel Edwards’ veto of a congressional map that didn’t expand minority representation, a lawsuit has been filed that claims the map violates federal law.
From Bloody Sunday to the Present, We Must Continue to Resist
On this day, 57 years ago, March 7, 1965, activists endured attacks and abuse crossing the Edmund Pettus bridge to demonstrate for equal voting rights. Their sacrifice and valiant efforts led to passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which guaranteed the right to vote for all Americans, regardless of their color of their skin.
Open Letter to Governor Edwards Regarding Redistricting
Dear Governor Edwards, On behalf of the below signatories, we write to thank you for doing what is right and fair by vetoing the racially discriminatory and illegal Congressional map passed by the state legislature. By failing to pass maps that increase representation for Black Louisianians and other communities of color, the Legislature ignored the law, the Census numbers, and …
Food or power: Energy bill late fees force tough choices
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Chris Kinney, a resident of Rapides Parish in central Louisiana, has seen his electricity disconnected eight times in the past two years for falling behind on his energy bills to Cleco Power. His family did everything they could think of to catch up: pawning possessions, accumulating vast bank overdraft fees, borrowing money and applying for energy …
“A Matter of Survival”—Sade Dumas on Combating Racial Injustice in the Criminal Legal System
Sade Dumas, executive director of the Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition(OPPRC) in Louisiana, has worked tirelessly to decrease the population of the Orleans Parish Prison and improve conditions there for those held behind bars. A Vera partner, she advocates for evidence-based methods to reduce incarceration and promotes alternatives to arrest. Under her leadership, OPPRC has helped stop a planned expansion of Orleans Parish …
Redistricting Louisiana: What You Need to Know About Redistricting in Louisiana 2022
Redistricting is how state and local governments redraw their political lines. Every 10 years following the Census, political maps are redrawn to account for population shifts. A Redistricting is supposed to ensure equal representation. However, the process is filled with controversy as tactics such as gerrymandering are utilized to influence future elections or maintain political power.
Clancy DuBos: Louisiana remap plans could be the next Plessy v. Ferguson
If you’ve ever wanted proof of the old French adage, “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” you need look no further than the Louisiana Legislature’s ham-fisted way of redrawing district maps after a decennial census.
Janea Jamison: There is no ‘race blind’ fight in redistricting
Throughout the last six months, thousands of community members and fair redistricting advocacy groups have come together to shed light on the importance of a fair and equitable redistricting process. As the final Redistricting Roadshow concludes on January 20th, a misleading narrative has emerged: the Louisiana redistricting process should remain the same since its inception and not look at race.
Community Spotlight: Power Coalition Equity and Justice
Janea Jamison of the Power Coalition for Equity & Justice talked to WAFB about the Power Coalition.
Though Black population increases statewide, numbers decrease on legislative level
“People don’t understand how gerrymandered our maps have been over the years. We basically crack and pack people of color and have for years,” Shelton said.