Mardi Gras is Revolutionary

February 9, 2024
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By Deon Haywood, Verite News
As the executive director of Women With A Vision—an organization that has worked at the intersections of HIV/AIDS, reproductive justice, the criminalization of Black women and girls, and queer liberation for more than three decades—every day I see the ways oppressive systems leave too many fighting for survival.  Too often I hear the work of organizers and activists described in opposition. I have not spent over 30 years of my life in the fight for social justice to just see a world “without.” A world without racism or capitalism isn’t enough. We’re working to topple oppressive systems because we deserve so much more. The end of these systems is just the starting point. I’m looking toward a future filled with pleasure and joy and community, one where we are free to create art and dance and share our talents. I’m looking forward to a world that looks a little like Mardi...
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Black Leaders In Louisiana Make It Clear: Climate And Racial Justice Go Hand-In-Hand

October 4, 2023
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Climate action must be intersectional, writes Ashley Shelton, CEO of the Power Coalition for Equity & Justice. by Ashley Shelton in NewsOne This summer has brought no shortage of extreme weather events. July was the hottest-recorded month on Earth, and deadly heat is continuing to threaten millions across the world. We’ve also seen record-breaking storms in the Pacific and Gulf, and flooding harming our nation’s infrastructure. Extreme weather events are becoming the new normal, but Louisiana has lived this climate reality for a long time now, enduring loss and devastation year after year. Growing up in the marshy, humid environment of the Gulf Coast, the place I’ve called home my whole life, it’s devastating to see the people and places we love suffering from drought and fires. Louisiana is used to life-threatening weather events — from hurricanes to extreme flooding and tornadoes — but these new disasters pose another set of risks, especially for Black people. Too often, the...
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We Stand With The Tennessee Three

April 13, 2023
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By Ashley Shelton
In response to the Tennessee Legislature’s continued lack of principled action, the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice and our partners stand with the Tennessee 3 following the recent expulsion of two Black leaders for fighting for gun reform in the face of gun violence in their community. We celebrate and support Representative Jones, Representative Pearson, and Representative Johnson who stood with the community to protest gun violence just to find themselves under attack by their own colleagues.  We applaud the Nashville Metropolitan Council for doing the right thing and reinstating Representative Jones! It is unsettling to see tactics like this used to trample upon our right to free speech and to speak out against the injustices happening in our communities. We are seeing more attacks that seek to usurp and preempt the power of majority African American cities and the leaders they elected from Jackson, Mississippi to Washington D.C. It is an...
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Anti-Protest Laws Are Not About Safety, They Are About Silencing Dissent

April 9, 2023
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We must not allow our movements for justice to be silenced by laws that criminalize dissent. At least 42 people who have protested the building of an 85-acre, $90 million police training facility in Atlanta, Georgia, have been charged with domestic terrorism. While demonstrators always fear being criminalized for exercising their constitutional right to stage protests, being charged with domestic terrorism has a particularly chilling effect. The move to charge protesters with domestic terrorism comes months after one protester, Manuel Paez Terán (who went by the name Tortuguita), was killed by police. Across the United States, we are seeing a rise in laws that seek to squelch and criminalize protests. Since 2017, North Dakota has considered a series of anti-protest laws, including one that allows the state attorney general to bring police from out of town to respond to protests. In South Dakota, one law allows the state to prohibit protests of 20 people or more...
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A Win for Caddo Voters

October 12, 2022
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by Billy Anderson
Nearly 30,000 Caddo Parish residents voted early in 2020. During that critical election, many voters endured long lines that wrapped around the block and others had to walk several blocks to find free parking at voting sites. Some voters felt the lines were too long to wait and resigned to find another time when the wait might not be as long. There are limited hours at the single voting location and the average worker does not have the luxury to take off multiple times. Shreveport is the parish seat of Caddo Parish and has a population of close to 190,000 people. The parish itself has a land mass of approximately 852 square miles. Smaller parishes in Louisiana such as Calcasieu (Lake Charles) and Bossier Parish (Bossier City) have multiple early voting locations, which helps ease the barriers and burdens of early voting. The single early voting location site in Caddo...
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Black Voters Are Fighting Racial Gerrymandering in Louisiana

September 18, 2022
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By Ashley K. Shelton for Truthout
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 electoral process. Historically, we have seen literacy tests, brutal attacks on persons seeking to register to vote, the elimination of voting sites, changing polling sites without notification, and other efforts to deny and abridge the right to vote. We have experienced voter suppression in all its forms, including its newest more insidious form, racial and partisan gerrymandering.  In 2022, the Louisiana state legislature drew unfair congressional district lines. Voters, including those reached through my organization, the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, testified throughout this year’s redistricting process, which saw...
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OP-ED: President Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Is Important, But More Must Be Done For Black Women

September 1, 2022
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By Ashley K. Shelton for NewsOne
Black women are uniquely saddled with student loan debt. by Ashley Shelton in NewsOne President Joe Biden recently announced plans to cancel up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients. The plan applies to most individuals earning less than $125,000 per year or couples earning less than $250,000 per year. As a Black woman, Black mother, organizer and convenor in the south, I celebrate this moment, while also committing to continued advocacy to address the student loan crisis. In fact, I must. Black women are uniquely saddled with student loan debt. Black women experience intersecting oppressions of gender and race which means we are particularly impacted by student loan debt. On the one hand, we are encouraged to acquire as much education as possible to ensure an upward trajectory. We are told that with more experience, or one more degree, we’ll be more marketable...
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OP-ED: This Hurricane Season, Disaster Recovery Must Be Equitable And Just

June 26, 2022
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By Chrishelle Palay for NewsOne
Few people recognize the trauma that can arise from living through a natural disaster that is worsened by climate change and policy inaction....
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FEMA Isn’t the Only Solution to Climate Disaster. Government Must Fund Mutual Aid.

June 20, 2022
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By Ashley K. Shelton for Truthout
June 1 marks the start of hurricane and wildfire season. This is a time when many wait with bated breath, wondering how they will survive another storm even as they have yet to recover from prior weather emergencies. This is the time of year when anxiety kicks into high gear, and when post-traumatic stress disorder can take hold. This is the time of year when one vows to prepare, but limited resources make it impossible to do so....
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Beyond Earth Day: More Must be Done to Address Environmental Racism

May 4, 2022
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By Joy and Jo Banner
Earth Day has passed but the need to continue the fight for environmental justice remains. We started our organization, the Descendants Project as a way to advance intergenerational healing and promote the flourishing of the Black descendant community in the Louisiana river parishes. Originally, this work was tied to making sure descendants of enslaved people were included in the cultural and historical tourism industries that are popular in our area. However, when the toxic Greenfield Grain Elevator put its sights on our Wallace community, we realized there was no way to address the other tenants of systemic racism without first liberating ourselves from environmental racism. ...
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The Fight for Our Schools Is Not Over

April 21, 2022
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By Kaitlyn Joshua for the Bayou Progressive
by Kaitlyn Joshua for the Bayou Progressive In case you hadn’t heard yet, on Thursday, April 7, the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board voted to establish a 9 member plan at the Redistricting Special Meeting. Sure, a 9 member plan would have been an acceptable compromise if said plan resulted in a Black majority, but that was not at all the case with the 9-member map that was ultimately adopted. The plan that was adopted – on a starkly racial line vote – would keep the current number of board members, but would result in transforming the board from 5 likely-white districts and 4 likely-Black districts to effectively 6 likely-white districts and 3 likely-Black districts – in a school district that is more than 71% black, mind you. Considering the demographic shifts over the past decade in the Parish, voting for a map that so blatantly ignores that is an atrocity and is racist...
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Why Voters Have the Right to a Real Chance at Representation

March 15, 2022
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By Robert Collins for Word in Black
The lawful and efficient exercise of Democracy in the United States depends on voters being able to freely choose their leaders. In spite of that ideal, every ten years we subvert that process and instead allow leaders to choose their voters. We call this process Redistricting. Parts of this process are necessary and proper. It is necessary every ten years to take Census data and re-balance voting populations so that districts have roughly equal populations. ...
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Redistricting Tactics Threaten to Suppress Black Representation in Louisiana

February 23, 2022
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By Janea Jamison, Program Director
By Ashley Shelton Originally published in Truthout.org The Louisiana Senate recently continued the state’s long history of racial oppression by voting down Sen. Cleo Fields’s congressional redistricting map. What’s more, the Louisiana House voted down Rep. Randal Gaines’s congressional redistricting map. Gaines is a veteran and civil rights attorney who represents one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Ida (river parishes), and Fields is an attorney and former congressman. Gaines’s and Fields’s proposals included two majority-minority districts (electoral districts where the majority of the constituents are people of color) giving them an opportunity to elect candidates of their choice — something Black voters in the state advocated for. Since the Black population has grown in Louisiana, an additional seat representing this shift is warranted, just and fair. But in Louisiana, as in other parts of the country, map drawers are refusing to create new electoral opportunities for communities of color....
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Every Voice Matters: Why Redistricting Is Important

October 19, 2021
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By Ashley K. Shelton, Founder and President
Ashley Shelton, Executive Director of the Power Coalition of Equity & Justice, discusses redistricting in Louisiana. By Ashley K. Shelton Originally published in Word in Black When any storm makes its way into the Gulf, one of my greatest fears is always that history will repeat itself. An overwhelming sense of concern came over me as I watched Hurricane Ida grow in strength and head into the Gulf. I thought to myself, “This cannot be happening again.” I have been organizing at the local, state, and federal levels for more than 16 years. I have seen a clear pattern from my work in disaster recovery that communities of color are often left behind in the recovery process. For those of us in Louisiana, we will not let history repeat itself. We can no longer live in a long-term state of resiliency, and we must change the pattern of never being made whole...
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Disaster Recovery: A System That Continues to Fail Its People

September 27, 2021
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By Janea Jamison, Program Director
OPINION: It is imperative that groups seeking to offer humanitarian relief direct funds to grassroots groups who are clNonprofits and churches are always the first, and often the only, to step up and provide basic needs during disasters....
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On Hurricane Ida, COVID-19, and trauma: Resilience cannot be a permanent state

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By Ashley K. Shelton, Founder and President
Today, one day after the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, I cannot help but reflect as Ida ravishes our state. This storm comes as our region faces the worst impacts of a fourth surge of COVID-19, the Delta variant, exacerbating joblessness, food, and housing insecurity.  I have always been struck by the inhumanity of these storms; they always hit at the end of the month when working class folks are forced to choose between evacuating and paying bills. The utter destruction of all that they have worked to build is cruel, but the storm is the first slight. The rebuilding process is the next, and given the strained supply chain, rebuilding is always more difficult than it looks ....
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Louisiana has a voting access problem; expanding the number of voting days could help

May 24, 2021
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An Election Day line at Eleanor McMain Secondary School in New Orleans Nov. 3, 2020. (Photo by Jarvis DeBerry)
By Valencia Richardson and Candice Battiste
Louisiana has a voting access problem, particularly in areas where Black voters reside. But one bill before the Louisiana Legislature, HB 286 sponsored by Rep. Frederick Jones (D-Monroe), would address this problem by increasing access to in-person voting and extending from seven days to 11 eleven days the window for early voting in presidential elections. ...
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Will Sutton: Hurricane Zeta disrupted voting, and we should find a way to make votes count

November 2, 2020
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By Will Sutton, Nola.com
WEST MONROE, LA. (KTVE/KARD)– Candice Battiste with Power Coalition Equity and Justice said this year’s early voter turnout was record breaking. “Every record has been shattered, I mean I don’t think there is anything left, any records left to break, which is really exciting,” Battiste said. Battiste said they are expecting the same for election day, but they’ve also experienced issues concerning voter registration. That’s why volunteers with Power Coalition will be at the polls to help voters who are having problems getting their vote in....
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Voting clouded by mystery for now

September 3, 2020
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By Jeremy Alford, The Daily Advertiser
In between hurricanes over the past week or so, and in the wake of the national conventions for the Democratic and Republican parties, you may have given some thought to Louisiana’s eight electoral votes. Will President Donald Trump be the beneficiary or will it be former Vice President Joe Biden? You could probably offer an educated guess for that question based on polling and our most recent presidential races. But what if neither candidate received our electoral votes? What would happen?...
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Mark Ballard: My wife Donna Britt has ALS. This is the complex process she must follow to vote.

August 29, 2020
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By Mark Ballard for The Advocate
Like Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, every election day, my wife and I made a point of walking to our precinct. Ardoin gets misty-eyed, so do I, when describing that patriotic feeling of physically casting a vote. When Donna Britt, my wife of 39 years, contracted ALS three years ago, we kept up the ritual best we could — until COVID-19. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a progressive nervous system disease that robs the person of immunity protection as well as muscle control, leaving the inflicted mentally sharp and sentient but unable to walk, write, speak, even sit up on their own. Since late February, the doctors, nurses, and hospice team formed a cocoon to keep her away from the fast-spreading and sometimes lethal coronavirus mutation....
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Guest column: Get involved in the census count, or we all pay a high price

August 21, 2020
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By Janea Jameson for The Advocate
On Aug. 3, the Census Bureau issued a statement saying, “We will end field data collection by September 30, 2020. Self-response options will also close on that date to permit the commencement of data processing.” The new deadline is a month sooner than previously announced by the bureau. Ensuring a fair and accurate count in the 2020 U.S. Census, which is the largest and most complex population count in the nation’s history, is essential to the communities we serve at the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice. The census determines how and where billions of federal dollars are spent, and every time someone goes uncounted, Louisiana loses out on $2,291....
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Viewpoint: Before Kamala Harris, a very long battle for women in politics

August 13, 2020
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By Danae Columbus, NOLA Messenger
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris’ selection as the 2020 Democratic vice presidential nominee — and potentially the most consequential vice president in American history — is the crowning glory of more than 150 years of incredible work by countless suffragists who first fought for the right to vote and later battled for unfettered access to the top echelons of U.S. government. Though Hillary Clinton, Geraldine Ferraro, Shirley Chisholm and others mightily aspired to reach the White House, polls currently show that the Biden-Harris team has more than a fighting chance to meet that goal....
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Ashley Shelton and Candice Battiste: Now is the time to act on police reform

July 21, 2020
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Candice Battiste and Ashley Shelton, Special to The Times
Not long after George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis, which sparked Black Lives Matter protests locally, nationally, and globally, the people of Shreveport found out that we had our own George Floyd. On Sunday, April 5, 44-year-old Tommie McGlothen was beaten and tased by members of the Shreveport Police Department. That violent encounter apparently led to his death.  Video of the assault came to light almost two months after the initial police reports were filed. The reports themselves are missing critical information, and McGlothen’s family fears a cover-up by the Shreveport Police Department. ...
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Commentary: Lawsuits rightly take aim at limits to mail balloting during pandemic

May 22, 2020
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Gambit Commentary
When the League of Women Voters challenges a state’s election laws in federal court, claiming those laws violate fundamental constitutional guarantees, it’s a safe bet that something’s amiss. The League is famously, and fastidiously, nonpartisan. It’s big news, therefore, that the League of Women Voters of Louisiana — along with 10 other plaintiffs in two federal lawsuits — has alleged that the state has placed undue burdens on citizens’ right to vote in the 2020 elections. The League on May 19 joined Crescent City Media Group (a local civic and political engagement organization) and three individual voters in seeking to have a federal judge nullify portions of Louisiana’s recent election law changes. The league’s suit came almost two weeks after a similar federal lawsuit brought by the state NAACP, the Power Coalition of Equity and Justice, and four individual voters. Both federal suits were filed in Baton Rouge....
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The Coronavirus Is Devastating Already Devastated Communities

May 18, 2020
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In Louisiana, and across the U.S., we are seeing a disproportionate number of Black people die from this virus. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
By Ashley Shelton, Published by Common Dreams
The Coronavirus Is Devastating Already Devastated Communities The people and equity-centered recovery approach we are putting forward is intended to address immediate needs, but it’s also a guide for long-term change. BY Ashley Shelton Published on Monday, May 18, 2020 by Common Dreams In the midst of this pandemic, we’ve all been forced to ask ourselves some important questions, regardless of our religious affiliation (or lack thereof). They are questions we’ve probably considered before–What is being asked of us during this crisis? Will I take action to help others? How can I be the best version of myself when life is at its most difficult? This pandemic has revealed so much about the deep structural and systemic problems that have existed for generations. Foremost among those are racism and poverty. At the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, where I serve as executive director, we are responding by rallying our partner organizations, including...
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United Way: Coronavius crisis makes equity and progress more important

May 4, 2020
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BY KIM SPORT and CHARMAINE CACCIOPPI, The Advocate
United Way: Coronavius crisis makes equity and progress more important BY KIM SPORT and CHARMAINE CACCIOPPI MAY 4, 2020 – 6:00 PM Guest columnist Melissa S. Flournoy called recently for a vision for Louisiana’s future “that is inclusive and equitable and lifts families out of poverty and on a pathway to prosperity.” United Way of Southeast Louisiana couldn’t agree more. We hold a vision of equitable communities where all individuals are healthy, educated, and financially stable. Our Blueprint for Prosperity calls for us to achieve that vision by working collaboratively with partners, both public and private. COVID-19’s health and economic impacts are threatening our ability to work aggressively toward our vision as the issue is drawn out along partisan and racial lines. We originally championed the rallying cry, “Viruses don’t discriminate,” as so many organizations did around the country and the globe, yet we’ve come to learn that is simply...
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Guest column: Start to plan for long-term vision of more just and prosperous Louisiana

April 29, 2020
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By MELISSA S. FLOURNOY, The Advocate
Guest column: Start to plan for long-term vision of more just and prosperous Louisiana By MELISSA S. FLOURNOY APR 29, 2020 – 6:00 PM We need leadership and optimism, and to remember the old saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Many people want to help in the short-term “let’s get back to work” efforts. We are fortunate to have the leadership of Gov. John Bel Edwards, who is a steady hand in a crisis, and who wants to bring people together and solve problems. So yes, we need an immediate strategy, but we also need to find a way to think bigger and more long term, through ideas of the Resilience Commission, the LABI Business Task Force, the Legislative Task Force and all the other well-intentioned efforts of think tanks and business groups, nonprofit advocacy organizations and philanthropic groups. Louisiana needs to take a moment and catch our breath...
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I Never Planned to Be a Front-Line Worker at Dollar General

April 26, 2020
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By Kenya Slaughter, Op Ed for the New York Times, April 26, 2020
I Never Planned to Be a Front-Line Worker at Dollar General By Kenya Slaughter Ms. Slaughter works at Dollar General in Louisiana. Op Ed for the New York Times, April 26, 2020 ALEXANDRIA, La. — I’ve been working at Dollar General here for more than two years. My manager is wonderful, and I have a great relationship with my customers. But when I took this job I never planned to become a worker on the front line of a pandemic. I close the register many nights, so I know my store’s revenue has practically doubled since the coronavirus hit. But we workers haven’t gotten any extra money, even though we’re risking our health, and our families’ health, to keep the stores running. Louisiana’s governor is expected to lift parts of the stay-at-home order soon. I don’t think our state is ready for that and I know my co-workers aren’t. We...
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Viewpoint: Mail-in ballots are essential for the safety of Louisiana voters

April 16, 2020
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By Danae Columbus, opinion columnist | Uptown Messenger
Who wants to potentially put themselves or their family members at risk by voting at a poll on upcoming election days? With Louisiana’s presidential primary and other ballot measures now scheduled for July 11, state officials are squabbling over how to hold safe elections during the pandemic and beyond. Newly minted state Rep. Mandie Landry, District 91, pre-filed House Bill 419, to allow all registered voters to utilize voting by mail in every election. Co-authored by Reps. Aimee Freeman, District 98, and Matt Willard, District 97, this legislation would impact the November elections and beyond. ...
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Letters: Voters’ commitment to Medicaid mean Louisiana is better off in crisis

April 2, 2020
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by Ashley Shelton, Published in The Advocate
Letters: Voters’ commitment to Medicaid mean Louisiana is better off in crisis by Ashley Shelton, Executive Director for the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice APR 3, 2020 – 6:00 PM in The Advocate If our new COVID-19 reality has taught us anything, it’s the importance of public health, not just during crises, but every day. In order to avoid or minimize future disasters of this nature, and better deal with the current one, we have to start taking a holistic approach to public health. We have to go beyond whether folks can access health care, and look more deeply at “social determinants of health.” These determinants include everything from diet and exercise to economic security — all of the factors that affect a person’s health. Addressing the social determinants of health means looking at the root causes of why some people lead shorter, less healthy lives than others: poverty, poor educational...
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Letters: No way for an ordinary worker to win in today’s system

March 30, 2020
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BY CLARIONTA JONES, Published in The Advocate
Letters: No way for an ordinary worker to win in today’s system BY CLARIONTA JONES MARCH 30, 2020 – 6:00 PM Louisiana has changed since coronavirus hit. There is less food on the shelves, people are losing their jobs and getting sick. We don’t know what New Orleans will look like when this is over. It is scary. Gov. John Bel Edwards told us that staying home is the only way to slow the virus. In New Orleans, most people are home and doing what they can to keep each other safe but I don’t have that option. I work at Dollar Tree on the west bank and am exposed to people every day who could be sick. By banning New Orleans and other cities from setting our own, local paid sick leave policies, the state is forcing workers like me to choose: Stay home to protect my co-workers and customers...
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Our Views: Looking for an easy way to contribute? Fill out that census questionnaire

March 30, 2020
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Staff Editorial for The Advocate
Our Views: Looking for an easy way to contribute? Fill out that census questionnaire Staff Editorial for The Advocate By now, everybody reading this should have gotten an invitation from the U.S. Census Bureau to fill out their household’s 2020 questionnaire. If you have internet access and are one of the many people stuck at home due to the coronavirus shutdown, what are you waiting for? It doesn’t take long, and it’s one of the more productive ways to spend a little of all that down time. Participating always has consequences, but never more so than right now. Census data establishes not only how much political representation a given community will get for a decade to come. It also determines how federal aid is apportioned. Census data dictates how much each state and locality gets for a wide range of needs, from Medicaid to Head Start to food assistance through...
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Our Views: In 2020, let’s all stand up and be counted

January 1, 2020
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STAFF EDITORIAL, The Advocate
Our Views: In 2020, let’s all stand up and be counted STAFF EDITORIAL |  JAN 1, 2020 – 6:00 AM Before he moved on to more controversial topics at the Baton Rouge Press Club some weeks ago, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy offered something of a civic pitch: He urged all Louisianans to answer their U.S. Census questionnaire. “It’s not the sexiest of topics but it is enormously, enormously important,” Kennedy said. Whether or not everybody in the state is counted carries “huge political ramifications, huge social ramifications and huge economic ramifications.” He’s right, and he’s just one of many who’ll be pushing that message 2020. Individual Louisianans will start hearing from census officials in March, leading up to the official census day of April 1. This time, people can fill out their forms online, by mail or in person. Before then, officials and activists are going to be working to...
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Families and Activism Drive Real Change in Louisiana

December 16, 2019
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By Ashley Shelton, Equal Voice
Families and Activism Drive Real Change in Louisiana In an opinion essay, Ashley Shelton of the Power Coalition in Louisiana says the 2019 state elections are an example of how families and nonprofit organizations are making progress in the movement for equity. That includes record Black voter turnout. By Ashley Shelton December 16, 2019 After almost every election, pundits step out to lay credit or blame at the feet of whomever comes across their radar first. Usually that means candidates or political parties, while they overlook grassroots organizations that do most of the important work. In the wake of Louisiana’s 2019 statewide elections, this seems to be the case – yet again. But there is a movement of change afoot, and we are grateful to the voters of Louisiana for making their voices heard and setting a clear path forward. Louisiana supported President Donald Trump by a 20-point margin in 2016....
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Raise minimum wage, as the people want politicians to do

September 10, 2019
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BY ASHLEY SHELTON and MATT WOOD, Published in The Advocate
BY ASHLEY SHELTON and MATT WOOD The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed the Raise the Wage Act, which would lift the federal minimum wage from an unlivable $7.25 an hour, where it’s been stuck for more than a decade, to $15 an hour. Five out of six of Louisiana’s congressional representatives voted against the bill, and it’s expected to die in the Senate thanks in part to the opposition of Louisiana’s senators. Nevertheless, that vote represents a sea change. Support for higher minimum wage laws has risen sharply in recent years. Eighty-one percent of Louisianans support a minimum wage hike according to an LSU poll conducted earlier this year, and even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently expressed support for an increase. Yet, Congressman Steve Scalise was quoted in this newspaper trotting out the same tired scare tactics and trickle-down economics to oppose any increase whatsoever. Scalise is...
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Kyle Ardoin can be a leader in ensuring fair, impartial elections

September 6, 2019
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Louisiana is making progress towards ensuring free and fair elections for all voters. In addition to taking steps towards replacing its vulnerable electronic voting machines, the state has moved to re-enfranchise some people with criminal convictions. These steps are vital in ensuring that all Louisianans have confidence in the fairness and impartiality of its elections. In recent years, however, a new threat has arisen that could undercut that confidence. Secretaries of state across the United States have increasingly showed a willingness to use their official powers to influence their own election contests. When public officials use their power to tilt the playing field in their favor, they weaken public confidence in elections, which undergirds our democratic system. This can’t be allowed to happen in Louisiana. Read the rest here....
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