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. …

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 …

Statement from Power Coalition CEO Ashley Shelton on Amicus Brief Release

For Immediate Release: Saturday, July 19, 2022 Baton Rouge, LA–  CEO and founder of Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (PCEJ), Ashley Shelton, released the following statement with the amicus brief filing in support of the plaintiffs in the Robinson v. Ardoin case: “Paul Weiss and Southern Coalition for Social Justice submitted an amicus brief on behalf of Power Coalition …

PCEJ Celebrates Judicial Court Ruling that Declares EBR School Board Plan 22 Null and Void 

For Immediate Release: Saturday, June 18, 2022 Baton Rouge, LA–  Yesterday, June 17, 2022, a decision from the 19th Judicial District Court determined the previously ratified nine member plan, SB 22, voted on by the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board (EBRPSB) during the Redistricting Special Meeting to be in violation of Louisiana law. Based on a ruling made by …

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 …

Statement from Power Coalition CEO Ashley Shelton on the Special Session 

***PRESS STATEMENT*** For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 15, 2022 Baton Rouge, LA–  CEO and founder of Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (PCEJ), Ashley Shelton, released the following statement ahead of the Redistricting Special Session scheduled Today, June 15, 2022: “This moment is an important one for the people of Louisiana. They have been standing up and speaking throughout this …

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.

Federal Court Rules in Favor of Plaintiffs to Block Enacted Congressional Map 

Federal Court Rules in Favor of Plaintiffs to Block Enacted Congressional Map  For Immediate Release: June 6, 2022 Baton Rouge, LA–  On Monday, June 6, 2022, a decision was made in favor of Black voters to block Louisiana’s enacted congressional map in Robinson v. Ardoin, the case challenging Louisiana’s congressional map in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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. 

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. 

The Fight for Our Schools Is Not Over

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 …

Louisiana Legislature Overturns Governor’s Veto of Map Lacking a Second Majority-Black Congressional District; Civil Rights Groups File Suit Under Voting Rights Act

March 30, 2022 – Today, the Louisiana legislature voted to overturn Governor John Bel Edwards’ veto of the Congressional map passed earlier this year, which failed to add a second majority-Black district. In response, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of Louisiana, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP filed a  …

Civil Rights Groups File Federal Lawsuit Challenging Louisiana Congressional Map

For Immediate Release: March 15, 2022  Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of Louisiana, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP filed a federal lawsuit challenging Louisiana’s congressional map. Filed on behalf of the Louisiana State Conference of the NAACP, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, and individuals Dorothy …

Why Voters Have the Right to a Real Chance at Representation

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 …

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 …

Governor Vetoes Proposed Congressional Maps

For Immediate Release: March 11, 2022  Baton Rouge, LA– Wednesday evening, Governor John Bel Edwards announced the decision to veto the congressional redistricting map drawn by the Louisiana Legislature. Gov. Edwards stated the map did not add a second majority-minority district and did not meet federal law compliance requirements.  “I thank Governor Edwards for listening and taking a stand with …

Redistricting Tactics Threaten to Suppress Black Representation in Louisiana

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 …

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.

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. 

Legislative Redistricting Roadshow Comes to Lake Charles On Wednesday, December 15, 2021

For Immediate Release: December 14, 2021  Lake Charles, LA– On Wednesday, December 15, 2021 at the Tritico Theater at McNeese State University, legislators will continue the Redistricting Roadshow at 5:30 P.M. CST. This is the final stop on the roadshow in 2021. This is an opportunity for legislators to hear comments and testimony from the public about the redistricting process.   …

Power Coalition Makes Redistricting Grants to Encourage Equitable Redistricting Process

Power Coalition Makes Redistricting Grants to Encourage Equitable Redistricting Process For Immediate Release: December 6, 2021  New Orleans, LA– Power Coalition for Equity and Justice is providing mini-grants to support small nonprofit organizations, churches, social clubs, and neighborhood groups across the state organizing their communities around the redistricting process. The grants support hosting community listening sessions, town halls, text and …

Legislative Redistricting Roadshow Comes to Alexandria On Tuesday, November 9, 2021

For Immediate Release: November 9, 2021  Alexandria, LA– On Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at the LSU Alexandria Ballroom, legislators will continue the Redistricting Roadshow at 5:30 P.M. CST. This is the 4th stop on the roadshow where legislators hear comments and testimony from the public about the redistricting process.   Political Redistricting happens every 10 years after the census and is …

Every Voice Matters: Why Redistricting Is Important

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 …