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 the State District Judge Tarvald Smith, the EBRPSB and the Secretary of State are prohibited from using SB 22 in the upcoming fall elections. The EBRPSB must now choose to use the Ware-Collins 1-11 plan that would expand the number of districts and add a majority-minority district, or meet to submit another plan in accordance with Louisiana law and the Federal Voting Rights Act. The EBRPSB has until June 22, 2022 at 8:00 a.m. to decide a plan of action either way.
This is a celebrated win for the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (PCEJ) who has played an important role in mobilizing the community throughout the EBRPSB redistricting meetings that started earlier this year in January. PCEJ strategized for the EBRPSB redistricting process back during the 2020 Census. The organization worked deeply in the years leading up to now to inform members of the East Baton Rouge community why their representation made a difference. PCEJ’s Faith-Based Organizer, Kaitlyn Joshua, hosted public forums, sessions and trainings with core partners that gave the community members tools to ensure they could provide testimony to the EBRPSB throughout the process.
The active role PCEJ played in listening and advocating for the demands of the community made it hard to accept when the majority of the EBRPSB selected SB 22, a map that did not provide fair representation of the city’s minority population. PCEJ rallied alongside others in the community just before the final ratification meeting on May 5, 2022.
“I want to share my profound and immense gratitude for those who stood in solidarity with us in the fight for an expanded map for the EBR Parish school board,” Kaitlyn Joshua said after hearing news of the win, “Congratulations and Happy Juneteenth. What a true and just commemoration of this moment.”
Media Contact Information:
Kaitlyn Joshua, Faith-Based Organizer
Email: email@example.comPhone: (225) 454-8321
Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (PCEJ) is dedicated to supporting and coordinating civic and voter engagement across Louisiana. We are guided by values of justice and racial equity and work with our partners to build an integrated civic engagement strategy that amplifies the voices of those who have historically been ignored, and organize them into a unified movement. PCEJ focuses on building power in traditionally marginalized communities, particularly Black and Brown communities, by equipping people with the knowledge and information they need to find their voice and learn where and when to use it.