Activist groups mobilize ahead of week two in special redistricting session
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Week two of the redistricting session kicks off Monday, Jan. 7, and lawmakers have yet to vote on any map proposals on either the House or Senate floor. Tensions are growing stronger between parties and civil rights organizations are turning up the volume.
The goal was to have the special redistricting session wrapped up by this weekend, but that was a long shot. So now, the session will continue this week, and some organizers will be making their voices heard even louder.
“This week the rallies are organized by Black Voters Matter, and the NAACP and a ton of other organizations are partnering with this group just to bring awareness to this mapping and redistricting process because this is something we got to get engaged in,” said Eugene Collins, president of the NAACP Baton Rouge chapter.
On Tuesday, activists will hold what they are calling a “redistricting takeover.” It’s a two-day bus tour with an outreach caravan to try and raise awareness about what they believe is going on behind the walls of the capitol.
“When you look at these organizations, our sense is that we want fair and equitable maps. We believe that we should at least get another minority congressional seat,” continued Collins.
It’s a belief held even by some Republicans, but opponents see adding another district is not necessary and consider it gerrymandering the process, even though one-third of Louisiana’s current population is black.
“Our elders in our community have always been the ones that guide with knowledge and know how, but our youth have always brought the energy and the fire to arguments like these. And, this will affect them the most in the next 10 years as you talk about college aged students,” explained Collins.
Lawmakers have 14 days left to finalize all their elective maps.
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