BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) ––– The group Black Voters Matter is gathering on the steps of the State Capitol Wednesday at 8 AM to voice their concerns over the redistricting process.
Redistricting happens every ten years along with the census, but several groups are speaking out, saying that the numbers are not adding up based on the most recent data. “When you look at the fact that we make up nearly a third of the population of the state of Louisiana, but have only one United States congressman represented in one Black-majority district, you have to look at how that lack of representation impacts our communities,” says Omari Ho-Sang, State Organizing Manager for Black Voters Matter.
She adds, “it’s important to look at how Black folks and Black communities have been marginalized both intentionally and directly from this redistricting process and how this trickles down.”
The Redistricting Takeover Rally is a collective effort by 20 state and national civil and voters’ rights organizations. “Our voices deserve to be heard and we deserve to be at this table,” says Ho-Sang.
Ho-Sang is one of the people who caravaned across the state to meet in the capital city Tuesday evening. Her journey began in Ferriday, Louisiana, where she then traveled through Monroe, Shreveport, Opelousas, and Lafayette before the group stopped at The McKinley Alumni Center for the takeover rally.
Below is the schedule for Wednesday:
- 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Press Conference (Louisiana State Capitol)
- The press conference will be followed by group testimony before the House & Governmental Affairs or Senate Governmental Affairs Committee and closed-door meetings with legislators.
- 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Takeover Lunch (McKinley Alumni Center, 1520 Thomas H. Delpit Drive)
The goal of this two-day rally is to regain redistricting power. “Sometimes when we hear the word power, we get a little scared, but in this context, power just means representation and everybody, no matter what party, no matter what skin color, no matter what you believe, everybody in the state deserves representation,” says Ho-Sang.
If the maps do not add the representation they are looking for, Ho-Sang says they are ready to take further action, “we know that we deserve to increase our representation, and so if that does not happen, the likely next step is litigation.”