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Concerns over district lines raised during public comment at State Capitol

Acadiana SB 1 proposal
Posted at 11:40 PM, Feb 03, 2022

BATON ROUGE, L.a. — Public comment is under consideration as the state's redistricting session continues. And concerns are rising as proposed district lines are being drawn.

The main concern so far? Representation for minorities to reflect population changes in the 2020 Census.

"Basically we've had an increase in minority population, a decrease in the white population, so you'd expect representation across our senate districts would change," said Tammy Savoie, Democratic State Committee Chair for the 1st Congressional District. "But basically the lines were drawn to maintain the status quo in Senate Bill 1 and not really increase minority representation at all."

Savoie, who came to the State Capitol as a member of Sierra Club's Delta Chapter, said she is worried as one of the main proposed maps doesn't have any additional majority-minority districts or competitive districts.

"As the demographics change, so should our senate lines be drawn appropriately."

The state NAACP's president, Mike McClanahan, echoed her concerns.

"Don't try to put us under the bridge, give us stuff in the woods where nobody is at, represent the people, it should adequately reflect the makeup of the state of Louisiana," McClanahan said. "And if you do that, someone told me years ago the keys on the piano plays better not when the white keys play by themselves or the black keys, but when the white and black keys play together."

Lawmakers are considering making changes to the main proposal that's on the table — which would leave more room for public comment and transparency in the coming days.

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