The Louisiana State Legislature will hold a series of nine regional public forums on the redistricting process beginning in October and ending in mid-January.
The purpose of the forums is to explain the process of redistricting, raise awareness of its importance, and engage public participation, according to a release from the Louisiana State Legislature.
The only one scheduled in Acadiana will be held on October 26, 2021, at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
The eight other forums are scheduled to be held in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Covington, Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans, Shreveport, and Thibodaux.
All meetings will be held after work hours beginning at 5:30 p.m. and will be streamed live via the Legislative Redistricting site, Facebook, and YouTube. To view the meetings on any of these platforms, visit https://redist.legis.la.gov/live.
Legislative staff will make presentations regarding the Census, redistricting law, and population trends in the region where the meeting is being held. Attendees will also find out more information on the current Census estimates for the region, and the timeline for 2021 redistricting, which affects the districts of Congress, Public Service Commission, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), state Supreme Court, state Senate, and the state House of Representatives.
Taken every ten years, the Census affects political representation on the federal, state, and local levels. It directs the allocation of billions of federal dollars in government funding to the states. After the Census is complete, each state's number of congressional seats is determined according to population or reapportionment. Once this is complete, redistricting begins. According to population changes, the legislature will redraw congressional, legislative, Public Service Commission, BESE, and Supreme Court districts.
Every year, billions in federal funds are awarded to states and communities based on census data. Census data also guide local decision-makers in important community planning efforts, including where to build new roads, hospitals, and schools.
For information regarding the redistricting process, general and meeting information, visit the Louisiana Legislative Redistricting web page at https://redist.legis.la.gov/.
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