Louisiana Power Coalition for Equity and Justice and Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) prepare three redistricting fellows to engage and educate Louisiana communities about equitable redistricting
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 4, 2021
Director of Programs, Power Coalition
Communications Director, SCSJ
NEW ORLEANS, L.A. (August 4, 2021) — As the nation gears up for political redistricting, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, in partnership with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, are hosting three Louisiana-based redistricting fellows.
Each fellow is a graduate of SCSJ’s Community Redistricting Organizations Working for Democracy (or CROWD) Academies. They are assigned to certain regions of the state to educate their communities on the principles of political redistricting and advocate for more inclusive and transparent map-making on the local, state and federal levels.
Lisa Tomkies, a communications specialist in Shreveport, will serve as the northern Louisiana Redistricting Fellow. Carlos Pollard Jr, a recent graduate of Dillard University will be the New Orleans area Redistricting Fellow. Carlton Jones, who is heavily involved in the Southern University alumni network, will be focusing on Baton Rouge area redistricting. All 3 fellows are very connected to their communities and dedicated to ensuring equity and justice in the redistricting process.
”The Louisiana CROWD fellowship is the culmination of months of training and many hours of hard work by dedicated individuals committed to one goal: fair voting districts,” said Irving Zavaleta, SCSJ’s Networks Director for Voting Rights. “Louisiana Fellows Carlos Pollard, Carlton Jones, and Lisa Tomkies are a testament to what happens when local activists commit to mapping their community’s future for the next decade.”
“As we build pathways to power for historically disenfranchised populations, the CROWD Academies have allowed us to engage everyday citizens in the Redistricting process and how powerful its impact is on whether they have a voice or not,” said Ashley Shelton, Founder, President, and CEO of The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice. “We have trained more than 300 people and still have a waiting list! We hope to hold a few more as we gear up for Redistricting.”
Redistricting happens every 10 years after the decennial census and is an opportunity to draw new political district boundaries based on population changes. The goal of redistricting is to create equitable and competitive political districts so that people can be represented by legislators who will advocate on behalf of the community’s best interests.
As in many states, redistricting in Louisiana has not been well understood and communities across the state have had little say in the way their communities are mapped or represented.
In an effort to put the power back into the hands of Louisiana’s people, redistricting fellows are traveling the length of the state to show the people of the state how political maps impact their daily lives and what they can do to be a part of the map-making process.
If you or an affiliated organization are interested in connecting with Louisiana-based CROWD redistricting fellows for training and assistance, please contact: email@example.com. You can also find the Power Coalition’s corresponding press release here.
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice, founded in 2007, partners with communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities in the South to defend and advance their political, social, and economic rights through the combination of legal advocacy, research, organizing, and communications. Learn more at southerncoalition.org and follow our work on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice works to build voice and power in traditionally ignored communities. We are a coalition of groups from across Louisiana whose mission is to organize in impacted communities, educate and turn out voters, and fight for policies that create a more equitable and just system in Louisiana.