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OneRouge Community Check-In: Week 191





Fun facts, useful for trivia nights...

  • Despite all the rigamarole around freedom and one man, one voice, newly established Americans did not explicitly establish the right to vote in the original Constitution

  • Although the 14th Am. preserved inherent federal rights of US citizens, like the right to vote, in 1868, it was the 15th Am. that gave Black men the vote.

  • The Enforcement Acts were passed 1870-71 to prohibit the KKK from impeding Black votes and voters, but didn't stop poll taxes or literacy exams.

  • Poll taxes weren't ended until ratification of the 24th Am. ... in 1964.

  • And it took until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to give Blacks the right to vote (again) and stop literacy exams.

 Now here we are just shy of 60 years on and everybody can vote now. So what does it matter now? Why are people still complaining? Well, the answer warrants a discussion about fair representation. And then what does it mean for Louisiana to have another majority Black District? Well, that is precisely the conversation we will have this Friday.


Learn with us and hear from our featured speakers who have been integrally involved in  "Making Maps, Jostling Justice"

 

Notes

Pepper Roussel: Good morning. One rouge. Thank you all for being here. Happy Friday.  Oh, I Alfreda, Auntie B in your red on this fine Friday.  


Alfreda Tillman Bester: Good morning, everybody.


Pepper: Good morning. Good morning. Good morning.  Hey, Chelsea over here in the chat already. And Flitcher Bell in a jacket. What is happening today?


Flitcher Bell: Meetings.


Alfreda: He knew Judge Guidry was gonna be here. That's what that was.


Pepper: Oh, all that makes a lot of sense, talking about meetings on a Friday. I don't know. 


Alfreda: Good morning, everybody. 


Judge John Michael Guidry: Good morning. How you doing?


Alfreda: Doing well, Judge. Hey,  Ashley. 


Ashley Shelton: Hey, Alfreda. 


Pepper: All right, y'all.  My partner in crime is mute, so we will go ahead and get this started. Happy Friday. Happy one week Friday. Thank you all for being here. I appreciate y'all spending your Friday mornings with us. I genuinely  and did I miss something? I don't know what I miss.  I genuinely appreciate y'all being here. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you on  Friday. We are going to be talking about many things, all of them near and dear to the hearts of Reverend Anderson, who is not going to be here today. But on to be talking about the new black voting district. We've got some really interesting voices on the call today. And as always, I'm going to step back and allow them to show up. However, it is that they are showing up today. So we'll start with Ashley. If you wouldn't mind letting us know who you are, what you do, only because you are farthest left on my screen. If you wouldn't mind letting us know who you are, what you do and how you are connected to the movement, your five minutes starts now.


Ashley: Absolutely. Good morning, everyone. It's so good to see so many familiar faces and names. I'm Ashley Shelton. I am the president and CEO of the Power Coalition, and we are Civic Engagement Table. And so we so much of our time doing deep listening and community and, in addressing policy issues based on what we hear in communities. And most importantly during and then parlaying as you will, if you would that power and that those relationships into voting power for elections in the fall. 2 sides of the house listening policy change at every level of government other side of the houses, using those that power in those relationships to actually show up at the voting booth. That's the short version. And, our, clearly our focus is voting rights, but we also. Or, do a ton of work in economic opportunity as well as criminal justice and most recently have really grown our work and climate and early childhood education. And because we know their bases that can be built and all of those issue areas and communities. And I'm also a plaintiff in the, in the case on the congressional maps. And so I'm excited to be here today to talk about what all this means. Do you want me to jump into that or do you want me to 


Pepper: Yeah you got 3 minutes left?


Ashley: Oh, good. Okay. I didn't know it was like, you said introductions. Let me tell you a little bit about what it actually means. And everybody's been watching the news, hearing all the things. There was a lawsuit that was just dropped against the map. But, let me kind of start. From session to, or maybe I don't know, it's a bunch of things, but number 1 it is the legislature's job to draw the maps. The legislature had refused to draw a map with 2 districts. And so we, of course, after they overturned the governor's veto. When he struck down the map they, we ended up having to go to court and suing. And so we've sued. I myself, I see my good friend, Dorothy Nairn. We have been suing about all the maps, not just congressional, but the congressional 1 is the 1 that was. 1st, and so our fight has, has persisted and persisted. We were really close to getting a map last year. And then they stayed are the decision based until they decided this the section, the viability of section 2, the Supreme Court did. Side with us our partners in Alabama who actually brought that case, but our cases are very similar, similarly structured and led by the same legal team at the Louisiana defense. Look, Louisiana legal defense fund. No, it's early. Okay. I'm trying to drink as much coffee as possible. The Supreme Court did uphold section 2 and I remind folks that section 2 is the law of the land and lots of folks have made comments, including. Okay. Thanks. Supreme court justice Kavanaugh about slow walking, our power, slow walking, our ability to elect candidates of choice. And, in section two exist to make sure that it protects black and other communities of color. And folks in different language groups protects their right to vote and can be used to make sure that we're not being discriminated against and in our ability to elect a candidate of choice. We start the story over again, go back to court. And I think that what you saw play out in this legislative session is that the judge said they had until January 25th to draw a 2 district map or. The judge in our case, we draw the map in this case, it's judge Shelly dick and what we heard throughout the legislative session was this heavy handed liberal judge was going to draw the maps. And so that's why they had to draw the map. And we brought a map of our own that was. Much prettier, they voted it down and we ended up with a map. The map that we have now, it does meet section 2 even regardless of what the case says, it is just dropped the other day. It is not a racial gerrymander. And in fact, we defeated an amendment that would have made it a racial gerrymander. And again, it's not the prettiest map, but it is we do think that it will meet the test. And. Also, I think that, again, their argument was that you cannot draw to like districts in the state of Louisiana. And then their 2nd argument was that, is because it's a racial gerrymander. And at the end of the day, clearly, you can draw 2 because we fought over him, but 3 different maps on what it was going to look like. And in the very beginning, 12 different maps that looked at drawing 2 districts in the state to make the point that with 30 percent African American population, we can indeed draw 2 maps. And and so this has been a fight and I think that here's what it comes down to. We're trying to make sure that there is a map with 2 minority districts in place for 2024, the lawsuit that was just dropped. Everybody's trying to stop that from happening, but clearly the law says it's the legislature's job because they have approved this new map,  the legislature and, as plaintiffs, we still, we meet with the judge next week. So it's not the case is not closed. So there's still some. Conversation opportunities there, but I think at the end of the day this will be the inactive map for 2024, because we know that the secretary of state has said on the record that they cannot stop this map from being the map. If there is not a change made before May 1st, right? Because they've still you, you run into per cell issues and per cell means it just means that you can't change the ballot. Too close to an election when and confuse voters. And we have a very short window here for that case to play out. And regardless, I'd love to tell citizens, you're going to hear a lot of rhetoric and a lot of noise. But as of this moment this 2 district map with 2 minority districts will be the map for the 2024 elections. There will probably be a ton of additional lawsuits.  And again, we can fight till the next census. But at the end of the day, in this moment, this map is the map for the 2024 or will be the map for the 2024 elections. This new case adds a wrinkle, but we will definitely be working with with our lawyers. We will also as a plaintiff in this current case, we will probably intervene in their case as well to make the point that again they don't get to you pin my rights because they. Care about Gary Graves. They don't want black people to have power. There was a lot of political talk about the reason and it's, it doesn't matter because black folks are not a monolith. Don't you know you can't just say, oh, we're trying to give Democrats control. This isn't about politics. This is about power and who gets to have it. And who gets to elect a candidate of choice. 


Pepper: Thank  you, ma'am. I want to hear from Judge Guidry to give us a little bit of breakdown on the law, because I figured you might know it, sir. for having me. And also, thank you in the chat for reminding me that it is Black History Month. Happy Black History Month, y'all. I hope you left out milk and cookies for the great Harriet Tubman. Judge Goodry, your five minutes starts now. Please let us know who you are, what you do, and a little bit about what do these words mean, gerrymandering and Purcell and why are we going back to court and don't we already have rights? What is happening, sir? 


Judge Guidry:  Hi, my name is Chief Judge John Michael Guidry, Louisiana 1st Circuit Court of Appeal. I've been on the court now for about 26 years. I formerly was a member of Louisiana State Senate and a member of Louisiana House of Representatives. And in that context, I was involved in the redistricting reapportionment  process at the legislature. I do want to give a little disclaimer as a. sitting judge. I certainly cannot comment on cases that are pending or impending. But what I can do is to talk about the law, educate about the law, talk about what is good for the administration of justice. And it's in that context. I'd like to talk a little bit about the question you asked. Of course,  the Voting Rights Act of 1965 has been placed at the center of this process. There are two Very important provisions. One was section five that, as I pointed out earlier, has been gutted. That was basically the preclearance provision where there were several jurisdictions who had historically discriminated against and prior to any changes in in the election,  any changes in the law relative to elections, they had to get preclearance and to the extent that they did not get preclearance, certainly they could go to court. Now we have to bypass the preclearance step as a result of. Supreme court case, and now we go straight to litigation. The litigation is happening under section two  of the voting rights. That deals with dilution  of voting strength. In particular, the issue here is the ability to elect an individual of your choice. There is no guarantee that you can elect a certain person from a certain group, but you have the opportunity to elect a person of your choice. So these suits are pending  around the country. Certainly the United States Supreme Court in the Alabama case is  the basis for why I think you had such a movement on the case in the legislative process. And as Ashley has pointed out, there is a pending case in the middle district of Louisiana judge, chief judge, and as a result of that, the legislature has attempted to draw a map that would satisfy the voting rights at the section 2 provisions of the voting rights act. Chief justice  still has that on her agenda. I came into this in this legislative session from a different perspective. With regards to Louisiana Supreme Court, it is another case that's pending in the Middle District of Louisiana in Judge John de Gravel's court that is challenging the makeup of Louisiana Supreme Court, which is a very  malportioned court, a court that hasn't been reapportioned or redistricted  within over 107 years. There is one minority justice on Supreme Court, just as I am one of 12. I'm the only African American of 12 judges of Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal, and there have been attempts in the legislature to rectify that. But similarly with the Louisiana Supreme Court of the seven justices, you have one justice justice Griffin, who is in a. seat that we call the Chisholm seat. That is a result of litigation and ultimately a consent decree. Ironically, that is still being challenged. Just the other day, the U. S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal granted on bonk while they vacated a three judge panel decision that kept Chisholm in place, the consent decree in place, and now they have granted on bonk a full court consideration of that issue. And there will be oral arguments upcoming with regard to that. And so even though we've had these consent decrees, I'm in a seat that is a result of the Clark litigation Clark versus Romer and Clark versus Edwards. Freedom knows a lot about that. Very involved. She's very involved in that process. And again, that made us a state that has more minority judges than any state in the United States. But again we Constantly find ourselves in litigation, constantly find ourselves seeking legislation in order to ensure that all citizens have a right to elect a person of their choice.  And I see my time.


Pepper: Look at you. I judge you actually stops and leaves the floor. I cannot.  Glory of this day. So we're going to come back to you because yeah, thank you. I'll free to tell my best there for giving us some definitions over here in the chat. Mainly for those of us who are not in law. And one of those people is Dorothy. Dorothy, you don't work in law.  What are you doing here?  Please let us know  who you are. 


Dorothy Nairne: I am a regular citizen. And I'm so pleased to be connected with my dear friend, Ashley, and with this judge that I'm just seeing and meeting today, and you, Pepper. I moved to Louisiana in 2016, after living in South Africa for almost 20 years. I quit the United States in 1998, moved my family to South Africa. I'm a public health doctor training at work and behavior change. So I was working in HIV related issues in South Africa and looking at the elimination of poverty. My mother who lived in Napoleonville in Assumption Parish got sick. So of course I moved home and when I got here, it was like, what can we do? I cannot believe after working in places like Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia, places that We know that the country is developing, or post conflict, or having a hard time. And then I'm back in Louisiana, where I spent summers as a child growing up.  It's like nothing has changed at all around where I am living now. So it's what can I stay and do to help create jobs and work with economic development, especially for people coming out of prison? I was shocked and shook at how hard it was black people to do almost anything in these areas. So when I called to participate on the case, there was no way I was going to turn that down. So I'm a plaintiff that's plain and tip to get my voting rights. And also to bring economic development to this area. So in 2020, during the census, when I went door to door, knocking from trailer to house to trailer to house, it was shocking again, to see how many people were just like, girl, I don't vote. Why would you, ain't nothing going to change. It's all white people around here anyway, that, that take us out. And so it was just. What?  This is the United States, the richest country on the planet, that has so much poverty, that has so much just, and we are all over this state. For me, it was about getting The power to change so that we can at least see that, okay, change is possible here. So I have a not for profit called Project Possible, and we're looking to take the sugar cane waste, which we're surrounded by. So that project's called Changing Cane to change the narrative on sugar cane, as well as to take that sugar cane and turn it into the plastic straws that we love to drink from, the forks, knives, and spoons that we like to use. So it is made from sugar cane waste instead of from plastic that's poisoning us. So I've been working with all sorts of not for profits trying to work with government. That's hard. So it's if I got gray hair now, it's because I live in Louisiana. If I got gray hair now, it's because I'm trying to do something. But it's so difficult. So I have a date in my head, and I won't say it out here in these streets and these bodies or this platform that if, if I can't get anything going, I've got to go to where I can so that I feel half the time like I'm wasting my life. So it's like, why, how, no. So to have  testified in court for the legislative as well as the congressional cases, I was like, what? Okay,  at least win, but to sit there in front of these  mostly white men, and it was so clear to see in court where you got the two sections. It was like walking in a church and seeing groom side, bride side.  I know where I'm going. And that's where all the people are that look like me. Okay, one minute left, and I'm going to take it. It's been an absolute pleasure to be a part of this case. But it's also been absolutely frustrating because  I didn't know it was going to be that hard to live in Louisiana. Or to be in the United States where, people just, do we do anything about it? Yes, we can. I'm  still recovering from being back here, but, and this is a group that I'm feeling that trial is pretty much a support group as well. Yeah, let's work. Y'all  leave, leave up and more work to be done because this is the start of transformation completely and some good things are going on. Yeah. Let's see what we can do. 


Pepper: I'm not doing with you this morning. Although I do enjoy being part of your support group. I've got keen over here in the chat. Not shocked and shook. Fantastic. Thank you for level setting. I want to open the questioning and so y'all know the drill. If you got any questions, throw them in the chat, raise your hand. Let me know if you want to ask something. Ain't y'all been voting  for a long time? I don't understand why all of a sudden we need special groups and special districts  because it seems to me that if you have the right to vote and you just go into the polls and it's not political, then you could just show up and vote. Help me understand why there's a need for a special, two  special particularly black districts if this is not about politics and if it's not about race. 


Judge Guidry:  Again that you have to go back to and of course, it is Black History Month. It should be Black History Month every month and unfortunately, there is seeming to be an attempt to retrogression is a term Alfreda knows in the context of the law, but this whole idea now that we should not be teaching Real history, but the reality of is the history of our country, there have been all sorts of attempts to suppress and dilute minority voting strength. You had things like racial gerrymandering, poll taxes, literacy tests, at large voting racial gerrymandering is an opportunity to Based on race segregate persons into districts, which dilute their voting strength. And so really what we find is a correction of past injustices to create maps that give people a meaningful opportunity to elect a person of their choice to get away from the type of packing and other attempts to make sure that persons don't have that opportunity. And again as a result of that some people will say what you're doing is a violative of the voting rights act. But again, if you look at the arguments that were made, the record that was made in many of these cases, the emphasis wasn't one, the politics, it wasn't one in coming to protection which is a legitimate consideration in the process similarly. Giving person the opportunity to elect the person, the choice is also a legitimate as long as race is not the predominant factor in the drawing of these districts, then you have an opportunity to meet muster in terms of the constitutional review of these maps. And again, that's why it's so very important. To make sure a good record is made in these legislative hearings so that it can be clear that race is not the predominant factor. So race is legitimate consideration. It just cannot be the predominant factor in drawing these maps. And in most of these legislative hearings there I will give you an example with regard to the Supreme Court hearing. It was  about  incumbency protection. You basically had five justice of the Supreme Court, three of them that were able to get reelected. And they said very candidly that was, consideration in the math that was drawn with regards to that district. Similarly, again, not talking about the merits, but anybody could read this at a newspaper. Similarly, there were talk in the congressional, committee hearings about incumbency protection. So again, when it's in terms of the law, those are two legitimate considerations in the drawing of  political maps.  


Pepper: Ashley, you came off mute. You want to add to that?  


Ashley: Yeah, I think I'm 1st, I want to say that I only play a lawyer on TV. I thank God I have Judge Guidry and Alfreda too and Flitcher to help me out. But at the end of the day, I think that if I was actually typing it into the chat, I, race can't be the predominant factor, but I also found it very interesting that if you go back and look at the commentary from the redistricting session there was so much discussion of incumbency. Our own attorney general said, the government, the federal government's holding a gun to their head. And so that's why they, that's why they did the right thing. And if so, if it isn't about, so what is the issue, so there are these, basic questions that come up for me. If it's not an issue, if this isn't about race, right? Then why is it an issue for simple fairness to be in play? If it's not about, not allowing, African American and other communities of color to have a voice and who represents them, then what are we fighting about? And so there's this, so there's this, really harmful narrative that we're in a post racial war. Yeah. America, which we absolutely are not. I think that many of us in the advocacy world fighting the same fights we were fighting 60 years ago. And if not, trying to hold on to, like those, those wins. And I think as we see this country come become more and more majority minority.  It's going to continue to escalate and and I think for me, the biggest thing is that in this moment, section 2 is the law of the land and, and I don't just want my congressional power. I want my state power, so that there's another case that's also being considered and judge Dick's court where, we stand against 6 house seats and 3 Senate seats if they did what was fair right now.

Clearly, I think that the legislature. Figured out a way to draw this congressional map. I don't know if they're going to figure out how to draw 6 additional minority seats in the House and 3 in the Senate. But again, the judge, the judge can draw the map if they can't figure that out. But I do think that at the end of the day we want all of our power at the school board at the city council level whatever, we can find, the opportunity to elect candidates of choice. I want to have that opportunity as a voter and a citizen, in the state and. Just to bring it into focus. Think about the infrastructure bill.  Our congressional delegation, everyone voted against it, except for Troy Carter, who currently is in the only minority district or I shouldn't say that because our map is the map for the moment or will be the map. But for the, our only minority representative in Congress. And so he was the only 1. and so in the 2nd poorest state in the country you vote against infrastructure dollars. But then several of them put money, put items into the infrastructure bill to support their, their constituents and have gone all around the state with big checks saying that, we brought this money home when they voted against it. And again, this is why representation matters, because I don't know of any African American voter that would say, I want less support from the federal government. I want less power. And I don't really care about electing a candidate of choice. And. I always say to folks so that it's also clear, there's so many ways as a black woman that I walk in this country as a 2nd class citizen, whether it's spoken or unspoken. And when you take away my ability to choose a candidate of choice, you codified into law, right? You literally forced me to not even be able to change my circumstance by electing different representation that on the issues that matter to me are going to vote.  Based on the experiences of those communities and again, it's not a predominant factor, but it is just an issue effect, to me, because it just becomes about fairness, right? This is about, we can go back and forth racial gerrymandering and all these other things. But I do think that again, I don't understand why just what is fair cannot be fair. And again, if you go back and watch those tapes, there were moments where they talked about the African American communities if we were not human beings as if. We shouldn't have anything and, and in the same voice saying oh, we don't even have segregation or, or any of this stuff anymore. Jim Crow. So I don't even know why we have to do this anymore. As if that is the only way in which black folks are disenfranchised. And also again we live in a city that is a tale of 2 cities, half black, half white. Half living a life of poverty and another half living the best quality of life, like the worst quality of life on 1 side and the best quality of life on the other. As the census says, as the data says again, it definitely matters if you have representation and it definitely matters that we participate in the process and fight, fight to, to continue to have voice in these processes. And I tell folks just like Dorothy, Dorothy shared at the end of the day, y'all this yes, this is broken, but not voting is the way to fix is not the way to figure we have to vote to fix this. And we've got to vote a lot in a very short period of time to fix what is going to be a small window to make sure that we can elect candidates of choice  and be able to do what's right for our communities. 


Pepper: We've got several questions in the chat that I want to jump into. 1st and foremost, what's the most likely outcome regarding a 2nd minority district? 


Ashley: Our legal team feels very strongly that we'll realize this district currently in Alabama, you know the courts actually had to draw their map and, they, I think they just had elections to close primary elections to elect to see who's going to actually, be the Congress person for that seat. I'm pretty, if they could do this in Alabama, I know we can do it in Louisiana. And again, like I said earlier, you're going to see a lot of. Lawsuits and fights, but again, it is our hope that this will become, again, because the legislature did their job and, and voted on this map that it will be the inactive map for 2024. It's not to say that we don't need to intervene on the lawsuit that's happening in the court in Monroe, but we will definitely be pushing and holding ground around the fact that this is what. Legislature voted on and so again, not a lawyer, but I do feel like there is more power in the fact that the legislature drew this map and they voted for this map overwhelmingly voted to, to move this map. I think, so I think again, I don't know how you pretend. Again, it's still Louisiana. It's still the deep South. I tell folks all the time. It was like, we've had some great wins and been able to change a lot of things and then, it just takes 1 election cycle to swing us back the other way. Louisiana is interesting at times. So I can't say without a doubt that we won't have an issue, but it is my hope. And there seems to be a more clear legal pathway that this map will be the map for 2024. 


Pepper: So the question I'm actually going to merge a couple of these together.  You've talked a lot. The 3 of you have talked a lot about choice and fairness and electing people who represent me and my thoughts and my views. Question? If the ultimate goal is not to have race be an issue. Are there people running who are reflecting my thoughts, my goals, my objectives. 


Judge Guidry: Of course, we have a representative democracy. So the idea is that people ought to be able to elect a person, have a meaningful opportunity to elect the person of their choice who will represent them. Their life experiences, their culture, their economic  interests, all of the things that we send people to the seats of government to do. So that's why race is a legitimate consideration  with regard to voting and voting rights. You do have In a representative democracy, the right to have a meaningful opportunity to elect the person of your choice that will represent you in the halls of Congress, in the legislature, on the courts, et cetera. The nuance to it with regard to the law is that it just cannot be the predominant factor. It can be a, it is a legitimate consideration. The Voting Rights Act does not guarantee you the right to elect a person, a minority to that seat, but it gives you a meaningful opportunity unfettered by unlawful attempts to do things like gerrymandering and other Artifices that have sought to depress minority votes. So again, it is a legitimate consideration.  And what the law does is it requires that you have a meaningful opportunity, not a guarantee, but a meaningful opportunity to elect the person of your choice. 


Pepper: And Dorothy, when you were doing your door knocking, help me understand these folks weren't voting because they. Felt as if they could, they did not have a meaningful opportunity like somebody who represented them. They weren't voting because people before them didn't vote. They weren't voting because they didn't, they lost the right to vote. Didn't know how to get it back. Why weren't they voting and do they even value? Do they see what in voting 

except for I can't hear you. I need you to come off mute. 


Dorothy: Okay,  a mixture of.  Reasons,  so I think the apathy question is very real. And even, just transportation. So I live in this little area where do you go to vote?  So for  me, I could not find where to go to vote in the United States, there's two different places. Let me hope you're not on  the books here. 


Pepper: Dorothy, can you shut off your, your, you're breaking up. Can you shut off your video and that way maybe the audio will come through. 


Dorothy: Sure.  Okay. Try that.  Couldn't find a place to vote in this little town is really tough because, whether you early vote or vote on that window on a Saturday. To find out, where do you go to vote? And that was a part of my testimony  a couple of months back in court. Because  shouldn't we know where we go to vote? Shouldn't we know what day we go to vote? So it's confusing when your election day is this random  Saturday in October. Why? So that's one thing. But then so many people, especially Black men, who have felony convictions, And are unable, they think, to ever get the right to vote back. So to even have workshops where people can restore their voting rights. And go to register to vote. So I think it's a mixture of things. So it's not knowing where to go, when to go. And then to have a candidate that gets you excited. So that's also another part where it's If it's somebody who runs unopposed and  just ignores this area, there's no reason to get involved. So to have that candidate that's of your choosing, that you can really have represent you and knows you, knows your area. So I don't see people coming in this area to campaign unless, one or two people who are very local. So the issues related to How and where we live but, I also see the value here of so many organizations and churches that people belong to that  there is an opportunity to mobilize the community so that we do have social cohesion. And  I'm so I am just seeing this and 54 people on this. I'm excited. So you all are giving me whole, just  person by person, the questions that you're saying, and the comments that you're leaving. Yeah we here for we can do this. Y'all I'm  reinvigorated so much. Thank you.  


Judge Guidry: One of the things I  pick up on what she was saying is that it elected officials play a strong role in invigorating the voting masses to encouraging them. But again, it's groups like Ashley's group. Every time there's an election. across all media platforms. Our coalition is saying this is election day. This is early voting day. This is what's on the ballot. This is how you get a ride to the poll. This is where your precincts are. It also takes organizations like Ashley's to as a community based organizations to help elected officials to help churches and others to make sure that people are educated, that they have the right information, that they have transportation, that they know what the issues are. They know who the candidates are, what their platforms are. And so again, it takes a village. It takes, partnerships, collaboration across, the community to make sure that people are aware of what's on the ballot, when the ballot is there, when they can vote and all of these issues, like whether or not, you can vote. If you've had a felony conviction, all that type of education we all have to work on it together. 


Pepper: So we talked a little bit about infrastructure and that's been really interesting over here on the chat. And since our objective really is to address the drives of poverty, help me understand what. And it may be a stupid question, but I like asking stupid questions.  What does a black majority district mean to fight poverty? How does this help empower folks who are in these districts? And what does, in broad strokes,  shouldn't the infrastructure be coming from local government? 


Judge Guidry: The reality is the biggest part of budgets for state government and local government is federal dollars. Federal dollars are important in a representative democracy. You should have somebody at the table that's representing your area. If you are a poverty stricken area. You need that boat there on at the various levels of government, including Congress to make sure that somebody is at the table. Somebody is speaking with respect to your needs. Somebody who knows who those needs are. Somebody who again, is sent there for that purpose as a delegate to represent you. And it is important to have a seat at the table, more important to have a vote at the table. And again, what  you have is a meaningful opportunity to elect the person of your choice. Who you believe will best represent your interests, economic interests,  issues of education, issues of poverty. So it is important to  in the context of a representative democracy that everybody be represented. 


Ashley: And I think, too, that I hate to keep calling our state a poor state, but we are and we're always racing Mississippi to the bottom. And a lot in all of the quality of life indicators and the things that matter.  And, and so when you think about the, living in a representative democracy, Louisiana, definitely if you look at the state's budget, right? So much of our money is federal, right? And that's being used and then pushed down into our, into our local communities. Thankfully, there's also a way to access those dollars through any number of, federal grant programs as well. The EPA has 2 grants right now that for infrastructure dollars that are really about engaging communities, creating jobs and doing other things. But. Again, we wouldn't even have those opportunities if it was left up to our delegation to have decided whether or not the infrastructure bill passed. Now, they had the votes to pass the bill, regardless of our delegation, but it is just still to say that decision, of course, was around political lines versus about the needs of this state. And I think that when you look at any number of votes on bills that are important to the black community, you will see that vote. Dynamics is exactly the same all the way down the line from police protections for for citizens in this country in particular African American communities of color, all voted against except for the 1 the 1 minority seat, which was Troy Carter, you look at all these different these different votes that this delegation has taken and none of their votes line up with the realities of the constituents that they represent. And again, and they can't no one that is elected to our current congressional body can can say can, they can't validate that vote because at the end of the day, this is a poor state. And no matter whether you have a little bit more, of a, access to resources in your district. The reality is that the majority of our, there's so many folks in our state that are hurting. And 1 more example that I think is a great example that I remind folks about again, it's about, like, why it matters. When we had covid and they had the child tax credit in place, we took almost every child out of poverty. 

The minute they took away the child credit, those same kids went right back into poverty, and we even exacerbated those numbers and added more kids because, those jobs were gone. Those mothers were not working. They were trying to find a way back to, to, to normalcy.

And so I always use that example to say that, so when our government didn't have a choice, they did the right thing and they changed outcomes for our children. As soon as they felt like the coast was clear, they went back to making a decision to allow our children to live and to live without the things that they need. And again, that's what the votes matter. And that's why, again, in a state like Louisiana, as much as folks want to make this about race, there, we're a poor state across race. And then I was also typing in the chat around.  Because I, I think, I want to take something that's really important to me. I do not believe in shaming voters. I don't believe in shaming black voters. I do not think that is the way. And, and I think that, we have so many folks that do that. And I keep telling folks, I said, if you, that makes black folks stay home even more. Okay. So our conversations on the doors, Our engagements in community, it really is about helping them understand how to connect to the system, right? Like, how to connect to their vote and their power. And so much of our work now that we are in the process of realizing the 2nd minority district is going to be about connecting people to their power and having them stand in that power. And so if folks don't understand if folks don't see oh, I could maybe we could elect a delegation in the body. That's going to. For a child tax credit to be put back in place, then that means something to somebody versus them just seeing it as a political process that they're divorced from. And I do agree that the political system has certainly not served black and brown communities in the way that it should. I get the apathy. I'm a voter too. It's Oh, if you just vote for Biden and Oh, if you send money to Warnock and Oh, if like all the things, I'm hearing all the same things, but also too, I have the, like I, I live a life where I have the luxury to, to think about all that stuff. And that means my job, but I think, for the average voter, they're trying to survive and I, we hear it time and time again. And so for us, then one of the other pieces of work that we're going to be doing is, we are.  Providing many grants and re, granting dollars to community groups and churches all across the state. We did about a 1, 000, 000 and a 1, 000, 000 dollars last year. We're going to do much more this year. And then also to whatever any organization wants to do in terms of voter engagement. We are here to support you in that work. And whether it's. Flyers infographics we've broken down all of these different processes so that if you are interested in having us come talk, we have the voter file. If you're using it for nonpartisan reasons, we can share the voter file with you. And if you want to look at your precinct, if you want to look at your. City council district, if you want to look at your house, state house district, your congressional district at every level of government we can pull the voter file for your community. So that you can engage on your own. And then also, we can support you and doing that engagement as well. So just again, I feel encouraged by the fact that we'll be able to hire 20 organizers around the state so that we can do the work of building that stronger connective tissue and making sure that voters actually, that they're engaged in understanding what their power is in this process. And so just wanted to, agree with folks in the chat that, yeah again, democracy is not perfect and it is somewhat certainly broken in places. But, we have to engage in this process, no matter how faulty, if we're going to be able to move it into a place where it actually works for the people of this state. 


Dorothy: So absolutely. And I love that. Where  we're using more carrots than sticks. And  I also I see that around my area here where it's a very punishing, very pointing fingers and the shame approach to just about everything. So instead of meeting people where we are right where we are worried about, when it rains too much,  The rain coming into the house and these blue tarps that are still on our roofs from Ida, from the hurricane before that, the hurricane before that, the storm before that, so the real, very basic needs that go unmet  in people's lives on a regular basis. To do that, and what's been exciting, today at noon, I am meeting with all  the pastors from the black churches in Assumption Parish. So it's wow, they are charged up and excited based upon this redistricting case. So to have that, and to have people who maybe never sat in the same room together, to be in the same room and to be able to figure out, okay, what can we do to move the needle on people's lived lives? So that's what I see happening right now here in Assumption Parish. And people coming from other parishes too, so I'm going to walk next door in a couple of hours and see what folks have to say so that we can look at how we can improve all of our lives. Because the way I see it, there's another approach that we can take to capitalism, really, and make it benevolent. Why do we have to have just one rich white man and everybody else works for him? Can we have another model of economic development? Yes, we can have another model of economic development. So it's not just around one person or one family Or one structure, but it's all of we, so that's what this case to me means and being involved in it certainly gave me credibility around this neighborhood. These values are about to come alive and revive. We're going to repair ourselves because we have solutions. 


Pepper: Fantastic. So thank you, Dorothy. I appreciate you asking my next question, which is what's in it for me. I don't even understand what all this means. Appreciate you. Also, please make sure somebody is making pies to go with this meeting with the pastors because otherwise ain't no point in showing up on a Friday without. Some kind of picnic happening


Alfreda: Auntie B your hand is up. Thank you so much, Pepper. I first of all, let me thank our guests. I got to hear Dr Nairne's testimony at the middle district of Louisiana, and she was simply awesome. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Dr Nairne. Ashley, much love Judge Guidry. Yeah, y'all. My judge don't tell anybody because I have to appear before him from time to time. But here's the thing that I think that we, Dr. Bell and I do every week on our radio show  is we try to make the connection. Between voting and the quality of people's lives, we tell people that nobody is trying to take anything away from you. That has no value. Why do you think that people fight so hard to keep your voice silent? But the thing is that we cannot be complicit in there in someone else's plan. To silence us. Yes, it's difficult to vote. It was intended to be difficult to vote, but we also have opportunities that we don't take advantage of. We have absentee voting. We have early voting. We have. Eight days, seven actually, because we don't have Sundays for people to go to vote in every during early voting. You don't have to know what your precinct is. You don't have to go looking for your precinct. You go to 1 of a number of places that are designated in your parish and you can vote and you choose your weather. Choose your day. There is an opportunity. It just has to be important to people. And the only way to make it important to people. I think is to have them understand the connection between them voting for people of their choice and the quality or lack of quality in their lives. And I'm going to just for a 2nd pep. I want to say, just piggyback on what Dr Nairne said. You know that for three years, Dr. Bell and I were in an anti poverty program at Southern University Law Center. It didn't take us very long to figure out that all of this was about keeping people, how do I want to say it?  I'm trying to be diplomatic, but everybody knows that I'm not diplomatic, so let me just say it the way that I had to put it in my head. It was all about keeping slave wages. If we could keep wages so low that people would go to work sick and without any sort of leave so that they could take care of themselves and their children, that's what was happening. That's what capitalism is. It's about it's about a caste system. And so we need to be aware of what that is and exercise our power. Bishop Knighton here in Baton Rouge says all the time, it, election day. Is the only day in this nation that we are all equal one person, one vote. We can elect anybody we want. We just have to show up. 


Pepper: All right. So we are at 9:25. I have 1 question left only for time constraints. I'll tell you that right now. And thank you all again for being here. I want to piggyback off of something that was put in the chat. With a question about power oh, and also a request, please drop your contact information in the chat speakers especially Dorothy. So that folks earlier on folks to get involved and support you and your work. An additional minority majority voting district has no effect without a voting electorate.  Power is, has been a word that has been used as a thread throughout.  What is the amount of power that one person who's representing this vote or this district will have in an entire Congress? It's an entire legislation, right? So I remember it was a couple of years ago. It was at, look, I don't know if y'all worked on it. I'm going to say it. It was ridiculous. I saw a map that snaked its way from Baton Rouge up to Shreveport. Like y'all was looking for black folk. Are you serious? You can't find like a more black folk than this random line that goes from North from South to North. What kind of power? Will this representative have, or is this just for funsies? 


Ashley: I'll take a stab. I think what it, I think it is power because regardless, in the redistricting process, we had unprecedented participation by black voters and what those black voters understood, which is what we all what. But, certainly Alfreda talks about all the time is that regardless of whether they live in this new district or not, there is 1 more voice going to Congress that understands the issues of black people in this state and will vote accordingly. And so it doesn't, so that participation wasn't just about, I want, I don't want to live in a black district, right? Or I want to live in a new district. It was about the fact that we. There are so many, there's so many ways we're not being represented by our current, with this map look in the way that it currently does. And this gives us one more voice to go to Congress and fight for the things that we care about. And, again, this was not our map of choice. Okay. This is what the legislature could stand. And I was, I've been teasing everybody that when they made that vote, it was silent. In that room, there was not a sound to be made. And I've been teasing that it was like, it was as if Robert E. Lee had died all over again, just because they had to do what was right. And what was fair and just for black voters in this state. And so again, all of those are indicators to me that it absolutely matters. It is absolutely powerful. We should not be afraid. To use the word power we should be fighting to not just be adjacent to power. I'd always tell folks.  That's a I, I said, that's a sickness that we got to fix to that needs some medicine that, we can't just be okay with being adjacent to power. All of these redistricting cases are about just that. Why do you think it's been 100 plus years since we've been able to add additional minority seats to the Supreme Court? This is about who has voice and power in our state. And with a 3rd of the population being African American, there is no way that we shouldn't be able to have represent representation at all levels of government that is equal to our population and have representation and choose candidates choice that care about the issues we care about. And I think that again, that's why you saw folks participate all over. From all over this state to fight for this seat, whether they lived in this new district or not.

Judge Guidry: And I'll say that what people and I taught for 25 years and Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy at Southern University. And 1 of the things I told students is that governance starts at the ballot box. When you elect a person to. The next Congress is going to determine whether or not the Democrats, the Republicans have a majority for example, in the House of Representatives. That's going to determine who's going to be the Speaker of the House. That's going to determine who's going to be the committee chairs. That's going to determine what legislation that's going to come out of those committees. That's going to determine infrastructure. It's going to determine issues of economics. and poverty, it's education. So again, it is at the ballot box where you have your opportunity to assert your power. And then that leads to who's going to govern and it's going to lead to how they govern. And it's going to be that way in the House for the next two years in the Senate for the next six years. And so it's important to show up at the ballot box. You can't wait until the election is over and the leadership's been elected. The committee's been appointed. The committees have been stacked and then that determines what legislation to get out of the committees to start being engaged. You have to be engaged on the front end and that's on election day. 


Alfreda: So since you won't call on me, I'm gonna call on myself. Okay. So we have  435 people in in the United States Congress, right in the House of Representatives. Right now, there's only a six person majority of those who are in the majority. Six persons. So this one that we would elect from Louisiana, it chips in it. It starts to chip away at that majority of people who cannot show concern for the health and safety of all Americans. And yeah, it matters that we get another one. Yeah, it matters. We just have to listen. Y'all better we. It's not about shaming people, but we have to make, we have to help to make that connection between the quality of people's lives, why they don't have the things that they need, and the people who are elected.

Somebody's going to elect them. If you stay home, you're electing the person that you would least like to have in that position. 


Ashley: I love it. And also too, and I remember, I think people don't really think it could be worse and it absolutely can be worse, which is also why we have to vote and engage, even though it's broken and it's not, it doesn't, it isn't doing what it needs to do. We have to keep engaging until we fix it and make it do what it needs to do. 


Dorothy: Absolutely. Hands up to go and fix it. And fix it every day as close to home and then as far away and across the state as possible. So it is, it's all around us in every parish and every little town and every  region. So it's up to us because we can save ourselves. 


Kina Reed: I don't,  Pepper, am I allowed to just say something randomly here? 


Pepper: Now that you've already said something random, carry on. 


Kina: I'm just encouraged by all of the panelists. Thank you all so much. Dorothy, I've already like stopped you a little bit. So I sent you an email already to find out about your, you had me at sugar cane, but I also just want to I believe in context. Context is so important. And, we all know, I think most of us on this call know about brain drain and about how people leave Louisiana because it feels like we are stuck. But I always think that history is so important. And so I always tell people, like here in our state, the state that exists because African slaves revolted in Haiti, the state that, after the Civil War, had the largest population of free Black people, the state that had the first Black governor. We don't, the conditions of how that happened are a little questionable, but it still exists. The state that had the first Black owned newspaper. That is in the root system of Louisiana. And that is what gives me hope. You hear what I'm saying? It's not like we just became radical advocates, right? But that is in the root system here. And once we and so I think that we need to acknowledge that and talk about that. I hope people understand that we've always been progressive, right? And that is the thing that inspires me. We're not doing anything new. We're just adding to something and we're not we're voter suppressed. And I think that's actually is one of the first people I've ever heard use that term. And so we have to help people understand that there is a radical history here. And I think that's also important.  Education for people to feel like, oh, we're not stuck in something because we've always been powerful. I think so. Anyway, that's just something I wanted to add. 


Pepper: Thank you appreciate it. Thanks to all of our callers. We are at 9:33. I do have a couple more questions in the chat, but I want to say my thank yous now and ask before I ask this next question. If you'll if you do have to go, I know. And I understand. Any sort of final words, and then I want to circle back to a question about the definition of majority and minority and how does that work as we are trying to get this new district. So the question 1 more time final thoughts and then I want to ask the question about the definition of majority minority for the district in and of itself. What does that mean? Is it? The majority. Is it based upon the people who are in the district? Is it based upon the number of folks who are in the state? Is it a percentage? Is it 50 plus 1? What is this? Is it time to adjust the definition? And what does the definition mean? Now? 


Ashley: Judge Guidry Are you going to take you want to take that 1 on again? 


Judge Guidry: We talked about majority minority districts. We're talking about where minority voters are in the majority. And they're. various aspects of it. One's population. The most important is voting age population. And so when you look at the percentages of these districts, you have situations where you may be 52%, you may be 54%, you may be 56 percent with regard to population. Let's say you're at 60 percent in terms of population. But if you're only at  52 percent in voting age population you may say that's majority minority district. But when you take into consideration turnout patterns and those types of things, it may not be as winnable a district. So what you strive to do is to come up with a district in terms of voting age population, where the majority minority is in the majority in terms of voting age population in a to an ex to a number that is going to give them again a reasonable opportunity based upon past performance. And so one of the things that you talk about is whether this is a performing district. So you go back and you look at the data from past elections  to see whether  This is the number that is necessary to elect to have a reasonable opportunity to elect the minority citizens to elect a candidate of their choice. And you look at, how would this perform in a presidential election where you may have larger turnout? How would this perform in a primary election November versus if there is a runoff in December, where again, you're going to have fall off. It depends on  the nature of the seat. If it's, for example, a. judge seat. You have basically when you get down ballot to say the judge's election, you're gonna have voter dropout. So you may need a higher percentage to be able to have a performing district in terms of majority minority for a vote for a judge versus somebody at the top of the ballot, the United States congressman. So all of those things are in When you are trying to put together a performing majority minority district, you're looking for a district that will perform even in low turnout elections based on voting age population of the minority citizens in that district. So again when you talk about a majority minority district, to keep it in context you really wanna be talking about a district that will perform based on voting age population. 'cause they can give you a majority minority district where you're 51%, but is that gonna be a performing district, is it's going to really give you a meaningful opportunity. Particularly in a low turnout election, particularly in Louisiana, where our voter turnout is trending downward. You take what happened in the last gubernatorial election to give you an indication that you know that you really need to have a district in order for it to be a safe district. You need to get those numbers in terms of voting age population up as high as you can in order for it to really in reality be a majority minority district. And so again, There is the work that's been done to create these districts, but then there's the work that's going to happen on election day because you can have, whatever numbers you have. And if people don't show up at the election poll, you still not going to elect a person of your choice. 


Ashley: No, I bet. That's absolutely true. And I think that what, and I think that, this this state, this most recent statewide election, is an anomaly, but, I always tell folks, I said, I only have to learn a lesson once. Because, there, there was a collapsing of the machine. The election machine is a multimillion dollar machine. It's mail. It's TV. It's billboards. It's radio. And I know because I spent a million and millions of dollars on it as well. So this idea that the machine, that the machine just just was quiet. It just is very interesting. Right? And then also, we've got to do more work to have more competitive elections because, almost, for Yeah. I don't know, since I've been born, 50 percent of the House and the Senate goes on challenged. And so folks are just walking back into their seats. And then what you have is, those elected officials also have to participate and support voter turnout. And that also didn't happen. And so for us, as we learn lessons it's just about making sure that we are developing leaders who are going to, that can run. Making sure that folks that are considering running for office have access to resources, making sure that people can even make that choice because it is an expensive choice to make. And and so and again, it's, we've been. Prior to the statewide election and 2023, we've actually been able to increase about a black voter turnout in the run number on off scenario multiple times. And so from 2019 to 20. Before, 2019 to 22, we have in, really critical races had black communities turn out in a runoff scenario much more so than in the original primary. Again, it can be done, we know what we have to do as a community. And like I said, I'm power collisions here to support it. And I'll drop my phone in the chat one more time. But this has been so great to be with y'all today. 


Sherreta Harrison: Hi, everybody. Thank you guys for that, that in depth response. But my question was maybe just a little bit more basic than that. And I put it in the chat and I wasn't like being facetious when we say minority citizens, we are still referring to black people, right? Regardless of what. Population data may tell us or may imply when we say minority citizens, we're still referring to black folks. Is that correct? 


Judge Guidry: In terms of the majority minority districts in most of the litigation, the core group are African Americans. Of course, you have. So the way the breakdown comes in these  maps and the documents supporting the maps, white voters, black voters, other voters,  you break down population, you break down voting age population. And those are the breakdowns that are utilized to, to determine whether it's a majority minority district. So the two basic groups that are are being looked at are White citizens, black citizens, you have a category for other. And again, you break down population breakdown, voting age population. 


Pepper: Thank you all appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you ever so much. Even spending extra time. Casey, you are off video. Did you but I think you're around somewhere. Did you want to give us your input? Any final words before we move into community announcements? 


Casey Phillips: No, straight to community announcements, other than thank you to all the panelists. And I know a few of you and I don't know Judge Guidry. Thank you very much for being here. And actually Shelton, you continue to speak my favorite word in the English language power and and keep building it and proud of everything that y'all do. So thank y'all so much. 


Pepper: Thanks again to our panelists this morning. I really proud to be acquainted with you and thank you ever so much judge for your in depth breakdown of all of the really fancy 3 syllable words. Appreciate it.  And with that, what is going on this weekend in Baton Rouge, y'all? Although I do have a note from Reverend Anderson. Super Tax Saturday will be tomorrow from 8 to 3 p. m. at the Goodwood Library. As we learned last week, almost everybody can qualify for free tax day. So go catch tax day. 


Helena Williams: Yeah I'll be at the Goodwood library too. I have for Futures Fund, we are teaching a course on if you have a business and you're looking to build a website, everything that you need to have prepared for building that website. So that's going to be 10 a. m. to 12 p. m. Same location as tax day. And so hope, see anybody there. 


Pepper: All right,  we'll be that said Dorothy will report back and let us know what happened at the meeting with the pastors at some point for those of you who will be working or volunteering with power coalition vote as well as trying to figure out how it is that we can get judge Guidry on the Supreme Court. Please make your connections folks. Otherwise, thank you for being here, especially in overtime. I will see y'all back here. Same bat time. Same bat channel.  Have a great weekend. Bye. Good people. Happy Friday. 


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Chat

08:30:56 From James Carter to Everyone:

Good Morning!

08:31:00 From Chelsea Johnson to Everyone:

Good morning everyone!

08:31:35 From Esperanza Zenon to Everyone:

Good Friday Morning!

08:31:52 From Marcela Hernandez, LMSW to Everyone:

Buenos dias!

08:32:16 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

Replying to "Buenos dias!"

Bon Dia

08:32:20 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

Buenos dias, Marcela!

08:33:08 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Good morning and Happy Black History Month!

08:33:29 From MM Team to Everyone:

Reacted to "Good morning and Hap..." with 💜

08:33:30 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Its Ashley Shelton! Louisiana's very own Stacey Abrams!!!!

08:33:31 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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08:33:59 From MM Team to Everyone:

It's a good day when I can start my day listening to THEE Ashley K. Shelton :)

08:34:01 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

Happy Black History Month, Quina (and ALL).

08:34:17 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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08:34:24 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

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08:34:35 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

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same!

08:35:00 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

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Good morning and happy BHM to you Auntie Bee!!!

08:35:53 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

Happy Friday! Happy Black History Month and day 32/365 of Black Excellence!!

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08:36:21 From Ebony Richardson to Everyone:

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08:38:14 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

Sooo, the previous map suppressing Black voting strength WAS a racial gerrymander!!!

08:38:26 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

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08:41:02 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

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08:41:04 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Thanks @Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition for that quick download!

08:41:20 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

Thanks, Ashley!!! You are simply AWESOME!!!

08:41:25 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

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08:41:32 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

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08:41:48 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

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08:44:32 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

"Preclearance" meaning it had to be approved by the US Attorney General or the U.S. Ct of Appeal for the District of Columbia before being enacted.

08:44:50 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Reacted to ""Preclearance" meani..." with 👍🏾

08:45:09 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Replying to ""Preclearance" meani..."

In house legal genius!!!

08:46:33 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Hi Dorothy! Not quit United States!

08:47:23 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

Reacted to ""Preclearance" mea..." with 👍🏾

08:47:26 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Not shocked and shooked!

08:48:54 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

👏👏

08:48:58 From Zoom user to Everyone:

Yes, Dorothy you are preaching to the CHOIR

Awesome!!

08:49:18 From Zoom user to Everyone:

Yes ma’am it’s Hard!! 30 years!!

08:49:33 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

Welcome home, Dr. Nairne!!! We need you!

08:49:47 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

Reacted to "Welcome home, Dr. Na..." with ❤️

08:50:36 From Zoom user to Everyone:

Come to Scotlandville!!! We are working it!!

08:50:59 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Reacted to "Come to Scotlandvill..." with 🖤

08:51:12 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Sister @Dorothy Nairne on fire!!!

08:51:46 From Zoom user to Everyone:

Baby, Shock and shook!!!!

08:51:49 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

How do we support Dorothy's and Ashley's projects?

08:52:47 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

You cannot separate Native and Black history from US History!

08:52:48 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

Check out Power Coalition at www.powercoalition.org to get involved!

08:52:58 From Casey Phillips to Everyone:

Reacted to "Check out Power Coal…" with ❤️

08:52:58 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

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08:53:07 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

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08:53:47 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

GASLIGHTING is REAL! The face is that 7 of our congress people DO NOT represent the AA community, and worse--- they take NO THOUGHT of us.

08:54:11 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

*** "FACT"

08:55:52 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

What are the most likely outcomes regarding the 2nd minority district? What percentage chance that it stays as is for 2024 election, which is almost on us?

08:55:56 From Dorothy Nairne to Everyone:

Reacted to Yes ma’am it’s Hard!... with "😫"

08:56:29 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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08:56:55 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

GASLIGHTING is REAL. If it's about excluding and diluting the power of the AA vote, it's about RACE!!!

08:57:26 From One Rouge to Everyone:

That’s crazy talk! We are in a post-racial society. Obama was President. Kamala is VP. 🙄😒

08:58:31 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

Is the ultimate goal to have race not be an issue? That seemed to be the goal when I was growing up, and we are in means there, and I’m not even saying we’re close, but is it even possible to erase race as an issue that both has the power to tear us down but also empower groups?

08:58:36 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

What's different now is that we have the ability to access redistricting software to draw our own maps!

08:59:09 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

AA people are largely impacted by exploitative legislation that they worry will be harder to pass once we have an additional district. It's race but it's also that AA (especially Black women) tend to vote along lines that benefit everyone bc of our historic experience with colonial powers.

08:59:34 From Sherreta to Everyone:

Can you say more about the impact of the vote against infrastructure dollars? What "tangible" things are not possible if we turn down these funds?

08:59:44 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

Reacted to "What's different now…" with ❤️

08:59:49 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

That's the whole premise of anti-Blackness!

09:00:07 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Replying to "AA people are largel..."

BIG facts!

09:00:17 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

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09:00:27 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

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09:00:28 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

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09:00:29 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

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09:00:34 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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09:00:51 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

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09:00:52 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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09:01:18 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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09:01:28 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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09:01:29 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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09:01:33 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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09:01:38 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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09:01:39 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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09:01:58 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Replying to "AA people are largel…"

And if that's hard to believe. Look at 2020. Look at every electionc cycle where the Dem party and their shills are coercing Black women to vote to save us all. Again.

09:02:29 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Reacted to "Can you say more abo…" with 👍🏾

09:02:32 From Sherreta to Everyone:

"Not voting" is NOT the way to fix a broken voting system.- AKS paraphrased

09:02:51 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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09:03:07 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

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09:03:48 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

The frustrating thing for those of us involved in this work FIGHT to assure that EVERYONE has the RIGHT to vote, and a large part of the population believes they have nothing for which to vote! Apathy is REAL!

09:04:41 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Reacted to ""Not voting" is NOT ..." with 👍🏾

09:05:25 From Esperanza Zenon to Everyone:

All that &

09:05:26 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

Replying to "Can you say more abo..."

The larger Congressional body had the votes to pass the infrastructure bill. So they voted against it based on politics but are in communities throughout LA taking pictures with big checks…when they didn’t even vote for their constituents to benefit from it.

09:05:32 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

Great question

09:06:13 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

Replying to "Can you say more abo..."

Thankfully it passed and we can work at the federal level through a variety programs.

09:06:21 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

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09:06:35 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

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09:06:45 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

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09:07:07 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

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09:07:22 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

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09:07:47 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

Replying to "The frustrating thin..."

Racism and apathy driven by crushing poverty are real issues. We live in a poor state and we are seeing that play out in our elections.

09:07:50 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Replying to "Is the ultimate goal..."

Not until the partie...

09:07:57 From Sherreta to Everyone:

The number of formerly incarcerated people I know who still think they can never vote again is so high

09:08:21 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

Reacted to "The number of form..." with ❤️

09:08:44 From Pat LeDuff/ CADAV-SCDC to Everyone:

Yes we can!!

09:09:23 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

I am encouraged that our senator Bill Cassidy acted like he had some sense this week up in D.C!

09:09:27 From Sherreta to Everyone:

Reacted to "Thankfully it passed..." with 👍

09:09:32 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

Replying to "The number of former..."

Please connect folks to Voice of the Experienced (VOTE) who works with formerly incarcerated people to access their vote and other supports.

09:09:34 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Reacted to "The number of former..." with 😢

09:09:48 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Replying to "Is the ultimate goal..."

@Tekoah Boatner, she/her YESSIR!!

09:09:53 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

I want to offer a reframe to the perceived apathy. You can't really be apathetic about a system you've never been invited to participate in. This isn't apathy. We have failed to make this freedom real.

09:10:00 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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09:10:02 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

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09:10:13 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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09:10:16 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

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09:10:17 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

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09:10:28 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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09:10:38 From Sherreta to Everyone:

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09:11:08 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

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09:11:25 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Replying to "I want to offer a re..."

Agreed! I mean so many times when folks talk about voting apathy (especially Black folx) feels like victim blaming. These conversations are hard to sit thru. To me it feels like asking folks who are being abused why they don't respect and honor their abusers.

09:12:11 From James Carter to Everyone:

Reacted to "Check out Power Coal..." with 👍

09:12:35 From Sherreta to Everyone:

@Tekoah Boatner, she/her I was just discussing this with the MetroMorphosis team. Often we label communities as apathetic when it's really a matter of access and how people choose to express interest.

09:12:54 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

The fact is that if we have representative government, our representatives work with others who are elected around the country who are like-minded and will work to assure that they protect the health and safety of ALL.

09:13:17 From Donald Andrews to Everyone:

Poverty directly correlated with lack of education. Need funding for higher quality education.

09:13:34 From James Carter to Everyone:

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09:13:47 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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09:14:20 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

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09:14:22 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

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09:14:32 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

That part. And that's where the apathy sets in. We work HARD to ensure we’re represented and then they don't represent us

09:14:35 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

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09:14:40 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

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09:14:41 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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09:14:48 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

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09:14:55 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

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09:14:55 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

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09:14:57 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

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09:15:09 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Reacted to "That part. And that'..." with 👍🏾

09:15:23 From Sherreta to Everyone:

THAT PART!!!!!!

09:15:35 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

EXACTLY!!!

09:15:58 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Reacted to Agreed! I mean so ma... with "❤️"

09:16:08 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Shaming is a tool of Whiteness and Supremacy Culture! Its fleeting and doesn't sustain positive growth!

09:16:13 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Reacted to @Tekoah Boatner, she... with "❤️"

09:16:25 From Sherreta to Everyone:

The number of people who think shame and threats will get voters out astounds me!

09:16:39 From Pat LeDuff/ CADAV-SCDC to Everyone:

Amen… And to make it a shame to NOW be fighting for Summer Feeding support for children !

09:16:40 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Replying to "Is the ultimate goal…"

Well SOMEBODY has gotta be exploited to keep this money machine running...Capitalism needs bodies. We were the first bodies. The racism is built in.

09:16:47 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Reacted to That part. And that'... with "❤️"

09:16:47 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

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09:16:51 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

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09:16:58 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

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09:17:03 From Flitcher R. Bell to Everyone:

YES!!!!!!! Teaching them why their vote is important is KEY!...…….. More than just Voter Registration , but need Voter Mobilization!

09:17:08 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Reacted to Well SOMEBODY has go... with "🎯"

09:17:15 From James Carter to Everyone:

An additional "minority" majority voting district has no effect without a voting electorate. We must be actionable in our direct support to changing hearts and minds and educating communities of color about the political force of the ballot box.

09:17:18 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Reacted to "Shaming is a tool of…" with ❤️

09:17:19 From Sherreta to Everyone:

Replying to "Is the ultimate goal..."

@Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) I was waiting on you to drop the C word lol

09:17:28 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Reacted to "@Morgan Udoh (She/He..." with 😝

09:17:42 From James Carter to Everyone:

This conversation is a great start in that process

09:17:49 From Sherreta to Everyone:

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09:17:50 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Reacted to "@Morgan Udoh (She/He…" with 😝

09:17:55 From Sherreta to Everyone:

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09:18:30 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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09:18:31 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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09:19:07 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

Reacted to "Amen… And to make it..." with ❗

09:20:46 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Politics is personal...this mobilization looks like small groups of people engaged in honest conversations creating a plan of action that includes teaching and application (education, registration, location, transportation) small enough to be infused in normal activity

09:21:03 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Reacted to @Morgan Udoh (She/He... with "😂"

09:21:11 From Sherreta to Everyone:

"this bayou is about to come ALIIIIIIVE!"- DN

09:21:43 From Dorothy Nairne to Everyone:

Reacted to "this bayou is about... with "❤️"

09:21:47 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Reacted to "YES!!!!!!! Teaching ..." with 👍🏾

09:21:48 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

Replying to "Is the ultimate goal…"

@Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) I think you’re right unfortunately. As a system, capitalism will result in winners and losers, so it’s not good enough to just pronounce that now everyone’s equal. This aspect is tricky and painful, but I’m also thinking more through an identify politics lens.

09:21:56 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

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09:22:07 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

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09:22:13 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

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09:22:15 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

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09:22:23 From Ava S to Everyone:

Old fashion Church meetings!

09:22:37 From Sherreta to Everyone:

"We cannot be complicit in someone else's plan to silence us."- ATB

09:22:39 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

We are here to provide support to citizens, organizations and churches…please reach out to Power at info@powercoalition.org

09:22:42 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

@Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition do yall have a Responding to Voting Apathy Toolkit?

09:22:53 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

Reacted to "YES!!!!!!! Teachin..." with 👍🏾

09:22:58 From Global Geospatial to Everyone:

Amen

09:23:28 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Replying to "Is the ultimate goal..."

I also think this is...

09:23:41 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

Replying to "@Ashley K. Shelton, ..."

We have several tools that we can share…we have to educate and engage! Email me at ashelton@powercoalition.org

09:23:46 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Diplomatic for who?!

09:23:48 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

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09:23:53 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

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09:24:24 From Dorothy Nairne to Everyone:

dorothy@deltabuilds.com

09:24:31 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Capitalism was built on Black degradation! Literally the first global industry was Chattel Enslavement!

09:24:41 From Sherreta to Everyone:

"We ain't got time for you to be finding words. Gon' 'head and say it!"--- PR aka OR

09:24:43 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

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09:24:44 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

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09:24:52 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

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09:25:07 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, asheltoon@powercoalition.org

09:25:11 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

Reacted to "Diplomatic for who?!" with 😂

09:25:22 From Ava S to Everyone:

Formerly incarcerated people can come home and go to work, drive a car, pay rent, but can't VOTE.

09:25:31 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

Replying to "Is the ultimate goal…"

@Tekoah Boatner, she/her I’d love to talk to you more about this cspalatin@gmail.com

09:25:47 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Reacted to "I also think this is..." with 👍🏾

09:25:51 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Replying to "Is the ultimate goal..."

Absolutely!

09:26:16 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

Replying to "Is the ultimate goal…"

@Tekoah Boatner, she/her it’s been a while! I’ll shoot you an email

09:26:30 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Reacted to @Tekoah Boatner, she... with "❤️"

09:26:33 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

Replying to "Formerly incarcera..."

let's not foget and PAY Taxes!

09:26:46 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

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09:26:49 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

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09:27:03 From Ava S to Everyone:

Reacted to "let's not foget and ..." with 💣

09:27:10 From Judge John Michael Guidry to Everyone:

Chief Judge John Michael Guidry judgeguidry@gmail.com 225-382-3080. P..O. Box 386 Baton Rouge, La 70821

09:30:22 From Jen Lydic-Tewell (she/her) to Everyone:

Thanks y'all!

09:30:56 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

I appreciate all the panelists yall!

09:31:02 From Sherreta to Everyone:

I'm not always up on my census data so: Is it time to adjust the definition of majority/minority yet?

09:31:39 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Replying to "Is the ultimate goal…"

Even Capitalism under FDR and preReagan when the white majority had more socialist protections still had BIPOC as the capital producing losers. We were locked out of the market in a way that lowered the cost of our labor to the benefit of those who received the legislative protections. Even if we secured that eras socialism for ourselves it will require us to exploit our neighbors in the global south (we already are for the metals in the devices we’re debating on now) to maintain that prosperity. Pure Capitalism requires exploitation to create the coffers we enjoy. We can only lessen the harm. Climate change is going to shine everyones true colors. When we gave less water, habitable land, and food to share we’ll see if whios really about collective liberation.

09:32:02 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Reacted to "Capitalism was built…" with 👆

09:32:09 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

Replying to "I'm not always up on..."

The Census has admitted they have been under counting Black and Brown communities for years.

09:32:28 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Reacted to Even Capitalism unde... with "❤️"

09:32:38 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

👏👏

09:32:45 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

Replying to "I'm not always up on..."

The data says no but with that admission…we certainly are closer to a minority majority than is admitted.

09:33:06 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Yes!!! Voter suppressed. LA is not as red as it looks

09:33:20 From Sherreta to Everyone:

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09:33:24 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Reacted to The data says no but... with "❤️"

09:33:36 From Pat LeDuff/ CADAV-SCDC to Everyone:

Yes!! Inventors, property and business owners and on and on

09:34:41 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

Gwen Collins Greenup said to me six year ago... "We are NOT a 'Red State'. We are a NON-VOTING state."

09:34:51 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

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09:34:52 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

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09:35:17 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Replying to "Gwen Collins Greenup..."

Ever change I've had I have voted for this sister!!!

09:35:28 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

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09:35:42 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

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09:37:24 From Sherreta to Everyone:

"Minority citizens" still means black folks????

09:38:00 From Alfreda Tillman Bester to Everyone:

WORD!!!

09:38:42 From Tia Fields to Everyone:

Reacted to ""Minority citizens..." with ❗

09:39:56 From Donald Andrews to Everyone:

Economic and financial literacy in understanding capitalism are critical concerns. Minority business develop is a major foundation for economic advancement in Louisiana.

09:40:27 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

Ashley Shelton, ashelton@powercoalition.com

09:40:47 From Joquina| On Houma & Chahta Yakni Land to Everyone:

Yall are amazing!!! Great way to start my morning!

09:40:59 From Marcela Hernandez, LMSW to Everyone:

Immigrants are also minorities.

09:41:06 From Sherreta to Everyone:

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09:41:31 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

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09:41:44 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

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09:42:01 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

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09:42:02 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

Reacted to "Economic and financi…" with 👍

09:42:07 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

Reacted to "Yall are amazing!!! …" with ❤️

09:42:10 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Reacted to "Yes!!! Voter suppres…" with 👆

09:42:13 From Tekoah Boatner, she/her to Everyone:

Reacted to Gwen Collins Greenup... with "❤️"

09:42:14 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

Reacted to "Immigrants are also ..." with ‼️

09:42:21 From Christopher’s iPhone to Everyone:

Loved this call. Let’s get to work!

09:42:22 From Sherreta to Everyone:

@Marcela Hernandez, LMSW that's part of the reason I am seeking clarity. Words matter.

09:43:17 From Ashley K. Shelton, Power Coalition to Everyone:

Sorry guys it is ashelton@powercoalition.org

09:43:25 From VITA 2024 to Everyone:

We’ll be there!!!

09:43:31 From Sherreta to Everyone:

Reacted to "We’ll be there!!!" with 💜

09:43:35 From Ebony Richardson to Everyone:

Reacted to "We’ll be there!!!" with 💜

09:43:38 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

https://www.thewallsproject.org/events-1/break-n2-tech-upgrading-your-business-website

09:43:45 From Luke St. John McKnight to Everyone:

Reacted to "https://www.thewalls..." with 👏🏽

09:43:50 From VITA 2024 to Everyone:

Reacted to "We’ll be there!!!" with 💜

09:43:52 From VITA 2024 to Everyone:

Removed a 💜 reaction from "We’ll be there!!!"


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