2021 Louisiana Redistricting Summit

 

In January 2018, Fair Districts Louisiana and the LSU Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs kick-started a bi-partisan conversation about redistricting in Louisiana by hosting the first-of-its-kind Louisiana Redistricting Summit. Distinguished panels of legislators, academics, and activists participated in invigorating discussions on the past, present, and future of Louisiana remaking its political boundaries. Now that the 2020 census is complete and redistricting is becoming a focus of public discourse, it is time to reactivate the lines of inquiry begun during the 2018 Summit.

The March 31 spring session explored the many issues at play in the current redistricting round, including transparency, process, Louisiana history, and legal considerations. Then, a second panel looked at what Louisiana's new congressional districts might look like.

Introduction

Jenee Slocum

Jenée Slocum, Ph.D.
Director, LSU Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs

As the director of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication, Jenée applies her extensive experience and enthusiasm for politics, public policy and communications to building and shaping the strategic direction of the Center and leading outreach and engagement for the Manship School. She has more than quadrupled Reilly Center activities, including public engagement in media and policy forums, as well as powerful research into race and gender in communications and politics.

Jenée is a 1999 graduate of LSU’s Manship School, where she earned a degree in public relations. While at LSU, she served as student body president. Jenée also holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in higher education and organizational change from The University of California, Los Angeles.

 

Panel: Issues at Play in the 2020 Redistricting Cycle

Barry Erwin

Barry Erwin
President & CEO, Council for a Better Louisiana

Erwin was named President of the Council for a Better Louisiana in 2001. From 1995 - 2001, he served first as a consultant to CABL and later as Sr. Vice President. He has more than 30 years of experience in the public affairs, policy and political arenas. 

Prior to joining CABL, Erwin spent 15 years as a broadcast journalist working for media outlets in Shreveport and Baton Rouge. He specialized in covering state government and politics and served as Capitol Correspondent for WBRZ-TV in Baton Rouge. Upon leaving journalism, Erwin worked for five years as a public affairs consultant and was involved in issues such as education, health care and the judiciary. 

Erwin is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University with a degree in journalism. 

 

Norby Chabert

Norby Chabert
Former Senator, District 20

Chabert served in the Louisiana State Senate representing District 20 from September 2009 - January 2020. From 2019-2020 he served as the chairman of the Natural Resources committee as well as being on the Health & Welfare, Senate Retirement, and Judiciary committees. In prior terms, he served as vice chair of the Finance committee. 

Chabert graduated from Nicholls State University.

 

Ashley Shelton

Ashley Shelton
Executive Director, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice

Shelton serves as the executive director of the Power Coalition. The Power Coalition uses a broad-based strategy that combines community organizing, issue advocacy, and civic action all while increasing the capacity of community organizations throughout the state to sustain and hold the work. The Coalition's integrated voter engagement approach has changed policy at the municipal and state level as well as move infrequent voters of color to vote at the same levels as chronic voters in the communities. 

Shelton was the former Vice President of Programs at the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, now the Foundation for Louisiana. In her role at the Foundation, Shelton managed a system of integrated, value-added programs in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Furthermore, she designed, initiated and coordinated a comprehensive policy strategy, which led to a systemic, multi-pronged approach to equitable policy development on a local, state and national level. 

Tutorial: Dave's Redistricting App

Stephen Kearny Headshot

Stephen Kearny
Co-Founder, Fair Districts Louisiana

Stephen Kearny is a co-founder of Fair Districts of Louisiana, the state’s only grassroots alliance of citizens advocating reform. A proud Baton Rouge native, he now lives in New Orleans, where he works in power grid analysis. 

 

Panel: Louisiana's New Congressional Districts

Jay Dardenne

Jay Dardenne, J.D.
Commissioner of Administration, Louisiana Division of Administration

Dardenne was appointed commissioner of the Division of Administration in January 2016 by Gov. John Bel Edwards. In this capacity, he serves as the state's chief administrative officer. Dardenne was twice elected as Louisiana's lieutenant governor. Previously, he served four years as secretary of state, 15 years as a state senator as well as three years as a Baton Rouge Metro Councilman. He chaired the Senate Finance Committee and, in 2003, was named National Republican Legislator of the Year.

Dardenne is an attorney and graduate of Louisiana State University and the LSU Law Center. He is a member of the Baton Rouge High School Hall of Fame, the Manship School Hall of Fame, the LSU Hall of Distinction and the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame.

 

Royce Duplessis

Royce Duplessis, J.D.
District 93, New Orleans

Elected in 2018, Duplessis represents District 93 in the Louisiana House of Representatives. He serves as vice chair of the House and Governmental Affairs committee as well as a member of the Commerce, House Executive, and the House Select Leadership committees.

Duplessis graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana with a degree in communications. He received his Juris Doctor at Howard University School of Law.

 

Barry Ivey

Barry Ivey
District 65, Central

Elected in 2013, Ivey represents District 65 in the Louisiana House of Representatives. He serves on the House and Governmental Affairs, Retirement, Ways and Means, House Executive, Joint Legislative Committee on Capital Outlay, Legislative Audit Advisory Council, and House Select Leadership committees. 

Ivey graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in finance. He currently serves as the president of Pinnacle Precision Services, which supplies piping/mechanical services mostly to the nuclear power industry.

Closing

Melissa Flournoy

Melissa Flournoy
Social Entrepreneur, Louisiana Progress

From 1997 - 2008, Flournoy served as president and CEO for the Louisiana Association of Non-Profit Organizations. From 2008 - 2010, she served as the director of the Rand Gulf States Policy Institute. From 2013 - 2015, she served as Louisiana state director for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. She has been with Louisiana Progress since 2010. 

Flournoy graduated from Hollins University with a degree in history. She received a master's degree in public administration from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Louisiana State University.