Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Black Majority Congressional District in North Louisiana? ( Major Update)

UPDATED- See below

Tip of the Hat to The Dead Pelican

Well that appears what Senator Gallot is thinking about. See Gallot flexes his muscles

I assume that district would include his little section of the world in Lincoln Parish :) .

I am trying to envision what a District like that would look like. Lets us recall the last time we tried to do this (add another majority minority district- the Cleo Fields District) the U.S. Supreme Court rightly found it absurd and unconstitutional.

Unless I have missed something I don't think there has been overall shift in black/white demographics in a geographical sense to make one that is feasible or legal.

Update- Ok go to this site and go the map and comment here. I produce the comment and maps in full below.

Now the map is based on 2009 figures and of course we don't have the real census numbers yet. However the guy is right that there has been black resident growth in Baton Rouge. However is it enough?

He says (based on 2009 available figures and what appears to be a political bent here to protect Charlie Charlie Melancon's to a certain degree . Recall this is a 2009 post:

I was gonna post this in another diary, but...
I'll just post it here. I made my own map of LA based on the idea that they might want to recreate the "Cleo Fields" district given the huge explosion of black growth in the Baton Rouge Area. Here was the old Cleo Fields district.

Notice how it emanates from Baton Rouge, up the Mississippi, over to Shreveport in the northern direction, and does a weird swoop over to Lafayette in the southern direction. The large growth in the black community meant that your district didn't need to do the Southern swoop; in fact, yours didn't even take in all of Baton Rouge. I figured that if I took in all of Baton Rouge and clipped the district before it went to Shreveport and other crazy places then I could create something that would stand up in court. Here's what I came up with.

District 2 close-up/New Orleans Metro

Baton Rouge Close-up

Lafayette Close-up

Monroe Close-up

Alexandria Close-up

District 1 Full

District 1 (blue) is the new Cleo Fields District, stretching from Baton Rouge through Lafayette to the Southwest and up the Mississippi, West to some mid-size towns. It's actually very compact and geographically reasonable and get this - it's 57.7% black!!! Seriously, it looks just that good and it's just that black. I think it looks damn good as it is, but even if someone wanted to smooth out the edges a little, it could take it since it has about 7.7% to spare.

District 2 (green) is Anh Cao's New Orleans district. It takes in some white areas in New Orleans for population purposes as well as some rural black areas to the West to keep it VRA-protected. If someone wanted to smooth out the edges a little, it could take it since it's still 53.7% black.

District 3 (purple) is Charlie Melancon's district. It gives up some black areas to keep CD-2 majority black, while taking in white parts of Baton Rouge for proximity purposes, as well as some parts of the old CD-7. Melancon should be fine, unless I put Boustany's home in this district; if I did, he'll have one hell of a fight on his hands. (15.5% black)

District 4 (red) is John Fleming's district. It's pretty much the same thing, plus part of the old CD-7. He's pretty damn safe here, unless the black percentage raises over time. (30.5% black)

District 5 (yellow) Rodney Alexander's district. He should be safe; I may have put Boustany's home in this district, but it's mostly Alexander territory so he should win a primary easily. (21.4% black)

District 6 (teal) Steve Scalise's district, pretty much the same, except it now takes in parts of Baton Rouge for population purposes. Still the most Republican district in the state. (11.2% black)

So there you have it, I'm not sure where Cassidy ended up, but who cares, he has no seniority. He's either in CD-3 or CD-6 most likely. He'd lose in the primary in CD-6, and in CD-3 he'd either face Boustany in the primary and lose there or go on to face Melancon in the general, which would be a real race.

Ok well that is all nice and all.

Well needless to say the political environment has changed to where Congress Cassidy ends up has moved beyond the who cares category. Further one really has to question if putting the "white parts" of Baton Rouge in a Cajun Coastal District makes sense.

That being the case this new proposed black majority district would not look quite as insane as the old Cleo Fields District. However has the black population in Baton Rouge really increased that much so not to have to dash along the Arkansas border to pick up black neighborhoods in Shreveport? Well may be it has. It is somewhat problematic still but again better than the old Cleo District.

However. I am pretty confident that when push comes to shove Cassidy will exert more power than little ole State Senator Gallot no matter if heads the committee or not.

Also while I think it is interesting that all of a sudden Lake Charles and a coastal Parish will now be in the same District as Shreveport does that really make sense?

It seems in order to get a black congressional district even under this plan we are creating other Districts that are well unmanageable.

Update II-
Let me add that I think the districts (where Fleming is RED and where Alexander is YELLOW) as proposed in the map above may not be that absurd. Alexander's District is at least linked by a common farming interest. Fleming's new District is a tad tougher because not only will he have Coastal matters he will have to deal with new shipping and petro chemical concerns. That is a lot of add to his plate. Fleming already has his hands full representing the two main military bases in Louisiana and their interest.

The main problem with the other districts (not including the new proposed black majority district) is that the Bayou District is just too big too diverse to be manageable) Also the chomping up of Baton Rouge seems like folly.


Jim said...

That was like a bad dream! It just can't feasibly be done, they had to gerrymander to get parts of Baton Rouge and Shreveport in that redesigned 4th. I'm sure it would suit Gallot's ambitions, but it wouldn't serve the people at all.

James H said...

See my update how maybe it could be done but will not

Anonymous said...

What is Rick Gallot thinking and drinking? I like Rick but this is
pure political opportunism and really shows a side of him that I think is very sleazy.

James H said...

I like Rick a too. Heck he is my Senator.

I just don't see how any there can be any map (even that last one) that is not going to face a significant court challenge if it is another majority minority district. The district has to look insane. It gets worse if Gallot (which we don't know if he plans to do this) tries to put himself in the District