Speculation that Monroe is to merge with Shreveport
by Charles Strauss
There are big changes headed for Louisiana’s apportionment of United States Congressional districts.
The projected outlook is negative for Republicans as State Senator Robert Kostelka and the Louisiana Republican Party might lose Republican incumbent Rodney Alexander’s district.
John Sutherlin, a political science professor at ULM, is worried about the challenge the residistrict will cause for Monroe.
“The anticipation for north Louisiana is that there will be population and political pressure to create a single district that includes Monroe and Shreveport,” Sutherlin said.
“This will be a real challenge for the region as this has never worked in favor of Monroe in prior attempts,” he said.
He explains that this lack of benefits for Monroe through the following circumstances: “Shreveport, in such a scenario, would get more federal dollars, but Monroe and the surrounding delta area needs more help.”
Further, he claims that there are few political exercises that are more ‘political’ than gerrymandering people.
Gerrymandering is a practice of political corruption that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party by manipulating geographic boundaries to create partisan and neutral districts.
This situation is proving this to be accurate.
Kostelka has been working with officials from the Federal and State government on the reapportionment process.
An aide from Kostelka’s office, Katie Murphy, explains what reapportionment is.
“Congress is limited to 435 members and the US Supreme Court in 1967 forced equal members in each Congressional District under the so called ‘one man, or one woman, one vote rule,’” Murphy said.
This in turn means that after each ten year census the law requires that Congress be reapportioned so that each district has the same number of residents.
“So even though Louisiana’s population has grown some since the last census in 2000, it has not grown proportionately to keep seven Congressmen. Where we originally had eight Congressmen, then seven as today, we will now only have six,” Murphy said.
Kostelka has just returned from Washington D.C. where he met with Justice Department officials.
Southern states must have reapportionment programs approved by the Justice Department to protect against unethical gerrymandering
Kostelka’s office released a statement saying that “The legislature has already voted to call themselves into a Special Session beginning Mar. 20- Apr. 13.”
It continues to say that before that the law requires that the House and Senate Governmental Affairs Committees to have Roadshows which is to go around the state to schedule meetings to inform any interested persons of the census figures and take any input concerning reapportionment and redistricting.”
contact Charles Strauss at