Data News Staff Edited Report
Recently, Congressman Troy A. Carter, Sr. (D-La.) held a press conference with the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus (LLBC) expressing their united commitment to work with the Louisiana Legislature and Governor Landry to develop a constitutional map that contains two majority-minority Congressional Districts. Congressman Carter’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below:
“Hello and thank you. I am so glad we are here together. I know there is a lot going on right now and some members may be in meetings or in transit given that the session is about to start. It’s always a pleasure to come home to the building where I began my elected service. We are gathered here on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – because of the past. We are also here, however, because of the present and the future.
“We are here because the Supreme Court has stated: Louisiana has an unconstitutional congressional map. We have been given an opportunity to correct this and look to the future.
“It is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and, though I know it was chosen because it was the earliest possible time to call for this session, it would be irresponsible of me not to acknowledge Dr. King’s Legacy. So, to begin, I will simply say as he did ‘the time is always ripe to do right.’
“Today, Louisiana has an opportunity for a fresh start. The opportunity to craft fair Congressional Districts that allow all of its people to meaningfully participate in the elections of those who represent them. For nearly two years, I have consistently called for the creation of a second majority-minority district. Math is math and 1/3 of the population deserves the opportunity to fairly elect a candidate of their choice. The courts have spoken, and they have given us the opportunity to draw constitutional districts ourselves. The time is clearly ripe to do what is right.
“I served in this body, and my experience is that everyone here loves Louisiana and wants to do the right thing. This is an opportunity for the legislature to prove that when right is staring us in the face, that they will do the right thing. In my heart I know my friends throughout this building will.
“I know there will be external pressures to continue to delay this past the next election. I know those pressures can seem all consuming, and that kicking this back to the courts might seem politically expedient. Elected officials have multiple obligations. Politics does matter. Ideology does matter. But nothing matters more than doing what’s right. This is our responsibility, not the judiciary. Don’t leave it to them. Math is math.
“I stand here with my friends from the Legislative Black Caucus to firmly state that we are unified and ready to work with anyone who is working to create a map that establishes two majority-minority districts that give Black Candidates a meaningful opportunity to win. While we know there will be multiple maps presented, working together we can craft the best map to accomplish our shared and sacred goal.
“We all know that Dr. King said, ‘a right delayed is a right denied.’ The Supreme Court has ruled that Louisianians have already had their right to fair maps delayed in one election. I am hopeful that the entire legislature came here today to protect everyone’s voting rights. I know, working together, we can do the right thing. God bless you and thank you.”