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LaDemocracy E-Zine (Online Magazine)

We want government to make sense and democracy to reign supream.

LDP is consistently involved in grassroots organizing. As the climate changes we seek to keep up with new ways in communicating and being understood as we seek to build a more just society for ourselves. We attended trainings done by Southern Echo in Jackson, Mississippi. Their training manual is so good we have made it a tradition to read it aloud on the drive back from Mississippi. This year we were able to send the executive director and three board member s and a volunteer.

We have endeavored to support and help develop other local organizations. Most recently we have given birth to Fairwoods Neighbors Association in North Baton Rouge Parish and are offering technical support to The Pride of Waterproof in Waterproof , Louisiana population 1009 and Boys to Fathers in the mall city area of Baton Rouge. We offer one, two, three help in how to run a meeting. "Cutting to the root of a problem"- how to discuss without becoming disgusting and grant writing as an organizational tool.

A mainstay of our activities involve attending and monitoring community policy meetings including Parish School Boards, the Louisiana Board Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), Housing Authority Board, EPA Hearings, Capitol Transportation Corporation Board Meetings, La. Department of Environmental Quality Hearings, Metro Council Meetings, Legislative Hearings. We continued to monitor local media for environmental, campaign finance news and distribute electronically to our partners and friends by mass fax and email.

We help people overcome their fears and get involved in the democratic process despite lack of money, lack of education, being in the minority racial population, or age. We bring hope, clarity and focus to a system that can seem like "a ball of confusion."

We participate with other grassroots organizations, faith based groups, educational institutions and other nonprofit organizations.

Communities of color, the disabled, the poor, students and the elderly bear many burdens and obstacles; those same communities are systematically excluded from the democratic process of formulating the policies that govern Louisiana systems. We bridge the gap. We function with or without money. Of course we function much better with money and thus we are writing for your financial general support.

There are fewer social justice organization in Louisiana each year we are here for the long term. We provided the opportunity for undeserved communities to have a voice in the political, public policy, and electoral process. We form partnerships with academic, and nonprofit organizations. We promote a citizen’s call to action around any issues that threaten the ideals of democracy.

Annually we test the system by going to selected registrar of voters offices and asking for a copy of the law allowing felons to be re-enfranchised.

We organize our members and friends to attend, participate in and get heard at public policy meetings and hearings.

Back in 2001 our state was named the poorest in the union. Not much has improved for us since then, According to the Institute for Southern Studies we rank 46 in high school educational attainment; 48 for the income gap between rich and poor. 45 for infant mortality rate; 47th for statutory protection for workers and 46th for tax fairness, 49th for youth unemployment, 44th in workplace deaths.

Much of Louisiana is rural 22 percent of Louisianans live below the poverty line which is an annual income of $17,135 for a family of four. People who stay in the rural areas are generally less educated and most easily intimidated by powerful and oppressive systems. We help organize people to stand up to the system no matter how old or mighty.

Louisiana is home to the top multinational petrochemical companies including the largest in the world ExxonMobil, Texaco and Shell. We lead the nation with almost 30 percent of all production related hazardous waste, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies Toxic Release Inventory in 2000. That 30 percent represents waste released into the air, water, ground and wastes recycled or burned for fuel. Our industries reported 154,522,635 pounds of toxic materials released into the environment, up form 150,152,605 in 1999. The area we serve is known around the nation as cancer alley. The people we organize suffer physically, mentally, emotionally and financially from this industry. We serve as a beacon of light in the dark.

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Bill of Rights:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Declaration of Independence:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...”

No Woman Left Behind Photos

As you know Baton Rouge is in the heart of the petrochemical corrador known as Cancer Alley.  Now that the United States sits as the brink of war we have to consider that we might be a torrorist target.  LDP is posting the following U.S. governments suggestion below posted 2/19/03 ...
Ready.gov - From The U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Be Informed - Biological Threat

OVERVIEW

A biological attack is the deliberate release of germs or other biological substances that can make you sick. Many agents must be inhaled, enter through a cut in the skin or be eaten to make you sick. Some biological agents, such as anthrax, do not cause contagious diseases. Others, like the smallpox virus, can result in diseases you can catch from other people.

If there is a Biological Threat

Unlike an explosion, a biological attack may or may not be immediately obvious. While it is possible that you will see signs of a biological attack, as was sometimes the case with the anthrax mailings, it is perhaps more likely that local health care workers will report a pattern of unusual illness or there will be a wave of sick people seeking emergency medical attention. You will probably learn of the danger through an emergency radio or TV broadcast, or some other signal used in your community. You might get a telephone call or emergency response workers may come to your door.

In the event of a biological attack, public health officials may not immediately be able to provide information on what you should do. It will take time to determine exactly what the illness is, how it should be treated, and who is in danger. However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio, or check the Internet for official news including the following:

  • Are you in the group or area authorities consider in danger?
  • What are the signs and symptoms of the disease?
  • Are medications or vaccines being distributed?
  • Where?
  • Who should get them?
  • Where should you seek emergency medical care if you become sick?

Protect Yourself

If you become aware of an unusual and suspicious release of an unknown substance nearby, it doesn't hurt to protect yourself. Quickly get away. Cover your mouth and nose with layers of fabric that can filter the air but still allow breathing. Examples include two to three layers of cotton such as a t-shirt, handkerchief or towel. Otherwise, several layers of tissue or paper towels may help. Wash with soap and water and contact authorities.

Symptoms and Hygiene

At the time of a declared biological emergency, if a family member becomes sick, it is important to be suspicious. Do not automatically assume, however, that you should go to a hospital emergency room or that any illness is the result of the biological attack. Symptoms of many common illnesses may overlap. Use common sense, practice good hygiene and cleanliness to avoid spreading germs, and seek medical advice.

July Events

Louisiana Democracy Project, Inc. will begin its July activities with a Grant Writing Workshop, to be held July 5, 2001 for 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.. This information filled workshop will include step by step instruction in grant writing with follow-up help. If you have wonderful project ideas in need of funding this is the workshop for you.
Grant writing teachers will use simple everyday language to explain the process of grant writing. We will cover the major components of grant writing from creating a workable budget to inside tips on getting the money. This July 5th workshop will be held at Ramada Inn on Nicholson Drive. The fee of $50 includes lunch and materials of instructions. Register by phone 357- 7425 or by fax 387-4395.
Limited Scholarships available.
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Louisiana Democracy Project will help to man the Fanny Lou Hammer Project Booth at the National NAACP Convention in New Orleans, La.. We need volunteers July 6 July 12 please call Stephanie Anthony at 355=7816 to help out.

..

Monday, July 9, 2001 Louisiana Democracy Project will host an evening of Relaxation and Revitalization from 6:30 pm to 9 pm Ramada Inn Garden Room- Nicholson Drive. Activities will include stress elimination, foot massage, head massage, aroma therapy, soothing music and words of encouragement. Fee $10.00

Our World

A Voting Rights Act Chronology


1995 N.Y. Times News Service

1965
The Voting Rights Act becomes law. It has two principle provisions. Section 2 provides that "no voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any state or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race of color.'' Section 5 prohibits states and portions of states, in the South and elsewhere, from putting any new voting procedures, including new districts, into effect without first giving the attorney general a chance to object or getting a ruling from U.S. District Court in Washington that the change "does not have the purpose and will not have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color.''

1966
The Supreme Court finds the law constitutional against a states' rights challenge in South Carolina vs. Katzenbach. "This may have been an uncommon exercise of Congressional power, as South Carolina contends, but the Court has recognized that exceptional conditions can justify legislative measures not otherwise appropriate,'' Chief Justice Earl Warren writes for the 8-1 majority.

1976
The court applies Section 5 to a redistricting plan for the first time in Beer vs. United States, finding that plans that improve representation for minorities generally cannot be found to violate the law, even if greater improvements might have been made. The 5-to-3 decision essentially makes the legal test whether a challenged plan leads to a "retrogression in the position of racial minorities.''

1977
Without a majority opinion, a deeply split court in United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburgh vs. Carey suggests that using race to create districts with majorities of minority voters can withstand constitutional attack and that white voters generally cannot challenge such plans.

1980
In City of Mobile vs. Bolden, the court rules that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act invalidates only those voting practices that were adopted for the purpose of discriminating. Practices that have only a discriminatory effect, as the at-large city commission challenged in that case, are beyond the section's intent, the 6-to-3 decision held.

1982
Congress amends Section 2 to overturn the Mobile decision, providing that a voting practice that "results in a denial or abridgement'' of the right to vote can violate the law without proof of discriminatory intent. As part of a compromise, Congress also declares that the amended law gives no right to proportional representation on the basis of race.

1986
The court interprets the new Section 2 for the first time in Thornburg vs. Gingles, a deeply split decision without a majority opinion, demonstrating that the justices are troubled by the amended section's contradictions. "There is an inherent tension between what Congress wished to do and what it wished to avoid,'' Justice Sandra Day O'Connor says in a concurring opinion.

1993
The court rules in Shaw vs. Reno, a 5-4 decision by Justice O'Connor, that districts drawn with such "bizarre'' shapes that they are unexplainable on grounds other than race are unconstitutional unless they can be shown to be "narrowly tailored'' to serve a "compelling state interest''.

1994
Shaw vs. Reno brings political turmoil across the South, where two dozen majority-black districts were drawn in the early 1990s, mostly after prodding from the Justice Department. U.S. District Courts declare some districts unconstitutional in Texas, Louisiana, and Georgia; the North Carolina districts the Supreme Court found presumptively unconstitutional in Shaw vs. Reno are upheld on reexamination by the District Court there.

1995
In Miller vs. Johnson, a 5--4 decision by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the Supreme Court affirms the lower court's finding that Georgia's 11th Congressional District is unconstitutional; dismisses the Louisiana case on technical grounds; and agrees to hear the Texas and North Carolina cases in its new term that begins in October.

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Fighting & School Testing

Three fights reported at Valley Park

By CHARLES LUSSIER
Advocate staff writer
Published: Mar 20, 2007

East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies Monday responded to three fights involving seven students at Valley Park Alternative School, with one student going to the hospital.

The fights, which broke out on the first of four days of standardized testing for public school students across Louisiana, are the latest in a series of incidents at the Baton Rouge disciplinary school. The fights also come three days after Superintendent Charlotte Placide gave a news conference announcing that the school is safe and that some  news reports of the school’s problems have been overstated.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Fred Raiford said the first fight started about 7:45 a.m. while students were waiting in the auditorium. Two girls, one 16 and another 13, began fighting another 13-year-old girl as they headed to class. Deputies arrested the two girls who started the fight on counts of simple battery and disturbing the peace and transported them to juvenile detention, Raiford said.

In the second fight, two 13-year-old boys were leaving the lunchroom about 12:15 p.m. and started fighting, Raiford said. Both were cited with disturbing the peace and released to their parents’ custody,  he said.

In the third fight, two 13-year-old boys, one originally from New Orleans and one from Baton Rouge, were fighting in a time-out room about 1:30 p.m. when an administrator broke it up, Raiford said.

The New Orleans boy struck the other boy in the face, sending him to a local hospital. The New Orleans boy was arrested on counts of second-degree battery and disturbing the peace and sent to juvenile detention,  Raiford said.

Last week, Placide outlined  measures to address the problems at Valley Park,  including rescinding bus privileges for students who misbehave on school buses, more staff to help complete disciplinary paperwork for students with disabilities, training in reward-based disciplinary management, and the development of an “action plan” for the school.

On Monday,  a key new staff member, Assistant Principal Ronnie Knox, started working at the school. He will lead disciplinary measures, said school system spokesman Chris Trahan.

 
 
 
Find this article at:
http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/suburban/6586222.html?showAll=y&c=y
Listening Symposium
on the Hurricane Impact
Thursday, November 3, 2005
12:00 noon
3808 Winnebago Street
Istrouma Area Bethel AME Church
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70805
(Lunch will be served)

Louisiana Democracy Project, Inc. will host a
Listening  Symposium on the impact of the 2005
Hurricane’s Thursday, November 3, 2005 at noon lunch
will be served.  Our Special guest will be the
Southern Partner’s Fund, a social justice organization
based in Atlanta.   Please pass the word to people or
families impacted by the storms.

If your provide or provided hurricane services please
come or send a representative to talk about the impact
of the storm and resulting needs.

The Southern Partners Fund tour is stopping in Baton
Rouge for this one session November 3, 2005 at noon.
Southern Partners Fund is a granting foundation,
created to serve Southern Communities and
organizations seeking social, economic, and
environmental justice by providing them with financial
resources, technical assistance and training, and
access to systems of information and power.

If you are unable to attend the November 3rd meeting,
you may send written comments to ldpnews@yahoo.com
care of Stephanie Anthony.

Members Site

The mission of Louisiana Democracy Project, Inc. is to educate, promote, encourage and increase citizen involvement in the democratic process through active involvement in the community. We facilitate interaction which will promote and protect the long term interest of the community.
We educate and enhance understanding of the democratic process.

Contact Me

Stephanie Anthony
La. Democracy President
4070 Fairwoods Drive
Baton Rouge, La. 70805