Louisiana Democracy Project evolved out of a philosophy that acknowledges the inherent
benefits of a heightened participation by the general public in the democratic process.
We developed from a discussion group in 1997 to become incorporated in 1998.
· Highlighted the requirement of photo identification cards at the polls for registered voters. This fight resulted in some municipalities offering free identification cards.
· Organized workshops on ballot access, right-to-know and campaign finance reform,
· January 2001 Forum cosponsored with the Louisiana
NAACP on the campus of Southern University featuring John Bonifaz director of the National Voting Rights Institute attended
by state legislators, political science instructors and students.
· Conducted workshops on mini-grant writing
· Held parent forums on High Stakes Testing of public
· Participated in EPA hearings on Title 6
· Rallied in front of the Department of Health and
Hospitals to protest the use of Dioxin in the state
· Assisted Fannie Lou Hammer Project in the 2001 National NAACP Convention held in New Orleans
· Participated in 2001 Save the Children environmental
justice campaign sponsored by Greenpeace
· Participated with Louisiana Environmental Action
Network in Take Back our Communities, rally, forum and EPA listening session
· Participated in the formation of USAction
· Participated in the formation of Coalition Collaborative
· Participated in the formation of Fannie Lou Hamer
· Participated in the reorganization of Southern Organizing Committee for Social and Economic
In addition, Stephanie
Anthony, who currently serves as LDPs Executive Director, has been very instrumental in the national movement for campaign
finance reform. In a very short time, she has become one of the countrys most
respected voices as it relates to the inequitable impact that our current campaign finance system has on African-Americans
and other people of color. As a representative of the Louisiana Democracy
Project, she has served on the board or collaborated with most of the nations leading advocates for campaign finance reform
and has helped organize several major events including;
- Participated in 1999 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. entitled Campaign Finance Reform as a Civil
Rights Issue hosted by the National Voting Rights Institute.
- Conducted elections for youth representative of Mississippi River Basin Alliance at annual conventions in
1999 and in 2000
- Organized two 1999 LDP coalition-building events with Louisiana statewide organizations featuring William
McNary, Executive Director of US Action and Stan Goff, Regional Organizing Director of Democracy South.
- Organized one-day LDP voting rights event entitled Call of the Drum at Southern University, which attracted
over 150 participants .
- Raised funds to allow youth participation in the 34th Celebration of Voting Rights History
in Selma, Alabama.
- Organized a meeting between LDP and Louisiana Communities United to strategize making legislators accountable
for a massive ad valorem/tax exemption given to business at the expense of the states public schools.
- Served as panelist for Shadow Convention 2000 in Philadelphia
to the National Republican Convention on the effects of campaign funding and t he environment in Louisiana.
Project has an education project which informs, inspires and empowers parents of East Baton Rouge Parish school students.
We educate the
general public on issues such as campaign finance as a civil rights issue, ballot
access, open meetings and environmental justice.
with and support other nonprofit organizations.
Our Organization is
open to all people who want to learn about and or get involved in the democratic process.
At this time we are made up of mostly low income people of color, disabled citizens, youth, and senior citizens.
A mainstay of our
activities involve monitoring local community meetings including East Baton Rouge Parish School Board, Board Elementary and
Secondary Education (BESE), Housing Authority Board, EPA Hearings, Capitol Transportation
Corporation Board Meetings, Metro Council Meetings.
· We network with organizations throughout the state.
· We attend forums highlighting high stakes
testing around the nation and its impact on African American students.
· We attend sessions with the Louisiana Congressional Black Caucus to highlight concerns
of Baton Rouge students and parents.
· We hold Voting Rights Forum on the campus of Southern University
· We host regional and national speakers and trainers
· We continued to prepare to
independently sustain ourselves and help other organizations by holding fundraising
workshops to begin to demystify the grant writing process.
Stand Up for the Oppressed
· We participated with Greenpeace
in its Suffer the Little Children celebrity tour of Cancer Alley featuring actor Mike
Farrell, Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker and author Haki Madhubuti. Former
Southern University student and Louisiana Democracy Project, Inc. volunteer Catherine Anthony was quoted in The Advocate,
Baton Rouges daily newspaper.
· We traveled to Memphis to participate
in the Days of Outrage, a protest over the moving of Viet Nam era weapons from the
military depot without an evacuation plan. The predominately African America, low income community surrounding the facility has been complaining of ground water contamination for years. Activist comedian Dick Gregory served as a speaker. LDP members
appeared on local Memphis television stations in the action.
the opportunity for undeserved communities to have a voice in the democratic, public policy, and electoral process.
· We form partnerships with academic, and
· We promote a citizens call to action around any issues that threaten the
ideals of democracy.
We believe in
· Our Board members have received
training from Kenneth Jones of Peace Development Fund; Southern Echo of Jackson,
Mississippi and Southern Empowerment of Knoxville, Tenn., Mississippi River Basin Alliance, St. Louis, and Communication Consortium
Media Center, Washington D.C
· We received funds from Democracy
South, Southern Partners Fund and Southern Echo (Mott Foundation)
· LEAN (Louisiana Environmental
Action Network) served as our fiscal agent and provided assistance in various areas.