A man the nation came to know as a hero during the gulf spill for his work advocating for the protection of Louisiana’s coast, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser has called upon the Louisiana Legislature in Baton Rouge to create a true coastal Congressional District in the upcoming special session on redistricting.
“We have asked the President to do the right thing for our coast,” said Nungesser. “Now I am calling upon the Legislature to do the right thing and create a coastal Congressional District so we can speak with one voice.”
Every ten years following the census the State Legislature must re-draw the Congressional lines along with State Senate and State House districts.. Nungesser is joining a chorus of other Louisiana state leaders in asking for a coastal District.
Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin and Iberia Parish Councils have all passed resolutions on behalf of their constituents calling for a single coastal District. More Parishes are expected to join the call. And groups such as the Tea Party of Louisiana have done the same.
“Political games are being played,” said Nungesser. “But now is not the time for political games, now is the time for the Legislature to do what is right for the people of South Louisiana. We have had divided representation in the past and it does not work – we need a united voice and a united coastal District.”
“Some believe this fight is done and over with,” said Nungesser, “but it is just getting started. This is a fight for the survival of our coast. We have tried it the politicians’ way and we haven’t gotten very far – now it is time to unite and fight together with a single voice for our coast. I know what it is like to deal with federal, state and local agencies and having a unified voice in Congress will help us get the job done protecting our coast.”
Some are wondering whether Nungeser's plea is to keep the obvious odd-man-out, newly elected Congressman Jeff Landry of New Iberia of the 3rd Congressional District. Landry reportedly wants a district that stretches across the Gulf Coast. However, it appears the other Congressmen prefer that Landry compete with 7th District Congressman Charles Boustany of Lafayette.
Boustany has been in office since 2005. Both are Republicans.