It seemed way too easy to make 2 VAP (Voting Age Population) black districts in Louisiana. I feel like even if there wasn’t 3 VAP districts, there could easily be two with another heavily leaning Dem district, making the new delegation a 3-3 split with LA losing one seat this year.
As I gerrymandered through New Orleans, Baton Rouge and LaFayette, I realized I didn’t even have to really go to Shreveport to Monroe for 2 districts, and it seemed there were quite a few black precincts left so I decided to try to make 3 VAP districts. It took a lot of maneuvering and one area of water contiguity over the lake, but I did it! It’s the most horrible map, though, and would never obviously be drawn.
My other goals were to not use touch-point contiguity, which I did not, and also not use water contiguity, which I failed to do, but oh well.
All racial numbers are VAP, if it was simply out of all population, the black percentage numbers are a few points higher in all districts. Also, the biggest deviation from target population is the blue district, which has 5,691 more than the target.
LA-01: The Green district here is the first VAP black district. It is centered on New Orleans, of course, and carefully zigzags around to avoid highly white voting districts and also to pick up extra black precincts outside of New Orleans. I have a feeling this district would have been much easier to create 7 years ago.
38.8% White, 50.1% Black, 6.5% Hispanic, 2.8% Asian
LA-02: The Blue district is where I used water contiguity. It takes in very, very white areas in Eastern Louisiana outside of Baton Rouge, and every white area imaginable inside New Orleans. Look at the big map I first posted for larger look of where the arms extend outside of the city.
79.0% White, 10.0% Black, 7.9% Hispanic, 2.3% Asian
LA-03: The purple district is the second VAP district, and this one is nasty. This district takes in virtually every black precinct imaginable without breaking contiguity, taking in parts of LaFayette, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, New Iberia and Opelousas. I avoided every area I could that was extremely white (I would take places that were, say, 65% or 70% instead of 80% or 90%. This makes a HUGE difference.)
44.4% White, 50.1% Black, 2.8% Hispanic, 1.4% Asian
LA-04: The red district takes up everything in Southern Louisiana that isn’t black along the coast, and also LaFayette white areas. It also reaches some into Eastern Louisiana, but most of the district is along the coastal parishes. This is the whitest district.
81.9% White, 9.3% Black, 3.4% Hispanic, 1.4$ Asian
LA-05: The yellow district is almost as white as LA-04. It takes in everything that is white in Western and Central Louisiana. It was really annoying to make this contiguous with the last district, but I finally managed to do it without making the final VAP district go under 50.1%.
81.0% White, 12.8% Black, 3.0% Hispanic, 1.0% Asian
LA-06: Dark Green district. This was soooo hard to make VAP for awhile. I kept swapping territory to shed whiter areas to even just a few percentage points lower white areas, and also swapped territory with the purple district and I finally got it. It takes in black areas of Shreveport and Monroe, and also black areas further south in and around Alexandria in the central part of the state. This may be the ugliest district, along with LA-05.
45.7% White, 50.2% Black, 2.0% Hispanic, 0.7% Asian