Sen. Elbert Guillory has partnered with the Louisiana Family Forum in developing a plan for redrawing the state's Senate districts following the 2010 Census — a plan which they say represents a more equitable distribution of the state's 10 majority-black districts. The plan is based on the most recent Census numbers from 2008 and calls for consolidating three of the state's majority-black Senate districts, two of them from metro New Orleans, and creating new majority-black districts in Acadiana, Rapides Parish and the river parishes. Guillory says they are releasing the plan now to generate public discussion in advance of the state legislature deciding reapportionment next Spring.

Guillory, an African American Democrat from Opelousas, recognizes he and the religious-conservative Family Forum group are un unlikely team. "It is an unusual combination," he says. "If you check my [voting] record I've not been a 100 percenter with the Family Forum, but this is not a Republican-Democrat thing. It's really not a black-white thing. They had the experience and the assets and in this situation we agreed on the basic principles and worked together to come out with an appropriate and reasonable solution. And I think it's good because there's too much Democrat vs. Republican and conservative vs. liberal. It's time for people of different ilk to work together for the benefit of the people and that's what we did in this case."

Guillory said he approached the Family Forum about working on the proposal after being impressed with the work they had done in constructing a Congressional redistricting proposal last year. The Senate redistricting plan is already provoking controversy out of New Orleans, who's delegation members are labeling it a premature power grab. Family Forum President Gene Mills writes that "the plan is designed with the population loss from New Orleans and term limits in mind. The opportunity to right decades old inequities does not come along very often. This unique moment in time affords Louisiana that opportunity." View the plan at the Family Forum's Web site here.

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