LAFAYETTE, La. (Andrew Capps/The Advertiser)- An increasing white population, new residential developments and different boundaries drawn when voters approved splitting Lafayette’s city-parish council all threaten to reduce the number of black members on Lafayette’s new city council.
The redistricting and growth through new residential developments added more than 1,900 voters, or another 14 percent, to the new city council District 1, according to state voting data since the last election. Of those 1,900 new voters, about two-thirds of them, or 1,200, are white, while less than 600 are black, the data show.
The district’s share of black registered voters has dropped to about 61% as of August, down from 66% when Pat Lewis, who is black, won the current city-parish council seat in 2015.
That declining share of the district’s black voters and an historic lower turnout among black voters there have raised speculation that a white council member could be elected to a district with a smaller majority of black registered voters, leaving only one black member on the council.