BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) - After several years without one, Bossier City is now the location of the newest NAACP chapter in Louisiana.
Lee Arthur Jeter Sr., the chapter’s president, says they are ready to hit the ground running.
“The need has always been there,” Jeter said. “I think one of the problems that we’ve had in the past with some of our leadership is that individuals who want to take an active role.”
Their main goal, Jeter says, is to ensure that every community member’s voice is heard.
“Whether it’s the school board, the local council, police jury, whatever the case may be, if they feel like their voice is not being heard then they become disenfranchised,” Jeter said. “They lose hope. That’s not the purpose of our democracy, for individuals to lose hope. A lot of individuals in our community today don’t vote because their voice doesn’t count, their vote doesn’t count. We don’t need citizens to feel like they do not count.”
He says they have three main issues they plan on addressing, starting with voter registration and turnout.
“Voter turnout is always an issue and it’s not just an issue in Bossier Parish,” Jeter said. “It’s an issue across the state and across this nation. We want to ensure that every voter who can turnout to vote does. That’s your voice. That’s your power. So we want to ensure citizens understand the need to turnout on election day, cast their vote and let their opinion be known.”
The organization is also looking into criminal justice reform.
“We believe that we shouldn’t have the mentality that once you are a felon, you are a felon for life,” Jeter said. “We need to get individuals who have made mistakes in their lives an opportunity to grow from their mistakes and be reproductive citizens again.”
Another issue they plan on addressing is equal access to education across the parish.
“Policies and procedures that are going to be put in place; are they fair to everyone?” Jeter said “Are certain students, especially those in low income communities and neighborhoods, they may not have access to internet or other digital outlets. Are they going to be getting the same quality of education?”
The NAACP Bossier City Chapter’s next meeting is scheduled for August 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Good Hope Baptist Church in Bossier City.