CROWLEY, La. – In advance of Congressional redistricting following the 2020 Census, the Lafayette and Lake Charles metro areas and surrounding parishes are uniting to promote the two
regions’ shared values, culture, population, and vision as the Acadiana / Southwest La. Super-Region.
Earlier this week, legislators from both regions gathered at the Grand Opera House of the South in Crowley to discuss the concept. In addition to keeping the Third Congressional District as unified as possible, the group also plans to work together for political advocacy on other issues like economic development and infrastructure investment.
The Super-Region covers an area with nearly 1 million residents, encompassing the 13 parishes represented by the regional economic development organizations One Acadiana (1A) and the SWLA Economic Development Alliance.
The 13 parishes are: Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Cameron, Calcasieu, Evangeline, Iberia, Jeff Davis, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, and Vermilion.
“For the purpose of increasing our political clout and for economic development reasons, working together with our partners to the west is a no brainer. By speaking with a unified voice and leveraging our shared assets, we will enhance our ability to achieve shared goals for both of our areas,” 1A President & CEO Troy Wayman said.
“The 13 parishes that make up Southwest Louisiana are unique due to the people and businesses that reside in this part of the state. We see it as mutually advantageous for Alliance/Chamber SWLA and One Acadiana to work together. We are home to interstates, waterways, public assets, big industry and a wonderful culture,” said SWLA Economic Development Alliance and Chamber SWLA President & CEO George Swift. “This effort is about utilizing the strengths of areas like Cameron, Lake Charles, Jennings, Crowley, Lafayette, New Iberia, Eunice, and the other cities and towns to make our region known for innovation, economic development, and political advocacy.”
“Acadia Parish’s economy is linked to both our neighbors to the east in Acadiana and our neighbors to the west in the Lake Charles area. What benefits either region benefits Acadia Parish, and vice versa. We must all work together for our collective success,” Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Amy Thibodeaux said.
“Jeff Davis Parish is at the heart of the Super-Region, and we look forward to working with our partners from the Sabine River all the way to St. Mary Parish to advance our entire area,” Jeff Davis Parish Economic Development President & CEO Marion Fox said.
As the next step, partners plan to work together to promote participation in the U.S. Census, as Census numbers will affect both redistricting and future funding levels for the area.