Mr. Neil H. Johnson, II, President
Shreve Memorial Library Board of Control
424 Texas Street
Shreveport, LA 71101
Please consider this (electronic) letter my formal request that you correct a notable error you made in the public record in the Shreve Memorial Library (SML) Board of Control meeting on March 31, 2014. Following that correction, please inform me, and the public, as to actions you and the SML Board of Control take to bring the Board’s composition into line with most recent U. S. Census data.
The subject error you made is documented in this video recording of your comments in that meeting: http://youtu.be/njyKEHtzCOY
In summary, you said in the meeting that you and the Board of Control cancelled the public meeting at issue, i.e., the “Sunshine Week” observance scheduled for March 19, 2014, because the panel did not reflect the racial composition of the population served by SML. To make your point, you then quoted that racial breakdown to be “41.2% white and 54.7% black,” noting the 2010 Census as your source.
As I feel certain you are well aware, you used City of Shreveport statistics from the U. S. Census Bureau – and not the most recent ones, at that – to justify your point … and your decision to kill the observance. As you know very well, the SML serves Caddo Parish, not only the City of Shreveport.
Given your use of incorrect data, please see here the correct data for Caddo Parish, i.e., the most recent U. S. Census Bureau data through July 1, 2013. As you see, the Caddo Parish population is 49.1% white, 47.9% African-American, and 3.0% other races.
Mr. Johnson, the Board of Control is 63% African-American, but the Caddo Parish population it serves is 48% African-American. Given your public comments, I believe it is your responsibility now to:
(a) correct the public record with a statement of the SML’s awareness that it serves Caddo Parish, not only the City of Shreveport, and with the correct Census Bureau data included herein by the link to that website; and,
(b) immediately take action with the appointing authorities of SML board members – the Caddo Commission and Shreveport City Council – to bring board membership into line with the Caddo Parish population statistics by which you say you take official actions.
Please consider this letter to also be my formal Public Records Request of all documents / communications in any way relevant to this formal request for delineated actions by you, and/or the SML Board of Control.
1651 E. 70th Street
Shreveport, LA 71105