Documenters in Calcasieu Parish publish meeting notes and information on budgets and public records relevant to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. We summarize the week’s notes in our newsletter, and share them on our website and social media.

Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish have been hit hard by disasters the last several years—the pandemic, hurricanes, tornadoes, a deep freeze, historic flooding. These have exacerbated food insecurity and the housing crisis, and many residents are left wondering where relief money is being spent.

We are spending six months on a pilot project tracking, documenting, and reporting on disaster prep, response, and recovery by attending public meetings, following city and parish budgets, and examining public records. We’re working with and learning from Documenters, a national network of newsrooms and community organizations committed to participatory civic media that started out of City Bureau in Chicago.

This is a case study that can hopefully be replicated throughout the South and U.S. in how we hold power accountable and show up for our communities before, during, and long after a storm hits or emergency happens.

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Read our public meeting notes

Westlake City Council 9/19/22

The Westlake City Council met on Monday, September 19 to vote on resolutions, get updates on city projects, and hear about the Westlake Fire Department’s most recent rescue success.

DeQuincy City Council 9/12/22

The DeQuincy Monthly Council Meeting commenced at 6:00 pm. There were 12 agenda items on the docket, including approval of home condemnations and discussions about property issues. 

Calcasieu Parish Police Jury 9-1-22

Documenter: Carl M. Ambrose Jr. Meeting: Calcasieu Parish Police Jury Date: Sept. 1, 2022 Summary The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury met on Sept. 1, 2022. On the docket was a public hearing about condemning local properties, and some hurricane repair approvals.  The Scene I arrived a few minutes early for Thursday’s monthly Calcasieu Parish Police…

DeQuincy City Council special meeting 8/31/22

Documenter name: Debra Derrick  Agency holding meeting: DeQuincy City Council  Date: August 31, 2022 Summary The DeQuincy Council called a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 31 to vote on three issues that Mayor Riley Smith needed to sign off on. All three items were approved unanimously by the council. The Scene The atmosphere…