Angelina Iles draws out the best in people. She motivates them to accomplish more than they thought possible. She’s been doing this for years in the Rapides Parish city of Pineville. Operating independently as Pineville Concerned Citizens or in concert with other organizations, she’s been working to change the political culture in Central Louisiana by focusing on issues that affect the people that too many elected officials ignore — the working poor and lower middle class.
The list of projects she’s led and/or worked on in the five years I’ve known her is longer that the life’s work of many others. Defending the state workers at Huey P. Long Hospital against Bobby Jindal and from the ineffectiveness of their public employee union. Rallying Central Louisiana around Medicaid expansion even as Jindal vowed to keep hundreds of thousands of Louisiana residents uninsured. Working to revitalize the state and local Democratic Party organizations that have conspicuously failed at party building at both levels.
She’s now working with Indivisible in Central Louisiana on issues ranging from healthcare to pay equity to full citizenship for women. She’s working across party lines to improve the plight of the people around her.
Angelina was born in Lafayette. She attended Holy Rosary Institute for a time before moving to Rapides Parish. She was a cafeteria worker for years and a member of the Rapides Federation of Teachers. She raised a good family. She cared for her stroke paralyzed brother at the same time she was battling for the rights of others.
She brings a pragmatic touch to idealistic battles. She wins even when others say she lost. She is relentless in her efforts on behalf of others. She knows that “No” is the bureaucratic response to see if you’ll go away.
Here’s a clip of her in action:
I recorded this video of Angelina telling the story of her battle with Bayou Health shortly after I met her:
Here’s part two of that story:
Angelina Iles is a leader in the truest sense of the word. Ask the people who have encountered her. She is fierce but it is not done in pursuit of personal gain or advantage.
Thanks to Matt Roberts, AOC’s Community Production Manager for help locating the music used in this segment.
A Foolish Game by Hans Atom (c) copyright 2017 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/55394 Ft: Snowflake