Assemblymember Holly Mitchell (D-Culver City), in only her second term in public office, has been elected Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) by Caucus members for the 2013-2014 session. The Caucus, which addresses policy and budgetary issues affecting black Californians, consists of the nine African American members of the state’s Legislature, including two Senators and seven members of the Assembly. Mitchell served as Caucus secretary in her first two-year term.
“I am honored to be chosen Chair by my peers and excited about the opportunity to lead the Black Caucus,” said Assemblywoman Mitchell, who was re-elected November 6 to represent the diverse 54th Assembly District, which includes such historically black neighborhoods as the Crenshaw District, parts of South Los Angeles and Ladera Heights. “We will speak out on issues and pursue solutions to problems which disproportionately impact African Americans – poverty, the education deficit, the need for jobs, and barriers to opportunity.”
Elected Vice-chair of the Caucus was Sen. Rod Wright (D-Inglewood). Historically, the Caucus chairmanship alternates between the Senate and Assembly at the commencement of each two-year legislative session. As three Caucus members leave the Assembly due to term limits, four newly elected members now join CLBC – increasing Caucus membership by one more than in the previous legislative session.
In addition to coordinating legislative efforts on African American concerns, the Caucus makes recommendations to the Governor on the annual budget proposal, sponsors forums and raises scholarship funds. The Caucus is also a core member of the Quint Caucus, a coalition of the Asian-Pacific Islander, Latino, LGBT and Women’s legislative caucuses, which articulates broad minority group concerns and promotes mutual cooperation.
“I expect to focus serious attention on the needs of black families and children,” noted Mitchell. “The future is at stake – we’re rolling up our sleeves!”