Legislative Black Caucus discusses current issues and goals
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - In honor of Black History Month, here’s a closer look into what some Louisiana political leaders say are the state’s biggest political issues facing the Black community.
Louisiana’s beautiful and unique history also has its dark chapters. Some of the ills of the past are still relevant today, particularly in the arena of politics, according to state Sen. Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge, a member of the Legislative Black Caucus. He got his start in politics almost three decades ago and says equal representation in politics is one of the state’s top issues.
He added although significant strides have been made in the Bayou State, if two-thirds of the state is Black, it should not only be reflected in Congress but the people who become judges as well. In this upcoming regular session, he plans to introduce a bill that would address the First Circuit Court of Appeal, which has 12 judges, and only one is Black.
He pointed out corrections to the state’s criminal justice system are needed as well, particularly after the incident with Louisiana State Police and Ronald Greene.
For her part, state Sen. Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, also wants equal pay for women, which she said would be an equalizer to most of the problems. Adding the inability to have affordable housing away from high crime areas has its own domino effect while moms away trying to put food on the table.
She also said the education in the Black community is in a state of crisis, particularly with middle school kids. She noted that group is dropping out in droves.
Because lawmakers are only allowed to put forth five bills each this session, members of the Black Caucus say during their upcoming retreat, they want to make sure each member has their own plan to address some of these issues without wasting time duplicating efforts.
Lawmakers will bring those bills up once the regular session begins on April 10.
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