Sen. Curren Price
Assemblyman Mike Davis
As the chair and vice chair respectively, implementing new policies to help the Black community throughout the state will be high on their agendas.
By Brian W. Carter, Sentinel Staff Writer
On Monday, Dec. 6, it was unanimously decided that Senator Curren D. Price, Jr. (D-Los Angeles) would be the new chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC).
"Chairing the caucus is both an honor and an obligation to work with other minority caucuses to have a positive impact in the African-American community and other underrepresented groups in California," said Price. "The old adage remains: working together we can make a change."
Price's plans to initiate legislative proposals that will focus on education reform, job creation and health.
"I'm going to be working with my colleagues to crystallize the kinds of programs and policies that impact, not just citizens in my district, but Black people up and down the state," said Price.
Price was sworn in on Monday, and will serve his first, full term in the Senate. He has previously served as vice-chair for the Caucus for the past three years.
"We're very serious about the problems that are confronting us. We recognize that the legislature has a unique role to play in solving those problems, coming up with solutions, gaining consensus, and, as an organization of elected officials, we want to be more proactively involved in that process," said Price.
Assemblyman, Mike Davis (D-Los Angeles) echoed the same sentiments when asked about the CLBC agenda. Davis is Vice-Chair of the CLBC.
"I look forward to working with the members of the CLBC to make sure we provide leadership and legislation which will help improve the quality of life for African Americans in California," Davis remarked.
"We know that part of our responsibility includes educating the public about critical issues of importance," said Davis. "We have many members of the Caucus who chair various committees, each of which we hope to use to our advantage to make sure we share all of the resources of those areas of concern."
Davis has made it apart of his agenda to further represent the African-Americans within the state as well. He has assisted in establishing Martin Luther King Jr. as a national holiday, established programs at Black museums and been a staunch supporter of education.
Davis is also a member of the Committee on Appropriations, the Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media Committee, Committee on Human Services, Committee on Rules, Joint Committee on Rules, Committee on Utilities and Commerce, and the Select Committee on the Preservation of California's Entertainment Industry. Davis is also the chair on the Select Committee on Rail Transportation.
As the state of California continues to face budget issues, Price intends to find a way to fund his legislative agenda.
"We're going to also start trying to identify alternative funding sources: the corporate world, the profit world, groups collaborating in ways that they have not done before," said Price.
The Legislative Black Caucus represents and advocates the interests for the African-American community throughout the state of California. Its mission is to increase African-American participation and representation in all levels of government.
"It's not going to be easy, I'm not suggesting we have easy, manageable answers, but we want to make sure we have a legislative voice on these issues and concerns in a way that we have not done before."
Price's record of commitment towards helping small businesses and creating jobs, also elected him to chair of the prominent and well-regarded Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee by the Pro Tem of the Senate, Darrell Steinberg, on Monday.
He was also appointed to Chair of the Council of State Governments -WEST International Trade Committee for the 2011-2012. In this role, Price will be in leadership over 13 western states with interest in international trade issues and policies and also confers membership on the Executive Committee of CSG-WEST which serves as the governing board of the organization.
Price's entrance into the international trade and economic development area led him to create the 26th District Commission on Trade and Investment in Africa earlier this year. US Ambassador Ron Kirk invited Price to become a member of the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee on Trade (IGPAC) earlier this month.
Senator Price will serve a two-year term as chair of the CLBC.
Since 1967, the CLBC has advocated for the growth and development of the African American community in a variety of areas and seeks to increase their participation and representation in all levels of government.