At the conference: (L to R) Assemblyman Steve Bradford, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Sen. Curren Price, and Assemblyman Mike Davis.
Founded in 1967 as a legislative advocacy group for Black Americans, the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) held its annual policy conference last week. The theme of the conference was “the Challenge of Achieving America’s Dream in California.”
The hearings, breakfasts, luncheons and receptions were broken down into several categories each with a main speaker. There were also designated panel workshops that were moderated by the different members of the caucus.
According to Sen. Curren Price Jr. (S-26), chairman of the CLBC: “As Black Californians continue to face economic hardships in increasing numbers, the American Dream becomes less attainable for many of us. We are experiencing the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, resulting in high unemployment, home foreclosures, a lack of access to quality health care, overcrowded and dilapidated schools, and numerous intractable issues that negatively impact our quality of life.”
And the workshop agendas were consistent with the issues that chairman Price outlined in his message to the participants, namely: Health & Human Services; Education as a Civil Right; Housing; Criminal Justice & Reapportionment; and the Impact of Utilities in the African American Community. In addition there was also a town hall meeting.
In his message, Assemblyman Mike Davis, vice-chairman of the CLBC stated: “We have been working diligently to ensure that we effectively address the major issues that affect the African American community, and in light of the wide range of experts participating in the conference, we are confident that we will be able to do just that…”
The conference was well attended by a cress section of former and current elected officials; representatives from the business, education and religious communities, non-profit organizations, and governmental agencies, including a representative from the Obama White House.
The CLBC is currently made up of eight elected officials: two senators and six assembly members.