The Congressional Black Caucus announced its new leadership for the 118th Congress on Thursday.
Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.) is the new chairman; Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) is first vice chair; Rep. Troy Carter (D-La.) is second vice chair; Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.) is secretary; and Rep. Marilyn Strickland (D-Wash.) is the caucus’s new whip.
“Over the last 50 years, the CBC has served as the “conscience of the Congress,” helping guide the legislative priorities that have shaped our nation and helped improve the lives of African Americans and all our constituents,” Horsford said in a statement.
“As Chair, I will provide the leadership, strategic vision and execute on our plans to guide us on a path that will deliver positive socioeconomic outcomes for the communities and constituencies we serve. Representing the 4th Congressional District of Nevada has uniquely prepared me for this role, by being a district as diverse as our nation – both in the people and the geography that lie within our boundaries. As Chair of the CBC, I will be able to put a spotlight on the hard working people of the 4th Congressional District and advocate for our broad coalition of people that make Nevada tick.”
McBath in a separate statement said she was “honored” to be elected secretary.
“I was born in the heart of the Civil Rights movement; my father was the Illinois Branch President of the NAACP,” she said. “In our household it was expected that from the moment we could walk, we’d be marching as well. I am so honored to have been elected as the CBC Secretary for the 118th Congress. It is always necessary we continue to forge a path toward getting into Good Trouble, and do the work to make life better for American families. Together, we must build a brighter, more just future for our communities, our caucus, and our country.”
The CBC was created by Black congressional members after the Civil Rights Movement.
In the late 1960s, Rep. Charles Diggs (D-Mich.) noticed that he and other African American members often felt isolated because there were so few Black members in Congress. He decided to create the Democracy Select Committee, where these lawmakers could discuss common political challenges and interests.
After the Civil Rights Movement, the number of African American members of Congress rose from nine to 13, and the DSC decided a more formal space was needed. Thus, the CBC was officially established in 1971.
The CBC has since become one of the leading Congressional advocacy groups to center issues important to Black Americans.
In a statement, Carter said he is “humbled and grateful” to join the leadership of the CBC.
“I came to Congress to be the voice of my constituents, and it is a job that I take very seriously,” he said. “I also serve on Capitol Hill as the only Black congressmember in a delegation representing a state that is one-third African American. This is an enormous responsibility, and I know that the greater Black community in my state depends on me to advocate for our shared community within systems that too-often are designed to silence our voices. I will not be silent. In this leadership role in the Congressional Black Caucus, and everyday as a Congressman, I will continue fighting for the issues that make a difference to all Louisianans and Americans.”
Strickland becomes the first member from Washington state and the Pacific Northwest to serve on the CBC Executive Committee. She said she is looking forward to “working with Chair Horsford and the rest of the CBC leadership team to win back the majority in 2024.”
Outgoing Chairwoman Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) said it has been “the honor of my career to serve as the 9th woman to chair the Congressional Black caucus.”
“As the 117th Congress draws to a close and I pass the baton to this dynamic group of dedicated leaders, I am confident our power and our message are in capable hands,” she added.
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