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National Black Caucus of State Legislators: Wikis


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The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (also known as the NBCSL) is an American political organization composed of African Americans and Latino Americans elected to the state legislatures in the United States of America and its territories.



Founded over thirty years ago, the organization has grown from a body of ninety state legislators in 1977 to more than six hundred by 2008. Legislators of this organization come from 44 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.

In the 1970’s, a growing number of African American elected officials felt the government’s focus was shifting from the federal to the state level. In response and recognizing that African American elected officials could secure parity for their constituents through their state legislatures, ninety African American state legislators founded NBCSL in Detroit, Michigan in 1977.

Since its inception, NBCSL has met annually in a pre-determined host state for its Annual Legislative Conference. Throughout the year, NBCSL sponsors policy symposia to keep members abreast of growing policy trends and educated on policy issues that affect NBCSL’s constituents. When legislators attend the Annual Legislative Conference, policy committees meet and discuss policy resolutions, drawing upon information presented in the symposia, that are voted up or down by the membership. These resolutions become the policy position of the organization. Legislators, corporate partners, and labor representatives take these policy resolutions and use them to influence public policy in state legislatures and on Capitol Hill.


The primary mission of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) is to develop, conduct, and promote educational, research, and training programs designed to enhance the effectiveness of its members, as they consider legislation and issues of public policy which impact, either directly or indirectly, upon the general welfare of African American constituents within their respective jurisdictions.


The NBCSL has adopted the following fundamental objectives:

  • To serve as a national network and clearinghouse for the discussion, dissemination and exchange of ideas and information among African American state legislators and their staffs;
  • To provide research, training and educational services to African American state legislators and their staffs.
  • To improve the effectiveness and quality of African American state legislators; and
  • To serve as a strong, united and effective advocate for African American state legislators and their constituencies at the federal level.

NBCSL Policy Committees

  • Committee on Agriculture
  • Committee on Business, Finance, & Insurance
  • Committee on Emergency Preparedness / Homeland Security
  • Committee on Education
  • Committee on Energy, Transportation, & Environment
  • Committee on Gaming, Sports, & Entertainment
  • Committee on Health & Human Services
  • Committee on Housing
  • Committee on International Affairs
  • Committee on Labor, Military, & Veterans' Affairs
  • Committee on Law, Justice, & Ethics
  • Committee on Telecommunications, Science, & Technology
  • Committee on Youth

NBCSL Task Force

  • Task Force of Gun Violence

Executive Officers

Representative Calvin Smyre (GA), President

Representative Barbara Ballard (KS), Vice President

Representative Ulysses Jones (TN), 1st Vice President

Representative Thaddues Kirkland (PA), 2nd Vice President

Senator Kay Patterson (SC), Secretary

Representative Juanita Head Walton (MO), Recording Secretary

Representative Charlie Brown (IN), Financial Secretary

Senator Rodger M. Smitherman (AL), Treasurer

Senator Hillman Terome Frazier (MS), Parliamentarian

Representative Annette Polly Williams (WI), Chaplain

State Legislative Black Caucuses

  • Alabama Legislative House & Senate Black Caucus
Chairperson: Representative Laura Hall
  • Arizona Legislative Black Caucus
Chairperson: Representative Leah Landrum Taylor
  • Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus
Chairperson: Representative Kevin Goss
Chairperson: Mervyn Dymally
Chairperson: Margaret Rose Henry
  • Florida Conerence of Black Legislators[1]
Chairperson: Senator Gary Siplin
  • Georgia Legislative Black Caucus[2]
Chairperson: Representative Stan Watson
Chairperson: Senator James Meeks
Chairperson: Vernon G. Smith[3]
  • Iowa Black Caucus
Chairperson: Representative Wayne Ford
Chairperson: Representative Barbara W. Ballard
  • Kentucky Black Legislative Caucus
Chairperson: Senator Gerald A. Neal
Chairperson: Delegate Veronica L. Turner
Chairperson: Representative John Bowman
  • Legislative Black Caucus (Virgin Islands)
Chairperson: Senator Usie Richards
  • Legislative Black and Hispanic Caucus (Wisconsin)
Chairperson: Senator Lena Taylor
  • Legislative Black and Puerto Rican Caucus
Chairperson: Representative Minnie Gonzalez
Chairperson: Representative Cedric Richmond[4]
  • Massachusetts Black Legislative Caucus
Chairperson: Representative William Lantigua
  • Michigan Legislative Black Caucus
Chairperson: Representative Michael C. Murphy
  • Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus
Chairperson: Representative Reecy Dickson
  • Nevada Legislative Black Caucus
  • New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus
Chairperson: Senator Ronald L. Rice
  • New York Legislative Black Caucus
Chairperson: Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat
  • North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus
Chairperson: Representative Beverly Earle
Chairperson: Representative Barbara A. Sykes
  • Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus
Chairperson: Representative Opio Toure’
Chairperson: Representative Thaddeus Kirkland
  • Rhode Island Minority Legislator/Leadership Caucus
Chairperson: Representative Joseph S. Almeida
  • South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus
Chairperson: Representative David Mack
  • Tennessee Legislative Black Caucus
Chairperson: Representative Johnny Shaw
  • Texas Legislative Black Caucus
Chairperson: Representative Senfronia Thompson
Chairperson: Delegate Dwight Jones

External links




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