Three Metro-Area Lawmakers Among Caucus Leadership

On Jan. 19, the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus elected its Executive Board Officers for the 2022 year.

State Rep. Vincent J. Pierre of Lafayette was elected as Chairman of the Caucus.

“I have been a proud member of the Black Caucus for almost ten years and am proud to lead this group and our state to a brighter future for our African American communities,” said Pierre who also previously served as Chairman of the Acadiana Delegation and the House Transportation Committee. “Through legislation, education, and economic development, we will continue to raise the quality of life for African Americans, the indigent, and working people. As we work to serve those who need us most, we’ll continue to do all that we can to fix broken policy and legislation of the past.”

Outgoing Chairman, Edward C. Ted James, II said he was “honored to serve with such a great group of colleagues and will miss them, however, I know that I am leaving the future of our voting rights and other pressing issues in very capable hands.”

Other elected officers include State Rep. Candace N. Newell of New Orleans, vice chairman; State Rep. Kyle Green, Jr. of New Orleans, first vice chairman; State Sen. Katrina R. Jackson of Monroe, senate whip; State Sen. Regina A. Barrow of Baton Rouge, treasurer; and State Rep. Rodney Lyons of Harvey, parliamentarian. Two positions on the board—secretary and sergeant-at-arms/chaplain remain vacant and will be filled by appointment on February 1, prior to the start of the special session. 

Meanwhile, Caucus leaders or wasting no time speaking out on issues of concern, with Chairman-elect Pierre and members of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus expressing disappointment in the failure of Congress to pass the recent Voting Rights Act.

“It is difficult to see legislation meant to support equality for all Americans fall short of passage,” Pierre said. “It sends a message to many of us that our leaders do not hold our best interests in their minds and hearts. We live in a country where all citizens should always have the right to vote and to have their opinions heard, or at the very least noticed, but our system is flawed and unfair to many. We deserve these necessary changes, and I urge our leaders to reconsider this choice.”

The act would have made it easier for all Americans to vote and reversed efforts by several states to limit ballot access. While many leaders of our highest ranks, including President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, showed support for the effort, the legislation did not receive the necessary 60 votes needed to pass through the Senate.

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