Florida Legislative Black Caucus announces new leadership team

sfl-state-sen-bobby-powell-d-west-palm-beach-20170330
Sen. Bobby Powell was named Chair. Rep. Kamia Brown will be Vice Chair.

The Florida Legislative Black Caucus, one of the state’s oldest minority political groups, has selected its new leadership board for the next two years.

Sen. Bobby Powell, a West Palm Beach Democrat, will serve as Chair and Rep. Kamia Brown, an Orlando Democrat, will serve as Vice Chair

“I am honored to serve as incoming chair of this outstanding organization and look forward to the great things this new board will accomplish in the upcoming year,” Powell said in a statement.

Jacksonville Democratic Rep. Tracie Davis was elected Secretary. Pompano Beach Democratic Rep. Patricia Williams will be the Treasurer, and Tampa Democratic Rep. Fentrice Driskell is the new Parliamentarian.

The caucus, which includes six senators and 23 House members, dates back to 1964, at a time when African Americans were still subject to racial segregation laws.

In 1968, Joe Lang Kershaw became the first African American in the Florida Legislature, but the caucus did not formally launch until 1982 when 12 African Americans were elected to the Florida Legislature. Since then, the state leaders have advocated in Tallahassee for issues that impact their constituents in majority-minority communities.

“Historically, the FLBC has been a champion for quality and affordable health care, proper funding for education, business and economic development, civic, social and criminal justice, alternative energy resources and environmental advancements,” representatives said in a statement.

Members of the board are elected every two years. The chairman sets the group’s agenda for each term.

Caucus members meet with community stakeholders ahead of each Legislative Session to determine their priorities and then author legislation based on their findings.

Powell has represented his district, which includes Palm Beach, Jupiter, Rivera Beach, Lake Park and Juno Beach, since 2016.

Last Legislative Session, he successfully proposed a bill that excludes Baker Act cases — involuntary mental health evaluations — from open records law. This Session, Powell’s bills have a recurring theme of criminal justice reform.

“We have had a very strong two years under Chair Bruce Antone, and as a unified front we are looking forward to keeping that momentum into this new decade,” he said.

Brown has also represented her district, which includes parts of Orange County, since 2016. Last Legislative Session, she filed a bill that expands the Closing the Gap grant program, created to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities

In 2020, Brown has proposed laws that promote better health and education outcomes in underserved communities.

Staff Reports


One comment

  • David

    March 9, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    article does not recognize the earliest African-Americans to serve in Florida’s legislature…
    see
    Jonathan Clarkson Gibbs, Secretary of State and Secretary of Public Instruction of Florida
    Thomas Van Renssalaer Gibbs, Florida House of Representatives, son of Jonathan Clarkson Gibbs
    Robert Meacham, Florida Senator
    Charles H. Pearce, Florida Senate
    [[Thomas Sterling DelaneyFlorida House of Representatives, [1]

Comments are closed.


#FlaPol

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Ron Brackett, Jason Delgado, Renzo Downey, Daniel Figueroa, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Joe Henderson, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Mike Wright, and Tristan Wood.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704




Sign up for Sunburn


Categories