Kamia Brown elected to lead Florida Legislative Black Caucus

Kamia Brown
A slate of officers was elected to lead the Caucus in the Legislature's next term.

Democratic Rep. Kamia Brown is the new leader of one of the state’s oldest minority political groups, the Florida Legislative Black Caucus.

Brown, of Ocoee, will serve as chair for the next two years and Democratic Sen. Darryl Rouson of St. Petersburg will be the vice-chair, the caucus recently announced.

“I am honored to have been elected to serve as the Chair to the Florida Legislative Black Caucus,” Brown said. “I look forward to the work that my colleagues and I will accomplish in our pursuit of uplifting and amplifying Black voices and issues during our time in leadership.”

Jacksonville Democratic Rep. Tracie Davis was elected Secretary. Hollywood Democratic Rep. Marie Woodson will be the Treasurer, and Miami Gardens Democratic Rep. Felicia Robinson is the new Parliamentarian.

Caucus leaders serve two-year terms.

The caucus, which currently includes five senators and 20 House members, began when African Americans were still subject to racial segregation laws. Their membership makes up 17% in the House and 13% in the Senate.

In 1968, Joe Lang Kershaw became the first African American in the Florida Legislature since Reconstruction. However, 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 affect their constituents in majority-minority communities.

Brown was first elected Representative of House District 45 in 2016, serving parts of west Orange County, Pine Hills, Apopka and Ocoee. She assumes leadership of the caucus coming off her term as House Democratic Leader Pro Tempore. As Chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, she will set its agenda for the 2022-24 term, which will be her last in the House, due to term limits.

This Session, Brown was the ranking Democratic member of the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee, as well as a member of the Appropriations Committee, the Health & Human Services Committee, Rules Committee, Congressional Redistricting Subcommittee, and the Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee.

She co-sponsored successful legislation including a move to put a property tax break for critical workers on the ballot, the care of students with epilepsy, exempting types of juvenile arrests from public records and more limits on the use of student restraints.

Brown succeeds Sen. Bobby Powell in the leadership role.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected]



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