Thursday February 7, 2019
By William Bornhoft,
The goal of the caucus will be to elevate and advocate for issues relating to Minnesota's black communities.
SAINT PAUL, MN — On Wednesday, members of the Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate announced the first United Black Legislative Caucus as part of Black History Month. The goal of the caucus will be to elevate and advocate for issues relating to Minnesota's black communities.
Rep. Ruth Richardson, Rep. Mohamud Noor, and Rep. Hodan Hassan joined the State House this year, creating a record number of black and Somali-American legislators in Minnesota.
The U.S. Census estimates the percentage of black Minnesotans in 2018 to be 6.4 percent, however, the United Black Legislative Caucus still makes up less than 3 percent of the state legislature.
The caucus hopes to address Minnesota's unemployment, income, incarceration and homeownership gaps between black and white residents, which are among the worst in the nation, according to a news release.
"It's taken generations to get the level of representation our community now has at the State Capitol to form this caucus, but by no means is our work over as we work to have our ideas heard and new opportunities established," Rep. Rena Moran said in a statement.
"Collectively bringing together our shared backgrounds, stories and experiences, this caucus will give us a greater voice to inform public policy decisions at the Legislature to truly gain progress and have a positive impact on our neighborhoods."
Photo courtesy of Minnesota House Photography