Dear Colleagues:

It is my honor and privilege to greet you as the 12th President of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL).  For more than 40 years, our organization has been fighting to create an environment that encouraged fairness and equality for African Americans and other people of color.

The current shifting political climate and the rollbacks in civil rights and progress that it fosters—from judicially challenged Muslim Bans, to ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), to continuous failed attempts to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare), to reversing even the minor gains in policing reform—means that now more than ever, we must fight to safeguard the rights and protections of our communities.

This administration has made its priorities clear: benefit the most comfortable Americans and in many cases, further burden and target the most vulnerable. So, we too, at NBCSL shall make ours clear: to have a government that works for us all.

As President, I am fully committed and honored to work alongside legislators who have fought tirelessly to advance policies critical to the wellbeing of African Americans and other marginalized groups. The following Five Pillars of Action encapsulate the legislative priorities I seek to lead NBCSL in addressing during my tenure and beyond:

2017 NBCSL Five Pillars of Action

I look forward to working with all of you in setting an on-going agenda to address these critical issues. I am particularly excited to welcome and work with our newly elected legislators.

Legislating is tough work and after 25 years in the Indiana State Legislature, I know there is often little time for new members to adjust to their new responsibilities. From constituent relations and managing a legislative office to how to effectively communicate with the media and the importance of maintaining civility and decorum in the legislative process, NBCSL knows the challenges of being African-American legislators, advocating for the concerns of people of color while simultaneously representing mainstream and other unique constituencies. As part of your membership in NBCSL, you will meet members who have been in the trenches and bring their distinctive insights and practical experience, as well as have access to professional development, peer networking, and other valuable resources to help along your legislative journey.

For those returning, we welcome you back and call on you to lend your expertise and experience.  Together, we are facing a new legislative playing field, and it is up to us to ensure that we remain a strong, influential and cohesive voice in state and national conversations.   

I am truly blessed to have been chosen to lead this incredible organization and look forward to working hard for you and all our constituents.


Gregory W. Porter (IN)
President, National Black Caucus of State Legislators
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