Dear Colleagues,

Happy New Year!  Well, it’s official, as of January 1, 2019, I became the 13th President.  Thank you, colleagues, for entrusting me with this awesome responsibility and I humbly solicit your prayers and support.

Please join me in expressing thanks and appreciation to Immediate Past President Greg Porter for his service as well as former Parliamentarian, Senator Hillman Frazier for his years of dedication and commitment to the NBCSL.

To those colleagues who have retired or for whatever reason, are no longer in office, thank you for your service.  I recognize how much value you can bring to NBCSL and am committed to exploring the associate membership category for ways to accomplish that for former members interested in remaining actively engaged.

I recall attending my very first NBCSL Annual Legislative Conference after being elected to the South Carolina House and was most impressed with the members, professional development and networking opportunities provided.  Since then, I have attended every ALC and value the personal and professional relationships that I have developed over the years.

Enhancing the NBCSL Membership value to attract new Legislators across the country will ensure that my experiences can be duplicated. This bodes well for consistently greater ALC attendance and participation in the future.

During this two-year term my goal is two-fold: 

1) Create and implement systems to ensure that NBCSL will be around for the next 40 plus years as a resource for black legislators and, 2) Build the membership by expanding in the Northeast, Midwest and Western regions and embracing black legislators of different political persuasions.  These two actions in my opinion, are vital to long-term viability and sustainability and will strengthen NBCSL in ways not yet imagined.

Finally, the NBCSL Committee structure and its effectiveness is a critical piece of the viability puzzle. Shortly, you will receive information from the staff asking you to choose the Committee on which you would like to serve.  Once those requests have been returned and reviewed, Committee assignments will occur, and every effort made to accommodate your first choice of Committee.  Of course, there are only so many committees and your first choice may not be possible.

I ask for your help and patience as we embark on this journey.  Let’s get to work!

Sincerely,

Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter (SC)

President, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators
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