Dear Members of the NBCSL, CRT, and Friends,
The National Black Caucus of State Legislators continues to be the premier organization for Black state legislators, and together, we will amplify our voice and influence on the national stage. Our dedication to addressing the pressing issues facing our communities will remain unwavering. Our commitment to creating positive change will only grow stronger. As we look ahead to the challenges and opportunities of the coming year, let us remember the power of unity and collaboration. Together, we can achieve great things and continue to be a force for positive change. I would like to express my gratitude to the Executive Officers, dedicated members, and steadfast supporters who have tirelessly worked towards our common goals. Your unwavering commitment to the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) has been the foundation of our accomplishments.
One of our top priorities remains advocating for the rights and wellbeing of Black farmers. By supporting policies and initiatives that address the unique challenges faced by Black farmers, we can contribute to the preservation and growth of this vital community. We also recognize the pressing need for improved broadband access in both rural and urban communities. Access to high-speed internet is no longer a luxury but a necessity for education, healthcare, and economic empowerment. We must bridge the digital divide and ensure that all our constituents have equal access to the opportunities of the digital age.
It is also the National Black Caucus of State Legislators’ priority to address the stark disparities that exist within maternal healthcare systems. Black women in the United States face alarming rates of maternal mortality and morbidity compared to their white counterparts. This troubling trend is not solely due to socioeconomic factors, but also systemic racism within healthcare. As policymakers, we are shining a spotlight on this issue to raise awareness and drive much-needed change. We are working towards dismantling the structural barriers that hinder equitable access to quality prenatal and postnatal care for Black women, ultimately striving for a healthcare system where every mother, regardless of their race, can experience a safe and healthy pregnancy journey.
Additionally, we remain vigilant in ensuring that district lines are drawn fairly, which is essential to upholding the principles of equal representation and democratic integrity. Fair redistricting means that political boundaries should be established in a way that reflects the demographics and interests of the population accurately, rather than being manipulated to favor one political party or group over another. It is crucial to guard against gerrymandering, a practice that can lead to the distortion of electoral outcomes and undermine the people's trust in the electoral system. By promoting transparency, engaging communities, and employing independent commissions, we can work towards a fair redistricting process that honors the core principles of democracy, where every citizen's voice is heard, and their interests are represented.
Furthermore, the importance of the 2024 election cannot be overstated. In these challenging times, it is vital that we stay engaged and involved in the democratic process to ensure that the voices and concerns of our communities are heard and acted upon. Let us continue to advocate for fair and equitable policies that promote justice, equality, and opportunity for all. Over the past year, we have forged successful partnerships, secured crucial grants that have empowered us to drive change and create lasting impact in the lives of those we serve. These collaborations have allowed us to address pressing issues and extend our reach, making a meaningful difference in the communities we represent. As we reflect it brings me immense joy and pride to report on the tremendous achievements and strides made during my first year as the President of our esteemed organization. Together, we have embarked on a journey of success and meaningful impact, one that has strengthened our bonds and positioned us to play an even more vital role in our communities and for our constituencies. Once again, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you for your dedication, support, and hard work. Together, we have made this past year a resounding success, and I am excited about what the future holds for our organization and the communities we serve.
Representative Laura Hall (AL)
President, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators