Dear NBCSL Members:
I am honored to be President of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. When I joined NBCSL, I found it provided great networking opportunities, to share legislation but also gained new colleagues throughout the US. Serving as an officer, and as member of committees, provided me with a greater appreciation for the importance of our organization. I know and have built relationships with many of you but for those I have not met, let's work together to make this organization one that all will be proud to be a member of. I want to acknowledge the leadership provided by Past President, Representative Billy Mitchel and Officers, and I am excited to welcome the new and returning members of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors, who I am certain will successfully fulfill their predecessors' shoes! Please join me in welcoming President-elect Representative Harold Love, Vice President; Senator Ramesh Akbari, Representative; Vivian Flowers, Secretary; Representative Cherrish Pryor, Treasurer; Representative Toni Rose, Financial Secretary; Senator Gerald Neal, Parliamentarian; and Senator Pat Spearman, Chaplin. I look forward to serving NBCSL as President, but humbled too, especially considering the many outstanding, inspiring, and tireless Past Presidents, Executive Directors, and staff who kept this organization running day in and day out throughout the years. A special THANK YOU to my predecessors for their leadership and mentoring. I also want to thank Corporate Round Table (CRT) because our achievement would not have been possible without their continued support and dedication to excellence. We are also looking forward to reconnecting and developing the Labor Round Table as it previously existed in NBCSL.
NBCSL has been blessed to have weathered a world-wide pandemic and still maintain a healthy membership base and financial stability. We will continue to develop opportunities that allow and encourage more engagement between legislators and our corporate partners. To that end, we will launch a campaign of regional policy forums that will precipitate more interaction between legislators and corporate partners. The forums will augment our ALL-Member CRT quarterly meetings. Additionally, we will facilitate the introduction of model legislation. We have a perfect public-private partnership that can be extremely helpful in educating our legislators on industry-specific matters and making the policy recommendations that will be the product of this partnership.
The Public Policy and Research Institute (PPRI) has been a major focus of the organization for the last two years. So far, our corporate partners and individual donors have contributed in excess of $1.3Million to begin the development of PPRI. The Institute will continue to be a focal point for NBCSL. We realize that the public policy development playing field is out of balance and is leaning towards those who do not share the concerns of our community. We must rectify this imbalance and strengthen the ability of our legislators to lead in public policy development by providing them a game-changing resource. This resource, with the support of HBCUs, will be able to provide real time public policy development support to Black state legislators.
This administration's priorities will be to (1) engage our legislators to become involved with NBCSL and (2) provide members with solutions and opportunities through PPRI resources. Credit for our continued prosperity belongs to immediate Past President Mitchell, our team of officers, and our staff. Our corporate partners are also due credit for continuing to invest in our organization as we pursue our mission to better serve Black state legislators and their constituents. Our objective for the next two years of my term is to build on the successes of my predecessors. If you have an idea, suggestion, comment, improvement, or criticism, please contact me, or any of our leadership team, and convey your thoughts. If you want to make a difference, reach out to the Chairs of the Committee or Ms. Paula Hoisington and let them know you want to get more involved.
I am grateful for your involvement and dedication to NBCSL to make it all possible!
Representative Laura Hall (AL)
President, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators