The National Black Caucus of State Legislators has 15 policy committees composed of NBCSL members and legislative staff. These committees meet to exchange ideas, network, and find solutions to issues facing all Americans. The policy committees also serve an important function in the policy resolution process. Legislators deliberate and vote on resolutions, which must pass out of policy committees before they can be ratified by the full membership body at the Annual Legislative Conference. Committees are also responsible for submitting model legislation for NBCSL members.

A Handbook for the Effective Administration of State and Local Digital Equity Partnerships

Publication Date: February 15, 2023
Paul Garnett of the Vernonburg Group and Deborah Lathen of Lathen Consulting recently released A Handbook for the Effective Administration of State and Local Digital Equity Partnerships, which is intended to serve as a resource to states as they develop their digital equity plans.  This Handbook is modeled on the Vernonburg Group’s successful broadband deployment handbook released last year. Summary The new Digital Equity Handbook advances the following arguments: The broadband adoption gap is far greater than broadband availability gap and disproportionately impacts historically marginalized communities.   Broadband adoption gaps impact different groups, communities, and individuals differently, so localized and individualized assessments and interventions are needed to truly address digital inequities.  Policymakers should focus on those in greatest need. The Handbook lays out best practices for state and local policymakers to ensure that digital equity programs and interventions are equitable by design.  The Handbook recommends digital skilling programs and digital navigators as critical components for helping nonadopters overcome a range of barriers to adoption. Comcast has been committed to digital equity for over a decade and continue to be a leader in this space through Project UP – our $1 billion commitment to digital equity.

Broadband Imperatives for African Americans: Policy Recommendations to Increase Digital Adoption for Minorities and Their Communities

Publication Date: March 2, 2022

Broadband Imperatives for African Americans: Policy Recommendations to Increase Digital Adoption for Minorities and their Communities is a project of The Joint Center Media and Technology Institute and the following national organizations that represent African American elected officials: National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), National Organization of Black Elected Legislative (NOBEL) Women, National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM), National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO), National Association of Black County Officials (NABCO) The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies was founded in 1970 in the wake of the Voting Rights Act. With lead support from the Ford Foundation, the nonpartisan, nonprofit Joint Center seeks to augment the voice and resources of emerging black leaders and elected officials. The Joint Center is the only freestanding think tank focusing primarily on the concerns of African Americans and communities of color. Currently, Joint Center Initiatives include: The Media and Technology Institute, The Health Policy Institute, The Commission to Engage African Americans on Climate Change A fourth venture – the Civic Engagement and Governance Institute will soon be launched to energize political participation and increase public policy awareness among black elected officials.

Encouraging Effective Equitable Energy Policies

Publication Date: November 7, 2019

In 2014, NBCSL issued a White Paper entitled The Need to Develop & Implement Equitable Energy Policies.  In that paper NBCSL recognized that this nation’s electric sector deserved special attention given its impact on essential services and that accordingly, it was important that minority policymakers and policymaking bodies continue to work to assure universal, affordable and reliable access to energy service. Further, that as a result of the advent of innovative technologies, the opportunities for communities were great as long as policies adhered to the principle of fairness and did not benefit some at the expense of all.  NBCSL recommended that policymakers follow the following five principles to guide their efforts.

An Equitable and Just National Climate Platform

Publication Date: October 13, 2019

This platform lays out a bold national climate policy agenda that advances the goals of economic, racial, climate, and environmental justice. The platform identifies areas where the undersigned environmental justice (EJ) and national groups are aligned on desired outcomes for the national climate policy agenda. The platform also lays the foundation for our organizations to vastly improve the way we work together to advance ambitious and equitable national climate policies and to work through remaining differences.