On October 22, 2019 The Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus hosted a community listening session in Springfield, MA. Gathering in the City Council chamber, members were also joined by Hampden County Register of Deeds Cheryl Coakley Rivera, Springfield City Councilor At-Large Tracye Whitfield, and Springfield Elections Commissioner Gladys Oyola-Lopez. The event allowed the Caucus to hear directly from area residents about the issues and concerns they face. Insight gained from the session will inform future Caucus initiatives to address concerns impacting Black and Latinx populations.
Attendees touched on a range of subjects including voter engagement, diversity on the executive and board level for banks, k-12 reading proficiency, redistricting, the public benefits cliff, economic development and much more. A full report highlighting the testimony will be compiled and distributed following the next listening session planned for 6pm November 7th at Roxbury Community College’s Student Commons.
On Tuesday, October 22, 2019 MBLLC members Rep. Andy X. Vargas and Rep. Liz Miranda testified in support of their legislation H3457: An Act relative to parole. This MBLLC priority would change the Parole Board by:
On Wednesday, October 16, 2019 the MBLLC met with Enes Kanter: human rights advocate and center for the NBA Celtics. Enes spends much of his time advocating for change in his homeland of Turkey, while also holding basketball camps across the Commonwealth for youth. He joined the MBLLC on the 16th, following a speech in the House Chamber, to provide background for his advocacy. The MBLLC looks forward to support his efforts and collaborating in the future.
On Tuesday, October 15, 2019 the MBLCC presented testimony in support of H2681 - An Act to Ensure Equitable Representation in the Commonwealth. The legislation, filed by Rep. Tackey Chan and a endorsed by the Asian Caucus, would disaggregate racial/ethnic data allowing for better allocation of funding & services to the populations that need it most.
It would facilitate that by having government agencies which currently collect racial or ethnic demographic data add further choices under current options such as Asian, Pacific Islander, Latino, Black and African American, and White. As a result, for example, people would be able to identify more specifically as Vietnamese, Cape Verdean, Ethiopian, Puerto Rican, Salvadoran, and so forth.
You can track the bill through this link and you can learn more about it through the fact sheet below. If you would like to help advocate for the bill, you could do so by contacting the Committee Chairs shown here to share your support.
On Wednesday, October 9, 2019 8th grade students from the Rafael Hernández School visited the MBLLC at the State House to learn about civic engagement. The class was the first to visit this year restarting the MBLLC's Civics Day on the Hill program. The program was originally launched in 2017 by former MBLLC Executive Director Sibu Malaba and Rita Noonan from the Senate Office of Education and Civic Engagement.
Currently, only a small fraction of students of color participate in State House educational programming. Civics Day on the Hill was launched in an effort to increase student diversity building a more inclusive pipeline of future State House interns and staffers. During their visit, the students learn about the MBLLC, participate in a simulated legislative hearing, and hear from Legislators. The program has evolved this year to incorporate Boston City Hall where the students spend half of the day learning about municipal governance.
On October 3, 2019 the Massachusetts Black & Latino Legislative Caucus celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring Latinx leaders from throughout the Commonwealth. Representing various districts and professions, these community leaders were recognized for their many contributions. The event served as an opportunity to celebrate Latinx excellence, culture, and progress in the Commonwealth.
A full list of the 2019 Latinx Excellence on the Hill Honorees is included in the attachment below along with their biographies.
Photos taken by
Office of State Representative Frank A. Moran – 17th Essex
Chairperson, Committee on Personnel and Administration
MBLLC log posts are curated by the Caucus Executive Director.