Rep. Joyce Beatty, a Democrat from Ohio, was elected the next chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) on Thursday (December 3).
Beatty will be the Caucus’ 27th chair, taking over the 50-member group after Rep. Karen Bass of California.
As the leader of CBC, Beatty said she's highlighting three areas of concern that are impacting Black people in disproportionate ways: the coronavirus pandemic, “economic turmoil, and social injustice.”
Beatty sent a tweet marking her election and the importance of the role.
The CBC was founded in 1971 by 13 founding members including: Shirley Chisholm, Charles B. Rangel, William Clay Sr., George Collins, John Conyers Jr., Ronald Dellums, Charles Diggs Jr., Ralph Metcalfe, Parren Mitchell, Robert N.C. Nix Sr., Louis Stokes, and Walter Fauntroy.
Beatty took the time to acknowledge the upcoming 50th anniversary of the caucus’ founding stating, “The Caucus will mark its 50th anniversary in 2021, and I will do everything in my power to build upon our previous successes, work to create racial wealth equity and sustainability, increase access to affordable healthcare, housing and education, reform our criminal justice system, and clean up our environment.”
Beatty also plans to use the platform as leader of the CBC to emphasize the turmoil Black Americans experience, saying it’s necessary to “address enduring economic and health disparities and fight to break the chains of systemic racism that have held back the Black community for far too long.”
Her words come as Black Americans continue to be hospitalized and die from COVID-19 at twice the rate of white people, according to the COVID Racial Data Tracker. Research also shows Black small businesses are suffering at greater rates and economically devastating Black families and individuals.
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