PA Legislative Black Caucus Installs New Leadership

PLBC officers 2023-24Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus officers for the 2023-24 legislative term: Vice Chairman Napoleon Nelson, D-Montgomery; Secretary Darisha Parker, D-Phila.; Chairwoman Donna Bullock, D-Phila.; Treasurer Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster. (Submitted Image)

PENNSYLVANIA — The Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus this week officially installed officers to serve in the 2023-24 legislative session in a virtual ceremony that included guests Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, former PLBC members Pennsylvania Lt. Gov.-elect Austin Davis and U.S. Rep.-elect Summer Lee, and other dignitaries, PLBC members and former members.

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania Judge Lori Dumas administered the oath of office.

The following members were installed as officers:

  • Chairwoman, Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila.
  • Vice Chairman, Rep. Napoleon Nelson, D-Montgomery
  • Secretary, Rep. Darisha Parker, D-Phila.
  • Treasurer, Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster

In her remarks as the returning chair of PLBC, Bullock recognized the 50 years since the organization was formed in the legislature.

“This is a moment 50 years in the making,” she said. “We are sending folks to Congress, the lieutenant governor’s office, all over this country to continue the good work that we do here in the General Assembly. Two years before the PLBC was formally formed, Black members met in secret. We are not meeting in the shadows anymore. We are doing the work. We are getting the job done. This year, with the largest and the most diverse PLBC membership in our commonwealth’s history, we represent Black, Latino and Asian communities across the commonwealth. While we center our policies on Black Pennsylvanians, we acknowledge that it’s with our coalition – together – that we are stronger. This coalition of leaders of color will no longer be silenced. But tonight, I’m inspired by us – the collective of us – and what we can do together. We have the power to move some mountains and shake some tables and I’m ready to get things shaking.”

Established as an official caucus in 1973, the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus was formed to empower Black legislators and to serve as an information and advocacy vehicle to advance the interests of Black, Latino and other Pennsylvanians of color. Many of the original members were afraid to meet in an open forum and had previously met in secret to establish a shared legislative agenda.

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