The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus (GLBC), chaired by State Representative Carl Gilliard (D-Savannah), held a press conference to announce its legislative priorities and the “GLBC for the People Campaign” events on February 15 at the Georgia State Capitol.
“It's time for real action to address the pressing issues facing Black Georgians,” said Rep. Gilliard. “The ‘GLBC for the People Campaign’ reflects our commitment to working tirelessly to bring about positive change in our communities. We call on all concerned citizens to join us in this effort.”
This campaign is a comprehensive effort to address 10 pressing issues facing Black Georgians. The GLBC has identified the following issues/topics as its key areas of concern for 2023: systemic racism and discrimination, income and wealth inequality, health care disparities, environmental injustice, voter suppression, unemployment, economic development, food insecurity, access to financial services and disparities in Black farming. The GLBC plans to introduce the following legislative initiatives during the 2023 legislative session:
- The Credit Desert Act of 2023, which aims to increase access to non-predatory loans, reduce predatory lending and improve the economic well-being of low-income and minority communities;
- The Environmental Justice Act of 2023, which would promote policies and practices that address environmental degradation and pollution in Black communities and ensure equal access to a healthy and safe environment;
- The Georgia Pharmacy Desert Prevention Act, which would address “pharmacy deserts” in low-income and minority communities by increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates and supporting the establishment and expansion of pharmacies;
- The Racial Equity in Agriculture Act of 2023, which would address discrimination and systemic barriers by increasing funding for programs, establishing a land trust and promoting culturally essential crops for Black farming operations;
- The Georgia Equitable Contracting Opportunity Act, which would promote supplier diversity in state contracts by creating the “Division of Supplier Diversity” and providing certification resources for minority and women-owned businesses;
- The Racial Wealth Gap Reduction and Financial Inclusion Act of 2023, which would create funding opportunities to expand affordable housing, financial education programs and incentives for Black-owned small businesses;
- The Regulated Industry Community Investment Act of 2023, which would provide regulatory oversight for industries receiving government support, such as creating community investment requirements, allocating a portion of their profits or resources toward community investment. This bill would also establish penalties for non-compliant industries.
In addition to announcing the caucus’s priorities, the GLBC will hold a series of events across the state starting this spring. The campaign will kick off with the “Black Farmers Tour” on March 3, 2023, at Fort Valley University. To celebrate 50 years of advocacy, the caucus will also host its annual conference in July 2023. Furthermore, the “For the People” tour will take place in June and July, and this event series will give Georgians an opportunity to learn about the policies and initiatives being developed by the caucus.
The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus is a group of elected officials dedicated to advocating for the needs and concerns of Black Georgians. The caucus is committed to working towards a brighter future for all citizens of Georgia.
Information about these events will be forthcoming. For more information about the GLBC, please click here.