By Brandon I. Brooks
Managing Editor, Los Angeles Sentinel & Kimberlee Buck
In 2008, Congresswoman Karen Bass made history after being elected as the first ever African- American woman to become Speaker of any state legislature. Since then, Bass has continued to represent the 37th congressional district of California by being an active voice for criminal justice reform, fighting for America’s foster care system, and strengthening the United States ties with Africa. Now Bass will have the opportunity to continue making change in her new role as the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).
Bass’ colleagues from the DNC, CBC, as well as local and religious leaders extended their warmest congratulations on her latest feat.
“I am truly excited to see the energy and determination Karen Bass will bring to her role as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus,”said minority leader of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.
Bass, who is the eighth woman to hold this position, will replace outgoing chair Cedric Richmond. Other members of Congress who were also elected include: Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH-03), first vice chair; Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (D-MI-14), second vice chair; Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA-04), secretary; Congressman A. Donald McEachin (D-VA-04), Whip; and Congressman-elect Steven Horsford (D-NV-04), Parliamentarian.
“From her days in the California General Assembly where she became the first African-American woman in U.S. history to lead a state legislative body, to her work in Congress to address both domestic and international issues affecting people of African descent, Congresswoman Bass has demonstrated tried and true leadership,” said Richmond in a statement.
“There’s much work to be done next Congress to ensure equality and justice for African-Americans and other marginalized communities, and I am confident Congresswoman Bass will continue to provide strong leadership in this regard.”
Bass and the newly elected members of the CBC Executive Committee will take office on the first day of the 116th Congress.