On 01/06/2015 Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) was sworn in as the 24th Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) during a ceremony hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) at the U.S. Capitol. The historic ceremony marked the induction of the largest class in the CBC’s 44-year history, which includes five new members of which 20 are women.
During the event, Chairman Butterfield recognized Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn, and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, who were all in attendance, and welcomed Representatives Alma Adams (NC-12), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Mia Love (UT-04), and Stacey Plaskett (USVI) to the Caucus.
Over the next two years, Chairman Butterfield will lead the Caucus, also known as the “Conscience of the Congress” in carrying out its mission of empowering the African American community and addressing its legislative concerns.
In his remarks, Butterfield outlined the CBC’s focus for the 114th Congress to include:
· Criminal justice reform;
· Reducing poverty;
· Safeguarding social safety net programs;
· Creating educational opportunities;
· Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities;
· Restoring section 5 of the Voting Rights Act; and
· Ensuring corporate diversity.
Butterfield said, “We are ready for these fights. The fight for the future is not a black fight, a Democratic or Republican fight; it is a fight that all fair minded Americans should promote. We need to use political means, policy and legal means, to reduce racial disparities and move closer to the day when all African Americans will benefit from fairness and justice and realize the American dream.”