IN Brief

New leadership for Black legislative caucus

By: - December 22, 2022 12:00 pm

Member are: back row, left to right, Rep. John Bartlett, Sen. Greg Taylor, Rep. Earl Harris Jr., Rep. Greg Porter, Rep. Renee Pack, Rep. Ragen Hatcher, Sen. Lonnie Randolph, Sen. Eddie Melton. front row, left to right, Rep. Vanessa Summers, Rep. Cherrish Pryor, Rep. Robin Shackleford, Sen. Jean Breaux, Rep. Carolyn Jackson.

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus met this week and elected Rep. Earl Harris, D-East Chicago, as chairman and Rep. Carolyn Jackson, D-Hammond, as vice chair.

Harris, who formerly serviced as vice chair, succeeds State Rep. Robin Shackleford, D-Indianapolis, as Chair.

“I’m very excited to begin this new chapter of Chair of the IBLC,” Harris said. “Over the next two years, we’ll continue the work we’ve been doing for the past 44 years as a caucus to advance the needs of and improve the quality of life for African Americansas well as all Hoosiers, throughout the state. We have a lot of important work to do, but I’m confident that the work we’re doing is going to make a monumental impact for generations of Hoosiers.”

Shackleford said she was proud of the advances from under her leadership, including helping to shepherd through a police reform bill.

“The bill, which was a priority for the IBLC, defines the use of chokeholds during arrests as lethal force and penalizes officers for intentionally turning off body and vehicle cameras. It also establishes procedures to decertify an officer who has committed misconduct, requires a law enforcement agency to request a potential hire’s employment record, and requires officers to undergo de-escalation training.”

The new leadership of the IBLC is as follows:

Chair: State Rep. Earl Harris Jr. (D-East Chicago)

Vice Chair: State Rep. Carolyn Jackson (D-Hammond)

Treasurer: State Rep. Renee Pack (D-Indianapolis)

Parliamentarian: State Rep. John Bartlett (D-Indianapolis)

Chaplain: State Sen. Andrea Hunley (D-Indianapolis)

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Indiana Capital Chronicle staff - Casey Smith, Niki Kelly, Whitney Downard, Leslie Bonilla Muñiz