Caucus Weekend 2018

Caucus weekend 2018: Previewing the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus' annual gathering.

Caucus Weekend 2017

Caucus Weekend 2017 New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators

This weekend, the “Black Panther” film hits theaters.

The movie centers on the young leader of Wakanda, a mythical African nation that is both tradition-oriented and technologically advanced. And while it features the latest in a never-ending string of Marvel superheroes, it’s generating buzz for its “feeling and flair,” its exploration of real-world matters like “ages-old colonialism” and its “racial conscience” that “digs into the roots of blackness itself.

Also opening is New York’s annual Caucus Weekend. The New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators is holding its 47th annual legislative conference in Albany, and it’s running all weekend long.

As always, the state’s African-American, Latino and Asian lawmakers have planned a jampacked schedule of panel discussions and policy talks from Friday through Sunday. On the program is everything from criminal justice reform to charter schools to the 2020 census.

In this special section, we hear from Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, this year’s chairwoman, about the specific issues she is focused on. In the following pages, we also put the spotlight on a success story in the effort to expand access to government contracts for minority- and women-owned businesses, and we recognize the long-serving state lawmakers whose efforts to end the punitive Rockefeller drug laws have paved the way for other criminal justice reforms.

Of course, Caucus Weekend has plenty of networking events and receptions scheduled. City & State is once again partnering with the organizers in hosting a Kickoff Cocktail Reception, scheduled for 9 p.m. on Friday at the Albany Marriott.

And on Saturday evening, there’s a screening of “Black Panther” – although in real life, it’s elected officials like those gathering at Caucus Weekend who are fighting injustice and trying to save the world.

Assemblywoman Latrice Walker: Why it's more than just a "weekend."

[[{"fid":"3692","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Latrice Walker","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Latrice Walker"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"2":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Latrice Walker","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Latrice Walker"}},"attributes":{"alt":"Latrice Walker","title":"Latrice Walker","style":"height: 316px; width: 336px; float: left;","class":"media-element file-default","data-delta":"2"}}]]

The New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators will hold its 47th annual legislative conference in Albany this weekend. This year’s theme is “On This Journey There is Still #Hope,” which is reflective of our grit as a community. While the journey has been long, and its past has been dark, it has not been in vain. We still embody the hope of today and as a force we have a brighter future ahead. Read the full opinion piece from this year's Caucus Weekend chairwoman here.

The fight for criminal justice continues, from one generation to the next

[[{"fid":"3694","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Jeff Aubry","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Jeff Aubry"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Jeff Aubry","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Jeff Aubry"}},"attributes":{"alt":"Jeff Aubry","title":"Jeff Aubry","style":"height: 225px; width: 336px; float: left;","class":"media-element file-default","data-delta":"1"}}]]

New York officials have renewed their efforts to reform the state’s criminal justice system in recent years, including raising the age of criminal responsibility to 18 and targeting bail procedures that many have criticized as unfair. These issues mark the latest battles in broader struggle over criminal justice policies that goes back at least as far as the fight over the Rockefeller drug laws. Read the full story here

Following the MTA's lead on mentoring MWBEs

[[{"fid":"3695","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Michael Garner","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Michael Garner"},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"3":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Michael Garner","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Michael Garner"}},"attributes":{"alt":"Michael Garner","title":"Michael Garner","style":"height: 234px; width: 336px; float: left;","class":"media-element file-default","data-delta":"3"}}]]New York City and New York state have set 30 percent goals for minority- and women-owned business enterprises, or MWBEs. To reach those goals, one model is the mentorship programs at the New York City School Construction Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which help MWBEs obtain contracts so they can gain experience and continue growing. Read the full story here.