CBC conference seeks to gauge the issues that are important to the Black community

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

WASHINGTON (FinalCall.com)–The 33rd Annual Legislative Conference, sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) in Washington, D.C. and, set for September 24-27, will bring together people from all across the country interested in shaping and fashioning public policy for the future.


The theme for this year’s conference is “Collective Leadership–Challenging a Bold New World.”

“It reflects on the 40th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke before a collective force of leadership and hundreds of thousands of Black and White citizens to challenge America,” said Rep. Millender-McDonald.

“This conference week will embody the same boldness, defining characteristics and challenges that are prevalent today,” she said.

This year, the conference will debut four new briefing forums on health, education, law and the courts and economics. The conference highlights include Issue Forums and Brain Trusts, Briefing Forums, and an Emerging Leaders Series. It will also feature a town hall meeting, “Voter Mobilization: Preserving Our Legacy–Strengthening Our Base.” Other highlights include the CBC Spouses Celebration of Leadership, the Exhibit Showcase, the Annual Prayer Breakfast and the Annual Awards Dinner.

“With the 2004 Presidential election a little more than one year away, it is imperative that we engage the candidates in conversation about issues important to us,” said CBCF Annual Legislative Conference Chair Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald.

“The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a renowned think tank in Washington, D.C. will record the town hall meeting and four briefing forums, distill the data and develop a questionnaire for the presidential candidates.”

The questionnaires will then serve as a gauge for voters to assess the candidates’ responses to the “issues critical to our community.”

“The synergy during this four-day conference will set the tone and shape the policy for members of Congress and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to help set the domestic agenda for African Americans in 2004,” said Rep. Millender-McDonald.

An easy reference

Many of the issues that must be addressed by the new crop of campaigners are contained in “The National Agenda: Public Policy Issues, Analyses and Programmatic Plan of Action 2000-2008” which was distributed at the Million Family March.

It formed out of the National Agenda 1996-2001, which was ratified and published on September 27, 1996 at the conclusion of the National Political Convention in St. Louis, Mo., that was sponsored by the National African American Leadership Summit and the Million Family March, Inc. The convention was a follow-up to the Million Man March in 1995.

At the time, the agenda was developed to present issues to the presidential candidates of that year. It contained a broad spectrum of issues such as voting rights, civil rights, police brutality, juvenile justice, youth and education, HIV/AIDS, health care, employment, housing, urban and rural economic development, wealth creation, and international relations with the Diaspora. All of these issues are still pertinent today.