By Verbal Adam | OBSERVER Correspondent

The California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) held its annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast celebration in-person, after two years of holding the event virtually.

The breakfast opened with remarks from Dr. Akilah Weber, who serves as secretary of the CLBC.

“We hope that you are as excited as we are, and that you walk away today with a renewed sense of purpose and mission,” Dr. Weber said. “People ask me all the time, what can I do? And what I tell them is that we each have a responsibility to be social justice and change makers. We all have an opportunity to make a difference.”

She also said that this is a critical year in government.

“Now, 2023 is not only a year of reuniting in person. It is also the year to laser focus on raising our unified voices. It is a year of action. It is a year to spark even stronger Black civic engagement.”

She also serves as Assemblymember of the 79th district. Dr. Weber and Assemblymember Isaac Bryan of the 55th district were the masters of ceremony. This year’s breakfast had two keynote speakers: The Honorable Willie L. Brown Jr., a public servant of nearly 60 years, who has been Assembly Speaker and Mayor of San Francisco, and CLBC Chair Lori D. Wilson, who was the first Black person elected as a mayor in  Solano County. 

“We need the Legislative Black Caucus now more than ever, to educate and empower the next generation of leaders.” Brown said. “Every dollar we make goes towards helping us educate and empower the next generation of Black excellence.”

The CLBC was formed in 1967 when African American members of the California Legislature, under the leadership of Senator Mervyn Dymally, came together to address the concerns of African Americans and other citizens of color.  The members believed that a caucus representing concerns of the African American community would provide political influence and visibility far beyond their numbers. 

Today, there are 12 members of the CLBC. 

“The CLBC has afforded activists and community leaders the opportunity to network and collaborate with our nation’s elected leaders to forge pathways that seek to resolve racial disparities,” Brown said. “This mission continues, as we reconvene rejuvenated and ready to advance the needs of the global Black community.”