Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland

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Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland
Logo for the legislative black caucus of maryland.jpg
MottoFacing The Rising Sun of a New Day Begun
TypePolitical organization
Legal status501(c)(4)
Purposepublic policies
HeadquartersLowe House Office Building
Region served
Maryland, United States of America
48 members
Official language
Cheryl D. Glenn
Parent organization
National Black Caucus of State Legislators
AffiliationsMaryland Legislative Black Caucus Foundation

The Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland (also known as The Maryland Legislative Black Caucus) is an American political organization composed of African Americans elected to the Maryland General Assembly.[1] Incorporated in 1970, the Caucus membership has grown from 17 to 44 and is one of the largest state legislative black caucuses in the country.


The Caucus was founded in 1970 by Lena King Lee, then a member of the Maryland House of Delegates.[2][3][4]


By drafting and sponsoring legislation to address constituent needs and by examining all bills that affect the black populace, the Caucus acts as a legislative body on behalf of the black community. Currently, of Maryland's 24 sub-divisions, only Baltimore City, Prince Georges, Baltimore, Montgomery, Howard and Wicomico Counties have elected members to the Maryland Black Caucus. So additionally the Caucus presents a black perspective from the entire state to the Legislature and advocates public policies that promote black social, cultural and economic progress, statewide. In addition, the Caucus serves as a research study group to generate pertinent data in support of appropriate public policies.

Current membership[edit]

Officers 2019-2020[edit]

District Officers Position
25 Delegate Darryl Barnes Chair
28 Delegate Edith J. Patterson 1st Vice-chair
26 Delegate Benjamin Brooks 2nd Vice-chair
14 Delegate Pamela Queen Treasurer
46 Delegate Robbyn Lewis Secretary
37A Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes Financial Secretary
24 Senator Joanne C. Benson Chaplain
44B Delegate Charles E. Sydnor III, Esq. Parliamentarian
45 Delegate Talmadge Branch Historian


District County(s) Represented Member Senator Party First Elected Committee
10 Baltimore County Delores G. Kelley (2009).jpg Delores G. Kelley Democratic 1994 Finance
20 Montgomery County Will Smith Democratic 2016 Judicial Proceedings (Vice-Chair)
24 Prince George's Joanne C. Benson (2007).jpg Joanne C. Benson Democratic 1998 Finance
25 Prince George's Melony Griffith Democratic 2019
26 Prince George's Obie Patterson Democratic 2019 Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs
28 Charles Arthur Ellis Democratic 2019 Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs
40 Baltimore City Antonio Hayes Democratic 2019 Finance
41 Baltimore City Jill P. Carter Democratic 2018 Judicial Proceedings
43 Baltimore City Mary L. Washington Democratic 2019 Judicial Proceedings
44 Baltimore City and County Shirley Nathan-Pulliam (2007).jpg Shirley Nathan-Pulliam Democratic 1994 Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs (Vice Chair)
45 Baltimore City Delegate Cory McCray.jpg Cory V. McCray Democratic 2019 Budget and Taxation
47 Prince George's Malcolm Augustine Democratic 2019 Finance


District County (-ies) Represented Member Delegate Party First Elected Committee
10 Baltimore County Adrienne A. Jones (November 2007).jpg Adrienne Jones Democratic 1997[5] Appropriations
10 Baltimore County Benjamin Brooks Democratic 2015 Economic Matters
13 Howard Vanessa Atterbeary Democratic 2019 Judiciary
14 Montgomery Pam Queen Democratic 2016 Judiciary
18 Montgomery Alfred C. Carr.jpg Alfred Carr Democratic 2007[6] Environmental Matters
19 Montgomery Charlotte Crutchfield Democratic 2019 Judiciary
20 Montgomery Jheanelle Wilkins (13957138843).jpg Jheanelle Wilkins Democratic 2017[6] Ways & Means
21 Prince George's, Anne Arundel Joseline Peña-Melnyk (2007).jpg Joseline Pena-Melnyk Democratic 2006 Health & Government Operations

Regional Revitalization Working Group

22 Prince George's Tawanna P. Gaines (2007).jpg Tawanna Gaines Democratic 2001[5] Appropriations
22 Prince George's Alonzo Washington Democratic 2012 Ways and Means
23B Prince George's Marvin E. Holmes, Jr. (2007).jpg Marvin Holmes Democratic 2002 Environmental Matters
23B Prince George's Ron Watson Democratic 2019 Judiciary
24 Prince George's Erek Barron Democratic 2014 Health & Government Operations
24 Prince George's Andrea Harrison Democratic 2019 Environment & Transportation
24 Prince George's Jazz Lewis Democratic 2017 Judiciary
25 Prince George's Nick Charles Democratic 2019 Health & Government Operations
25 Prince George's Dereck E. Davis (2007).jpgDereck E. Davis Democratic 1994 Economic Matters (Chair)

Rules & Executive Nominations

25 Prince George's Darryl Barnes Democratic 2015 Judiciary
26 Prince George's Jay Walker (quarterback and politician) (2007).jpg Jay Walker Democratic 2006 Ways and Means
26 Prince George's Veronica Turner Democratic 2019 Ways & Means
27A Prince George's/Charles Elizabeth G. (Susie) Proctor Democratic 2016[6] Judiciary
28 Charles 1ct wilson.jpg C.T. Wilson Democratic 2010 Environmental Matters
28 Charles Edith J. Patterson Democratic 2015 Ways and Means
28 Charles Delegate Debra M. Davis.jpg Debra M. Davis Democratic 2019 Judiciary
32 Anne Arundel J. Sandy Bartlett Democratic 2019 Judiciary
32 Anne Arundel Mike Rogers Democratic 2019 Economic Matters
37A Wicomico, Dorchester, Sheree Sample-Hughes Democratic 1998 Health and Government Operations
39 Montgomery Gabriel Acevero Democratic 2019 Appropriations
40 Baltimore City Frank M. Conaway, Jr. (2007).jpg Frank Conaway, Jr. Democratic 2006 Judiciary
40 Baltimore City Melissa Wells Democratic 2019 Environment & Transportation
40 Baltimore City Nick Mosby Democratic 2017[6] Ways & Means
41 Baltimore City Tony Bridges Democratic 2019 Environment & Transportation
43 Baltimore City Curt Anderson.jpg Curt Anderson Democratic 1983 Judiciary
43 Baltimore City Regina Boyce Democratic 2019 Environment & Transportation
44A Baltimore City Keith E. Haynes (2007).jpg Keith E. Haynes Democratic 2002 Appropriations
44B Baltimore County Charles E. Sydnor III Democratic 2015 Judiciary
45 Baltimore City Talmadge Branch (2007).jpg Talmadge Branch Democratic 1994 Appropriations
45 Baltimore City Cheryl Glenn (2007).jpg Cheryl Glenn Democratic 2006 Economic Matters

Rules & Executive Nominations

45 Baltimore City Stephanie Smith Democratic 2019 Ways & Means
46 Baltimore City Robbyn Lewis Democratic 2017[6] Environment & Transportation Committee
47A Prince George's Diana M. Fennell Democratic 2015 Economic Matters
47A Prince George's Delegate ivey prince georges county.jpgJulian Ivey Democratic 2019 Ways & Means
47B Prince George's Wanika Fisher Democratic 2019 Judiciary


Former chairmen Trotter and Anderson with Rev. Jesse Jackson during a Caucus meeting in Annapolis, Maryland (1988)

The Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland was formed in 1970 as the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus. The Caucus has increased from it original membership of 17 to its present membership of 44.[7] From its inception to the 1990s, only Prince George's County and Baltimore City had sent members to the Caucus. The present membership of the Legislative Black Caucus now includes elected representatives from Baltimore, Montgomery, and Charles counties as well as the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Former chairs[edit]

Parren Mitchell receiving a Maryland House of Delegates citation from the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and House Speaker Ben Cardin on the occasion of his retirement. (from l-r: Delegates Elijah Cummings, Clarence Davis, Hattie Harrison, John Douglass, Nathaniel Oaks, Ben Cardin, Pete Rawlings, Parren Mitchell, Curt Anderson, Ruth Kirk, Ralph Hughes, Larry Young, Wendell Phillips, Margaret "Peggy" Murphy
The 1992 Members of Maryland's Legislative Black Caucus:
Front row l-r J. Jeffries, C. Jones, H. Harrison, M. Murphy
2nd row: J. Proctor, N. Exum, T. Fulton, B. Tignor, R. Kirk, C. Howard
3rd row: J. Benson, C. Anderson, S. Parham, N. Irby
back row: J. Douglass, C. Davis, S. Marriott, C. Blount, L. Young

Maryland Manual-List of Black Caucus Chairman

Name Tenure County
Delegate Cheryl Glenn 2016 - 2018 Baltimore City
Barbara A. Robinson (2007).JPGDelegate Barbara A. Robinson 2014 - 2016 Baltimore City
Delegate Aisha Braveboy 2012-2014 Prince George's County
Catherine E. Pugh (2007).jpg Senator Catherine E. Pugh 2010-2012 Baltimore City
Veronica L. Turner (2007).jpg Delegate Veronica L. Turner 2008-2010 Prince Georges
Verna L. Jones (2007).jpg Senator Verna L. Jones 2006-2008 Baltimore City
Rudolph C. Cane (2007).jpg Delegate Rudolph C. Cane 2004-2006 Wicomico
Delegate Obie Patterson 2002-2004 Prince Georges
Talmadge Branch (2007).jpg Delegate Talmadge Branch 2000-2002 Baltimore City
Carolyn J. B. Howard (2007).jpg Delegate Carolyn J. B. Howard 1998-2000 Prince Georges
Senator Larry Young 1996-1997 Baltimore City
Joanne C. Benson (2007).jpg Delegate Joanne C. Benson 1995-1996 Prince Georges
Delegate John D. Jefferies 1992-1994 Baltimore City
Christine Jones (April 1990).jpg Delegate Christine M. Jones 1991-1992 Prince Georges
Curt Anderson (1990).jpg Delegate Curt Anderson 1988-1990 Baltimore City
Decateur trotter.jpg Senator Decatur "Bucky" Trotter 1986-1988 Prince Georges
Elijah Cummings, CPD photo 109th Congress.jpg Delegate Elijah E. Cummings 1984-1985 Baltimore City
Senator Clarence W. Blount 1982-1984 Baltimore City
Delegate Frank Conaway, Sr. 1981-1982 Baltimore City
Senator Robert Douglas 1978-1980 Baltimore City
Delegate Arthur G. Murphy, Sr.[8] 1978 Baltimore City
Senator Robert Douglas 1976-1978, Baltimore City
Delegate Lloyal Randolph 1972-1975 Baltimore City
Delegate Arthur King 1970-1972 Prince Georges

2007 legislation[edit]

During the 2007 session of the Maryland General Assembly the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland pushed several bills through both Houses and had them signed into law. One of which was a bill that required state contractors to pay their employees a "living wage." For fiscal year 2008, the living wage is set at $11.30 in Montgomery, Prince George's, Howard, Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties and Baltimore City. It is set at $8.50 for all other areas of the State. Additionally, the Caucus pushed for SB 488. This bill allows an individual convicted of any crime, with the exception of buying or selling votes, to register to vote if not actually serving a court-ordered sentence of imprisonment, including any term of parole or probation, for a felony conviction.[9] Another Caucus bill, SB 543-2007 Darfur Protection Act-Divestiture from the Republic of Sudan, requires the Board of Trustees of the State Retirement and Pension System to encourage companies hold actively traded accounts in its portfolio that conduct business in Sudan to act responsibly and avoid actions that promote or enable human rights violations in Sudan.[10] Additionally, the Caucus pushed for Senate Joint resolution 6 which requires the state to express regret for the role that Maryland played in instituting and maintaining slavery and for the discrimination that was slavery's legacy.[11] The Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland also supported the creation of state debt for funding for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington D.C. $500,000 was awarded to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Foundation.

2009 legislation[edit]

During the 2009 session of the Maryland General Assembly, the following Caucus general priorities were passed: SB 186- Correctional Facilities-Released Inmates-Identification Cards Sponsored by Senator Catherine Pugh. This bill will require the Commissioner of Correction to issue an identification card to an inmate before being released from confinement in a State Correctional facility. The identification card must comply with the requirements for secondary identification for the purpose of an identification card issued by the Motor Vehicle Administration.

SB 489- Minority Business Enterprise Certification-Cap on Personal Net Worth Sponsored by Senator Catherine Pugh. This bill requires that the personal net worth cap for eligibility in the State's Minority Business Enterprise program be adjusted annually according to the Consumer Price Index. Personal net worth does not include up to $500,000 of the cash value of any qualified retirement savings plan or individual retirement account. The Maryland Department of Transportation, in consultation with the Attorney General's office and specified legislative committees must evaluate whether the personal net worth cap should be further adjusted, and report its findings to the General Assembly by December 1, 2010.

SB 568-Minority Business Enterprise Program-Directory of Minority Business Enterprise Sponsored by Senator Catherine Pugh. This bill requires the Maryland Department of Transportation to include in its directory of Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) a list of all MBEs that are ineligible to participate in the State's MBE program because (1) one or more of its owners has a personal net worth that exceeds the statutory cap; or (2) the MBE no longer qualifies as a small business under federal guidelines.

HB 637- Task Force on Prisoner Reentry Sponsored by Delegate Gerron Levi, this emergency bill establishes a Task Force on Prisoner Reentry. The Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services, or the Secretary's designee, must chair the task force and provide staff support for the taskforce from the Department. An interim report to the Governor and the General Assembly is required by December 31, 2010 and final report of findings and recommendation is required by December 31, 2011.

During the 2009 session of the Maryland General Assembly, the following Caucus budgetary priorities were passed:

  • Bowie State University received the $34 million needed for their new fine and performing arts building;
  • Coppin State University received $4.1 million of the $9.4 million needed for their science and technology center;
  • Morgan State University received $43.5 million of the $45 million needed for campus-wide renovations, new environment studies and business schools;
  • The Minority Outreach and Technical Assistance program funding remained in the budget; and
  • The Office of Minority Health received $335,000 out of $1 million set aside for infant mortality programs.


  1. ^ "Maryland General Assembly Caucuses - Legislative Black Caucus". www.msa.md.gov. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  2. ^ "'She stood very tall': Educator was one of first black women in General Assembly: Lena K. Lee 1906-2006". The Baltimore Sun. August 26, 2006.
  3. ^ "The Lena Lee Collection". Thurgood Marshall Law Library. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  4. ^ Clark, Eric L. (February 1996). "Attorney Lena S. King Honored for Life's Work". The Crisis. 103 (2): 32–33.
  5. ^ a b Originally appointed to office to fill an open seat, rather than elected. Each member so marked has been elected in their own right since their appointment.
  6. ^ a b c d e Originally appointed to office to fill an open seat, rather than elected.
  7. ^ "About Us". Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
  8. ^ "Del. Arthur G. Murphy, Md. Black Caucus Head". Washington Post.com. The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  9. ^ "SB488". Maryland Legislative Information System. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
  10. ^ "BILL INFO-2007 Regular Session-SB 543". mlis.state.md.us. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Maryland issues apology for its role in slavery". msn.com. 27 March 2007. Retrieved 18 May 2017.