CT’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus unveil priorities for 2021 legislative session


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– A legislative group focused on serving minority communities unveiled its agenda this session.

This all builds on efforts announced last summer in the wake of protests across the country. Now we’re getting a look at some specifics of their plan which they say are connected to helping urban communities heal and grow amid the pandemic.

“We ask the governor to step it up, dig deeper, provide more, and give better opportunities to black and brown people,” said Rep. Anthony Nolan, New London.

Priority number one: ensuring more than just an estimated 8 percent of black and brown people in Connecticut get the COVID-19 vaccine. Efforts the Black and Puerto Rican caucus say should involve going door-to-door.

RELATED: Black and Puerto Rican Caucus push COVID-19 vaccination safety for minority community

The caucus is also looking to bring equity to housing laws with legislation that fights pandemic evictions.

“Right now is not the time to put residents and individuals on the streets,” said Rep. Brandon McGee, D, Hartford.

The 45-year-old Caucus unveiled its legislative priorities for this session Wednesday at the Capitol. They didn’t reveal details of any specific bills, but say much of it includes expanding on existing laws like those surrounding economic development.

“Make sure we don’t raise property taxes on our poorest communities,” said House Speaker Matt Ritter, D, Hartford.

And making sure communities hardest hit by “tough on crime” laws benefit if and when legal marijuana booms in CT.

“We have to make sure that those that have been harmed in black and brown communities have the first bite of this apple,” said Rep. Robyn Porter, D, New Haven.

Members say they also want to expand voting rights, transportation and environmental justice, and police accountability.

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