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Congressman Cedric Richmond of Louisiana’s 2nd District, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), keynoted the Cook County Bar Association’s (CCBA) 103rd Annual Awards & Installation Banquet in front of a sold-out crowd on Friday, June 23. The event themed, “Breaking Ceilings and Building Bridges” featured the installation of Attorney Dartesia A. Pitts, Esq. as president of the CCBA and was held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.
Richmond, the youngest chair ever of the Congressional Black Caucus, thanked the Cook County Bar Association for its long-standing fight for equal justice and addressed why the CBC won’t meet with President Trump until he addresses their concerns.
“Your roles as lawyers is to continue to litigate, continue to advocate, continue to agitate and do all of those things it takes to maintain the gains we’ve made,” Richmond stated and went on to explain the CBC’s position on why they didn’t meet with Trump. “We know when we look at his budget where his priorities are. And we know where his priorities are not. And if we are not a priority, then the day of going over to the White House and the image of 49 members of the Congressional Black Caucus traveling to the White House to take a picture with you just wasn’t gonna happen. Because this is serious business. We have our kids getting shot in the street. We have economic opportunity issues that they don’t see the possibilities of tomorrow. And when you have issues like that, it’s not time to take a picture, it’s time to get things done.”
Congressman Richmond closed by speaking about the rash of shootings of African American males across the country. “My biggest fear is that if we don’t speak up and speak out more, police … will be justified in presuming that by my being male, and the color of my skin, I pose a threat. We need to get everybody back on the field, the stakes are too high, and we can’t afford to lose.