MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin has 12 state Assembly and Senate districts with predominantly Hispanic and black residents -- but only seven of those districts have minority legislators.
For that reason, the Black and Latino Caucus has invited white lawmakers into their group for the first time if most of their constituents are minorities.
Assembly Democrat Mandela Barnes of Milwaukee chairs the caucus. He says the goal is to push for issues which affect minorities statewide like unemployment, high rates of minority incarceration, gaps in educational achievement, and voting rights.
Barnes tells the Wisconsin State Journal it's more important to have black and Hispanic communities represented, than to limit the caucus to minorities. He said he'd like to see more people of color in the Legislature, to better reflect the population.
However, he said he cannot agree to support anyone "just based on race."
The caucus met for the first time in October.
(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)