The Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus wishes to commemorate the recent historic nominations to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC); the appointments of Justice Kimberly Budd to Chief Justice (initially appointed to the SJC in 2016) and Dalila Argaez Wendlandt to Associate Justice signal a major victory for communities of color who have long deserved greater representation in their judicial systems.
Upon confirmation Justice Budd, the only person of color on the SJC, will become the first Black woman to serve as Chief Justice; this is no small feat. As the State’s top court that has long set legal precedents which have national impact, we are proud it will be helmed by a such proven steward of justice. The MBLLC has witnessed the solemn dedication and sheer competence of Justice Budd for years, poignantly encompassed in her authorship of 85 SJC decisions.
The appointment of Associate Justice Dalila Argaez Wendlandt also fills us with great pride as she stands to become the first Latina to serve on the high court bench. Associate Justice Argaez Wendlandt’s record promises an SJC Associate Justice who is capable of adjudicating even the most pernicious of legal cases.
Members of the MBLLC express their gratitude to Governor Charlie Baker for his appointment of these two pioneering and committed servants of justice and equity. We advocate for the expeditious and unanimous confirmation of these two appointments.
The Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus (MBLLC) held a virtual event to celebrate the importance of Latinx Heritage Month & forty-six (46) MA Latinx Trailblazers across the Commonwealth.
BOSTON – On October 29, 2020 the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus (MBLLC) celebrated the close of Latinx Heritage Month with pride, commemorating the countless contributions of the Massachusetts Latinx community. The virtual event commenced with opening remarks by Kenneth Romero, Executive Director of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislatures (NHCSL) - an affiliate of the Council of State Governments. Romero stressed the importance of the Latinx vote in the upcoming election while emphasizing the continued fortitude and achievements of the Latino community.
“For the last three years it has felt like the Latino community has been in a permanent state of emergency,” Romero said. Citing cruel images of parents separated from their children at the border, the efforts to undercount minorities (particularly Latinos) in the 2020 census, the uncertainty felt by DACA recipients and DREAMERS alike, and the disproportionate and ravaging impact that COVID has had on Hispanics, Romero offered a call-to-action. “It’s up to us and the 32 million Hispanics that are eligible to vote in this election to put an end to [these attacks]. Latino power can only exist if we flex our collective muscle and vote,” concluded Romero.
The event was filled with powerful remarks offered by nominees, who served as a testament to the resilience and innovation of the rising population of Latinos across the Commonwealth who continually impact their communities despite grim challenges. “The Latino contributions are shaping a new and diverse Massachusetts. We are teachers, principals, nurses, doctors, builders, motivators and are motivated to make a difference in our communities for the next generation. Somos un pueblo - we are one community,” said Chairman of the MBLLC, Representative Carlos González (D-Springfield).
Thursday’s celebration recognized the rich cultural history of the Massachusetts Latinx community, and perhaps more importantly, served as a valuable opportunity to learn from one another. “I have always believed the diversity of the Commonwealth is one of its greatest assets, and celebrating cultural heritage not only instills a sense of personal pride, events like this allow others to share in that celebration, which fosters understanding and appreciation and makes our state a better place for all. I thank the members of the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus for their partnership and work on behalf of the people of Massachusetts,” said Speaker DeLeo (D-Winthrop).
Nominated by legislators of the House and Senate, each 2020 Latinx Trailblazer has demonstrated exceptional leadership and served as powerful reminders that leadership means a dedicated investment in the power of community. Some nominees hold an elected position, forging new programs for the Latinx community; other nominees are young, passionate activists who have catalyzed change from climate change to LGBT+ representation and equality.
“The strength of our Commonwealth is a testament to contributions of our Latinx residents and their vibrant communities,” stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “One of the fastest growing populations in Massachusetts, the Latinx community plays a pivotal role in moving us forward. I am in awe by the tenacity of today’s trailblazing nominees, as well their hard work and dedication. Today, I’m thrilled to celebrate them in honor of Latinx Heritage Month. I would also like to thank the entire Massachusetts Black & Latino Legislative Caucus for hosting this wonderful celebration.”
The Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus (MBLLC) was created in 1973, with the intent to be a leading voice on Beacon Hill for communities of color across Massachusetts. We also seek to empower constituents to gain a deeper sense of political awareness on issues concerning them and their greater communities. The MBLLC’s fourteen legislators remain dedicated to serving communities of color throughout the Commonwealth through legislative, budgetary, and community endeavors
MBLLC log posts are curated by the Caucus Executive Director.