In light of Black History Month, the state Legislature announced Thursday it will be forming a Black and Latino Caucus to honor the contributions of people of color to the state of Wisconsin.

The caucus will be chaired by Rep. David Crowley, D-Milwaukee, who said he was proud to serve on the committee and anticipates it will help advocate for the welfare of communities of color throughout the state.

One of the main reasons I became a legislator was to advocate for the African American community in which I have lived in all my life,” Crowley said. “I’m proud to be a member of this caucus and look forward to tackling the tough issues that affect our community every day.”

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The caucus will host a “State of Black and Brown Wisconsin,” a foil to Gov. Scott Walker’s recent State of the State address, on Feb. 12. The committee will discuss both the successes and challenges faced by minority populations in Wisconsin.

Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa, D-Milwaukee, who serves as the committee’s vice chair, said the committee will be inclusive to many voices and ideas who want to work to make life better for communities of color in Wisconsin.

“As a member of one of the fastest growing constituencies in Wisconsin, I’m thrilled to be a member of this caucus and speak to the issues of Latino Wisconsinites,” Zamarripa said. “We invite any and all Wisconsinites interested in our cause to join us for this important conversation.”

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Other members of the committee include Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, Rep. Jimmy Anderson, D-Fitchburg, Rep. Jason Fields, D-Milwaukee, Sen. LaTonya Johnson, D-Milwaukee, Rep. David Bowen, D-Milwaukee and Rep. Leon Young, D-Milwaukee.

All members of the committee are Democrats and, with the exception of Anderson, represent areas of Milwaukee in the state Legislature.

The caucus’ Feb. 12 address will take place in room 412 East of the Capitol Building.