Virginia Senator: Black Lawmakers' Issues Are Not Addressed

A Virginia lawmaker says the issues of African-Americans in the state Senate are not being addressed.

Portsmouth Democratic Sen. Louise Lucas, who is African-American, criticized the Democratic leadership this week, saying there has been a disparate treatment of black lawmakers in the Virginia legislature, the Virginian-Pilot reported.

She directed much of her criticism at Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw. She said he fails to resolve grievances of some Democratic senators. She also says some of her concerns directed at the Republican majority leader have been ignored.

"As a member of the Black Caucus, I feel like a lot of our issues are not addressed, and they're like secondary," Lucas said.

Earlier this week, Lucas agreed to cast a vote with Senate Republicans in their choice for a state Supreme Court seat. She later recanted that vote. She says her concerns go beyond the Supreme Court vote.

"There were underlying things that gave birth to the straw that broke the camel's back," she said.

Lucas, Saslaw, Sen. Mamie Locke and Majority Leader Tommy Norment discussed Lucas' concerns Wednesday with Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Saslaw says he thinks he has done a good job in his role but acknowledged he could have been more communicative in some instances.

"She's entitled to her opinion," he said. "I think most of the people think I'm doing a pretty good job."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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