CHAIRMAN ANDERSON’S STATEMENT ON DELEGATE A.C. CORDOZA’S REJECTION FROM THE VIRGINIA LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS
This month, Virginians from all walks join together to celebrate Black History Month. During this time, we honor the lasting legacy and enduring contributions of Black Americans and Virginians, while also reflecting on the good and bad dimensions of the Black experience throughout Virginia history. Moreover, we rededicate ourselves to an unyielding resolve to never repeat the injustices of the past and recommit ourselves to creating a Virginia that is uplifting to every person who calls our Commonwealth home.
Today, we are profoundly disappointed in the divisive decision by the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus (VLBC) to deny membership to Delegate A.C. Cordoza. Delegate Cordoza is a military veteran and respected community leader who was recently elected to represent the 91st House District in the Virginia General Assembly. In an historic and memorable first, Delegate Cordoza is the first Black Republican to represent the 91st House District and the only Black legislator to represent the City of Poquoson.
Virginia’s recent statewide and House of Delegates elections made history and have been celebrated from one end of America to the other. Our Commonwealth came together to elect its first Black woman and first Hispanic Virginian to statewide office. Delegate Cordoza represents the great journey toward diversity and inclusion that Virginia is committed to achieving. While the VLBC’s mission statement includes a commitment to “raising the consciousness of other groups to the contributions made by African Americans to the Commonwealth and the Nation,” denying VLBC membership to Delegate Cordoza falls disappointingly short of that mission statement. In so doing, the VLBC fails to recognize the accomplishments of all Black Virginians, including Black Republicans like Delegate Cordoza, who has answered a most noble call to public service. Republicans and Virginians everywhere condemn this position.
We remain steadfast in our position that all individuals are entitled to equal rights, justice, and opportunities and should assume their place as responsible citizens in a free society. Our hope is that the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus would abandon this exclusionary and divisive stance and join us in recognizing and honoring the contributions of all Virginians.