Attorney and State Senator Arthenia Joyner was recently honored with the title of “Legislator of the Year” by the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL). Senator Joyner was chosen for this esteemed award for her part in passing new laws that have had a positive impact on the African American community. The award was presented during the organization’s 39th annual legislative conference in Los Angeles.
The NBCSL’s mission is to develop, conduct and promote educational, research and training programs designed to enhance the effectiveness of its members as they develop public policy which affects the black community. It is made up of more than 670 African American state legislators, as well as representatives from over 120 corporations and labor unions.
Senator Joyner is currently in the last year of her final term as Leader of the Florida State Democratic Caucus and is Of Counsel to Vanguard Attorneys. She was the first black woman ever to be selected to the Caucus and, since the beginning of her Senate term in 2000, she has been a leading champion of women’s equality and civil rights. She has also played an important role in advocating for criminal justice reform, specifically the need to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences. She also passed new legislation forcing prison officials to unshackle pregnant inmates during labor and immediately after birth. In 2015, she sued the House of Representatives after its leadership arbitrarily adjourned the 2015 legislative session and abruptly left town. The Supreme Court agreed with Senator Joyner’s suit, which set a historical precedent for future legislative conduct.
“It’s a highlight of my legislative career to receive this honor,” said Senator Joyner. “Not only does this represent recognition by my colleagues in state legislatures throughout the country, but recognition that the issues I championed have made an impact in the lives of the people I’ve been privileged to serve.”
Read more online via Jacksonville Free Press.