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Harris wins leadership role in national organization of Black state legislators

A Northwest Indiana lawmaker is a new regional leader for the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.

Rep. Earl Harris Jr., D-East Chicago, was elected last week as chairman for NBCSL Region VIII, which represents the interests of Black legislators serving constituents in Indiana, Illinois and Minnesota.

“Though I’ve been working throughout my entire legislative career to advance the needs of African Americans in my district and hometown of East Chicago, serving as chair of Region VIII gives me an opportunity to continue that work while collaborating with legislators from around the country to get insight as to what is working and what isn’t,” he said.

In the role, Harris will serve alongside Rep. Robin Shackleford, D-Indianapolis, a Region VIII board member; and Rep. Cherrish Pryor, D-Indianapolis, who was reelected Dec. 2 as NBCSL’s national treasurer during the group’s annual conference in Las Vegas.

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“Wow, man. What a scene. You can’t make up what we see out here on any given day,” Hobart patrol officer Tommie Tatum said.

Harris, who identifies as black and Latino, also has served as vice chairman of the national Board of Latino Legislative Leaders since 2020.

Voters in the 2nd District — which includes East Chicago, southeast Hammond, Gary’s west side and unincorporated Calumet Township — gave Harris a fourth two-year term in the Indiana House at the Nov. 8 election.

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