Date of Award
Honors Thesis Number
In light of the recent controversy surrounding the validity of race conscious redistricting, the practice of creating congressional districts with an African American or Hispanic majority population, an important question arises; are the votes of African American congresspersons even critical to the passage of policy issues salient to the African American populace. This study seeks to prove that the votes of African American congresspersons are crucial to the passage of House policy issues salient to the African American community. To prove this hypothesis this study analyzed the voting cohesion and pivotal voting bloc influence of each Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) member of both the 102nd and 103rd Congress on policy issues deemed salient to the black community per the CBC' "Black Agenda". The object is to determine whether the votes of the 102nd and 103rd Caucuses, played an essential role in the passage of policy issues salient to African Americans. Non-CBC Democrat cohesion was also examined pertaining to these issue in order to ascertain the level of support non-CBC Democrats gave in the House passage of the corresponding issues. The finding demonstrate not only are the votes of CBC members necessary, but more African American Congresspersons, who are sensitive to black issues and who are willing to vote cohesively with the CBC, are needed to seriously promote and preserve policy issues of most importance to African Americans.