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Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 11:56am

State Black Caucus Meets In Savannah

Georgia's black legislative caucus is meeting in Savannah through Saturday.

The all-Democratic group is looking past this summer's contentious special session on redistricting to work with Republican leaders.

Democrats and Republicans were divided in the special session on how to redraw political boundaries to protect the interest of minority voters.

Black caucus chairman State Senator Emmanual Jones of Decatur says, it's time to leave the bitter redistricting in the past.

"We have to focus on the bigger issues in Georgia," Jones says. "Here recently, there was an article in the paper about the poverty rate increase in Georgia."

US Census figures this week showed Georgia's poverty rate rose to 18-percent this year, higher only than Mississippi and Louisiana.

The meeting includes addresses from Governor Nathan Deal and State House Speaker David Ralston, both Republicans.

"If we're not talking to each other, we certainly won't be able to work on anything," Jones says. "We have to sit down at the same table. We have to have an opportunity to dialog with each other."

Georgia's black legislative caucus includes 55 of Georgia's 236 state lawmakers.

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