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Tampa Rep. Narain elected to lead black caucus

Freshman Rep. Ed Narain, D-Tampa, was elected to lead the Florida Legislative Black Caucus for a year starting this summer, just months after being elected to the House.

Narain said the biggest challenges facing black Floridians are high unemployment and poverty rates, and he intends to focus the caucus’ efforts on economic issues.

“Yes, we’ve improved our jobs in the state of Florida, but the way we measure jobs, in terms of the unemployment rate, it’s still higher in minority communities, specifically African-American communities,” he said. “And we don’t talk about the poverty rate.”

But, he said, he and the rest of the 26-member caucus remain concerned about nationwide police violence, particularly cases of black men being shot and killed, such as Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Walter Scott in North Charleston, S.C.