August 5, 2011

What is a Caucus?

A caucus is a group of elected members of Congress or even a state legislature that meets to pursue common legislative objectives. Sometimes caucuses are called coalitions, task forces, study or working groups.

Congress and the Oklahoma Legislature both have many caucuses including arts caucuses.

This beautiful painting by Peter Max
appeared on a poster for the
Congressional Arts Caucus in 1991.
The Congressional Arts Caucus (Facebook link) was established about 30 years ago, and has more than 180 members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats.The co-chairs of the current caucus are Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (NY) and Rep. Todd R. Platts (PA).

The Congressional Arts Caucus is a bipartisan organization whose members support the arts through federal initiatives. The chief mission of the caucus is to secure adequate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Institute for Museums and Library Services (IMLS), and the Department of Education’s Arts in Education Program.

In addition, members:
  • Work on policy initiatives for the arts community
  • Participate in press conferences in support of the arts
  • Testify before key committees in support of these cultural agencies
  • Speak on the House floor about the positive educational and economic impact of the arts
  • Participate in the events of Arts Advocacy Day, an annual April event on Capitol Hill, which brings together state and local arts advocates with nationally acclaimed artists to lobby in support of arts funding.
As of June 1, 2011, the following members of Congress are also members of the Congressional Arts Caucus.

Oklahoma does not have any Congressional representation on the caucus, however, all six of the states that border Oklahoma do including Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico and Texas. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Oklahoma has a member on the Congressional Arts Caucus? 


ARIZONA
Gabrielle Giffords
Raul Grijalva
Ed Pastor

ARKANSAS
Mike Ross

CALIFORNIA
Howard Berman
Lois Capps
Susan Davis
Anna Eshoo
Sam Farr
Bob Filner
Michael Honda
Duncan Hunter
Barbara Lee
Zoe Lofgren
Doris Matsui
Tom McClintock
Grace Napolitano
Laura Richardson
Lucille Roybal-Allard
Linda Sanchez
Loretta Sanchez
Adam Schiff
Brad Sherman
Pete Stark
Mike Thompson
Henry Waxman
Lynn Woolsey

COLORADO
Mike Coffman
Diana DeGette
Jared Polis

CONNECTICUT
Joe Courtney
Rosa DeLauro
Jim Himes
John Larson
Christopher Murphy

FLORIDA
Corrine Brown
Vern Buchanan
Kathy Castor
Ted Deutch
Alcee Hastings
Bill Posey
Tom Rooney
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Debbie Wasserman-
Schultz

GEORGIA
Hank Johnson
John Lewis

HAWAII
Mazie Hirono

IDAHO
Michael Simpson

ILLINOIS
Judy Biggert
Jerry Costello
Danny Davis
Robert Dold
Luis Gutierrez
Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Dan Lipinski
Mike Quigley
Bobby Rush
Janice Schakowsky
Aaron Schock

INDIANA
André Carson
Peter Visclosky

IOWA
Leonard Boswell
Dave Loebsack

KANSAS
Lynn Jenkins

KENTUCKY
Ben Chandler
Brett Guthrie
John Yarmuth

LOUISIANA
Rodney Alexander
Bill Cassidy
John Fleming

MAINE
Michael Michaud
Chellie Pingree

MARYLAND
Elijah Cummings
Donna Edwards
Chris Van Hollen

MASSACHUSETTS
Michael Capuano
Edward Markey
James McGovern
Richard Neal
John Olver
Niki Tsongas

MICHIGAN
John Conyers
John Dingell
Dale Kildee
Sander Levin
Thaddeus McCotter
Gary Peters

MINNESOTA
Keith Ellison
Betty McCollum
Erik Paulsen
Collin Peterson
Tim Walz

MISSISSIPPI
Gregg Harper

MISSOURI
Russ Carnahan
William Lacy Clay
Jo Ann Emerson

NEBRASKA
Lee Terry

NEVADA
Shelley Berkley

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Charles Bass

NEW JERSEY
Robert Andrews
Rush Holt
Leonard Lance
Frank LoBiondo
Frank Pallone
Bill Pascrell
Donald Payne
Steve Rothman

NEW MEXICO
Ben Lujan

NEW YORK
Gary Ackerman
Tim Bishop
Yvette Clark
Eliot Engel
Brian Higgins
Maurice Hinchey
Nita Lowey
Carolyn Maloney
Jerrold Nadler
Charles Rangel
Jose Serrano
Louise Slaughter
Paul Tonko
Edolphus Towns
Anthony Weiner

NORTH CAROLINA
Larry Kissell
Mike McIntyre
Brad Miller
David Price

NORTHERN MARIANA
ISLANDS
Gregorio Sablan

OHIO
Steve Austria
Marcia Fudge
Marcy Kaptur
Dennis Kucinich
Timothy Ryan
Steve Stivers
Betty Sutton

OREGON
Earl Blumenauer
Peter DeFazio
Kurt Schrader
David Wu

PENNSYLVANIA
Jason Altmire
Robert Brady
Mark Critz
Charles Dent
Michael Doyle
Jim Gerlach
Tim Holden
Tim Murphy
Todd Platts
Glenn Thompson

PUERTO RICO
Pedro Pierluisi

RHODE ISLAND
David Cicilline
James Langevin

SOUTH CAROLNA
James Clyburn
Joe Wilson

TENNESSEE
Steve Cohen
Jim Cooper
Phil Roe

TEXAS
Lloyd Doggett
Charlie Gonzalez
Kay Granger
Al Green
Gene Green
Sheila Jackson-Lee
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Pete Olson
Silvestre Reyes

UTAH
Jason Chaffetz
Jim Matheson

VERMONT
Peter Welch

VIRGIN ISLANDS
Donna Christensen

VIRGINIA
Gerry Connolly
James Moran
Robert Scott

WASHINGTON
Norm Dicks
Jay Inslee
Rick Larsen
Jim McDermott
Adam Smith

WEST VIRGINIA
Shelley Moore Capito
David McKinley
Nick Rahall

WISCONSIN
Tammy Baldwin
Ron Kind
Tom Petri

WYOMING
Cynthia Lummis