ATLANTA — Lawmakers are making history with the first Georgia Hispanic Caucus.
Senate Majority Caucus Chairman Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas) and
Representative-elect Rey Martinez (R-Loganville) announced the creation of the caucus on Thursday.
The caucus is the state's first-ever legislative body dedicated to elevating Hispanic values and focusing on issues that serve the community within the General Assembly. The caucus is open to lawmakers of both political parties.
Its goal is to strengthen and unify the representation of more than 1 million Hispanics and Latinos who live in the Peach State.
According to the caucus, Hispanics make up more than 10% of Georgia's population and are the third-largest ethnic group in the state by population.
"Nationally, Hispanics are the single fastest-growing voting bloc in the United States, increasing by 4.7 million since 2018. New Hispanic voters represented 62% of the total growth in eligible U.S. voters since then," according to a news release.
Georgians elected a record number of Hispanic officials to the State House and Senate on Election Day.
"With the creation of our state's first-ever Hispanic Caucus, my Republican colleagues and I aim not only to deliver strong representation to one of our state's most important communities - but to send a clear message that Hispanic values will be at the front and center of conversations under the Gold Dome for years to come," Anavitarte said in a news release.
Martinez stressed that Hispanics are not a monolith - nor are they single-issue voters focused on immigration. The caucus will serve to tend to their Hispanic constituents and their lived experiences that shape the way they contribute to Georgia.
The Georgia Hispanic Caucus will formally convene when the 2023 legislative session begins on Jan. 9.