Black Political Caucus chair says it's time to step down

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The chair of the Black Political Caucus (BPC), Colette Forrest, says she will step down as leader of the organization on Dec 31. She says it is time for her to step aside.

"We've accomplished everything that I set out to do," BPC Chair Colette Forrest said. "We've increased our membership from 70 people to over 300. We have increased our footprint in Charlotte."

Forrest took over the position in February. Her term is not up until 2019. Many credit the BPC for energizing voters recently to help elect new people to the Charlotte City Council. Some are concerned with a change in leadership, the BPC's momentum could dwindle.

"The membership will determine the direction, the energy and the effort," Forrest said.

Forrest says the politics of the Black Political Caucus was beginning to take its toll and she had enough.

"The caucus is composed of elected officials that may have their own agenda and their agenda may not be the agenda that's best for the community, and so I think when some saw the success, they wanted to get me to do what they wanted me to do, and that never works well with me," Forrest said.

The BPC chair also says the caucus was getting in the way of her convictions.

"With the caucus I at times have to do what the caucus members want to do with the endorsements and that might conflict with my personal direction. Now I get to honor my own free thought and freewill and I love that freedom," Forrest said.

Forrest says when she took over, the caucus had about $1500 worth of fines it had to pay. The chair says those fines are gone and says the caucus is now in the black.

"I am leaving the caucus in excellent shape," Forrest said. "I have been fiduciary responsible."

Forrest says she has only been chair for less than a year, but believes she has left a legacy.

"The caucus became what it should always be, an organization that absolutely serves African-Americans, but that can be respected, regarded well and relevant to the community of Charlotte," Forrest said.

Forrest's successor will be Eric Erickson.

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