California Black Media Political Playback: Black Candidates Are Queuing Up for Intense Political Battles Ahead
Tanu Henry | California Black Media
Your roundup of stories you might have missed last week.
California Black Candidates Are Queuing Up for Intense Political Battles Ahead
The 2024 general election is over a year away but candidates across California have begun throwing their hats in the ring to run for state office.
Several Black candidates with experience, passion and solid connections to the state’s political inner circles are entering the fray.
Last week, Darryn Harris, former chief of staff to Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass while she served in the United States Congress, announced that he is vying in the state’s 35th Senatorial District to replace Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood), who terms out next year. Others are expected to enter this race.
After Assemblymember Akilah Weber (D-La Mesa) announced that she is running in the election next year to replace State Senate pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), LaShae Sharp Collins, former district director for former Assemblymember and current Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber announced her candidacy. Her announcement states that she is a long-time resident of the 79th Assembly District in the greater San Diego area, a mother and foster parent with years of service in education and non-profit work. Colin Parent, vice mayor of the city La Mesa, has also announced that he is running for this seat.
CBM sources have also been told that civil rights leader, the Rev. Shane Harris is expected to enter the race. Harris is president and founder of the People’s Association of Justice Advocates.
In Senate District 5 former Tracy City Councilwoman Rhodesia Ransom announced last month that she will be running to replace Sen. Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) when her term ends in 2024.
In the Inland Empire, African American candidate Dejonae Shaw, a nurse and union leader, announced she is running for the 50th District Assembly Seat, representing parts of San Bernardino and Los Angeles County, after Assemblymember Eloise Reyes announced she will be running for State Senator in 2024 the 29th District.
Former Assemblymember Sandré R. Swanson has announced that he is running to replace Sen. Nancy Skinner in Senate District 7, which covers Oakland and surrounding communities.
Heather Hutt Is Sworn in To Replace Mark Ridley Thomas on L.A. City Council
Los Angeles’s embattled city council has a new member.
With an 11 to 1 vote last week – and to rounds of applause — councilmembers in California’s largest city decided to appoint Heather Hutt to serve the remainder of former councilmember Mark Ridley Thomas’s term instead of holding a special election. Ridley Thomas lost his seat representing the city’s 10th district after he was convicted on federal corruption charges last month.
Shortly, after, Hutt, who was district director to Vice President Kamala Harris when she was U.S. Senator, was sworn into office.
“It is an honor for me to serve the people of the 10th District. I just want to take a moment to thank my colleagues, council president and my friends and family, my staff and the constituents of the 10th District,” said Hutt after her swearing-in ceremony.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass commended Hutt for her outstanding service, highlighting her “exemplary record.”
“I look forward to continuing to work with Councilmember Hutt to confront the critical issues facing Los Angeles like homelessness, public safety and the overall livability of our city,” said Bass.
Following Ridley Thomas’ suspension last year, Hutt was selected to act as caretaker of his seat after former Councilman Herb Wesson resigned as interim replacement.
Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer Wants State to Use Prison Savings for Crime Reduction Programs
Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), a member of the California Legislative Black Caucus, is advocating for the state to allocate the projected annual savings of $235 million from shutting down prisons toward programs aimed at crime reduction.
Last week, Jones-Sawyer and Assemblymember Juan Alanis (R-Modesto), who co-authored Assembly Bill (AB) 912 – the legislation that would write the proposal into state law – held a rally at the Firefighters Memorial in Sacramento.
AB 912 would establish “the Youth Reinvestment Grant Program, to be administered by the Office of Youth and Community Restoration, for the purpose of implementing a mixed-delivery system of trauma-informed health and development diversion programs for youth, as specified,” according to the bill’s language.
Jones-Sawyer said the Assembly Education Committee has approved AB 912 with a 6-0 vote.
“Investing in our youth & preventative crime programs is exactly what my bill, AB 912, does,” Jones-Sawyer shared on his Facebook page with the hashtag #educationnotprisons.
The Assembly Appropriations Committee is now reviewing the bill.
March Income Tax Revenue Is 10% Below Projections
Last week, the California Department of Finance announced that personal and corporate income taxes collected so far this year, totaling $923 million is 10% below the number Gov. Newsom projected as a basis for his budget proposal in January.
Based on the weak revenue collection, analysts project that total income tax for the 2022 to 2023 fiscal year could be up to $5 billion below projections.
By law, the governor’s office will release an updated forecast of tax income revenue on or before May 14.
California Black Media will keep watching this story to keep our readers updated.
Alameda DA Pamela Price Under Fire
Bay area residents have been leading rallies and protests encouraging voters to recall Alameda County African American District Attorney Pamela Price.
The demonstrations have been centered on what some residents view as Price’s leniency on crime since she took office in January and suspicion that she will cut a deal with three men from Richmond and Vallejo accused of killing a two-year-old toddler in a shootout on the 880 freeway.
With chants of “do your job,” “justice for Jasper” and “recall price,” the protest organizers have been rallying at the Alameda County Superior Court. ‘
Price’s office released a statement.
“The District Attorney’s Office has not made any decisions regarding the charges in the murder of Jasper Wu. We gave this information directly to Jasper’s parents last week. We will continue to review the case, and will make decisions directly in accordance to the evidence,” the statement read.