Two Black Caucus Members to Serve in Top Assembly Leadership Roles
Antonio Ray Harvey | California Black Media
After being sworn in as Speaker of the California Assembly last week, Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) appointed two members of the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) to key leadership positions.
Rivas announced that Assemblymembers Isaac Bryan (D- Ladera Heights) and Lori Wilson (D-Suisun City) will be part of a team of eight Democratic lawmakers who will lead the proceedings of the 80-member body for the 2023-25 legislative term.
“The historic diversity of our Caucus speaks to the remarkable lived experiences across our great state. Our Leadership team also reflects this diversity so that we can uplift all residents. I look forward to the work ahead of us,” Rivas tweeted on July 3.
Bryan, a vocal supporter of Rivas who backed the Speaker’s candidacy, was appointed Majority Leader. Wilson was named Majority Whip.
As the highest-ranking officer of the Assembly, Rivas has the authority to appoint Assemblymembers to leadership positions at the beginning of each two-year legislative session. The Speaker or his designee presides over the floor sessions.
Other Assemblymembers Rivas appointed to leadership roles are: Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) as speaker pro tempore; Stephanie Nguyen (D-Elk Grove) as Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore; Gregg Hart (D-Santa Barbara) as assistant Majority Leader; Matt Haney (D-San Francisco) as assistant Majority Whip; Josh Lowenthal, (D-Long Beach) also as Assistant Majority Whip; and Rick Chavez Zbur (D-Santa Monica) as Democratic Caucus Chair.
As Majority Leader, Bryan is responsible for expediting Assembly Floor proceedings using parliamentary procedures such as motions and points of order. He is also expected to foster harmony among the membership.
Bryan, 31, represents the 55th Assembly District, which consists of Baldwin Hills, the Crenshaw district, Culver City, Ladera Heights, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms, Pico-Robertson, Beverly Grove, Mid-Wilshire, and parts of South Los Angeles. He assumed office on May 28, 2021, after winning a special election to succeed U.S. Congresswomen Sydney Kamlager (D-CA-37) who had been elected to the State Senate.
After he was sworn in as Majority Leader, Bryan expressed his intention to address issues facing Californians who are undergoing hardships.
“There are a lot of people in California who are still hurting and there’s a lot of work we can do to alleviate that,” Bryan said. “It first starts with us coming together, building a different kind of culture in the body with all the new members who are here.”
While speaking on the floor of the Assembly last week, Bryan thanked Rivas for his “trust,” and his colleagues and constituents for their support.
“Change isn’t about a person, me included,” Bryan said. “We all have the power to make a difference in the lives of others. Let’s use that power.”
As Majority Whip, Wilson is responsible for monitoring legislation and securing votes for bills on the Assembly Floor. Wilson’s appointment marks the first time that Black women have held the position of Majority Whip in both houses of the Legislature at the same time. Sen. Lola Smallwood-Cuevas (D-Ladera Heights), a CLBC member, is the Senate’s Majority Whip.
Wilson, 48, who assumed office April 6, 2022, after winning a special election, represents the 11th Assembly District, which includes Solano County and parts of Contra Costa County, and the cities of Antioch and Oakley. Wilson previously served as Assistant Majority Whip under the leadership of former Speaker Tony Rendon (D-Lakewood), who Rivas succeeded.
“Thank you @CASpeakerRivas for the honor of continuing to serve on the leadership team for the second consecutive year. I look forward to our continued partnership as we serve all Californians,” Wilson shared on Twitter.