On the heels of announcing Alex Padilla as California’s next senator, Gov. Gavin Newsom nominated Assemblywoman Dr. Shirley Weber to be secretary of state. Weber will be the first Black woman to hold the position.
“I am excited to be nominated for this historical appointment as the secretary of state of California. I thank Governor Newsom for the confidence and believing that I will stand strong for California,” Weber said. “Being at the center of voting rights and laws that govern this state is a motivating factor in the work I will continue to do.”
Currently, Weber represents California’s 79th Assembly District, which spans San Diego, Chula Vista, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City and Bonita. She is the chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus and chaired the 2020 California Electoral College proceedings.
I am excited to be nominated for this historical appointment as the Secretary of State of California. I thank @CAgovernor for the confidence in me. Being the first Black Woman in this position will be monumental and I am up for the challenge. pic.twitter.com/NMTZgX5HfC
— Asm. Shirley Weber (@AsmShirleyWeber) December 23, 2020
“Dr. Weber is a tireless advocate and change agent with unimpeachable integrity,” Newsom said. “The daughter of sharecroppers from Arkansas, Dr. Weber’s father didn’t get to vote until his 30s and her grandfather never got to vote because he died before the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965.”
Weber’s father instilled in her and her siblings the power of education. Not only is she an alumna of UCLA, but also California public schools. She earned three degrees as a bruin, including her Ph.D. at just 26 years old. She became one of the youngest professors ever at San Diego State University, which set her up on a path for public service.
“When her family moved to South Central Los Angeles, she saw as a child her parents rearrange furniture in their living room to serve as a local polling site for multiple elections,” Newsom said. “Now, she’ll be at the helm of California’s elections as the next Secretary of State – defending and expanding the right to vote and serving as the first African American to be California’s Chief Elections Officer.”
Weber has represented District 79 since 2012. Achievements over her career include authoring a bill that extended voting rights to people on parole, being the chief advocate for the California Act to Save Lives and passing legislation that made the state’s sentencing framework more flexible and effective.
As @AsmShirleyWeber steps into the role of Secretary of State, I know she'll bring experience and a commitment to protecting voting rights and expanding access to the ballot. Congratulations, Dr. Weber. Thank you for continuing the work to make California a beacon for democracy.
— Alex Padilla (@AlexPadilla4CA) December 23, 2020