Shirley Weber Nominated To Be California’s First Black Secretary Of State

California Governor Gavin Newsom has nominated Democratic Assemblywoman of San Diego Dr. Shirley Weber to become the state’s next Secretary of State. If confirmed, Weber will be the first Black woman in the role. 

The role became vacant after Gov. Newsom tapped current Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ Senate seat as she takes office in January.

Gov. Newsom hailed Weber as “a tireless advocate and change agent with unimpeachable integrity,” in a statement. “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. 

“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.” 

The 72-year-old has been an assemblywoman since 2012 and is the chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus. In her time, she introduced a bill to state legislators that laid the groundwork for reparations. Assembly Bill 3121 commissioned a group of nine researchers to study the impact of slavery on Black people in California as a way to determine who would be eligible for the reparation funding. 

According to a report by Because of Them We Can, Dr. Weber helped found the Africana Studies Department at San Diego State University, where she was also one of the youngest professors ever to teach. 

She has an extensive history of service, serving on the boards of the NAACP, YWCA, YMCA Scholarship Committee, Battered Women Services. She also served on the San Diego Board of Education from 1988 to 1996. 

Dr. Weber took to Twitter to announce her excitement to fill the role.

Photo: Getty Images

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