Shirley Weber Takes Office As California's First Black Elections Chief

Shirley Weber got a headstart on Black History Month this year. On January 29, California Assemblywoman Weber was sworn-in as the state's election chief. By doing so, she becomes the first Black woman to hold this position.

“On the eve of Black History Month, California once again makes history in swearing-in Dr. Weber as Secretary of State,” Governor Gavin Newsom said.

“As the state’s Chief Elections Officer, Dr. Weber will continue her lifelong dedication to defending civil rights and will undertake a vital role in protecting our democratic process at a critical time.”

The California Senate and Assembly voted unanimously to approve Weber with 29-0 and 70-0 decisions respectively. Weber will step into the position recently held by Alex Padilla, the first Latinx Senator from California, who recently replaced Sen. Kamala Harris. Notably, Harris recently left the U.S. Senate to be sworn in as the first Black Vice President in U.S. history.

"I am excited to be nominated for this historical appointment as the Secretary of State of California. I thank ⁦Gov. Gavin Newsom for the confidence in me. Being the first Black Woman in this position will be monumental and I am up for the challenge," Weber tweeted.

Weber has served in the state legislature since 2012 and is a member of the state's Black Caucus. Prior to entering into the world of politics, she worked as a professor and chair in Africana Studies at San Diego State University for 40 years.

In this position, Weber promises to ensure the rights of all voters throughout the state.

“When everyone votes and everyone has a voice and everyone speaks up, then issues of social justice become a whole lot easier to provide for transformation,” Weber told CapRadio.

“Increasing the number of persons who participate in the process really increases our opportunity to do justice for every community.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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