Past Members

The Honorable Frederick M. Roberts

1918-1934

Hon. Frederick M. Roberts

Frederick Madison Roberts, newspaper owner, editor, educator and business owner, was the California’s first known African American state legislator. A member of the Republican Party representing Los Angeles, he was the great grandson of Sally Hemmings and is believed to be the great grandson of President Thomas Jefferson. Roberts sponsored California’s early civil rights legislation and authored a bill to establish UCLA. He served 16-years in the California State Assembly from 1918 to 1934. Hon. Augustus F. Hawkins succeeded him in the Assembly.

The Honorable Augustus Hawkins

1934-1962

Hon. Augustus F. Hawkins

Augustus Freeman ‘Gus’ Hawkins, a graduate of UCLA and a Democratic Party member from Los Angeles, was elected to the California State Assembly in 1934, succeeding Frederick M. Roberts. He chaired the Assembly’s powerful Rules Committee during his tenure in the Legislature. His legislative agenda reflected the importance he placed on education, civil rights, organized labor and employment issues. ‘Gus’ Hawkins served 28-years in the state Assembly.

The Honorable W. Byron Rumford

1949-1967

Hon. W. Byron Rumford

William Byron Rumford was a UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy graduate and certified pharmacist. He passed the Fair Employment Practices Act of 1959 that outlawed discrimination in employment. Rumford’s bill led to the establishment of California’s Fair Employment Practices Commission. He authored the Rumford Fair Housing Act signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Sr. in 1963 that outlawed discrimination in housing. The California Supreme Court upheld the Rumford Fair Housing Act when it ruled that Proposition 14, a Constitutional Amendment to invalidate the act and permit housing discrimination, was unconstitutional. Byron Rumford was the first African American elected to public office in Northern California.

The Honorable Mervyn M. Dymally

1962-1974, 2002-2008

Hon. Mervyn M. Dymally

Mervyn Malcolm Dymally, Ph.D. – a graduate of California State University, Los Angeles with a master’s degree in government from California State University, Sacramento and doctorate from United States International University, San Diego – served during two eras in the California State Assembly. He also served as the first African American member of the California State Senate. During his early 1970s legislative tenure, he was one of the founding members of the CLBC. He was elected California Lieutenant Governor in 1975 to become the second African American to be elected to statewide office. In the mid-1960s, Mervyn Dymally passed legislation that was instrumental in creating the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School through a state partnership with UCLA. In 1968, the medical school, now known as the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, became the academic institution for doctor training at L.A. County’s Martin Luther King, Jr. General Hospital, which opened to patients in 1972.

The Honorable F. Douglas Ferrell

1963-1966

Hon. F. Douglas Ferrell

Reverend F. Douglas Ferrell was the first African American to represent the Watts community in Los Angeles in the California State Legislature. He earned a doctorate in Divinity, was an ordained Baptist minister and founded Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church in South Los Angeles. He served as vice president of the California State Baptist Convention prior to his Assembly election as a Democrat in 1962. His political philosophy was: "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men would do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets." He was an ardent advocate for civil rights and equal rights, and a staunch opponent of racial discrimination. He fought for school integration in the Los Angeles Unified School District in the early 1960s.

The Honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr.

1964-1996

Hon. Willie L. Brown, Jr.

Willie Lewis Brown, Jr., a graduate of San Francisco State College (now known as California State University, San Francisco), earned his law degree from UC Hastings College of Law. He was the fourth African American to serve in the 80-member Assembly when he was elected in 1964. He authored landmark legislation that legalized sex between consenting adults in California. He served as the first African American Speaker of the Assembly, a top legislative leadership post he held for 14-years. In the early 1980s, he led efforts to divest state university holdings in South Africa during that nation’s apartheid era and was a strong advocate for increased funds for AIDS research. He was the first Assembly member appointed Speaker Emeritus. He is a past chair of the CLBC.

The Honorable Yvonne Brathwaite Burke

1966-1972

Hon. Yvonne Brathwaite Burke

Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, a graduate of UCLA with a law degree from University of Southern California (USC), was the first African American woman elected to the California State Assembly. During her legislative tenure, she focused on civil rights and juvenile issues. She chaired the Assembly Committee on Urban Development. One year before her election to the Assembly, she was appointed by Governor Edmund G. ‘Pat’ Brown, Sr. to serve on the McCone Commission to study social conditions that led to the August 1965 Watts Rebellion (also referred to as the 1965 Watts Riots).

The Honorable Bill Greene

1966-1992

Hon. Bill Greene

Bill Greene, a Democrat representing South Los Angeles, served in the Assembly from 1967 to 1975. He succeeded his close friend, Mervyn M. Dymally. In 1975, when then Senator Mervyn Dymally won election as state Lieutenant Governor, Bill Green won his election to represent Dymally’s former Senate district. He served in the Senate until 1992. Bill Greene served as chair of the Senate Industrial Relations Committee. He became an expert on labor and workers’ compensation insurance issues. Before his election to the Assembly, Bill Greene was the first African American to serve as a Clerk of the Assembly. With deep roots in civil rights activism and union advocacy, he made major contributions to the fields of education, childcare, employment, and equal rights.

1966-1978

Hon. John J. Miller

John J. Miller, a Democrat representing Berkeley was a graduate of Howard University School of Law. He served in the Assembly from 1966 to 1975. John Miller was elected to serve as Assembly Minority Leader by his fellow Democratic Assembly colleagues in 1970. Prior to his election to the Assembly, he served as President of the Berkeley Board of Education and a member of the Berkeley Housing Advisory and Appeals Board. He succeeded Assembly member Byron Rumford in office. He fought to preserve Rumford’s California Fair Housing Act of 1963. A successful attorney, he was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to California’s First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco in 1978.

The Honorable Leon Ralph

1966-1975

Hon. Leon D. Ralph

Leon D. Ralph, a Democrat and University of Redlands graduate, represented South Los Angeles in the Assembly. He was appointed chair of the powerful Assembly Rules Committee. He championed causes for poor, disenfranchised constituents. He focused his legislative efforts on education, civil rights and business interests. As Rules Committee chairman, he oversaw the multi-million dollar restoration of the Historic State Capitol Building in Sacramento. Assembly member Leon Ralph was active in California’s Democratic Party leadership and a political force during his tenure in the Assembly.

The Honorable Frank Holoman

1972-1974

Hon. Frank Holoman

Frank Holoman, a one-term Democrat from Los Angeles and a graduate of Washburn University, was a former staff member to Assembly Speaker Jesse M. Unruh. His legislative agenda focused on improving urban communities and supporting African American businesses. He served as chair of the Black Caucus of Southern California. One of Frank Holoman’s legislative achievements was introducing the bill to declare a state holiday on the January 15 birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Honorable Julian Dixon

1972-1978

Hon. Julian C. Dixon

Julian Carey Dixon, a three-term Democrat representing Southwest Los Angeles, was a graduate of California State University, Los Angeles. He earned his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law. He succeeded Yvonne Brathwaite Burke. Julian Dixon served as chair of the Southern California Legislative Black Caucus and the California Congress of Black Elected Officials. He legislative agenda focused on juvenile justice issues and correctional system reforms. Julian Dixon fought for equal access for women and minorities in business and professional services.

The Honorable Nate Holden

1974-1978

Hon. Nathaniel N. ‘Nate’ Holden

Nathaniel N. ‘Nate’ Holden, a Democrat representing Southwest Los Angeles, earned his bachelors of science degree in Applied Physics, and master’s degree in Systems Engineering from West Coast University. He served as chair of the Senate Elections and Reapportionment Committee, vice chair of the Senate Public Utilities, Transit and Energy Committee and chair of the Senate Select Committee on Southern California Rapid Transit. In 1975, Nate Holden passed legislation to require public schools and educational institutions to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for his contributions to the U.S. civil rights movement. He passed legislation to provide health care for sickle cell anemia sufferers. He won approval of his bill to provide state funding for Baldwin Hills Regional Park.

The Honorable Curtis R. Tucker, Sr.

1974-1988

Hon. Curtis R. Tucker, Sr.

Curtis R. Tucker, Sr., a Democrat representing Inglewood, was a former Army soldier and West Point Academy instructor. He authored legislation to promote racial and gender equality and justice for poor and underserved residents. He supported divestment in companies affiliated with the South African government during its apartheid era. He chaired the Assembly Health Committee and focused his legislative agenda on health issues. He died in office in 1988 and was succeeded by his son, Curtis R. Tucker, Jr.

The Honorable Teresa P. Hughes

1975-1992

Hon. Teresa P. Hughes

Teresa Patterson Hughes, a Democrat representing South Los Angeles, was a graduate of Hunter College in New York and an assistant professor of education at California State University, Los Angeles. She earned her Ph.D. in education administration from Claremont University. Teresa Hughes was the second African American woman elected to the California Legislature. She succeeded Bill Greene in the Assembly in 1975 and was elected to the State Senate in 1992. Teresa Hughes sponsored legislation to create the California African American Museum in Exposition Park. Her legislative agenda focused on broadening learning at schools and through museums, promoting equal opportunity for home loans and providing $800 million in bond funds school classroom construction and creation of a state school of the arts. She was a past chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus.

The Honorable Maxine Waters

1976-1990

Hon. Maxine Waters

Maxine Moore Waters, a Democrat representing South Los Angeles and a graduate of California State University, Los Angeles, was the leading voice in the legislative effort to divest state pension funds from any business active in South African during that country’s official policy of apartheid. She holds two honorary doctoral degrees. During her Assembly tenure, Maxine Waters chaired the Assembly Democratic Caucus. She was a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and chaired the influential Ways and Means Subcommittee #4. Maxine Waters’ legislative agenda focused on civil rights, justice and equal rights and opportunities for women.

The Honorable Gwen Moore

1978-1994

Hon. Gwen Moore

Gwen Moore, a Democrat from the Southwest Los Angeles, earned her master's degree in public administration. She was a community college professor and former elected member of the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees. Gwen Moore was an authority on utilities and telecommunications issues. She authored legislation that opened the utility rate-setting process to greater public scrutiny. She championed equal rights for women and fought for women’s access to health care. She served as Assembly Democratic Whip. She was a past chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus.

The Honorable Elihu M. Harris

1978-1990

Hon. Elihu M. Harris

Elihu Mason Harris, a Democrat representing Oakland, is a graduate of California State University, Hayward. He earned his masters degree from University of California, Berkeley and earned his law degree from University of California, Davis School of Law. He served as chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee. His legislative agenda focused on civil rights, criminal justice, tax reform, transportation and poverty. He passed legislation to establish Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday as a state holiday.

The Honorable Diane E. Watson

1978-1998

Hon. Diane E. Watson

Diane Edith Watson, a Democrat representing southwest and Central Los Angeles, graduated from University of California, Los Angeles. She earned a masters degree from California State University, Los Angeles and earned her doctorate in education administration at Claremont Graduate University. Diane Watson was only the second woman elected to the Senate. She was the first African American woman to serve in the legislature’s 40-member upper house. She served as chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. Her legislative agenda focused on health care with an emphasis on the health needs of poor children. She also served as chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus and founded the National Organization of Black Elected Legislators/Women.

The Honorable Willard H. Murray, Jr.

1988-1996

Hon. Willard H. Murray, Jr.

Willard H. Murray, a Democrat representing Compton, was an engineer and active in the 1960s civil rights movement. He chaired the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on State Administration. His legislative agenda focused on education, criminal justice, economic development and healthcare. Willard Murray and his son, Kevin Murray, were the first father and son duo to serve in the Assembly at the same time. He was a past chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus.

The Honorable Curtis R. Tucker, Jr.

1988-1996

Hon. Curtis R. Tucker, Jr.

Curtis R. Tucker, Jr., a Democrat representing Inglewood, served as Chairman of the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee and Vice Chairman of the Assembly Insurance Committee. He served as chair of the Select Committee on the Los Angeles Unrest following the verdict announcement in the 1992 trial of Los Angeles police officers accused of beating motorist Rodney King. His legislative agenda focused on education, health care and crime. Curtis Tucker, Jr. sponsored legislation to ban the sale of cigarettes from vending machines to stop tobacco product purchases by minors. He served as chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus. He was elected to the Assembly in a special election held after the death of his father, Assembly member Curtis R. Tucker, Sr.

The Honorable Marguerite Archie-Hudson

1990-1996

Hon. Marguerite Archie-Hudson

Marguerite Archie-Hudson, a Democrat representing Los Angeles, was a graduate of Talladega College. She earned her masters degree in education from Harvard University. She chaired the Assembly Committee on Higher Education. Marguerite Archie-Hudson’s legislative agenda focused on education and the well being of children. She fought the passage of Proposition 209, the statewide ballot measure that ended affirmative action in state-funded programs and admissions to California public colleges and universities.

The Honorable Barbara Lee

1990-1996

Hon. Barbara Lee

Barbara Jean Lee, a Democrat representing Oakland, was a graduate of Mills College. She earned her masters degree in social welfare from University of California, Berkeley. She was elected to the Assembly and later, in a special election, to the Senate. Barbara Lee’s legislative agenda focused on African American economic and social status, and safety of women and children. During her Assembly tenure, Barbara Lee was a member of the Committees of Correspondence in Berkley.

The Honorable Juanita McDonald

1992-1996

Hon. Juanita Millender-McDonald

Juanita Millender-McDonald, a Democrat representing Los Angeles County’s South Bay area, graduated from the University of Redlands. She earned her masters in education from California State University, Los Angeles and her doctorate in education from University of Southern California. Her Assembly legislative agenda focused on education, housing, community development and transportation. She passed legislation to speed land acquisition and acquire railroad right-of-ways for the Alameda Corridor fast-freight rail train project.

The Honorable Kevin Murray

1994-2006

Hon. Kevin Murray

Kevin Murray, a Democrat representing Southwest Los Angeles, graduated from California State University, Northridge. He earned a MBA from Loyola Marymount University and earned his law degree from Loyola Law School.  He chaired the Assembly Transportation Committee. He was elected Assistant Democratic Floor Leader. He was elected to the Senate in 1998. During his Senate tenure, he chaired the Senate Democratic Caucus, Senate Appropriations Committee and Transportation Committee. His legislative agenda focused on the entertainment industry, real estate and insurance. Kevin Murray was the first Assembly member to serve alongside his father, Assembly member Willard Murray. He served as chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus.

The Honorable Edward Vincent

1996-2006

Hon. Edward Vincent, Jr.

Edward Vincent, Jr., a Democrat representing Inglewood, graduated with a degree in corrections and social welfare from the California State University, Los Angeles. He served in the Assembly from 1996 to 2000. During his Assembly tenure, he chaired the Assembly Committee on Elections Reapportionment and Constitutional Amendments and the Assembly Select Committee on the California Horse Racing Industry. During his Senate tenure, he chaired the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Governmental Organization and Health, and the Senate Select Committee on the Horse Racing Industry. His legislative agenda focused on state teacher retirement benefits, community care facilities for senior citizens, gambling licenses and horse racing.

The Honorable Carl Washington

1996-2002

Hon. Carl Washington

Carl Edward Washington, a Democrat representing Compton, chaired the Assembly Public Safety Committee. His legislative agenda focused on community public safety, crime prevention, employment and creating community youth after school programs to serve as alternatives to street gang membership. Carl Washington authored the School Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 1999.

The Honorable Roderick Wright

1996-2014

Hon. Roderick D. Wright

Roderick Wright, a Democrat representing South Los Angeles, graduated with a degree in urban studies and city planning from Pepperdine University. During his Assembly tenure, he chaired the Committee on Utilities and Commerce. Rod Wright’s legislative agenda has focused on public safety, education, energy, utilities and consumer privacy. He was elected to the Senate in 2008. He chaired the Senate Governmental Organization Committee, Governmental Organization Subcommittee on Gaming and Select Committee on California Job Creation and Retention. He served as both chair and vice-chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus.

The Honorable Herb Wesson

1998-2004

Hon. Herb J. Wesson, Jr.

Herb J. Wesson, Jr., a Democrat representing Southwest Los Angeles, graduated from Lincoln University. He was elected the Speaker of the Assembly in 2002. Herb Wesson was the second African American to hold the powerful position of Assembly Speaker. His legislative agenda focused on education, environmental protection, and healthcare.

The Honorable Jerome E. Horton

2001-2006

Hon. Jerome E. Horton

Jerome Edgar Horton, a Democrat representing Inglewood, graduated with a degree in Accounting and Finance from California State University, Dominguez Hills. He served as chair of the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee and a member of the powerful Assembly Rules Committee. His legislative agenda focused on public safety, education, healthcare, work force training and crime prevention by juveniles. Jerome Horton served on the California State Work Force Investment Board and California Historical and Cultural Endowment Board. He presently serves as chair of the California State Board of Equalization.

The Honorable Mark Ridley-Thomas

2002-2008

Hon. Mark Ridley-Thomas

Mark Ridley-Thomas, a Democrat representing southwest and South Los Angeles, graduated from Immaculate Heart College. He earned his masters degree from Immaculate Heart College and earned his doctorate in Social Ethics from the University of Southern California. He chaired the Assembly Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy Committee and the Assembly Select Committee on the Los Angeles Healthcare Crisis. He was elected to the Senate in 2006. He chaired the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee and the Subcommittees on Professional Sports and Entertainment and The Economy, Workforce Preparation and Development. His legislative agenda focused on job development, public safety, education, economic development, healthcare access and community empowerment. He served as chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus.  Ridley-Thomas is currently Supervisor for the Second District in Los Angeles County.

The Honorable Speaker Emeritus Karen Bass

2004-2010

Hon. Karen Bass

Karen Ruth Bass, a Democrat representing Southwest Los Angeles, graduated with a health sciences degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Karen Bass was the first African American woman to be elected as Speaker of the Assembly in 2008. She served as Assembly Majority Floor Leader and Assembly Majority Whip. Her legislative agenda focused on the needs of foster care children, job creation and healthcare. As vice chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, she commissioned a research report on the ‘State of Black California’.

The Honorable Laura Richardson

2006-2007

Hon. Laura Richardson

Assemblywoman Richardson served on the Long Beach City Council from 2000 to 2006. As a Councilwoman, her priorities were neighborhood improvement, public safety, attracting jobs and businesses to the cities’ central corridors, job training programs for adults, after school programs for youth and expanding senior programs. The Assemblywoman also established the Sixth District Master Plan, a strategic guideline for development in the area. Other significant accomplishments during her council tenure include securing the first funding for alley maintenance by the City of Long Beach, initiating the planning process for a Senior Transportation Program in the Central Area of Long Beach and creating a forum for South Wrigley residents and businesses. Assemblywoman Richardson graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

The Honorable Wilmer Amina Carter

2006-2012

Hon. Wilmer Amina Carter

Wilmer Amina Carter, a Democrat from the Inland Empire, serves as Assistant Majority Policy Leader of the 2011 – 2012 Assembly session. She was elected to the Assembly in 2006 and her legislative focus includes but is not limited to transportation, job creation and education. Prior to the Assembly, she served on the Rialto Unified School District Board for sixteen year and was honored with the naming of a local high school. Carter High School is the first high school in the Inland Empire to be named in honor of a living African American woman.

The Honorable Mike Davis

2006-2012

Hon. Mike Davis

Mike Davis, a Democrat from Los Angeles was elected to the Assembly in 2006. Prior to the Assembly, he served as Senior Deputy Supervisor for Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke and District Director for Congresswoman Maxine Waters. He’s the first elected official to graduate from the Executive Master of Leadership Program at University of Southern California’s School of Policy, Planning and Development.

The Honorable Sandré Swanson

2006-2012

Hon. Sandré Swanson

Sandré R. Swanson, a Democrat from Oakland, was elected to the Assembly in 2006. Prior to the Assembly he served his community as Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Chief of Staff after working for 25 years as the District Director and Senior Policy Advisor to former Congressman Ron Dellums. He is an expert in the fields of labor, education, and budget reform.

The Honorable Curren D. Price, Jr.

2006-2013

Hon. Curren D. Price, Jr.

Curren De Mille Price, Jr., a Democrat representing Los Angeles, Inglewood and Culver City, was elected to the Assembly in 2006 and to the Senate in 2009. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Stanford University. He earned his law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law. He was a past chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus. Price is currently Councilmember of Los Angeles City Council’s Nineth District.

Hon. Isadore Hall, III

2008-2016

Hon. Isadore Hall, III

Senator Isadore Hall, III, a Democrat representing the communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor Gateway, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, Rancho Palos Verdes, San Pedro, South Los Angeles, Torrance, Watts/Willowbrook and Wilmington, was elected to the California State Senate in December of 2014. Hall previously represented California's 64th Assembly District from 2008 to 2014 and also served six years on the Compton City Council. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and his Master’s degree in Management and Leadership from the University of Southern California. Hall’s legislative agenda is focused on job creation, reducing childhood obesity and diabetes, improving public safety and expanding access to education technology.

Hon. Cheryl R. Brown

2012-2016

Hon. Cheryl R. Brown

Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown, a Democrat representing San Bernardino, Rialto, Fontana, Colton, Grand Terrace, Bloomington and Muscoy, was elected to the California State Assembly in 2012. Prior to joining the California State Assembly, Brown worked for the San Bernardino County Planning Department and later served on the County and City Planning Commissions for 17 years. Brown and her husband also founded 34 years ago, Brown Publishing Company, which produces a weekly community newspaper, Black Voice News. Brown’s key legislative agenda includes economic development, small business growth, public safety and education.