November 5, 2014

Legislative Black Caucus grows by three members following Tuesday’s election.

SACRAMENTO – Today, the Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) announced that for the first time in its 47 year history, they have increased their Caucus to eleven members up from nine just two years ago. A special election will take place on December 9 to replace retired Senator Rod Wright. 

“Today, we expand our caucus to the largest number in our nearly 50 year history including representation in never-before-held seats in Northern California,” said Senator Holly J. Mitchell, Chair, CLBC. “The members, who were elected on Tuesday, represent the diversity that is part of the African American experience in California. We are proud to add to our caucus, a small business owner, local elected officials and non-profit leaders, who will no doubt shape the policy and programs that our caucus prioritizes - education, expansion of social services, job creation and many other areas. We look forward to welcoming them in December.”

“California has long been a state known for its diversity and inclusiveness and these election results make good on that promise," said Assistant Majority Floor Leader Chris Holden, and CLBC political director. “They show that despite demographic challenges, black candidates continue to win in all parts of the state. It also shows that good candidates trump race.”

In addition to the seats gained in Northern California the CLBC has two new Southern California members replacing termed out members Isadore Hall and Steve Bradford. A full list and biography of each Assembly member-elect can be found below.

Hon. Kevin McCarty – Assembly District 7

Sacramento City Council member Kevin McCarty has served the city’s 6th District since 2004. He was a policy director to former Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante and Assembly Budget Committee consultant to Denise Ducheny. Council member McCarty has been a champion for neighborhoods and led Sacramento’s efforts to invest more than $200 million in parks, libraries and community centers. He is an advocate of early childhood education, working to help pass the California Kindergarten Readiness Act to expand learning opportunities for more than 120,000 children.

Hon. Jim Cooper – Assembly District 9

Sacramento County Sheriff’s Captain Jim Cooper was the first-ever Mayor of the City of Elk Grove. He served two mayoral terms and four terms as a member of the Elk Grove City Council. As Elk Grove’s mayor and council member, he helped establish the city’s first-ever gang-narcotics unit, expanded the number of officers on neighborhood patrol, and established the city’s emergency (911) communications center. Captain Cooper is decorated, 26-year career law enforcement executive. He is commander of the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crime Task Force that investigates online identity theft and crimes against children.

Hon. Tony Thurmond – Assembly District 15

Tony Thurmond is senior director of Community and Government Relations for the Oakland-based Lincoln Child Center. He is a former Richmond City Council member and West Contra Costa County School Board member. He was the Richmond City Council’s liaison to that city’s Youth Commission. He is an advocate for working families, community-oriented public safety, educational opportunities for young people and their parents, and job opportunities for at-risk youth. He raised more than $2 million to assist emancipated 18-year-olds exiting Contra Costa County’s foster care system.

Hon. Autumn Burke – Assembly District 62

Autumn Burke is a partner with Mandeville Group, LLC, a Los Angeles-based minority and woman-owned consulting firm specializing in public-private partnerships and strategic planning. She formerly served as vice president of LA Events. As a consultant, she worked with the City of Chino to convert a community park’s lighting system to low energy LED lights. She helped the nonprofit Brigitte and Bobby Sherman Children’s Foundation build a self-sustaining orphanage in Ghana. Autumn Burke is the daughter of Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, former L.A. County Supervisor, former U.S. Representative and former state Assembly member; and William Burke, Ed.D., chairman, South Coast Air Quality Management District. 

Hon. Mike Gipson – Assembly District 64

Mike Gipson is a three-term member on the City of Carson City Council. He was first elected in 2005 and has served as Carson Mayor Pro Tem. He is district director for Jerome Horton, chairman, California Board of Equalization. He formerly worked as an area organizer for United Teachers Los Angeles, a labor organization representing 48,000 teachers. He was legislative and political director for SEIU, Local 399, political director for SEIU, Local 1877 and business representative for SEIU, Local 99. He is a former sworn officer with the Maywood Police Department. Council member Gipson is chairman of the Board of Director for Positive Imagery Foundation, an L.A.-based public health agency that manages HIV/AIDS and STD prevention programs in L.A. County African-American and Latino communities.