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


December 24, 2020

She’s still breaking barriers!

Democratic Assemblywoman from San Diego, Shirley Weber, has been nominated by California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom to serve as the next secretary of state. If confirmed, she will replace Alex Padilla, leaving the role to fill Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ vacant Senate seat. Weber would become the first Black woman to be secretary of state in California’s 170-year history.

“Dr. Weber is a tireless advocate and change agent with unimpeachable integrity,” Newsom said 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.”


Weber, 72, has been a member of the assembly since 2012 and chairs the California Legislative Black Caucus. She was one of the youngest professors ever at San Diego State University, where she helped found the Africana Studies Department. Previously she served on the boards of NAACP, YWCA, YMCA Scholarship Committee, Battered Women Services and the San Diego Board of Education from 1988 to 1996.

In a statement, Weber expressed her gratitude to be nominated for this significant role.

“I am excited to be nominated for this historic appointment as the secretary of state of California,” Weber said. “I thank Governor Newsom for the confidence he’s placed in me and his belief that I will stand strong for California. Being the first African-American woman in this position will be a monumental responsibility, but I know that I am up for the challenge. Expanding voting rights has been one of the causes of my career and will continue to motivate me as I assume my new constitutional duties.”


Weber has been making strides for the Black community in California. In October, a bill she introduced to state legislators in February to clear the way for reparations was passed. Assembly Bill 3121 establishes a nine-person task force to study the impact of slavery on Black people in California and determine who will be eligible to receive compensation. California is the first of – hopefully -many states to look into the long-term implications of slavery on Black people. 

“California has come to terms with many of its issues, but it has yet to come to terms with its role in slavery,” she said. “After 400 years, we still have the impact… We’re talking about really addressing the issues of justice and fairness in this country that we have to address.”

We know you’ll do amazing things in this role! Good luck, Assemblywoman Weber!


Photo Credit: California Globe

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