California’s Only Black Senator Pushes for Better Representation at the Capitol

February 11, 2021

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s state Senate currently has 39 senators, and only one of them is African American.

As the only Black person left in the California State Senate, Senator Steve Bradford, D-Gardena, says there needs to be better representation at the Capitol, which is why he’s pushing for a person of color to fill the last seat in the State Senate. He noted that by simply being an African American legislator, he’s easily recognized by protesters as soon as he walks outside the state Capitol building. “I’m quickly accosted because people know who I am even if they’ve never met me before,” Bradford said.

He’s one of nine African Americans in the legislature, but the only Black member of the state Senate. Bradford added that he not only faces obstacles outside of the building, but he’s also worried he won’t have the support he needs from his colleagues on the Senate floor.

“I know there’s going to be some pushback on some of the issues that are critically important to the Black caucus especially in areas of criminal justice reform,” Bradford said.

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