Sen. Holly Mitchell helps make history with all-female Board of Supervisors in LA County
State Senator Holly Mitchell won a landslide victory for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors 2nd District race
While the country is still counting votes, Los Angeles, California is making process.
State Sen. Holly Mitchell made history when she won the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors 2nd District race in Tuesday’s election.
Mitchell won easily against L.A. City Councilman Herb Wesson according to CBS Los Angeles. She won 60.89% of the votes against City Councilman Herb Wesson’s 39.11%. They were both gunning to take L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ seat who had termed out. The board is formally known as “five little kings” for the five men that held their positions for decades is long over.
The Board of Supervisors is considered the most powerful body of local government in the country. It controls the county’s $35-billion budget, the largest jail system, and its health care system.
This is the first time in history that women will run the board in the over 150 years it has been established. Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro, a professor and chair of gender studies of the University of Southern California, says five women having this much power on a board is basically unprecedented in the country.
“I can’t think of another example in the entire United States where you will have five women having control of,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “… the largest county in the entire country just in terms of people, but also the largest county budget in the entire country.”
Former Supervisor Gloria Molina was the first Latina elected to the board in 1991 and she said when she joined she was met with racism and sexism. She says a male supervisor told the media she was “having hot flashes,” when she challenged a decision made by one of her fellow supervisors.
Mitchell said at first she never thought of running until $1 billion was cut from the state’s subsidized childcare. She said that was her lightbulb moment.
“I literally said in my mind, ‘I guess I have to run,’ ” said Mitchell.
Mitchell previously introduced The CROWN Act, a law that protects Black people from race-based hair discrimination, which is the denial of opportunities because of hair texture or protective hairstyles including braids, locs, twists, or Bantu knots. The law was ultimately passed in seven states. In an exclusive interview with theGrio last month, the senator explained the significance of making issues that impact the Black community a priority.
“It is who I am, it is the lens through which I see the world, I experience the world and it’s the moves through which I legislate and appropriate resources. I’m the only black woman that serving in the California State Senate currently and I’m only the fourth since statehood. I’m clear that I have a responsibility to bring it,” she said. “I am confident in my skin, and it gives In great pride to stand on that floor.”
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