LOS ANGELES — California State Senator Holly Mitchell is set to become the fifth member on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, marking for the first time in the county an all-woman board, which will oversee roughly 10 million Angelenos.
As a county supervisor, Mitchell, 56, will represent the city of Inglewood, Ladera Heights, the neighborhoods of Crenshaw and Watts in L.A., a portion of downtown L.A. and other neighborhoods with predominantly Black and Latino residents.
For several years, Mitchell has already represented most of the area as a California state senator and a state assemblywoman.
Mitchell received support from environmental advocacy groups, police reform advocates and other progressive affiliations that bolstered her already good standing in the district she is set to represent.
“I’m honored to have earned the opportunity to represent the residents of the Second Supervisorial District. This was a community-driven campaign based on creating a more equitable, inclusive, and prosperous LA County,” Mitchell said in a tweet. “Now is the time to turn our vision into action.”
She secured 60% of the vote and beat former L.A. City Councilman Herb Wesson. Both candidates were vying for the seat that is held by current County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas who coincidentally won a city council race to take over Wesson’s seat on the council. She received endorsements from Governor Gavin Newsom, former Governor Jerry Brown, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors and United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta.
Mitchell did not receive any donations from gas and oil industry groups and has advocated for oil derricks close to homes, schools and parks to be shut down.
The second supervisorial district where she’s set to take over later this month includes the Inglewood Oil Field.
Environmental advocacy work is just one of the many areas that have received her focus and praise.
While serving in the California Senate, Mitchell has authored numerous bills aimed at criminal justice reform, rehabilitation and progressive laws meant to ease charges against juveniles.
Those are just some of the many accomplishments Nita Watson with the nonprofit Free Indeed Reentry Project recalled looking back at Mitchell’s career.
“Unfortunately, we do not have, in the African American community, we do not have a lot of legislators that truly go into their offices daily to work on our behalf,” Watson said. “And this lady is one of the few and it is so evident in her body of legislation.”
Mitchell also co-authored a bill that would create a task force to study and recommend reparations to Black people, particularly descendants of enslaved people.
“Let’s be clear: Chattel slavery, both in California and across our nation, birthed a legacy of racial harm and inequity that continues to impact the conditions of Black life in California,” Mitchell said this August during the vote.
Recommendations on who would receive payment, who would be eligible and how much they would receive will be provided by the task force to the California Legislature by 2023.
“Quite frankly America owes a debt to the American descendants of chattel slavery,” Watson said. “That vote was the icing on the cake for Holly’s work as a senator in California.”
The slice of California the board of supervisors represents is vast and numerous quips about the board in the past describe them as five kings representing their five kingdoms.
Now it will be the five queens.
As part of the L.A. County board of supervisors, Mitchell will step into a governing body that oversees a $35 billion budget, more than 80 incorporated cities and more than 10 million residents. She will join supervisors Sheila Kuehl, Hilda Solis, Janice Hahn, and Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District represents the Santa Clarita Valley.
Mitchell will be the fourth Democrat on the board of supervisors. Barger is a Republican.
— By Nathan Solis, CNS