Holly J. Mitchell takes Oath of Office as 26th District’s new Senator

September 26, 2013

First African American woman in CA State Senate in 12 years

Sacramento – Former Assemblymember Holly J. Mitchell was sworn in to the state Senate following her overwhelming victory in last week’s special election in California’s 26th Senate District.

Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, will serve out the unexpired term of former state Senator Curren Price who was elected to the Los Angeles City Council in May.  The term expires next year.  The 26th Senate District is entirely within Los Angeles County and includes Culver City, the communities of Baldwin Hills, Beverlywood, Carthay Circle, Century City, the Crenshaw District, Hancock Park, Hollywood, Hyde Park, Jefferson Park, Ladera Heights, Lafayette Square, Larchmont, Los Feliz, Miracle Mile and parts of South and West Los Angeles.

“I am deeply honored by the trust voters of the 26th Senate District have invested in me. I take seriously their charge to continue working hard every day to help ensure that California remains the kind of home we want to live in and offers the future our children deserve,” said the Assemblywoman, who served nearly three years in the Assembly, where she chaired the Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, authoring major legislation expanding health care access, family services and reproductive rights. Mitchell will retain her position as Chair of California’s Legislative Black Caucus. “I am also excited to work once again for the Senate, where I began my professional career in the office of Senator Diane Watson, the first of only three previous African American women to serve in the state’s Senate.

 By her side today as she took the oath of office was Mitchell’s mother, Sylvia Johnson, whom Governor Jerry Brown appointed as warden of the California Institution for Women-Frontera during his first term in office. Johnson, the role model whom Mitchell credits as inspiring her to take up a career in public service, also served as Chief Probation Officer of Alameda County. “I will continue to push for schools that are open, affordable and safe; communities with good paying jobs; access to affordable health and medical services; and environments that are safe for our children, our seniors, and our families.”

Mitchell received 80.6% of the vote in Tuesday’s election, defeating perennial Democratic candidate Mervin Evans, who received 19.4% of the vote