Shirley Weber
Shirley Weber, California State Assembly (2012).jpg
31st Secretary of State of California
Assumed office
January 29, 2021
GovernorGavin Newsom
Preceded byAlex Padilla
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 79th district
In office
December 3, 2012 – January 28, 2021
GovernorGavin Newsom
Preceded byBen Hueso (redistricted)
Succeeded byAkilah Weber
Personal details
Born
Shirley Nash

(1948-09-20) September 20, 1948 (age 73)
Hope, Arkansas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)
Daniel Weber
(m. 1973; died 2002)
Children2, including Akilah
EducationUniversity of California, Los Angeles (BA, MA, PhD)
WebsiteGovernment website

Shirley Weber (née Nash; born September 20, 1948) is an American academic and politician serving as the secretary of state of California. She was previously a member of the California State Assembly for the 79th Assembly District,[1] which includes portions of San Diego, Chula Vista, and National City and all of Lemon Grove and La Mesa.

Prior to being elected to the Assembly in 2012, Weber served on the San Diego Board of Education, and as a Professor of African-American Studies at San Diego State University. A member of the California Legislative Black Caucus, she is the first African American to be elected to the California State Legislature south of Los Angeles.[2]

In December 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Weber as California's secretary of state, succeeding Alex Padilla, whom he had appointed as California's junior United States senator. Weber is the first African American to serve as California's secretary of state and the fifth to serve in a statewide position.

Early life and education

Weber was born in Hope, Arkansas and raised in Los Angeles. Her father was a farmer and left school after sixth grade but encouraged Weber and her seven siblings to prioritize their education. At three years old, she and her family fled their farm and moved west after her father refused to back down in a dispute with a white farmer and a lynch mob threatened his life. The family relocated to the Pueblo Del Rio housing projects in South Los Angeles where Weber grew up.[3] She earned a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and PhD in communication from the University of California, Los Angeles.[2][4]

Career

Academics

Weber is a professor emerita of Africana studies at San Diego State University. She helped to establish that department in 1972 and became its chair, teaching there for 40 years. She was president of the National Council for Black Studies from 2002 to 2006.[5]

Early political career

She served as a board member and later president of the San Diego Board of Education from 1988 to 1996. She also served as Chairwoman of the San Diego Citizens’ Equal Opportunity Commission.[2]

California State Assembly

In Fall 2011, she was recruited to run for office in the California State Assembly by Toni Atkins.[2] In November 2012, Weber won election to the state assembly with 61.7% of the vote, defeating her Republican opponent, Mary England.[6]

During her time in the assembly, Weber was a member of the California Assembly's Committee on Higher Education.[7] She promoted the development of a state university location in Chula Vista as a satellite or extension campus of the California State University system.[7] In 2020, Weber authored Senate Bill 3121, which created a reparations task force to study how to redress slavery in California; the task force met for the first time in 2021.[8][9]

California Secretary of State

Weber speaks at the signing of the AB392 bill
Weber speaks at the signing of the AB392 bill

On December 22, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Weber to the position of Secretary of State of California to replace newly-appointed Senator Alex Padilla, effective upon confirmation by the California State Legislature.[10] Weber is the first African American to serve as Secretary of State. Weber was sworn in on January 29, 2021, having been confirmed unanimously by the state senate the day before.[11][12] As secretary of state, Weber played a central role in administering the 2021 California gubernatorial recall election that targeted Governor Newsom.[13][14]

Personal life

Weber's husband, Judge Daniel Weber, died in 2002. She has two children and three grandchildren.[15][16] Her daughter, Akilah Weber, is a surgeon and was a member of the La Mesa City Council from 2018 to 2021.[17] On April 19, 2021, Akilah was sworn in by her mother to succeed her in the California State Assembly after winning in a special election.[18]

Electoral history

2012

See also: California State Assembly election, 2012

California's 79th State Assembly district election, 2012
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Shirley Weber 20,293 30.5
Republican Mary England 19,313 29.1
Republican Matt Mendoza 8,857 13.3
Democratic Rudy Ramirez 7,533 11.3
Democratic Patricia Ann Washington 5,404 8.1
Democratic Sid Voorakkara 5,060 7.6
Total votes 66,460 100.0
General election
Democratic Shirley Weber 94,170 61.7
Republican Mary England 58,424 38.3
Total votes 152,594 100.0
Democratic hold

2014

See also: California State Assembly elections, 2014

California's 79th State Assembly district election, 2014
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Shirley Weber (incumbent) 35,886 99.7
American Independent George R. Williams (write-in) 115 0.3
Total votes 36,001 100.0
General election
Democratic Shirley Weber (incumbent) 49,264 61.9
American Independent George R. Williams 30,266 38.1
Total votes 79,530 100.0
Democratic hold

2016

See also: California State Assembly election, 2016

California's 79th State Assembly district election, 2016
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Shirley Weber (incumbent) 64,395 67.7
Republican John Moore 30,711 32.3
Total votes 95,106 100.0
General election
Democratic Shirley Weber (incumbent) 92,285 64.56
Republican John Moore 50,687 35.4
Total votes 142,972 100.0

2018

See also: California State Assembly election, 2018

California's 79th State Assembly district election, 2018
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Shirley Weber (incumbent) 51,395 63.7
Republican John Moore 29,324 36.3
Total votes 80,719 100.0
General election
Democratic Shirley Weber (incumbent) 103,533 66.8
Republican John Moore 51,548 33.2
Total votes 155,081 100.0
Democratic hold

2020

See also: California State Assembly election, 2020

2020 California's 79th State Assembly district election
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Shirley Weber (incumbent) 74,121 65.7
Republican John Moore 19,619 17.4
Republican Carmelita "C.L." Larrabaster 19,080 16.9
Total votes 112,820 100.0
General election
Democratic Shirley Weber (incumbent) 147,994 65.4
Republican John Moore 78,367 34.6
Total votes 226,361 100

References

  1. ^ "Democrats Win Supermajority in California Assembly". NBC San Diego. November 15, 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Walker, Mark (November 18, 2012). "Shirley Weber forges path with historic win". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  3. ^ "About".
  4. ^ Calefati, Jessica (August 31, 2017). "Chased out of Arkansas as a child, Shirley Weber won't back down in California Capitol". CalMatters.
  5. ^ "Department of Africana Studies: Faculty". San Diego State University. Archived from the original on 20 January 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  6. ^ "State Assemblymember" (PDF). November 6, 2102 General Election. Secretary of State, State of California. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 December 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  7. ^ a b Bowler, Matthew (August 4, 2014). "Assemblywoman Shirley Weber Wants To Make Chula Vista University A Reality". KPBS. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  8. ^ "California's slavery reparations task force is convening. Here's what happens next". June 2021.
  9. ^ Botts, Jackie (9 June 2021). "California reparations committee confronts harms of slavery, debates direct payments". Calmatters.
  10. ^ "Gov. Newsom nominates Shirley Weber as California's first Black secretary of state". KCRA. 2020-12-23. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  11. ^ "Calif Senate Confirms Asm. Shirley Weber as Secretary of State, 1st Black Person to Hold Title". NBC 7 San Diego. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  12. ^ "Shirley Weber Sworn in as California's First Black Secretary of State". Times of San Diego. 2021-01-30. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  13. ^ Hoeven, Emily (September 2021). "Recall puts elections chief in political pickle". Calmatters.
  14. ^ "Shirley Weber, Appointed by Gov. Newsom, Now Oversees His Recall Election".
  15. ^ Calefati, Jessica (2017-08-31). "Chased out of Arkansas as a child, Shirley Weber won't back down in California Capitol". CALmatters. Retrieved 2019-02-03.
  16. ^ "Biography". Office of California State Assemblymember Shirley Weber. Retrieved January 17, 2021.
  17. ^ "La Mesa, CA - Official Website". www.cityoflamesa.us. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
  18. ^ "Daughter succeeds California elections chief in Legislature". San Diego Union-Tribune. 2021-04-19. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
Political offices Preceded byJames SchwabActing Secretary of State of California 2021–present Incumbent