Hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom picked California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to be California’s next United States senator, he announced that he will submit to the state Legislature the nomination of Assemblymember Dr. Shirley N. Weber, D-San Diego, to replace him. If confirmed, Weber will become the first-ever African American to serve as secretary of state for California.
“Dr. Weber is a tireless advocate and change agent with unimpeachable integrity. The daughter of sharecroppers from Arkansas, Dr. Weber’s father didn’t get to vote until his 30s and her grandfather never got to vote because he died before the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965.
“When her family moved to South Central Los Angeles, she saw as a child her parents rearrange furniture in their living room to serve as a local polling site for multiple elections. Now, she’ll be at the helm of California’s elections as the next secretary of state – defending and expanding the right to vote and serving as the first African American to be California’s chief elections officer,” Newsom said.
Weber, an assemblymember since 2012, is a former president of the San Diego Board of Education and a retired Africa Studies Department professor for 40 years at San Diego State University. Her nomination is subject to confirmation by the California State Assembly and Senate. A decision must be made within 90 days.
“I am excited to be nominated for this historic appointment as the secretary of state of California. I thank Gov. Newsom for the confidence he’s placed in me and his belief that I will stand strong for California. Being the first African American woman in this position will be a monumental responsibility, but I know that I am up for the challenge. Expanding voting rights has been one of the causes of my career and will continue to motivate me as I assume my new constitutional duties,” Weber said.