Among the nation’s prominent Democratic leaders, California Gov. Gavin Newsom frequently emerges as a defender of the party’s most extreme figures and ideals.
When given the opportunity to appoint California’s next secretary of state, he caused a stir by selecting a woman described by critics as a far-left radical.
“Voice of moral clarity”
As reported by the Washington Examiner, Newsom chose Shirley Weber to fill the post being vacated by Alex Padilla, who was slated to replace Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) ahead of her prospective service in the Biden administration.
The governor’s office praised Weber as a “voice of moral clarity” in the state Assembly, where she has represented the 79th district since 2012.
A founding member of the African Studies Department at San Diego State University, where she has worked for 40 years, Weber is also the chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus.
As a legislator, she is known for her role in crafting legislation last year that would limit the use of deadly police force. In addition to working on the so-called California Act to Save Lives, Weber was an advocate for Assembly Bill 2466, which restored voting rights for thousands of convicted felons.
For his part, Newsom showered praise on Weber for her progressive views, hailing the fact that she will soon be in charge of the state’s elections.
“The need to amplify Black women”
“Dr. Weber is a tireless advocate and change agent with unimpeachable integrity,” the governor said. “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.”
Earlier this year, she expressed her support for a law calling on California to consider reparations for the descendants of African slaves, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez had been vying for the secretary of state post, acknowledged “the need to amplify Black women in our state,” calling Weber “an icon.”
Although the nomination must still be confirmed, Weber enthusiastically accepted Newsom’s endorsement.
“Being the first African-American woman in this position will be a monumental responsibility, but I know that I am up for the challenge,” she said. “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.”