February 11, 2021

By Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.

Executive Editor


Former State Senator and now Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell has left Sacramento. 

While her ascension to the Board of Supervisors has pleased so many of her supporters, it has left a crucial vacancy in the halls of the State Capitol. 






Not only for a Senator to represent the 30th Senate District with one of the most racially and economically diverse districts in the state, Mitchell’s vacancy also leaves the entire State of California with no African American woman in the California Senate and currently, State Senator Steve Bradford is the only African American Senator representing the entire state. 





To most, this disparity is obviously unacceptable; State Assembly member Sydney Kamlager-Dove is looking to fill the void in the special election called by Governor Gavin Newsom to fill the seat vacated by Mitchell.

Assembly member Kamlager-Dove is no newcomer to the 30th Senate District. 

Prior to her election to represent the 54th Assembly District, she served as then Senator Holly Mitchell’s District Director for over six years. 

Based on this experience, she identifies with the dynamics of the district and its residents. 


Kamlager-Dove's familiarity with the senate district is not her only value her quest for the Senate, she has been one of the most successful and active assembly members working in Sacramento. 

With her proven track record, her steady increase of followers feel strongly she can be equally, if not more effective, in the Senate.




As the State representative for the 54th District, Representative Kamlager-Dove has proven to be an effective and powerful force in the halls of Sacramento. 

She has been an unapologetic voice for the justice reform bill that completely restructured how Black and Brown people are tethered to the probation dept., and she continues to hold those on probation accountable, and has made probation sentencing lengths far shorter.


She also helped passed legislation which allowed community-based organizations to respond to 911 calls when non-violent and mental issues were involved rather than police. 


This visionary legislation was introduced before George Floyd was murdered and before the nation picked up the mantle of racial reckoning or the movement to defund the police.

While Sydney Kamlager-Dove has carved out a space as a fighter for the rights of those less fortunate and who have served time in the criminal justice system.  



Like most elected officials, her last year has been filled, and sometimes overwhelmed, in the fight with the life-altering challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

She has worked diligently to ensure that her district and all of South Los Angeles isn’t forgotten and that we get our fair share of the resources that California is providing.



Some of those resources she has managed to bring to her district and South Los Angeles and poor and underserved communities throughout California include:



• Securing over $1 Billion for the state to purchase bankrupt hospitals and re-opened them to ensure there were enough beds available for those infect by the virus.

• Secured an additional $1 billion dollars for Project Home Key and Project Room Key to help house the homeless during the surge of the pandemic.



•  Passed a statewide eviction moratorium relief bill that prevented families affected by COVID-19 who could not pay their rent or mortgages from being evicted.

• Helped raise the funds to purchase over 100,000 pieces of PPE equipment to give to our health care and front-line workers at the beginning of COVID-19 when the state was struggling to provide adequate supplies for front-line and health care workers from the federal government.

• Created a partnership with SEIU, Biz Fed and the LA County delegation to insure we were able to secure PPE equipment to grocery workers and other front-line workers to ensure that every possible precaution was taken to keep people safe.

• Helped pass legislation to deposit over $50nm into the I-Bank which is the state’s institution to ensure that small businesses that couldn’t get PPP funds, could get money from states to help them stay afloat.

• She has been one of the loudest voices in Sacramento to ensure Black and Brown communities, that are highly infected and disproportionately devastated by the virus, are receiving and continue to secure an adequate share of resources into our community including testing services and now vaccinations.


• She is also working diligently to get schools reopened.  But she does not want to just reopen schools, but reopen schools in a way that is safe, and taking into consideration how the process can be implemented the “right way” and in a safe way for teachers and students.

Sydney considers Mitchell a close friend and mentor; she feels she has a great partnership with Holly Mitchell, which she hopes will allow her to make an almost seamless transition into the seat. 

But she says there is still a lot of work to be done in the district.  She says that she must keep fighting for those parts of her district that have not been getting their fair share of the resources from the state, receive the resources from the state; the fact that being a representative in the Senate will allow her to be a more effective leader in securing those desperately needed resources. 

She wants to make sure that all parts of the district feel connected to each other. “I want to connect the east and the west parts and the south parts and the north parts of the district.  “I want to have an opportunity to bring everyone together in a way that neighborhood and community member can all feel a part of the entire district,” stated Kamlager-Dove

This idea of bringing diverse groups of people together is not new to Sydney.  She has been one of the most effective leaders in uniting forces that often agree and serve different agenda’s together like few legislatures have been able to do. 

She has been applauded by labor, by business and by community based non-profit organizations throughout her district; three groups that often themselves at odds on various issues throughout the state. 

When asked how she has been able to forge these alliances when so many others have not, she simply explains, “I have family members who are members of labor unions. 

Being members of labor, has afforded my family the opportunity to have health care, to be able to provide a home and housing for them and their families, but I have also worked in the non-profit service delivery business, so I understand the issues and challenges that face that industry and I am married to a small business owner and support business. I understand all of these issues and I try and approach all of them with honesty and an understanding of how we can move forward for the betterment of everyone”.

Dove also says she has an understanding that Black people are not a monolithic group and have influenced the world of business.  “We are entrepreneurs, we are union members, artist, doctors, teachers, janitors, environmentalist, and animal lovers.”  What Sydney knows is that everyone wants a better quality of life for ourselves, and our families, and that is the job of those in public service.

While serving in the legislature and while on the campaign trail, Sydney Kamlager-Dove has had the opportunity to do what she says she does best, listen.  “I have spoken to those in the district and I hear their voices.   They know that they are being heard. 

They’ve said to me that nobody comes to talk to [them] and no one cares about [their] concerns.  But [I’m] different [I] show up and listen, and not beholding to outside interest,” and that is the representative that I want to be, the representative that I am and that is the representative that I will continue if elected to the Senate.

When asked what message Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove wants to share with the voters of Senate District 30 she says: “I am going to represent your voice in Sacramento, because I am going to continue to engage with you, learn from you and work with you on the issues that you care about. 


I am about building consensus and I’m also about fighting for what’s right. I am unafraid and unabashed and unapologetic.  I am true to the values that this district represents. I am not afraid to roll up my sleeves, get my feet wet or get my hands dirty.  I am not afraid to keep fighting for the people of this district.  That is Who I am!

It is because of this tenacity that her commitment to serve the community and those who are often overlooked and underserved, that the Los Angeles Watts Times and Bakewell Media proudly endorse Sydney Kamlager-Dove for election as the next African American woman to be elected to the California State Senate’s 30th District.

Category: News