January 13, 2022

Special to the LAWT


In an exclusive announcement to the Los Angeles Sentinel, State Senator Sydney Kamlager confirmed that she is launching her campaign to succeed Representative Karen Bass in Congress. Bass, who is the leading candidate for mayor of Los Angeles, is supporting Kamlager.

“I wanted to let you know that I have in fact made the decision to run for Congress,” Kamlager told the Sentinel. “I know, some think it’s the worst kept secret in L.A. County, but I felt it would be presumptuous to make a final decision before the lines of the district were finalized and wanted to make sure this was the right decision for me and my family.”

Kamlager currently represents 83% of the voters in the 37th District, which was revised during the redistricting process.

The new South L.A.-based district extends just beyond Century Boulevard at its southernmost point and Olympic Boulevard at its northernmost – and also includes Arlington Heights, Baldwin Hills, Crenshaw, Culver City, parts of Downtown, Harvard Heights, West Adams, Hyde Park, Jefferson Park, Ladera Heights, Leimert Park, Mid-City, Olympic Park, Palms, South Robertson, Southeast L.A., University Park, View Park, Wilshire Vista, and surrounding neighborhoods. Visit www.wedrawthelines.org/final_maps to take a closer look at the new boundaries.

Senator Kamlager has one of the most distinguished records on both police reform and making our neighborhoods safer, and stands up for working families and the small business operators that make Los Angeles and Culver City tick. 


“I’m running for Congress because I believe, based on my record, that I can continue the fight for justice reform on the national level that Karen has helped lead,” Kamlager shared.

“I’m also prepared to jump into the fight to stop voter suppression that is spreading across our nation and will continue to lead on job creation, access to health care, and clean air and water for all.”

In addition to Karen Bass, Kamlager enters the race with a broad coalition of support, including Supervisor Holly Mitchell, L.A. Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Curren Price, Secretary of State Shirley Weber, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, Congressmember Ted Lieu, State Senators Steve Bradford, Maria Elena Durazo, and Ben Allen, Assemblymembers Chris Holden and Mike Gipson, Culver City Mayor Alex Fisch, Culver City Councilmembers Yasmine-Imani McCorrin, Culver City School Board Member Summer McBride, and many others. 

Carrying on important work

Senator Kamlager, who serves as the vice-chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus and chair of the Los Angeles County delegation, has authored landmark legislation in the areas of criminal justice reform, health care equity, and affordable housing – including the most transformative probation reform law in the country and legislation requiring implicit bias training for health care professionals and court employees.

Among her recent legislative victories is the passage of the CRISES Act last October. The bill – also known as Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems (CRISES Act) – has already secured $10 million in state budget funding, and creates a grant program to support community-based alternatives to police response to 911 calls.

“This victory was over a year in the making,” said Senator Kamlager. “Black and Brown Californians have long been waiting for radical, community-centered alternatives to police involvement.

“While it was disappointing to see the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act falter at the federal level, it’s exciting to see California, once again, lead the way in advancing racial justice. As a member of Congress, I will take the fight back to Washington, D.C., and lead the efforts to protect families throughout the nation.”

Sydney Kamlager secured close to $400 million in state funding for our public health care systems, affordable housing, infrastructure, the arts and other projects across the district. She has been a staunch supporter of economic investments in and across South L.A. and wants to take that fight to Washington.

As a leader who successfully authored anti-discrimination laws and strategies to help keep young people out of prison, make our neighborhoods safer, protect the quality of our air and water, and expand high-wage job opportunities, Kamlager will be an important voice for Los Angeles at our nation’s capital.

Sydney grew up in Chicago. Her first exposure to politics was working with her grandmother to help elect Harold Washington, the first African American mayor of Chicago, in 1983. She attended St. Ignatius College Prep, where her formative learning was infused with an understanding of liberation theology, social justice, and humanitarian work in the Appalachian Mountains.

She came to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California as a political science major. While she was at USC, the 1992 Los Angeles riots broke out. That catalytic event motivated Sydney to work with Rebuild LA and the Los Angeles Festival, two nonprofit organizations that threaded arts and job creation to help restore the communities most affected by the riots.

Senator Kamlager is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and earned a B.A. in political Science from USC and a M.A. in Arts Management and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. She lives in View Park with her husband, Austin Dove, her two stepchildren, and their rescue pets. 

Category: News