‘Rod’ Wright is Sworn In as Newest Senator

Roderick D. Wright, (left) is sworn in as the new senator for the 25th district and a returning member to the California Legislative Black Caucus, by Rev. Dr. Paul Martin, pastor of Zion Hill Baptist Church. The community swearing-in ceremony was held at First Church of God, Center of Hope in Inglewood last Sunday.

About Rod Wright

Roderick “Rod” Wright was elected to the California State Assembly in 1996 representing the 48th Assembly District covering much of south Los Angeles County. From 1998 until 2002, Rod served as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce (U&C) which held legislative jurisdiction over electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, private water corporations and other issues related to commerce. Rod has been recognized for his work in the areas of public safety, education, energy and utilities, small business, family law and consumer privacy.

Rod graduated from Pepperdine University where he was elected student body president. Majoring in Urban Studies/City Planning, Rod specialized in affordable housing and developed properties in south Los Angeles. Rod graduated from Washington High School where he was elected president of his graduating class. Rod was a stand out track and field athlete and received numerous scholarship offers in both track and football.

Rod served as a field deputy to several members of the Los Angeles City Council. He has acted as liaison to various Los Angeles City departments including, Planning, Personnel, Department of Water & Power, and Community Development. Rod also served in the administration of Mayor Tom Bradley.

Rod was the District Director to Congresswoman Maxine Waters where he assisted citizens with federal matters such as Social Security, Medi-Care and veterans issues among others.

As a member of the California State Legislature Rod established one of the largest back-to-school programs in Los Angeles County now providing medical screenings to over 20,000 children. Rod was the author of a resolution seeking redress from the United States Government for the victims of the World War II disaster in Port Chicago, California. A presidential pardon was granted to one of the victims of that disaster as a result of his efforts.

Rod was elected to the board of the National Conference of State Legislatures where he was a co-chair of the Energy Task Force. Rod was recognized for his skill as a legislator by being voted legislator of the year by the County of Los Angeles, the California Small Business Association, the Municipal Power Association and the California Probation Officers Association.

Rod Wright is a home and business owner in the City of Inglewood where he remains active in community and civic affairs. Rod is a member of Ward AME Church in Los Angeles.

About the 25th Senate District

The 25th District serves much of the Southern portion of Los Angeles County.  The seat was drawn to comply with theVoting Rights Act.  The district, contains one of the most diverse populations in the State.  The district is comprised mainly of working class suburban areas of Los Angeles County, it also contains some exclusive wealthy neighborhoods as well.

The 25th is a semi-circle running from the Los Angeles neighborhood of Westchester to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The district is located entirely within Los Angeles County. There are several cities and communities that make up the district’s population they are; Inglewood, Compton, the northwestern sections of Long Beach, and some portions of the City of Los Angeles.  In addition, the district includes the cities of Hawthorne, Gardena, and the unincorporated communities of Alondra Park, Westmont, and Willlowbrook. Finally, the district contains the entire Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Within the City of Los Angeles, the 25th includes a section of Westchester near Los Angeles International Airport and the Port of Los Angeles. It also contains portions of South Los Angeles and a small portion of San Pedro.

Historically the 25th has been a Democratic district. As of 2006, 59% of Registered Voters were registered Democrat and 22% were registered Republican. In 2004, Senator Vincent received 74% of the vote.

About California’s Senate

The California State Senate is the upper house of the California State Legislature. There are 40 State Senators. The state legislature meets in the state capital, Sacramento. The Lieutenant Governor is the ex officio President of the Senate. The officers of the Senate, elected at the start of each legislative session, are; President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Secretary of the Senate Gregory Schmidt, Senate Sergeant at Arms Tony Beard.

Prior to 1968, state senate districts were restricted such that one county could only hold at most one seat. This led to the situation of Los Angeles County, with 6 million residents as of 1968, receiving 600 times less representation than residents of Alpine County and Calaveras County, some of California’s least populous counties. The federal Reynolds v. Sims decision by the United States Supreme Court compelled all states to draw up districts with equal populations. As such, boundaries were changed such that equal representation was provided.

Senators serve four year terms. The terms of the Senators are staggered so that half the membership is elected every two years. The Senators representing the odd-numbered districts are elected in years evenly divisible by four. The Senators from the even-numbered districts are elected in the intervening even-numbered years. Senators are limited to two terms.

Each Senator represents approximately 846,791 Californians, which is more than the approximately 639,088 residents in each of California’s Congressional Districts.

California is unusual in that a two-thirds vote of both the Senate and Assembly is required by the California Constitution to increase taxes or to pass a budget.

The Court of Public Opinion