If you have lived or worked in Inglewood for awhile, you have probably seen or met Steve Bradford, the former State Assemblymember who served the 51st District and later, the 62nd District. His is a familiar face around town, where he shows up at everything from Inglewood Council meetings to groundbreakings, despite being termed out office in 2014.
Although Bradford has served under prominent locally elected officials, such as the late Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald, he wants the public to understand that he is not a career politician. The self-described “citizen activist” is first and foremost a community man, focused more on getting things done for families and local neighborhoods than making a name for himself.
Bradford is running for a seat in the 35th Senate District in the upcoming California Primary Election. The District straddles Interstate 110, including the inland portions of the South Bay, and stretches from Inglewood in the north down to the Port of Los Angeles and the San Pedro neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Here is why he is asking for your vote:
Bradford became the first African American elected to the Gardena City Council, where he served for 12 years. Like Mayor James Butts, who often tells the story of Inglewood being on the verge of bankruptcy when he took office, Bradford is familiar with rebuilding a city that was about to go under. He joined the council when the City was $27 million in debt. “There was no money in the bank and our employees had not been given raises in over seven years,” he said.
By the time Bradford left the City of Gardena, he, along with fellow council members “had eliminated the debt, had $8.5 million in the bank, gave employees raises without raising taxes or cutting services, and secured millions of federal dollars for various improvement projects for North Gardena—something that had never happened prior to me being elected to the Council.”
Bradford won a seat in the California State Assembly’s 51st District in 2009 in a Special Election, and was re-elected in 2010. He won again in 2012 in the newly created 62nd District. One shining achievement in the Assembly was his service as Chair of the Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color. In this role, Bradford helped correct institutional injustices that plague so many young Black, Latino, and Asian/Pacific Islander males in California. Last year, Bradford joined President Barack Obama at the White House for the launch of “My Brother’s Keeper,” a national initiative modeled after the work done by California lawmakers.
If elected to the state senate, Bradford has vowed to continue fighting for issues near and dear to his heart—homelessness, environmental justice, expanding immigrant rights, creating more access to quality healthcare and mass transportation, creating more jobs and strengthening labor unions.
These are the same issues he has devoted his life to as a public servant. In the State Legislature, Bradford authored and supported legislation to
•promote renewable, clean energy, and enhance local neighborhood security
•increase the state’s minimum wage
•solve the unprecedented drought crisis
•expand health insurance
•enact common sense immigrant rights measures
Ever working, Bradford has even turned his leisure passions of golf and music into community treasures. His love for golf has resulted in a youth golf program—introducing hundreds of kids to the game. The Gardena Jazz Festival, which he founded 13 years ago, is one of the most popular summer concerts in the South Bay.
Monday, May 23 is the last day to register to vote in the June 7 primary. To register, call the Inglewood City Clerk’s Office at (310) 412-5280 or register online at www.lavote.net.