State Senator Steven Bradford earns an A+ as public servant

By Francis Taylor, Executive Editor

I had the pleasure of spending a few minutes with California Senator Steven Bradford and he was kind enough to respond to my specific questions.

Q-With over 20 years of public service, what do you feel is your greatest accomplishment and of what are you most proud? 

SB-“I believe my legislative work has always been framed by the goal of correcting injustices and giving a voice to those who don’t always have a voice. But my work on the California Reparations Task Force could be the most important and impactful work of my career because it may correct more than 100 years of injustices that are still being felt today.”

Q-You have authored numerous bills as a member of the CA Assembly and presently as the Senator for 35th Senate District. What are the most significant crime related bills and measures pertaining to those accused of a crime?

SB-“Over the years, I’ve authored legislation on sentencing reform and prison reform. I’m currently working to pass SB 441 which will make our criminal justice process more just and more efficient by giving someone accused of a felony access to vital information called discovery earlier in the legal process. This would eliminate long and costly legal motions over the disclosure of evidence obtained by prosecutors and law enforcement, and ultimately reduce the risk of wrongful arrests and convictions.”

Q-What about measures pertaining to police conduct and misconduct?

SB-“My SB 2 from 2021 was a landmark piece of legislation. For the first time, it established a process for removing bad police officers by decertifying them from working as peace officers in California. This law ends the “wash, rinse and repeat” cycle where bad police officers would be fired but simply move to another department and continue causing harm in our communities.”

Q-Have you received any reports on the statistical results of SB 673 that helps to locate missing youth and women?

SB-“SB 673, the Ebony Alert, is still moving through the legislative process and has not become law yet. SB 673 would create the Ebony Alert notification system in California to help locate missing Black youth or young Black women between the ages of 12 – 25 years. SB 673 would give law enforcement an additional resource to help locate them. The Ebony Alert would encourage news organizations including television, cable, online, radio and social media outlets to cooperate with sharing the information about a missing person.”

Q-How have you been involved in the dramatic economic development the City of Inglewood has experienced over the last several years? 

SB-“In 2021 I helped to secure $8.5 million dollars to revitalize Inglewood’s Market Street and support the City’s post-COVID-19 recovery efforts to help small and minority-owned businesses and the Inglewood Transit Corridor development. These funds will accelerate Inglewood’s transformation in time for the upcoming 2026 World Cup and 2028 Olympics. I have also supported state funding for the Inglewood Transit Connector.”

“In addition, I authored SB 789 which brings jobs and revitalization to Inglewood and co-authored AB 987, the California Environmental Quality Act: Sports and Entertainment Project. This bill helped streamline the construction of the new LA Clippers arena, the Intuit Dome in Inglewood, and included several pioneering environmental protections and pollution reductions. This project created thousands of jobs and will generate millions of dollars in public revenue.

Currently, I have a bill in the legislature, SB 392, which is needed to allow the Clippers’ new arena to sell alcoholic beverages at events and offer related advertising on the arena property. This is similar to my 2017 bill SB 582 that granted similar permission to SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park.”

Q-What about the Cities of Compton, Gardena, Hawthorne, and Lawndale?

SB-“At the start of the pandemic, I was appointed as co-chair of the Senate Democrats’ economic recovery working group. One of the major pieces of legislation to come out of the group was AB 3088, The Tenant/Landlord COVID-19 Eviction & Foreclosure Relief Act, which I was proud to Joint Author.  It protects tenants and small mom & pop property owners struggling due to COVID by providing eviction relief and foreclosure protection. My SB 1447 in 2020 expanded California’s assistance programs for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic by establishing a $100 million small business hiring tax credit program.

In 2022, I secured $12 million to repair the Artesia Bridge in the City of Compton. The bridge has been closed off since December of 2020, after a fire rendered it unsafe to use. The Artesia Boulevard Bridge serves as an important connection point between several major highways and thoroughfares. The long closure of the bridge has significantly affected residents, small businesses, and the surrounding region.

Just last year, I secured $2 million for Gardena Boulevard revitalization. The funds will be utilized for façade improvements, capital upgrades, and to offset start-up costs.

For 20 years, I have served as the founder and chairman of the Gardena Jazz Festival. This Jazz Festival, that will celebrate its 20th year in August, has become a highly anticipated event by members of the community and pulls a lot of funding back into the city and to local businesses participating in the festival.

Just recently, the California Department of Education and the State Board of Education have awarded Hawthorne School District an unprecedented $14.25 million community partnerships grant as part of the 2022-2023 California Community Schools Partnership Program.

This year, Hawthorne will receive over $1.26 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. CDBG funds can be used for buying property, public works, accessibility for disabled people, historic preservation, relocation payments, rehabilitation, special economic development, micro enterprises, and more.”

Q-The Reparations task force will present its final report in July 2023. Can you give me a preview of what to expect with their recommendation?

SB-“The California Reparations Task Force was established by law to study and make recommendations on reparations for the descendants of slavery in California. Our task force has produced a large interim report that documents the harm and history of slavery and discrimination in our state. The final report will be published by July 1st at https://oag.ca.gov/ab3121 and presented to the Legislature and the Governor. The recommendations include a variety of options including a formal apology, cash payments, access to free education, health care, home buying assistance and many others. After July 1, the work of passing a law to create reparations will begin. This work will be challenging but extremely important. I am committed to fighting hard to see that the work of the task force becomes more than just a book report. We must take action to repair these historic and systemic injustices.”

Q-What is the simplest reason why California gas prices are among the highest in the nation and are there any proposed changes in the works to mitigate the high prices?

“Our gas prices are high for several reasons. We know California places a high priority on clean air and mandates a special blend of gasoline that requires a more expensive refining process. This process also makes California vulnerable to supply chain disruptions as the state produces its own gasoline. Like many states, California also adds a gas tax to pay for our roads. The troubling part of the high price at the pump is the lack of transparency from the oil companies. I serve as the Chair of the Senate Energy Committee and this spring, we passed legislation that Governor Newsom signed into law that will add unprecedented oversight and transparency to the oil industry in California. This new law gives state regulators the ability to see if any price-gouging is taking place and to take action to protect California drivers.”

Q-Can you share any new legislation that is underway that you can preview for INGLEWOOD TODAY readers?

SB-“This year, I authored a resolution that calls on California to take a stand against child slavery. Many people are unaware that a large portion of the minerals used to make lithium-ion batteries to power things like cell phones and electric cars, comes from the Congo where children are being exploited. Little kids are being forced to climb into mines so we can have our clean technology. California’s important clean energy goals shouldn’t mean we have to participate in child slavery. My resolution, SCR24 calls on the state to support the safe mining of cobalt in places like California’s Salton Sea instead of in places where children are being exploited.”

As a former Inglewood Unified School District Teacher, responsible for grading individuals on the quality of their effort, work and results; now, as a news writer, I hereby declare that Senator Bradford’s results as the 35th t District Senator for Southern California, including the communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor City, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, San Pedro, Torrance, Watts, Willowbrook, and Wilmington, has earned an A+ as a result of the results he has delivered for his constituents.



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