Reggie Jones-Sawyer – 59th District’s California State Assemblymember | California State Assembly
The Little Rock Nine not only changed Civil Rights in America forever, but they also shaped who I am today. My uncle, Jefferson Thomas, was a member of the Little Rock Nine. His courage and valor is something I’ve always admired and aspired to replicate by dedicating my life to giving back to the community and helping to lift up all others. You see, my uncle was just 15 years old when he signed up to become one of the first black students to integrate Little Rock Central High School. Although he didn’t realize the gravity or full impact of his actions at the time, he knew he was making a difference, and he knew that his sacrifice would make it easier for future generations to move forward. My uncle inspired me to commit my life to public service. It’s why I’m so passionate about improving the lives of those less fortunate, of disadvantaged and poor communities, and countless others. It’s also why I’m running for reelection to the State Assembly, because we need to remember that individual acts of bravery can change the course of history.
I started my path to public service when I received my B.S. in Public Administration from USC, and completed the prestigious Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Since entering public service in 2001, I have worked as one of five statewide officers in the California Democratic Party, serving as the highest ranking African American at the time. As Director of Asset Management for the City of Los Angeles, I managed $22 million in leases for 800 city-owned properties worth more than $2 billion. I also served as Assistant Deputy Mayor for the City of Los Angeles, where I helped transform the City’s permit development process into a more customer-and-user- friendly agency.
I was elected to the Assembly in 2012. Since then, I have proudly served the 59th District for five years. I’ve championed several common sense public policies aimed at improving residents’ quality of life, from reforming the criminal justice system to creating more good paying middle class jobs, investing more in education and workforce development, to making healthcare more accessible, protecting our environment, safeguarding workers’ rights, advancing compassionate immigrant rights politics, tackling the drought, and so much more. My time in the Legislature has been centered on giving a voice to those without one, being their advocate and their champion. I also previously served as the Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus ensuring that African Americans across California get the representation they need and deserve at the state level. In this role, I’ve also been a staunch ally of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, building coalitions around key issues that both caucus’ can rally behind and advocate to improve our respective communities as well as others throughout California.
Outside of holding government office, I also served as Chair of the Baldwin Hills Conservancy, USC Black Alumni, New Frontier Democratic Club, and the American Society for Public Administration – Los Angeles Chapter.
My greatest joy in life is raising my three children Lauren Diane Jones-Sawyer, Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Jr., and Evan Brendon Jones-Sawyer.