LOS ANGELES – Former Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and former Sen. Sydney Kamlager-Dove will be sworn into the House of Representatives today after being attached to a scathing crypto scandal that drew scrutiny of campaign contributions they received via Sam Bankman-Fried.
Garcia said he ran to represent the 42nd District “because I want every single kid in our country to have the same opportunity that this country gave me.”
The district runs north from Long Beach through Lakewood, Bellflower, and Downey to Huntington Park.
Garcia has pledged as a House member to support legislation to:
— make the United States “the world’s leader in pandemic prevention and biosafety and biosecurity planning”;
— increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25, where it has been since 2009 to $15;
— expand paid family leave;
— change overtime rules;
— create public banks;
— provide universal child care;
— guarantee pre-K education;
— expand pathways to citizenship for immigrants in the nation without legal permission; and
— expand affordable and accessible housing.
Garcia was chosen as president of the freshman class of the House Democrats.
A second new House member representing Los Angeles County will also be sworn in Tuesday, former state Sen. Sydney Kamlager, who will succeed Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass in representing the 37th District.
Kamlager defeated former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry, a fellow Democrat, 64%-36%, in the district that mainly includes portions of South Los Angeles, along with the Crenshaw and Pico-Robertson districts, Culver City, Palms, and West Los Angeles.
Kamlager said as a House member she will be “focused on”
— expanding voting rights;
— reproductive justice;
— health care for all;
— criminal justice reform focused on diversion, redemption, and rehabilitation;
— job creation to create economic justice and opportunities for all communities;
— innovative investment in housing;
— a Green New Deal and immediate climate action; and
— increased spending on education and the arts.
Kamlager was born in Chicago to interracial parents in 1972. She moved to Los Angeles to attend USC, receiving a degree in political science.
Kamlager also received a master’s degree in arts management and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University.
Kamlager was elected to the state Senate in a March 2021 special election, succeeding Holly Mitchell, who was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Kamlager was Mitchell’s district director before being elected to the Assembly in a 2018 special election.
Kamlager was a member of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees from 2015-18. She was appointed in 2013 to the Los Angeles County Commission on Children and Families.
Kamlager also worked at the Social and Public Arts Resource Center in Venice and the Ladera Heights-based early childhood care and education organization Crystal Stairs.
2UrbanGirls contributed to this report.