Statement by Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer on the Historic Appointment of Two African-Americans to Chair the Public Safety Committees in the Senate and Assembly

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

It has been announced that my colleague, State Senator Steve Bradford, has been appointed as the Chair of the California Senate's Public Safety Committee marking the first-time in our state's history both the Senate and Assembly Public Safety Committees are chaired by African Americans.

This historic first is crucial at this time as both Senator Bradford and I believe reforms are needed in policing and prison guard standards and their modes of operation.

I would like to thank Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President pro Tempore Atkins for recognizing that in order to meet this moment amidst the outcry for criminal justice reform, voices from over-policed communities must be elevated to lead all Californians forward.

Senator Bradford and I represent districts with constituents desperate for reform and positive change in our criminal justice system. Our efforts over the years have been focused on introducing legislation that emphasizes rehabilitation and education over incarceration, the closing of private prisons, and establishing a police culture of transparency and interaction with local communities.

Looking forward, our respective committees are poised to take on progressive policies aimed at transformational reforms in public safety. Our goal is to help modernize and create exemplary officers in state and local departments. Our commitment remains to ensure public safety consistent with our California values of equity, fairness, and justice.

About:

Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer is the Chair of the Assembly's Public Safety Committee and represents south Los Angeles. Jones-Sawyer has a family legacy of involvement in the Civil Rights movement beginning with his uncle, who was a member of the Little Rock Nine.

A proud progressive Democrat, Jones-Sawyer is a champion of second chances and fair treatment under the law. AB 89 is the latest reform focused bill introduced by the Member to establish new standards in recruitment of police and prison guards in California requiring new cadets obtain a bachelor's degree, or reach the age of 25, before becoming an officer.