Honorable Nate Holden (File photo)

Before being elected to public office, former Councilman Nate Holden recalls contacting elected officials about district issues and receiving either no positive responses or no responses at all. This led Holden to become a public servant.

Holden also served as a California State Senator and as assistant chief deputy to a Los Angeles county supervisor, among many other titles.  In total, he has served more than 30 years in the public sector, according to his website.

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“When I got elected, I wanted to make sure that they understood that they put me in office to be responsible for them, to serve them to the best of my ability, and that I had an open door policy. And they were always welcome to come and also to call my office and they would always get a positive response,” Holden said.

Holden has had a long, successful and impactful career as a public servant and is responsible for many important decisions in history that he has enjoyed being able to fight for and see come to fruition.  One of the accomplishments that stuck with him was authoring the bill that established Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday as a California state holiday.

As a senator, Holden had recognized the influence he had in the state of California and knew he could get certain things done to address problems and issues that had not been previously addressed.

“To honor Dr. Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement… every school and every school district in the state of California was required to do that. The other reason that brought me to that decision was I had a young lady in the late 50s- 60s come to do some work for me- a high school girl. Dr. King’s birthday was coming up and I asked her, ‘Have you heard of Dr. Martin Luther King? Anything about what he’s done?’ And she said, ‘No.’ So that also influenced me originally.”

It wasn’t always easy for Holden, however, the most challenging aspect of being an elected official for him was trying to get bills enacted into law.

“Any time you try to make some major changes legislatively, there’s always opposition. And especially that will pause what you’re trying to do. But it is very, very exciting for me to stand there and make those changes,” Holden said.

Assemblymember Chris Holden with his father, Nate Holden. (File photo)

Holden recalls trying to provide the first state park in the inner city and having the governor at the time veto the bill. It was to serve three million people in a 10-mile radius for recreation.

“I called him a racist for vetoing the bill. Then I introduced Senate Bill 2125 to build a state regional park, which means the local government would maintain it. It became a law. Originally known as Baldwin Hills Park, it later changed to Kenneth Hahn Park,” Holden said.

Holden said he still contacts his local elected officials with any important concerns and watches the news carefully. He writes letters to the president and vice president as well. One of his concerns is the recent flooding going on in California due to the rainstorms.

“For the most part, public works don’t always finish their job properly and clean the catch basins. So, when you come to an intersection sometimes with a puddle of water because the catch basin is plugged, the new elected officials sometimes don’t realize all these things or how to get these problems solved. The first thing you start – process elimination. You clean the catch basins out,” Holden said.

When it comes to the Black community, his advice is to not stop. Holden said quitters don’t win and winners don’t quit.

“They can’t say the government is not doing anything for them because they are. They do it for you or do it against you if you don’t participate. If you don’t participate, you don’t complain,” Holden said.

According to Holden, young people must get involved as well but he said young people today are distracted and playing so many video games.

“They think they’re entitled and don’t know hard work can benefit you if you work hard. People who are the bosses in charge, they’ve been around for a while and they realize they got where they are because they worked hard, they put in the time and paid the dues,” Holden said.

For more information about the immense work Holden has done in his many years of public servitude, visit http://www.nateholden.com/index.html.