Asm. Issac Bryan welcomes guests at the State Capitol. (Courtesy photo)


Assemblymember Isaac G. Bryan is the L.A. Sentinel Legislator of the Year. His many achievements on behalf of the people in the 55th District persuaded the Sentinel editorial board to recognize him.

When asked what motivates Bryan to continue doing the work of the people?  He humbly responded, “I come from a family of 12.  All of us came through the foster care system and because of this, I have been able to see first-hand how lives can be affected.

Bryan, at podium, joins colleagues and supports at the Justice Reform Press Conference. (Courtesy photo)

“Some of my family members have been incarcerated and they need to be involved in recidivism programs.  Some are or have been un-housed, so I see how their lives have been affected.”

Outlining other factors that inspire him in his work, Bryan stated, “To be in a position where I can be involved in helping to make and bring forward change for those in my family and at a greater level, those in my community who need help and services, is what motivates me every day to continue doing the work that I do.”

The 55th Assembly District covers about 476,444 people in Culver City and the Los Angeles communities of Baldwin Hills, Crenshaw, West Adams, Mid-City, View Park, Ladera Heights, Mar Vista, Pico-Robertson, Century City, Exposition Park, Vermont Square and Mid-Wilshire.

Currently, Bryan chairs both the Assembly’s Committee on Natural Resources and Select Committee on Poverty and Economic Inclusion. He is also the secretary and treasurer of the California Legislative Black Caucus as well as vice chair and a founding member of the Renters Caucus.

Bryan, at podium, joins colleagues and supports at the Justice Reform Press Conference. (Courtesy photo)

Although one of the youngest representatives in the State Assembly, Bryan has not let age stop him from seeking justice in a range of areas. During his current term, he sponsored legislation to direct 40% of federal Infrastructure funding to disadvantaged and low-income communities, ensure inmates returning to their communities have stable housing, and restore voting rights to the formerly incarcerated people.

Some of his other accomplishments include phasing out the Inglewood Oil Field and other oil drilling near homes and communities in California (SB-1137), ending prison gerrymandering (AB-1848), ending punishing fees for parents with children in foster care (AB-1686), protecting students from predatory insurance practices (AB-1823) and strengthening online campaign finance disclosure requirement (AB-1848).

In addition, Bryan secured funding for the Center on Reproductive Health, Law, and Policy at UCLA School of Law; the first Climate Change Education Center in the California Community College system at West LA College; and a stipend program for students in the trades to earn a living wage while studying for certificates.

Bryan introduced a range of legislation to benefit the 55th Assembly District. (Courtesy photo)

Bryan dedication to assisting others is a trait that he has possessed throughout his career. Prior to his election to the State Assembly, he was the founding director of the UCLA Black Policy Project, which focused on connecting Black scholarship with public policy decision-making.

A committed proponent of criminal justice reform, Bryan served as director of organizing for the Million Dollar Hoods (MDH), a community-based participatory research project; and co-chaired Measure J where voters approved the diversion of 10% of county funds “to address the disproportionate impact of racial injustice through community investment and alternatives to incarceration.”

The road to his considerable success was not easy for Bryan.  A native of Dallas, Texas, he was adopted as an infant and been in California since the 6th grade. His parents, who adopted Bryan and eight other children, were a foster family to hundreds of youths in the child welfare system for more than 20 years. As a child, Bryan attended seven public schools.

To launch the California Center for Climate Change, Bryan presented West L.A. College officials with a $5 million check. (Courtesy photo)

Bryan overcame all hurdles to earn Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arizona and a Master of Public policy from UCLA Luskin School of Public affairs.  Later, he served as a David Bohnett Foundation fellow and as a commissioner on the LAUSD task force studying the reinvestment of funds taken from the school police budget.

Although Young in years, Isaac Bryan has quickly rose to power not only locally, but across the state.  His name is often mentioned in various political circles almost any time a politically vacancy arises, or an elected leader is scheduled to “term out” of office.

In response to conversations of this nature, Bryan’s said, “I am here to do the people’s business, and I will continue to do to the best of my ability the work that they elect me to do.  I am here to serve my community in whatever capacity they so humbly deem is the role they ask me to serve in.”

“We take the responsibility of embracing and supporting those who serve our community through public policy very seriously here at the Sentinel.  I have dedicated my life to serving the African American community and I have taught and empowered our editorial board to do the same,” stated Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., chairman and executive publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel.

Bryan addresses constituent concerns during a town hall meeting. (Courtesy photo)

“Bestowing the Legislator of the Year Award is something we don’t take lightly and look very closely at the work of every elected official to determine who is most deserving of this award.  This year our editorial board selected Isaac Bryan to receive this award, because of his uncompromising positions on bringing forward the necessary services that our community needs and deserves,” explained Bakewell.

“I applaud Isaac for his continued service to our community and I am honored to present him with the Los Angeles Sentinel’s 2023 Legislator of the Year Award.”

Bakewell also addressed Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas’ most recent decision to remove Isaac Bryan from his position as Majority Leader.

“We must remember that Assemblymember Isaac Bryan played an intricate role in the election of Robert Rivas as Assembly Speaker.  I dare to say, that if not for the work of Isaac Bryan, Robert Rivas would not be speaker,” declared Bakewell.

“So, for the speaker to remove him from as position of leadership arbitrarily is completely unacceptable and will not be forgotten.”