Mark Ridley-Thomas, Isadore Hall and Rod Wright have been passed the torch as they assumed their respective roles from political icons.
The first item on the agenda for Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is the re-opening of Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital. Following President-elect Obama's lead–whom Ridley-Thomas supported for the presidency–the new supervisor has hit the ground running as he begins his second day in office. In his swearing-in address, Ridley-Thomas made it clear what his priorities are and what the residents of the Second District can expect from him.
After taking the oath of office from Kamala Harris, District Attorney of San Francisco, the county's newest supervisor said, "The changes that we seek in the Los Angeles County will build on the legacy of pioneering accomplishments of those who came before me. And we should never lose sight of those who came before us. We give them thanks and we express our appreciation of Supervisor (Yvonne) Burke." Ridley-Thomas replaced Burke who retired after 16 years on the Board of Supervisors.
Assemblyman Isadore Hall and Senator Roderick "Rod" Wright were also sworn in simultaneously in Sacramento and were welcomed by Speaker Karen Bass, who thanked the members for re-electing her as Speaker as she spoke of the difficult challenges facing California amid the national economic crisis saying, "Our state continues to be rocked by the deepening national recession and the ongoing global economic turmoil."
Hall goes to the assembly after serving the people of Compton and he is expected to continue working for the people of the 52nd District whom he will be representing. He has been referred to as a dedicated public servant and was endorsed by the man who he replaced, political icon, Mervyn Dymally. Hall brings to the legislature the background of a seasoned manager and a successful real estate executive.
The chambers of Sacramento are not new to Wright. A former assemblyman, he returns as the senator representing the 25th district and had enjoyed great community support for his work for six years in the assembly. He also had the support of many of the mayors whose cities fall within his senate district. Wright said, "The support of the lion's share of the mayors representing the cities in the district is a clear message that I have the experience to fight for our communities." With the financial challenges that are facing the state, his experience will certainly be very useful.
And as Ridley-Thomas laid out his plan for the Second District, he realizes that it will take a combined effort of all concerned–the county and the state–to handle the fiscal crises that are being experienced in all areas and all levels of government. He outlined an ambitious agenda with special emphasis on the healthcare needs and well-being of the community.
"We seek to make our own mark on Los Angeles County," he said, "It's to defend, to sustain and elevate the public's standard of living for working families, to support small businesses, to provide relief to homeowners and shelter to those threatened by foreclosure, and to deliver healthcare to the uninsured and emergency care to the unfortunate. We are the Second District."