If you are into California Democratic Politics, then Sunday, March 5, at the Proud Bird Restaurant in Los Angeles was the place to be. Hundreds of attendees gathered to view the installation of the new Board of Officers for the New Frontier Democratic Club, California’s oldest and most influential African American Democratic Club.
The 63rd Officer Installation and Awards Luncheon, with the theme, “Continuing the Legacy of Black Political Power,” attracted the who’s who of political influencers. Also, the awards presentation recognized expertise and dedication of African American elected officials and social activists to move our community forward.
Superior Court Judge Holly Hancock administered the oath of office to the Dr. Mike Davis, NFDC president for the eighth consecutive year and former State Assemblymember; Emerson Luke, Esq., 1st vice president; Faye Geyen, 2nd vice president; Frances Braham, recording secretary; the Honorable Barbara Calhoun, corresponding secretary; William Thomas, treasurer, Lillian Wilson, financial secretary; Jeffrey Douglas, Sergeant-at-Arms; Robert L. Jones, Esq., parliamentarian; Kamilah Moore, communications coordinator; and Tiffany Quarles, Young Professionals.
Also sworn in as Board of Trustee members were Bobbie Jean Anderson, Patricia Sanders, Heather Ward, Geneese Simmons, Morris Griffin and Rosa Russell. Members-at-large were Donna Grayson, Lisa Ruffin, Barbara Wilson, Dr. Corey Flournoy, Ed Johnson, Herman Jones III, Joe Chow, Lavada Theus and the late Jaquelynn Y. Hawthorn, who passed away after being elected but before the installation of officers occurred.
The afternoon gala allowed the club to honor community members that are active advocates and fierce fighters for advancement. Mayor Karen Bass, a long-time member and supporter of New Frontier, was honored with the Leadership Award and L.A. Councilwoman Heather Hutt was the recipient of the Community Service Award.
Assemblymember Isaac Bryan was presented with the Vanguard Award, L.A. County Federation of Labor President Yvonne Wheeler received the Trailblazer Award, and business leader and entrepreneur Ingrid Hutt of the Hutt Group was honored with the Merle Davis Award as an Outstanding Business Leader.
Other honorees were Attorney Emerson Luke, who received the Jacquelynn Y. Hawthorne Award for outstanding service to the NFDC and California Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber, PhD, the recipient of the Political Leadership Award.
Influential political leaders in attendance at this year’s gala included State Attorney General Robert Bonta, who delivered closing remarks; as well as Congresswoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove, L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, State Senator Steven Bradford, Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Compton Mayor Emma Shariff, L.A. Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, former State Senator Roderick Wright, Honorable Herb Wesson (ret.) and his wife, Commissioner Fabian Wesson, Los Angeles County Assessor Jeff Prang, Honorable Jan Perry (ret.), and Water Board Member and Inglewood city council candidate Gloria Gray.