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Senator Steve Bradford and Assembly Member Reggie Jones-Sawyer Make Calif. History as first Two African Americans to Chair the Public Safety Committees
By Sentinel Staff Report
Published December 17, 2020

State Senator Steve Bradford

Assembly Member Reggie Jones-Sawyer

It has been announced, 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 Assembly Member Reggie Jones-Sawyer take on the challenges of police reform, prison guard standards and their modes of operation.

Jones-Sawyer released a statement thanking 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.”

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Senator Bradford and Assembly member Jones-Sawyer both represent districts with constituents desperate for reform and positive change in our criminal justice system. Their 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.

“The role as Public Safety chair will be challenging especially in light of all we are facing as a state and nation, but I welcome the opportunity to provide substantial changes and improvement to the system,” said Senator Bradford. “As Chair, I will work toward improving the safety of our residents, offering justice to victims of crimes, passing true criminal and judicial justice reform measures that hold those in authority accountable for their actions, increasing transparency between communities and their officers, cultivating a real system for rehabilitation and actively supporting the formerly incarcerated. The recent reporting that California’s police agencies have upheld less than 2% of racial profiling complaints demonstrates that reform is desperately needed. Californians are counting on us to pass meaningful and comprehensive reform, such as SB 2, which the Pro Tem and I introduced last week to decertify bad officers. I will not be able to accomplish these efforts alone, but by working collaboratively with my fellow committee members, law enforcement, community organizations, advocate groups, and all Californians.”

The two legislatures and their respective committees are poised to take on progressive policies aimed at transformational reforms in public safety. The goal is to help modernize and create exemplary officers in state and local departments. Their commitment remains to ensure public safety is consistent with California’s values of equity, fairness, and justice.

Other members serving on the Senate Public Safety Committee are: Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa) as Vice Chair, and Senators Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco).

For more information, please visit the committee website at: https://spsf.senate.ca.gov/.

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