Senator Sydney K. Kamlager-Dove embodies the 30th Senate District, including Culver City, Cheviot Hills, the Crenshaw District, the University of Southern California, Downtown Los Angeles, and a significant part of Inglewood.
In an exclusive interview with the Los Angeles Sentinel, Kamlager-Dove considered the responsibilities, dedication, and loyalty that she would like to convey as a congress member. Kamlager-Dove has confirmed that she will run for congress to supersede Representative Karen Bass, who is the leading candidate to become the Mayor of Los Angeles. Bass supported Kamlager-Dove’s campaign for the position.
For Kamlager-Dove, the reason to run for congress is simple, it’s to make a difference. “The simple answer is to make a difference in people’s lives. You know, Congress is going to have a new look next year with so many retirements happening,” Senator Kamlager-Dove said.
The public servant continued, “I hope and plan to be part of a new wave of leadership being ushered in at the national level, poised to make a difference in my district, to help the state– to help the country.”
Senator Kamlager-Dove was elected to the California State Senate in a special election in March 2021. In this position, she has prioritized equity and authored proposed laws in the areas of criminal justice reform, public healthcare, environmental protection, and low-cost housing. Through her work, the country has seen the most transformative community corrections and legislation.
In response to the transition from a seat in Senate to a position in congress, Kamlager-Dove considered her transformation, stating, “My goal was to be in the Senate but this opportunity does not come around that often. With redistricting, I represent 93 percent of this district. I would be running to represent a constituency that knows me– that knows of my record. And I am humbled to have the endorsement and the support of the sitting Congresswoman who believes in my ability to impact change,” she said.
As a public servant, Kamlager-Dove currently divides her time across multiple committees; she lends her focus towards Appropriations, Budget and Fiscal Review, Governmental Organization, Human Services, Public Safety, and Rules.
Holding Ms. Bass in high regard, Kamlager-Dove reflected on the pathway to replacing her in congress, “I don’t think that I can fill her [Bass] shoes, but I’m certainly going to be wearing my own shoes and walking in her footsteps,” she said. “She has proven herself to be a coalition builder, someone who has been able to find consensus; someone who has been able to elevate issues that are often marginalized, like the issue around foster care, and to create bipartisan support for those issues. And she’s been someone who has never forgotten about her community.”
Reflecting on past works that ran alongside Congresswoman Bass, Kamlager-Dove said, “Last year, when I worked on the crisis act, AB-118–which will, on community-based organizations, respond to 9-1-1 calls so that law enforcement doesn’t have to, I was surprised that AB-118 the Crisis Act found its way into Congresswoman Bass’ George Floyd justice in policing act. I think that is an example of the faith that she has in me to create meaningful, substantive law that can translate from the state to the federal level. “
Senator Kamlager-Dove continued, “You know, as chair of the Los Angeles County delegation–a delegation of a set of bicameral and bipartisan, I have been able to work to galvanize this group of legislators to fight in a unified fashion for our fair share of state resources and strong policy that will impact Los Angeles. And that is also a skill set that I hope to bring to Congress. Ultimately, my goal is to help reenergize government to be seen as an entity that can solve problems rather than an entity that is a problem. And I think that that is something that Congresswoman Bass has also worked to achieve,” she said.
Kamlager-Dove has been entrusted major parties within government, she has led as vice-chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, chair of Budget Subcommittee #4 on State Administration, and General Government. Kamlager-Dove made a difference in local communities, leading as chair of the Los Angeles County Delegation and as a member of the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.
Kamlager-Dove collaborated with other local public servants, such as Holly J. Mitchell, in conjunction with a number of policymakers; she has found the pulse of the city’s needs. Kamlager-Dove is a former Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) president and a former member of the Los Angeles County Commission on Children and Families.
The former member of the Los Angeles County Commission stated, “This is an amazing opportunity. One that doesn’t come along that often. And I see my role as fighting to bring back democracy, fighting against voter suppression, and supporting access to reproductive rights. Ultimately, I am running because I want to make a difference. I want to make our state healthier, our country healthier, safer, and more affordable. And I think running for Congress affords me an opportunity to make a difference in so many more lives.”
Kamlager-Dove lives in View Park with her husband, Austin Dove, two stepchildren, and rescue animals.