Lola Smallwood-Cuevas (Courtesy photo)


Civil rights leader Lola Smallwood-Cuevas is the leading candidate in the race to represent the 28th State Senate District, a newly drawn district stretching from Mar Vista to downtown, from South Los Angeles and West Los Angeles to Culver City.  


Smallwood-Cuevas spent more than two decades fighting for civil rights in working communities. As the November election draws near, Smallwood-Cuevas has rallied support among a legion of renowned civil rights leaders. 


Congresswoman Karen Bass has witnessed first-hand the skills and talents of Smallwood-Cuevas. 

 “Like me, Lola Smallwood-Cuevas is a community organizer. She knows what it takes to get the job done,” said Bass.  


“I have watched her lead on the fight for fair wages to creating career pathways for people experiencing homelessness or involved in our justice system. She also led the fight to establish the L.A. Civil Rights Office at the city of Los Angeles. We need Lola in the State Senate, she will deliver for our community.” 


The Rev. James Lawson Jr., an activist and university professor who was a leading tactician for nonviolence within the Civil Rights Movement, commends Smallwood-Cuevas for fighting for Black workers to be hired on major development projects in Los Angeles.  


“She led the fight to make sure local Black workers were hired on our largest infrastructure projects, from the Crenshaw/LAX line to the many other rail system expansions in Los Angeles. Because of Lola’s leadership, Black representation increased more than tenfold – raising from 2% to 23%,” said Lawson. 


Civil rights attorney Carl E. Douglas added, “Lola worked to ensure that the labor movement was in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. That is why Lola was awarded the Champion of Change award by the UCLA Black Law Students Association. Her experience will bring a fresh new perspective to the State Senate.” 


Smallwood-Cuevas currently serves as project director for the UCLA Center for the Advancement of Racial Equity (CARE) at Work. UCLA CARE at Work recently released “Essential Stories: Black Worker COVID-19 Economic Health Impact Survey.” The report documents the effects of COVID-19 on Black workers in Southern California. 


Smallwood-Cuevas also serves as treasurer of the Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board, as a Los Angeles Employment Equity Commissioner, member of the Los Angeles County Ad Hoc Committee on Black People Experiencing Homelessness, and taskforce member for the U.S. Department of Labor Hiring Initiative to Reimagine Equity (HIRE). She is a founding member of the Los Angeles County Worker Center Network and co-chair of the Black Worker Hub for Regional Organizing. 


With a focus on hardest-hit communities and disparity-driven priorities, Smallwood-Cuevas pledges to work toward an equitable recovery and long-term solutions to economic inequality, the housing crisis, affordable and accessible healthcare, public safety, protecting workers’ rights, more equitably funded educational systems, and a greener and cleaner environment to grow vibrant communities.  

In the State Senate, she will push for bottom-up policies that deliver the resources and tools working families need to build the California dream they want and deserve. 


To learn more, visit the campaign’s website at: