Steve Bradford, the first African-American elected to serve on the Gardena City Council, will be inducted into the Gardena Wall-of-Fame on Sat., Oct. 10 on the Gardena City Hall Lawn at 10 a.m.
Bradford made history when he became the first African-American elected to the Gardena City Council. Over the 12 years that he served on the City Council, he presided over a robust job and economic growth, along with a balanced budget for the city. When he was elected to the Council, the City of Gardena was on the brink of bankruptcy, and he inherited the job to bring the city out of its $27 million in debt. There was no money in the bank and employees had not been given raises in over seven years.
Throughout Councilmember Bradford’s tenure in local office, he worked tirelessly to turn the city around. By the time he left Gardena’s City Council, Bradford had eliminated the debt, had $8.5 million in the bank, gave employees raises without raising taxes or cutting services, and secured millions of federal dollars for various improvement projects for North Gardena- something that had never happened prior to his being elected to the Council. He also helped to make the City of Gardena more responsive to the needs of its residents, while also making the city more inclusive and a better place for folks of all backgrounds to live.
During Bradford’s time in the California State Assembly, he continued to represent Gardena in Sacramento. He served as Chair of the Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color where he worked hard to correct the many institutional injustices that plague young Black, Latino, and Asian/Pacific Islander males in California. As a result of his leadership and progress on this issue, Steve had the pleasure of joining President Barack Obama at the White House last year for the launch of “My Brother’s Keeper,” a national initiative modeled after the work we have been doing in California for years.
In the State Legislature, Assemblymember Bradford also dedicated his time to environmental justice as it relates to commerce. As Chair of the Committee on Utilities & Commerce, he authored legislation to promote renewable, clean energy and to protect and enhance local neighborhood security. He also spearheaded numerous pieces of legislation ranging from public safety and civil rights with AB 651 (Expungement) and AB 2634 (Civil Rights) to protecting the environment with AB 217 (Low-Income Solar).
Determined to address major issues like social and economic inequality and environmental protections, in the legislature, Bradford supported a statewide increase in California’s minimum wage, helped the state rebound following the Great Recession, pushed for measures to grapple with California’s unprecedented drought crisis, expanded health insurance for our state’s residents, and pushed for common sense immigrant rights measures like drivers licenses for undocumented individuals, along with myriad other policies that have helped improve the quality of life for millions of Californians.
Bradford will be joined by fellow inductees Donald L. Dear and Reverend John & Mrs. Nancy Ward at the event.
The Gardena Wall-of-Fame induction ceremony will take place on the Gardena City Hall Lawn located at 1700 West 162nd Street in Gardena on Sat., Oct. 10 at 10 a.m.