Herb Wesson (Courtesy photo)

Former L.A. Council President and State Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson continues his public service role in a different capacity as the new co-chair of Mercury’s California business.

In this capacity, he will join Mercury partner and chair Veronica Perez in expanding the public strategy firm throughout the state. Later this month, Mercury will open a new office in Los Angeles.

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Excited about his new position, Wesson said, “I’d like to be able to use my experience and history with the community to assist with programs and project that will benefit us – the people.

“Having steered the City of Los Angeles and the State of California through challenging times, I look forward to using my experience and relationships to the benefit of our clients.”

A veteran elected official, Wesson represented the 10th District on the L.A. City Council for 15 years and led the body as president for many years – the first African American elected to the position.  His accomplishments included collaborating with community groups to close an oil facility located near residences at Washington Blvd. and 4th Avenue; spearheading the raising of the city’s minimum wage, and leading the campaign to pass Measures H and HHH, which he described as “the largest housing bond  – $1.2 billion – in the history of the city of Los Angeles to help homeless people.”

As speaker of the California State Assembly from 2002 to 2004, Wesson was widely recognized as an outspoken, progressive leader who challenged the status quo and tackled some of California’s most pressing issues.

“Herb’s accomplishments and reputation precede him. With an unparalleled track record of progressive accomplishment in Los Angeles, he’ll be an invaluable asset to our business,” said Perez. “I look forward to working with Herb to grow us into a top government relations and public affairs firm in California.”

As we build our California business, having a leader of Herb’s caliber join Mercury will be pivotal to our success,” said Kieran Mahoney, CEO of Mercury.

“Together with Veronica Perez, Herb’s wealth of experience in the California and Los Angeles political arenas will be formidable in the market. We look forward to leveraging Herb’s expertise as we further expand our presence in the Golden State.”