Newly elected state Assemblywoman Shirley Nash Weber took the oath of office Saturday at a community swearing- in ceremony in San Diego, making her the first African-American to be elected to state office south of Los Angeles, according to a news release.
Weber, D-San Diego, was elected to state office in November to represent the 79th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Lemon Grove, La Mesa, Chula Vista, National City, and a part of San Diego.
Weber was born to sharecroppers in Hope, Ark. She moved to California at age three. The lawmaker received her B.A., M.A., and PhD from UCLA by the age of 26. Before she received her doctorate, she has begun her career as a professor at San Diego State University at the age of 23, according to a news release.
Weber also taught at Cal State Los Angeles and Los Angeles City College before coming to San Diego State.
The swearing-in ceremony took place at Bayview Baptist Church in San Diego. Debra Holmes Brown, a long-time friend and vice principal of Crawford High School officiated the event and Southern District of California U.S. District Court Judge John A. Houston administered the oath of office.
City officials attended the event, including Lemon Grove City Council members George Gastil and Racquel Vasquez. Other attendees included National City Councilwoman Mona Rios, San Diego Unified School District Board Member Marne Foster, Southwestern College Board Member Tim Nader, San Diego County Sheriff William Gore, and San Diego City School Board members Richard Berarra and Marnie Foster.
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner lauded Weber for her hard work in the community and passion for education.
Weber expressed her gratitude to her guests.
“Thank you for placing your trust in me to represent you in Sacramento,” she said. “I will work diligently to make our community a better place and ensure we bring in more job opportunities to the community as well as making college education affordable.”
Assembly Speaker John Perez officially recognized Weber in the California State Legislature at the State Capitol in Sacramento last week.