California State Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) on Monday, Feb. 1 announced her appointment of Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) and San Diego City Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe to the Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans, with a Special Consideration for African Americans Who are Descendants of Persons Enslaved in the United States.
“As we enter into Black History Month—and on the heels of a year of tragic events that underscored our nation’s continued struggle to achieve equality and justice for Black Americans—I am honored to name my colleague Senator Steven Bradford and Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe to the Reparations Task Force,” Senator Atkins said. “Created by California’s new Secretary of State, Dr. Shirley Weber, while she was in the Assembly, this historic task force is a crucial step forward in California’s pursuit to reckon with our dark history of slavery and to cast light upon the shadows of systemic racism that continue to perpetuate within our institutions. As leaders, Senator Bradford and Councilmember Montgomery Steppe will provide great insight to the work this group will produce, pulling from both their lived experiences and their careers spent in public service.”
Senator Bradford has dedicated his career to serving the people of his community for over two decades—first as a Gardena City Councilmember, then as a State Assemblymember, and now as a State Senator. As a legislator, Sen. Bradford’s work has spanned a vast array of issue areas, driven by the desire to fight for those who are too often ignored or discounted, and with a focus on creating equitable opportunities and promoting inclusivity. Sen. Bradford serves as Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus and Chair of the Committee on Public Safety, and previously served as Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color.
Councilmember Montgomery Steppe has devoted herself to fighting for equality, creating better economic opportunity for people of color, and advocating for those facing discrimination. Councilmember Montgomery Steppe will bring a wealth of experiences and a deep understanding of the challenges the Black community faces on a daily basis to the task force. She has worked as a San Diego City Council staff member, a civil rights lawyer, a criminal justice advocate for ACLU San Diego, and currently serves as Councilmember of the Fourth District.
The appointments do not require Senate Rules confirmation. The statute that established this task force, AB 3121, directs Governor Newsom to call the first committee hearing of the nine-member task force by June 1, 2021.