For the First Time in Its History, Five Women Now Sit on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Illustration for article titled For the First Time in Its History, Five Women Now Sit on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Photo: Paras Griffin (Getty Images)

It’s been a damn week, y’all. You know it; I know it, and even niggas in Japan know it. For real, my best friend lives in Japan, and that nigga let me know he knew. Something you may not know, though, is that after Tuesday’s election the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is now composed entirely of women.

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According to the Los Angeles Times, the milestone came after state Sen. Holly Mitchell (D) overwhelmingly beat L.A. City Councilman Herb Wesson (D) in the board’s 2nd District race.

This will be the first time since the board’s inception over 150 years ago that a group of all women will sit on the board. The board was so inherently male—and quite frankly so powerful— that they had the nickname of the “five little kings.”

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“I can’t think of another example in the entire United States where you will have five women having control of ... the largest county in the entire country just in terms of people, but also the largest county budget in the entire country,” Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro, a professor and chair of gender studies at USC, told the Los Angeles Times.

Mitchell, a Black woman, grew up in Los Angeles and has an extensive background in politics. In her 20s, she worked for state Sen. Diane Watson, and didn’t necessarily believe she was suited for politics, even as those around her encouraged her to run for Watson’s seat when it opened.

She changed her mind after sitting in a subcommittee hearing, and watching a group of male legislators cut $1 billion in state subsidized child care, with little input from the constituents in attendance.

“I literally said in my mind, ‘I guess I have to run,’ ” Mitchell told the Times.

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With oversight on the county’s $35 million budget—as well as one of the nation’s largest prison and public healthcare systems—the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is widely considered one of the nation’s most powerful bodies in local government. Like just about everything in this country, though, it’s been plagued by misogyny and subtle racism throughout its history.

Former Supervisor Gloria Molina told the Times that when she was elected as the first Latina to the board in 1991, she experienced numerous instances of sexist behavior. Molina recalled an incident when she disagreed on a choice made by her fellow supervisors and called for the parliamentarian to rule on the matter. As a result, one of the male supervisors told the press Molina had a problem because she was “having hot flashes.”

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Goddamn, men. We really been trash since day one.

During Molina’s time on the board, a nearby county had a board of supervisors composed mostly of women. “I used to say, ‘Oh, how wonderful it would be if L.A. County had that same option,’ ” she told the Times.

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Well, it took way longer than it should have, but Molina’s wish has finally come true in a big way.

So, big ups to Mitchell for joining the pantheon of Black women who pull up and make history. You love to see it, folks. You love to see it.

Jr Staff Writer @TheRoot. Watcher of wrestling, player of video games. Mr. Steal Your Disney+ Password.

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DISCUSSION

whypeepoegottastop
I'mSofaKingSickofWonderBread

Goddamn, men. We really been trash since day one.

As a co-inhabitant of the dumpster, I have to agree. We’ve BEEN trash, and even though we’ve had hundreds of years to do better, just like most people resolving to read or learn or whatever while stuck at home for months this year, we’ve squandered our chances and actually gotten worse!

It seems clear that white people and men are determined to be as shitty as they/we can manage to be, for as long as possible, and never try to improve (except for the outliers).

Here’s hoping we’re soon as irrelevant as that orange goon, whatever his name was...