By Antonio Ray Harvey, California Black Media
Soon after Assemblymember Mia Bonta (D-Oakland) was sworn in last week to represent California’s 18th Assembly District — which covers parts of East Bay — she signed on as a member of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus (CLWC), the California Latino Legislative Caucus (CLLC), and the California Black Legislative Caucus (CLBC).
Bonta is the 11th member of the Black Caucus and the only lawmaker representing a district in the Bay Area. In the Latino Caucus, she is the 30th member, and out of 120 lawmakers in both houses of the state legislature, she is the 39th woman.
“Special congratulations to our newest member @MiaBonta, who was sworn into the Assembly this morning! #AD18 has chosen a fantastically fearless representative, and I look forward to working with you Assemblymember Bonta! #CALeg,” Assemblymember Akilah Weber (D- San Diego) wrote.
Mialisa “Mia” Tania Bonta, who is Puerto Rican of African descent, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University in 1993 and a Master of Education (Ed.M.) from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1996. Bonta also received a J.D. from Yale University Law School in 1999.
Her work experience includes over 20 years working with nonprofits, including serving as CEO of Oakland Promise, a college and career prep program for Alameda County high school students. She was also president of the Alameda Unified School District Board from 2018 to 2021.
“Congratulations to @MiaBonta on her election to the Assembly, which not only made her the first Afro Latina in the Legislature, but also raised the number of women in the Legislature to an all-time high,” California Lt. Gov., Eleni Kounalakis state on Twitter.
The 18th Assembly District includes a large portion of the city of Oakland and the cities of Alameda and San Leandro. Bonta was elected in a special election on Aug. 31, defeating fellow Democrat Janani Ramachandra.
“I am deeply honored to represent the 18th Assembly District. Our district has a long history of bold, progressive, leadership and I plan to continue this work in our diverse district,” Bonta tweeted Sept. 7. “I’m ready to fight for bold solutions to issues like homelessness, housing affordability, climate change, and criminal justice reform for AD-18 and all Californians. I am ready to get to work.”
Bonta steps in to replace her husband, Rob Bonta, who vacated the AD 18th seat in April after Gov. Newsom appointed him California Attorney General, replacing Xavier Becerra, who is now United States Secretary of Health and Human Services.