By Dr. John E. Warren, Publisher
There is much discussion about the year 2020 and the things we have experienced, from the Coronavirus to the death of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and the more than 95 other Black men and women who have died at the hands of police since George Floyd’s murder.
For many, the issues have been even more personal in terms of food each day, schooling for children, the fight against evictions, layoffs and unemployment. This has also been a year in which we have had elections at the local, state and national level. Looking forward, we have a new Mayor and members of the City Council. And soon, our very own 79th Assembly Member will become the first African American woman to serve as Secretary of State of the State of California.
Looking forward, we have Dr. Akilah Weber, M.D. having announced that she will seek her mother’s 79th Assembly District seat upon Dr. Shirley Weber vacating the seat to become Secretary of State. This vacancy must not set off a frenzy of candidates in the Black community running against each other and allowing the seat to be lost to the African American community. While such seats in public office were never intended to be handed down like parts of a family dynasty, we have seen other people and groups do this for generations. Between now and the special election, there will be ample opportunity to raise questions of the sitting La Mesa City Council Member seeking to replace her mother in the Assembly. What is important is that we take this transition of power as a business decision for the District and not a popularity contest move.
As a community, we must make sure that those who step up to run just because there is a vacancy do not dilute the efforts of the rest of the community seeking to keep the quality of representation above popularity of persons.
Finally, we have decisions to make on taking a vaccine which represents an alternative to a body bag, which comes with death from this virus. Those who don’t want to take the vaccine will not be forced to do so. But they must not, in the alternative, become spreaders of the virus that is killing others. Yes, there is much to look forward to in 2020. Let’s focus on what we can do to make things better for everyone.