This board endorses Sebastian Ridley-Thomas to continue representing the 54th district in the California State Assembly.
Ridley-Thomas won a special election in December 2013 to win this seat and successfully retained his position in the 2014 race, commanding an impressive 80 to 20 percent margin. He was endorsed both times by the board.
In his time as a state representative, Ridley-Thomas has proven to be an advocate for issues important to both the state and UCLA, which sits in his district. He has used his position as chair of the Select Committee on Mental and Behavioral Health to introduce a number of important bills related to mental health. Just last month, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB-1299, which Ridley-Thomas brought forward, to better direct money for mental health causes in California’s foster care system.
While the 29 year old is more experienced after three years in office, he was already politically well-versed prior to his initial election. Ridley-Thomas is the son of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and previously worked in the office of former State Senator Curren Price.
However, there is certainly room for improvement for Ridley-Thomas, whose office needs to communicate more closely with the undergraduate student government’s Office of the External Vice President to streamline the process of taking campus issues from Westwood to Sacramento. With a closer connection, the assemblymember can become an outspoken and reliable ally for students.
Glen Ratcliff, the Republican candidate who opposes Ridley-Thomas, ran unsuccessfully for the same seat in 2014 and is no more appealing this time around. Included in Ratcliff’s platforms is a desire to “limit elementary school to reading, writing, math, history and geography.” Apparently neither science nor the arts have any place in Ratcliff’s California. We don’t want any part in his California, either.
Voters can be confident they’re making a wise choice keeping Ridley-Thomas in office this fall. As such, this board finds no qualms endorsing him once again.
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