By: Antonio Ray Harvey, California Black Media
San Diego, CA — Dr. Akilah Weber, who is the daughter of Dr. Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), has announced this past weekend that she is running for the 79th Assembly District seat that her mom will soon vacate. If she wins, the younger Dr. Weber would have the opportunity to carry on a family legacy in California politics known for strategic consensus building at the state level that’s rooted in – and deeply connected to — local grassroots organizing at home.
Dr. Weber, a medical doctor and practicing obstetrician-gynecologist, is a current member of the La Mesa City Council. La Mesa, a San Diego County city with about 57,000 residents located about 9 miles east of downtown San Diego, is known in that area as the “Jewel of the Hills.”
Last week, Gov. Newsom announced he nominated Assemblymember Weber for California Secretary of State. A few days later, the younger Weber made an announcement of her own: that she is running to replace her mom
“After much consideration, I have decided to run for the 79th Assembly seat when it becomes vacant. It would be an honor to represent and serve the residents of this district and continue to ensure that we build a better tomorrow that improves the future for ALL Californians,” she tweeted.
Dr. Akilah Weber earned her medical degree at the University of Rochester Medical and Dental School in New York, completing her residency at John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County in Chicago.
After that, she completed a pediatric and adolescent gynecology fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She was elected to the La Mesa City Council in 2018.
If the California State Legislature confirms the nomination of Dr. Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) for Secretary of State, she will replace Alex Padilla, who the governor appointed last week to fill the California U.S. Senate seat U.S. Vice President-elect Sen. Kamala Harris currently holds. As California Secretary of State, Dr. Weber would become the first-ever African American to serve in that role.
Should Dr. Akilah Weber join the race to replace her mother and win, the Weber’s would become yet another example of join several African American political dynasties that have existed in California legislative politics over the last 50 years. Los Angeles City Council member Mark Ridley-Thomas and his son Sebastian Ridley-Thomas both served in the state Assembly. Willard H. Murray and his son Kevin Murray are another example. And both Yvonne Braithwaite-Burke and her daughter, current Assemblymember Autumn Burke (D-Los Angeles Inglewood), also did the same.
Other names circulating in the media as people who might run being mentioned as candidates for Weber’s soon-to-be open 79th District Assembly seat are: LaShae Collins, the elder Dr. Weber’s mentee and a staffer in her San Diego Assembly office; Ammar Campa-Najar, a conservative-leaning Hispanic American Democrat and former Obama administration White House staffer; Colin Parent, a LaMesa city councilmember; Genevieve Jones-Wright, a local public interest lawyer; Georgette Gómez, President, San Diego City Council; Monica Montgomery, San Diego city councilmember; Racquel Vasquez, mayor of Lemon Grove; Steve Padilla, Chula Vista city councilman; and Dwayne Crenshaw, a community activist.