A spirited crowd of constituents, state and civic leaders, church leaders and parishioners, and family and friends packed California State University, Dominguez Hills’ (CSUDH) University Theatre on Feb. 7 for the community swearing-in ceremony of Mike A. Gipson as asssemblymember of the California’s 64th Assembly District.
The 64th district includes Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor Gateway, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, South Los Angeles, Torrance, Watts/Willowbrook and Wilmington.
Gipson spent a considerable portion of his remarks speaking about the City of Carson, where he currently lives with his wife, LeCresha, and two sons, and where he served as a city councilman from 2005 to 2014. He also served on the city’s Public Safety and Human Relations Commissions, and as a board member of the Workforce Investment Network.
“I would like to give special thanks to the constituents of the 64th district for your support and the faith that you have bestowed upon me by electing me to be your representative in the California State Assembly. I have prepared my entire adult life for this moment,” said Gipson, who was elected in November 2014. “Carson, you watched me grow and you saw me fall. Carson, you picked me up; you dusted me off and said, ‘Get back in there and do it again.’ Carson, I hope you are as proud of me as I am of you as a city.”
After enjoying youth performances from schools in the district, a variety of elected officials and community leaders reflected on Gipson’s work as a public servant, including Congresswoman Janice Hahn, former California State Controller John Chiang, Carson Mayor Jim Dear, and CSUDH President Willie J. Hagan.
“I’ve seen Mike’s commitment firsthand—his staunch dedication and tireless efforts—which he exhibited of behalf of the constituents of this great city on a daily basis as a Carson city councilman, and Cal State Dominguez Hills has benefitted greatly from his support,” said Hagan. “Mike knows the value of a good education and ensuring that our communities have access to it at every level. Education has always been one of his top priorities, and because of his support, Cal State Dominguez Hills continues to grow and flourish.”
Gipson, who was raised in the City of Watts, was a youth pastor at the One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism Christian church in Long Beach. He also served as a Maywood police officer before he entered public service in 1992.
While on Carson’s city council, Gipson led several successful programs targeting at-risk youth. He established the Midnight Basketball program to help keep teenagers off the streets during the summer, the outreach programs Saving our Sons (SOS) and Reaching Out to our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE), and mentoring and job training programs.
Gipson has also served as vice president of the advisory board for the California Public Utilities Commission. He was a chair member of the board of directors for the Positive Imagery Foundation in Los Angeles, an advocate for public school teachers with United Teachers Los Angeles, and was former chairman of the California Contract Cities’ legislative committee.
“Mike Gipson is a man who both paid his dues and perfected his craft,” said Hahn. “Over the years we’ve watched our friend and colleague become a better organizer, a better policy advocate, a better speaker, a better listener, and—above all else—a better leader.”