Shirley Weber

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Shirley Weber
Shirley Weber, California State Assembly (2012).jpg
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 79th district
Assumed office
December 3, 2012
Preceded byMarty Block (redistricted)
Personal details
Born (1948-09-20) September 20, 1948 (age 70)
Hope, Arkansas
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceSan Diego, California
Alma materUniversity of California, Los Angeles (BA) (MA) (PhD)

Shirley Nash Weber (born September 20, 1948) is an American politician currently serving in the California State Assembly. She is a Democrat representing the 79th Assembly District,[1] which includes portions of San Diego, Chula Vista, and National City and all of Lemon Grove and La Mesa.

Prior to being elected to the Assembly in 2012, Weber served on the San Diego Board of Education, and as a Professor of African-American Studies at San Diego State University.

A member of the California Legislative Black Caucus, she is the first African American to be elected to the California State Legislature south of Los Angeles.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Her parents were from Arkansas; she was raised in a poor section of Los Angeles. Her father had only a sixth-grade education but pushed Weber and her seven siblings to strive for excellence. She went to the University of California, Los Angeles where she earned three degrees by the time she was 26: a Bachelor of Arts in 1970, a Master of Arts in 1971, and a Ph.D in communication in 1975.[2]

Academic career[edit]

Weber is a professor emerita of Africana studies at San Diego State University. She helped to establish that department in 1972 and became its chair, teaching there for 40 years. She was president of the National Council for Black Studies from 2002 to 2006.[3]

Elected office[edit]

She served as a board member and later president of the San Diego Board of Education from 1988 to 1996. She also served as chairwoman of the San Diego Citizens’ Equal Opportunity Commission.[2]

In Fall 2011, she was recruited to run for the Assembly by Assemblymember Toni Atkins. Atkins has regarded Weber as an inspiring role model ever since hearing her speak as a school board member.[2] In November 2012 Weber defeated her Republican opponent, Mary England, by 61.7% to 38.3%.[4] Weber says her focus as an assemblymember will be education.


Weber sits on the Assembly's Committee on Higher Education. She has been promoting the development of a state university in Chula Vista, possibly beginning as a satellite or extension campus of the California State University system.[5]

2014 California State Assembly[edit]

California's 79th State Assembly district election, 2014
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Shirley Weber (incumbent) 35,886 99.7
American Independent George R. Williams (write-in) 115 0.3
Total votes 36,001 100.0
General election
Democratic Shirley Weber (incumbent) 49,264 61.9
American Independent George R. Williams 30,266 38.1
Total votes 79,530 100.0
Democratic hold

2016 California State Assembly[edit]

California's 79th State Assembly district election, 2016
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Shirley Weber (incumbent) 64,395 67.7
Republican John Moore 30,711 32.3
Total votes 95,106 100.0
General election
Republican John Moore 50,687 35.4
Democratic Shirley Weber (incumbent) 92,285 64.56
Total votes 142,972 100.0

Personal life[edit]

She is a widow whose husband, Judge Daniel Weber, died in 2002. She has two children.[6]


  1. ^ "Democrats Win Supermajority in California Assembly". NBC San Diego. November 15, 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Walker, Mark (November 18, 2012). "Shirley Weber forges path with historic win". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Department of Africana Studies: Faculty". San Diego State University. Archived from the original on 20 January 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  4. ^ "State Assemblymember" (PDF). November 6, 2102 General Election. Secretary of State, State of California. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 December 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  5. ^ Bowler, Matthew (August 4, 2014). "Assemblywoman Shirley Weber Wants To Make Chula Vista University A Reality". KPBS. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Chased out of Arkansas as a child, Shirley Weber won't back down in California Capitol". CALmatters. 2017-08-31. Retrieved 2019-02-03.

External links[edit]