By Genoa Barrow | OBSERVER Senior Staff Writer

Gwen Moore
Gwen Moore

The late Gwen Moore left the Assembly nearly 30 years ago, but countless Californians still benefit from her time at the Capitol.

Moore, who was 79 when she passed away Aug. 19, 2020, introduced some 400 bills that were signed into law. As an assemblymember she earned a reputation for sponsoring progressive legislation aimed at providing justice and equal footing to women and racial minorities.

Most memorable was California General Order 156, which established a state supplier diversion program that strengthened Black-owned and women-owned businesses and helped them secure lucrative state contracts. She also authored the landmark Moore Universal Telephone Service Act in 1984, which required the state’s Public Utilities Commission to provide low-income households with access to affordable telephone service.

Moore, D-California,  represented California’s 49th Assembly District from 1978 to 1992 and the 47th Distric – both in southern California –t after redistricting and renumbering from 1992 to 1994. She ran unsuccessfully for secretary of state in 1994. In her 16 years in the Assembly, Moore held several leadership positions, including majority whip and a seat on the Utilities and Commerce Committee. She also served on the boards of the National NAACP, the California State Conference of the NAACP, the California Utility Diversity Council, and the California Black Business Association.

“Assemblymember Moore was an icon of the legislature,” Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove said in a statement at the time of her passing. “Her impact on California will live on for generations.”

Moore is being celebrated by the California African American Chamber of Commerce on April 19, with a sold-out reception at the Sheraton Grand.

Editor’s Note: “A Powerful Sisterhood,” is a series highlighting the contributions of past and present Black women lawmakers in California.