Councilmember Herb J. Wesson, Jr. was elected to represent the 10th Council District of the City Los Angeles in a Special Election in November 2005. The voters of the 10th Council District recognized Wesson’s long service to the community by giving him their overwhelming support – 80 percent of their votes. He was reelected in 2007, and 2011 by wide margins.
In the City Council, Wesson Chairs the Rules and Elections Committee. The committee has jurisdiction over the City Ethics Commission, the Election Division of the City Clerk, and the Ballot Simplification Committee. This committee also has jurisdiction over scheduling ballot measures and other city election and campaign practices, Charter amendments, Council rules and policies, and the U.S. Census and redistricting.
He also serves as Vice-Chair of the Arts, Parks and Neighborhoods Committee, which has jurisdiction over the issues related to recreation and parks, cultural affairs, the library system, the zoo, senior citizens, various human services, and neighborhood councils.
Councilmember Wesson serves as a member of the Housing, Community and Economic Development (HCED) Committee – with jurisdiction over the city’s economic development, housing, workforce investment and community development policies – providing him with a platform to shape the economic development not just for the 10th Council District but for the whole City of Los Angeles.
His service also includes membership on the Council’s Intergovernmental Relations Committee which has jurisdiction over official City positions with respect to legislation, rules, regulations or policies proposed to or pending before a local, state or federal governmental body or agency; Council's Legislative Advocacy; liaison with City's legislative offices in Sacramento and Washington, D.C..; liaison with national, state and local intergovernmental associations such as the National League of Cities, the League of California Cities, the Independent Cities Association, and local councils of government.
Councilmember Wesson is also a member of the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, which oversees the construction of the Expo Line.
Throughout his 20-year career in government, Councilmember Wesson is well known for his uncanny ability to bring people together. He began his career as Chief of Staff to former 10th District Councilmember Nate Holden and later as Chief of Staff to 2nd District Supervisor Yvonne Burke.
In 1998 he was elected to represent the 47th State Assembly District – a position he held until term limits forced him to step down in 2004. While serving in the Assembly, his peers accorded him the greatest honor by unanimously electing him the 65th Speaker of the California State Assembly – one of the three most powerful positions in state government. He was only the second African American to be elected Speaker of the California State Assembly. As Speaker, Wesson fought to protect society’s most vulnerable and to pass groundbreaking legislation on the environment, education and healthcare.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Wesson is the son of blue-collar parents who taught him the value of hard work and persistence. In 1999, he fulfilled a promise to his family and completed his BA in History from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania – nearly 30 years after an illness in the family prevented him from finishing his senior year.
Herb Wesson is married to Fabian Wesson. They have four sons: Douglas, P.J., Herb III, and Justin.