Thursday, 30 April 2015


                            BLACK                  SOCIAL               HISTORY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mike A. Gipson, first elected to the California State Assembly in November 2014, represents the 64th Assembly District that includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor Gateway, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, South Los Angeles, Torrance, Watts/Willowbrook and Wilmington.
In various capacities, Assemblymember Gipson has been serving the people of the 64th District his entire life. As a peace officer, legislative staff, elected official, and labor organizer, Gipson’s dedication to the residents of the South Bay is a testament to his heart and enthusiasm for helping others.
Born and raised in Watts, Gipson’s passion for public service was instilled at a young age. The son of a labor activist, Gipson learned the value of hard work, solidarity and leadership. As a youth pastor at the One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism Christian church, Gipson helped teach the importance of community and giving back to others. These lessons have continued to lead him throughout his life.
Eager to serve, Gipson became a police officer for the Maywood Police Department after graduating from the South Bay Police Training Academy. During his time protecting the peace, Gipson gained invaluable experience about local issues while helping others under extreme duress. After leaving the police force, Gipson earned his Bachelor of Science in Business/Management from the University of Phoenix and his Associate of Arts degree from the Los Angeles Southwest College.
Gipson’s introduction into politics came as a Field Representative for L.A. Councilman Robert Farrell and Mark Ridley-Thomas, and as Staff Aide to Compton’s Congressman Mervyn M. Dymally and State Senator Bill Greene. Gipson would eventually serve as Chief of Staff to Chairman Jerome E. Horton, the first African-American elected to the California State Board of Equalization, and whose district currently serves 8.5 million residents. A reliable problem-solver, Gipson established a reputation as a valuable resource for those he worked for and the constituents they represented.
As a resident of Carson, Gipson served on the Public Safety and the Human Relations Commissions, and as a board member of Carson’s Workforce Investment Network. He was also appointed as the youngest to chair the County of Los Angeles Community Action Board, which distributes $10 million annually in Community Service Block Grant funds.
Additionally, Gipson formerly served as Vice President of the Advisory Board for the State Public Utilities Commission. He also served as the Chairman of the Board of Director for Positive Imagery Foundation, Inc., a Los Angeles-based agency that deals with HIV/AIDS and other STDs prevalent in the African-American and Latino communities.
Serving on the Carson City Council from 2005 to 2014, Assemblymember Gipson was selected by his peers to serve as the Mayor Pro Tem. While on the City Council, Gipson was at the helm of several successful endeavours targeting at-risk youth. He established the Midnight Basketball program, which was a highly successful at removing children from the streets during summer nights. Gipson also started two program conferences to mentor at risk youth: S.O.S (Saving our Sons) and R.O.S.E. (Reaching Out to our Sisters Everywhere). These organizations have provided mentorship and job training for hundreds of children over the years.
Passionate about ensuring that those who educate our children are treated with dignity and respect, Gipson has recently applied his leadership skills as an area organizer for the 48,000-strong United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). Prior to working for UTLA, he was the Legislative and Political Director for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 399, the state-wide Political Director for Justice for Janitors 1877 SEIU and a Business Representative for SEIU Local 99.
Gipson is a devoted husband, and still lives in Carson with his wife, LeCresha. They have two sons, Devon and Jordan.