April 19, 2021
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy
San Diego physician Akilah Weber, M.D., was sworn into office on April 19, 2021, as California’s newest Assemblymember in a ceremony held at the State Capitol. Dr. Weber won her election to the 79th Assembly District with 52% of the vote, soundly defeating a crowded field of candidates. The seat became vacant when Dr. Weber’s mother Shirley Weber was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom as California’s first Black Secretary of State. The elder Weber administered the oath of office to her daughter, another historic first. Afterward, Dr. Weber, surrounded by her husband and two sons, gave a brief thank you speech from her desk, then promptly began her duties of voting on legislation.
Support for Dr. Weber materialized rapidly after she announced her intention to run. The California Medical Association (CMA) Political Action Committee (CALPAC) Board of Directors, along with the leadership of the San Diego County Medical Society (SDCMS), led a substantive peer-to-peer outreach effort engaging physician donors and stakeholder groups in and outside of San Diego. Nearly 100 CMA physician members made critical, personal contributions to Dr. Weber’s successful campaign. SDCMS was joined in its support of Dr. Weber by the political action committees of the Los Angeles, Orange, San Francisco and San Mateo county medical societies, along with numerous specialty societies and associations. Additionally, the CMA Independent Expenditure Committee lead a major coalition effort with indirect support of Dr. Weber totaling over $500,000, which cemented Dr. Weber’s early victory, and highlighted the House of Medicine’s support for physician candidates running for impactful offices.
The successful election and swearing in of the newest physician to the California Legislature highlight the importance and necessity of CMA physicians donating to CALPAC. Having physicians in elected office exponentially amplifies the voice of the physician community on important legislation. Without physicians giving to CALPAC, it would have not had the resources or political capital necessary to help Dr. Weber achieve such a clear-cut victory. CALPAC asks that you visit calpac.org and donate to CALPAC today, for the elections of tomorrow, and asks you to make direct contributions to future physician candidates for office, when those opportunities arise.