Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood) resigned on Tuesday, citing the challenges of a post-COVID-19 landscape and wanting to spend more time with her family.
The daughter of former Assemblywoman, Los Angeles County Supervisor, and Congresswoman Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, Autumn Burke was a Realtor before being elected to the Assembly in 2014. She quickly became known as an advocate for the climate, taxation, reproductive rights, and issues pertaining to the black community in the LA area. Specifically, she was noted for championing the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act, a measure that projected to reduce child poverty in California by half.
However, numerous issues in the last few years greatly impacted Burke, leading to her resignation announcement on Monday and her formal resignation on Tuesday.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives and consciousnesses of everyone, and I am no exception,” noted Burke in her resignation announcement. “After taking some personal inventory, I feel that it is of the most utmost importance that I have the ability and flexibility to spend more time with my family. After 7 years of serving as your Assemblymember, my hope was to finish out my term, but circumstances have recently changed. For that reason I am resigning effective Tuesday, February 1, 2022.”
“It was the honor of a lifetime.”
Today, I am announcing my resignation as a Member of the CA Legislature.
It has been an honor to represent the people of the 62nd Assembly District— THANK YOU!
Full statement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/XqLMuwkeWp
— Autumn R. Burke (@AsmAutumnBurke) February 1, 2022
Rumors abounded on Monday and Tuesday where Burke would go next, with some sources saying that she would look at elected office in the future, with other sources noting that Burke would be joining a consulting firm next. The Globe has been told that Burke will be joining Jason Kinney’s firm, Axiom Advisors, but we have not confirmed this.
Five Assembly resignations so far
Burke became the fifth Assembly member to resign recently. Term-limits, job offers, pandemic related issues, and redistricting pushing incumbents into the same race for one district have led to one of the highest amounts of resignations at one time in Assembly history, with previous high resignation years coming during wars, court decisions, and previous term-limit crunches. Along with the resignations, a high number of candidates being term-limited out this year or choosing not to run again is expected to bring in a large new group of Assembly members, with many Democrats worried about Republicans possibly gaining a few seats due to the mid-term shift currently tracking for Republicans to retake many seats at the national level and the higher voter turnout influencing state level decisions, as well shifts in redistricting.
Along with Burke, former Assembly members David Chiu, Jim Frazier, Ed Chau, and Lorena Gonzalez have already resigned. All left for new jobs, including Chiu who was selected as the next City Attorney for San Francisco, Frazier who left for a transportation industry job, Gonzalez who will become the next head of the California Labor Federation, and Chau who was appointed by Governor Newsom to become a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge.
“These have all been people who looked to be on their way out and were given pretty good next steps and help keep their political careers alive in one way or another. State level, County level, city level, and private sector positions that all easily make for a great new resume line for the next election they want in.” said Paul Schroeder, an LA County campaign advisor, to the Globe on Tuesday. “And most of these seats are heavily Democratic, so they get new blood in come November and boost everyone up.
“What the resignations are doing are really making it harder for the Democrats to pass legislation this year what with so many Democrats now out of office. And who knows how many more will resign in the coming months? There are special elections coming up throughout the year, but it’s not a good look with so many abandoning ship here.”
However, Democratic leaders have said that the situation is simply Assemblymembers just being people and looking for better opportunities.
It is currently unknown how many more resignations in the Assembly will occur in 2022.
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