William Rumford Family Endorses Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto for Assembly

The family of William Rumford has officially endorsed Rochelle for State Assembly. A trailblazer in his own right, William Rumford was the first African American elected official from Northern California. He represented the Berkeley area in the State Assembly from 1948-66 where he fought for fair housing and employment. The Rumford Fair Housing Act, signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Sr. in 1963, outlawed discrimination in housing.

“Our father set the bar high, as a certified pharmacist and an advocate for fair housing,” said William B. Rumford, Jr. “We see Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto as the best choice to follow his path, being a nurse and an activist who has fought against hate and for reforms that focused on increased mental health services.”

In addition to the support of the Rumford family, former Berkeley Vice Mayor Carole Kennerly officially endorsed Pardue-Okimoto.

The Rumford family, Ms. Kennerly and Rochelle recently met at the memorial Rumford Sculpture to honor the memory of William Rumford. The Rumford Sculpture is a South Berkeley neighborhood project led by Carole Kennerly and was unveiled two years ago as the first every sculpture in Berkeley dedicated to an African American. Carole has been a long-time friend of the Rumford family and credits the late Assemblyman as important to her growth and development as a young activist and politician.