Woman of Jamaican Descent Makes History as First Black Woman Mayor in This California City

The former vice mayor of Culver City, California, Imani McMorrin, is the first Black woman to be elected the city’s mayor in its 106-year history. Unanimously voted in by the city council, McMorrin is the sixth woman to serve as the mayor of Culver City and the first Black woman to sit on the city council.

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History-Making Role


McMorrin, whose father, the late Talbert N. McMorrin was born and raised in Spanish Town, Jamaica, said that the historic significance of her election was not lost on her. “As only the sixth woman — and first Black woman — council member, this moment is not lost on me,” she said, thanking her colleagues for their vote of confidence in her ability to lead the city through the next year, along with them and Vice Mayor Dan O’Brien. McMorrin has served on the city council since 2020. She will serve as mayor for a term of 12 months and will lead the next council meeting, which is scheduled for January 8, 2024.

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Outlines Her Goals

McMorrin said she is looking forward to helping Culver City overcome its challenges by providing the “steady, focused, and forward-thinking policies” the community needs to advance and to protect those who need such policies the most. In 2020, when she ran for the position of Vice Mayor, McMorrin defined her goal as transforming the city into a truly inclusive area. She described herself as a strong leader and problem solver who was committed to working with the community to mitigate the consequences of systemic racism experienced by people of color. She also spoke of herself as a mother and an advocate for equity “who is passionate about improving the quality of life for everyone who lives, works, and plays” in Culver City.

McMorrin’s Background

McMorrin studied law at Rutgers University and has also worked as an attorney. Before she was elected the City Council’s Vice Mayor in 2020, she served as the Vice Chair of the Culver City General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC).

History of Culver City

Culver City was founded 106 years ago and has been the site of controversy over past decades. In 2021, the city issued a resolution in the form of a formal apology for its history as a “sundown town,” a place that prohibited Black people and other people of color from living in certain areas or even remaining inside the city limits after sundown. The resolution recognized this history and the harm it had done to community members of color. It also addressed the fact that the city had been the site of Ku Klux Klan meetings, had covenants that prohibited people of color from owning their own homes, and the land on which the city was founded had been stolen from the Gabrielino-Tongva peoples.

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