Sebastian Ridley-Thomas

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Sebastian Ridley-Thomas
Sebastian Ridley-Thomas.jpg
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 54th district
In office
December 5, 2013 – December 31, 2017
Preceded by Holly Mitchell
Succeeded by Sydney Kamlager
Personal details
Born (1987-08-12) August 12, 1987 (age 31)
Los Angeles, California
Political party Democratic
Residence Los Angeles, California
Alma mater Morehouse College

Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (born August 12, 1987) is an American politician who served in the California State Assembly. A Democrat, he represented the 54th Assembly District, which includes the Los Angeles County communities of Century City, Culver City, Westwood, Mar Vista, Palms, Baldwin Hills, Windsor Hills, Ladera Heights, View Park, Crenshaw, Leimert Park, Mid City, and West Los Angeles.

Ridley-Thomas was a member of the California Legislative Black Caucus. Prior to his election to the Assembly in 2014, he was an aide for former State Senator Curren Price. He is the son of longtime Los Angeles politician Mark Ridley-Thomas.


Ridley-Thomas chaired the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation along with the Select Committee on Mental and Behavioral Health, and Proposition 63 Implementation. Additionally, he currently serves on the Committees on Health; Banking & Finance; and the Milton Marks "Little Hoover" Commission on Government Organization and Economy. He previously served on the Assembly’s Appropriations; Elections and Redistricting; Labor and Employment; Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security; Public Safety; Rules; and Water Committees.[1]

Prior Legislative Experience[edit]

Prior to his election, Ridley-Thomas served as public policy director for State Senator Curren Price, advising him on economic development, transportation, housing, public safety, and local government issues. The Assemblymember also served as legislative consultant to the Senate Select Committee on Procurement, where he worked to ensure small business owners in underserved communities received their fair share of state contracts, and as the political director for the nine-member California Legislative Black Caucus.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

His commitment to public service was inspired by his mother – Avis Ridley-Thomas, a pioneer in conflict resolution – and his father, Mark Ridley-Thomas, a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and founder of the community empowerment movement that has become a model for communities nationwide. Ridley-Thomas earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Morehouse College; he trained in mediation and conflict resolution at UC Davis Extension and CSU Dominguez Hills.[1]


His legislative priorities include a focus on job creation, access to high-quality and affordable education, and ensuring that all Californians get the healthcare and mental health services they need to fully participate in California's promise.[1][2]

Post Assembly career[edit]

On December 27, 2017, Ridley-Thomas announced that he would resign from the state Assembly on December 31. He cited ongoing health problems in his announcement.[3] After his resignation, he became a professor of social work and public policy at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. USC also "awarded him a scholarship to pursue graduate study". Ridley Thomas was later terminated by USC, which prompted him to consider legal action.[4]

Ridley Thomas was also reported to have held the position of director of a think tank called "Policy, Research and Practice Initiative" which had ties to the United Way of California. [4]

2014 California State Assembly[edit]

California's 54th State Assembly district election, 2014
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (incumbent) 34,444 78.2
Republican Glen Ratcliff 9,585 21.8
Total votes 44,029 100.0
General election
Democratic Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (incumbent) 66,082 79.1
Republican Glen Ratcliff 17,506 20.9
Total votes 83,588 100.0
Democratic hold

2016 California State Assembly[edit]

California's 54th State Assembly district election, 2016
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (incumbent) 83,889 83.2
Republican Glen Ratcliff 16,880 16.8
Total votes 100,769 100.0
General election
Democratic Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (incumbent) 146,723 81.6
Republican Glen Ratcliff 33,119 18.4
Total votes 179,842 100.0
Democratic hold


  1. ^ a b c d, California State Assembly, Official Website, Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas
  2. ^ White, Jeremy B. (April 14, 2016). "California Assembly spends millions to clean up Exide plant". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  3. ^ Modesti, Kevin (December 27, 2017). "Sebastian Ridley-Thomas resigns from state Assembly, citing health problems". Los Angeles Daily News. 
  4. ^ a b Hamilton, Matt; Ryan, Harriet (August 1, 2018). "Donation from prominent L.A. politician roils USC, which referred case to federal prosecutors". Los Angeles Times.