Debra Manning has retired from her position as chief sergeant-at-arms of the California Senate for the second time. Manning first retired from the position in 2008, but was called back to replace Tony Beard Jr. in 2014. Beard abruptly retired after it was revealed he had covered for Gerardo Lopez, a sergeant-at-arms who used cocaine and got into an off-duty gunfight that left one person dead.
Manning started the job in 1977 and described herself as a trailblazer. Manning first applied for the position when she was a student at University of California, Davis and was looking for summer work. But the position turned into a permanent job. She became the first woman and minority to hold the position since the California Senate first convened in 1849. Manning was hired only a year after the first woman was elected to the Senate.
Manning said that her job has her brought in touch with household names such as Muhammad Ali, the Obama and Jesse Jackson. She also said that she came back to help restore the true meaning of the position.
“Working in a building like this, you are part of history,” she said. Manning retired for the second time October 13, 2017.
By Manny Otiko
California Black Media, Content Sponsor
California Black Media exists to facilitate communication between the black community, media, grassroots organizations, and policy makers by providing fact-based reporting to a network of over 21 Black media outlets on leading public policy issues that impact their lives and communities.