South L.A.’s man in Sacramento

Celes King-portrait

Celes King IV stands on the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Denker Avenue in South Los Angeles, outside the bail bond shop started by his parents in 1947.

“Votes are important,” whispered Celes King IV. “It keeps them in office.”

It’s 10:05 a.m. in Sacramento, and King knows that the relationship he has with the community is his main tool. He’s walking out of a committee hearing, rocking sideways with each step as he balances his good leg and his prosthetic one. The transcript would show King’s impact on the meeting was negligible. He voiced support for a bill about monitoring of sex offenders by stating his name and the civil rights organization he represents – the Congress of Racial Equality of California, CORE.

But he’s not in Sacramento to change sex offender monitoring laws. What’s more important is the bill’s author, Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway. “There’s so many bills I’m tied to that she’s tied to,” said King, so maintaining that relationship with Conway is paramount. [Read more…]