State Schools Superintendent Tony Thurmond at the Sacramento Press Club in September. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press)
Abandoned by his father and orphaned at age 6 after the death of his mother to cancer, Tony Thurmond believes he could have easily ended up in prison. Instead, the 50-year-old Richmond resident is the new state superintendent of public education. He is the second African-American in the position after Wilson Riles, who served 1971-83.
A couple watches as a wildfire creeps closer. (Photo: Logan Bush, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: Around 25 years ago, Patricia immigrated to the U.S., settling in Santa Barbara with dreams of a better life. She cleans homes for a living in communities like Montecito and San Ysidro. During the Thomas Fire, she couldn’t go to work because many of the homes she cleaned were at risk. As mudslides came after the blaze, Patricia couldn’t go back to work for almost three months.