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.
OPINION: Today is National Voter Registration Day and it falls between two historic legislative anniversaries this year and next year that remind us how so many people struggled for the voting rights that too many fail to use now. You can either cast a ballot, or cast a shadow over our democracy by not voting at all this November.