Culver City selects first Black woman as mayor

Wave Staff and Wire Reports

CULVER CITY — Once known as a “sundown town” because of its racist history, Culver City has appointed its first Black woman as mayor.

Yasmine-Imani McMorrin, the city’s former vice mayor, was unanimously voted in as mayor by the City Council Dec. 11. She is the first Black woman to hold the position of mayor and the sixth female to be appointed mayor in the city’s 106-year history, city officials said.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to continue to serve Culver City in this capacity as its newest, historic mayor,” McMorrin said in a statement. “As only the sixth woman — and first Black woman — council member, this moment is not lost on me, and I thank my colleagues for their vote of confidence to lead us through the next year with them and Vice Mayor (Dan) O’Brien.

“In these extraordinary times, our city requires steady, focused, and forward-thinking policies that advance our communities, businesses and protect those who need us the most. I look forward to tackling the challenges ahead and boosting our successes as we work to build a more prosperous and inclusive Culver City.”

McMorrin was first elected to the City Council in 2020. Prior to her election, she served as vice chair of the Culver City General Plan Advisory Committee. She will serve as mayor for a 12-month term, and will lead the next scheduled council meeting on Jan. 8.

Daniel Lee was appointed as the city’s first Black mayor in 2021. Previously, Lee was the city’s first Black City Council member when he was elected in 2018.

In 2021, the city issued a formal apology for its history as a “sundown town,” which prevented Black people and other people of color from living in certain jurisdictions or even being inside the city limits after sundown. The City Council’s resolution acknowledged the history and the harm caused to Black community members and people of color.

The resolution also addressed the fact that the Ku Klux Klan held meetings in the city; racially restrictive covenants prohibited Black people and other people of color from becoming homeowners; and the city was founded on land stolen from the Gabrielino-Tongva peoples.