Why Malia Cohen is running for State Controller in 2022

By Antonio Ray Harvey | California Black Media

Nearly three years after her successful run for a seat on California’s Board of Equalization (BOE), Malia Cohen now has her sights set on a higher office: State Controller. The election for State Controller will be held in November 2022.

Cohen is one of two women -- and the only African American -- serving on the BOE, the state agency responsible for representing taxpayer interests and making county-by-county tax assessments and adjustments across the state.

She announced her candidacy for State Controller during the California Democratic Party (CDP) 2021 convention, held online from April 29 to May 2.

“I am running because I am committed to equity, empowerment, hope and opportunity for all Californians,” Cohen told California Black Media.

During the Democratic Party convention, current State Controller and BOE member Betty Yee gave her blessing. She endorsed Cohen to occupy the seat she was first elected to in November 2014. Yee was re-elected for a second term in 2018.

Yee, who is termed out from running for State Controller in 2022, was elected vice chair of the CDP at its recent convention.

Taisha Brown, chair of the California Democratic Party Black Caucus, said she’s ready to support Cohen and see more African American women, the most loyal voting bloc in the Democratic Party, in leadership roles.

“I’m happy to see more Black women moving in the direction to lead California as statewide officers. We have always been capable and have put in the work. I’m excited and ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work for Malia Cohen to be our next State Controller,” Brown said.

Cohen and Yee recently participated in a discussion the CDP’s Women’s Caucus, titled “Honoring Trailblazing Democratic Women on the Frontlines.” They discussed how they have both worked hard to find innovative solutions to longstanding problems, broken stereotypes and lead while facing various challenges in their respective careers.

If Californians vote Cohen the next State Controller, she will become chair of the Franchise Tax Board and serve on the boards of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) as well.

CalPERS and CalSTRS manage financial investments totaling more than $620 billion.


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