Unfortunately, I was out of state and unable to attend the funeral services for Christina McClanahan on Saturday. I have such fond memories of Christina and her family. She was one of the pillars of my Rainbow Coalition back in the '70s when I successfully won a state Assembly seat from this area.

Over the years, I worked closely with Christina on the Kern Council for Civic Unity when, together with many friends such as Fleming Atha, Charles Siplin, Ralph Anthony and Steve Barber, we fought the good fight to end unlawful housing discrimination in the city; win positions for women and minorities on camera at our local television stations; and increase minority leadership in local school districts.

She will certainly be missed in our community, but her many successes to improve the lives of all of our citizens, especially children, in Kern County will always be with us.

Warm thoughts and prayers were with her family and the many mutual friends who attended her services. Know always that my thoughts and love are with you all.