the oldest and largest African American Democratic Club in the State of California
In 1960, New Frontier Democratic Club (NFDC) was founded by a few African-American leaders, in Los Angeles, whose concern was to provide their community with a political vehicle for involvement in the presidential campaign of John F. Kennedy. In the 1990’s, many of the same issues evident in 1960 demanded that the NFDC play an even greater role in the community’s fight for increased political power and economic justice. That challenge remains as we move forward into the 21st Century.
The late Judge Sherman Smith, Sr., conceived the idea of the New Frontier Democrats as he and his widow, Dr. Helen Smith, listened to John F. Kennedy’s acceptance speech at the 1960 Democratic National Convention.
From its inception, New Frontier sought to educate its members and the public to a higher level of political awareness, in order to empower the African American community to make informed decisions vital to its political involvement was encouraged and those seeking to run for office could look to New Frontier for support of their efforts in addressing the community’s needs.
New Frontier Democratic Club has the distinction of having more of its members appointed or elected to public office than any other Democratic Club in the State, and has consistently played a dominant role in the election of many of our community’s local, state and national representatives.
Currently, several members of NFDC serve on City, County and State Commissions and Boards where they have an opportunity to impact public policy on issues such as law enforcement, planning, transportation, health care and employment.
We are proud to note that present and past members include the late Congressman Julian C. Dixon (a past president), Congresswomen Maxine Waters, Diane Watson, Laura Richardson and the late Juanita Millender McDonald; former Senators Theresa Hughes and Kevin Murray, Senators Rod Wright and Curren Price; Assembly-members Speaker Karen Bass, Mike Davis (Past President), Isadore Hall, Steven Bradford, Willard Murray, Member Water Board, Gloria Gray, President, Water Replenishment District, Mervyn Dymally (former Lt. Governor), Board of Equalization Member Jerome Horton, Former Supervisor Yvonne Burke, Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, the late Mayor Tom Bradley; L. A. City Councilmembers Bernard Parks, Herb(former Assembly Speaker) Wesson, Jan Perry, former L.A. City Councilmembers Rita Walters, Nate Holden and Martin Ludlow: LAUSD Board Member Marguerite LaMotte; former Culver City Mayor Steve Gourley and Culver City School(former Board member and president Saundra Davis; Inglewood former Mayor Roosevelt Dorn; Inglewood City Councilmembers Judy Dunlap, Ralph Franklin, Danny Tabor; Inglewood Treasurer Wanda Brown; IUSD School Board members Arnold Butler, Alice Grisby(President), Thomasina Reed(former); NFDC three term President John W. Frierson was the Deputy Director of Communications for the DNC 2000, the highest ranking staff member of the African American descent from the State of California. Jimmie Woods Gray, First African American Woman, Chair of LACDP. Terrence Montgomery and Bobbie Jean Anderson, Vice Chairs of LACDP (a first in its history). In 2001, under the leadership of three terms President Bobbie Jean Anderson, NFDC sponsored the founding of the New Frontier Young Democrats; former presidents were Brent Tilley and Samara Ashley. In November, 2006, NFDC proudly saw its first President Mike Davis elected as a California 48th State Assemblymember.
Several members have been appointed or elected to the bench: Judges Xenophon Lang, James Reese, Marion Johnson, Sherman Smith, and Jr. (past president), Dion Morrow, Reginald Dunn, Kevin Ross, Patricia Titus, Deborah Christian, Bobbi Tillmon, Donna Groman and Dave Cunningham, III. The Honorable Willie L. Brown, former Mayor of San Francisco and former California Assembly Speaker is an honorary member.
NFDC has been honored for its commitment to involving the public in the political process by the Los Angeles City Council, the California State Legislature, and the United States Congress.