SMC Trustee and Harbor-UCLA physician Sion Roy is throwing his hat in the ring for AD50 Assembly Member, citing a need for more medical professionals at all levels of government.

Roy, who has lived in Santa Monica for eleven years, is running on a progressive Democratic platform with a keen interest in improving the healthcare system and increasing education funding.

Although the election is not until November 2022, his campaign is already well underway and has attracted endorsements from over 50 local leaders.

Current AD50 Assemblymember Richard Bloom announced in January that he is running for L.A. County Board of Supervisors in 2022, as he will hit his assembly term limit in 2024. This potentially opens up the AD50 seat for a political newcomer and Roy is eager to seize the opportunity to serve in Sacramento.

So far, the leading challenge comes from Rick Chavez Zbur, an environmental lawyer and the head of LGBTQ+ civil rights organization Equality California.

Roy believes that his experience serving on the frontlines of Covid-19 and his time as President of the Los Angeles County Medical Association, has equipped him with a unique skill set that would be highly valuable in the state assembly.

“Everything the world has gone through and our nation has gone through over the past year has convinced me that every level of government needs more data-backed science, scientists, and physicians,” said Roy.

Currently, there are only two current state assembly members that are working doctors, one of whom will be terming out soon. As the pandemic exposed the weaknesses of our public health system, Roy feels that it is essential for more medical professionals to have a voice in government.

“Communities of color really suffered disproportionately during COVID, but even prior to the pandemic the healthcare disparities were there, they were just not as public,” said Roy. “And so I think our healthcare system needs more physician input and more changes going forward.”

While serving as Santa Monica College Trustee, Roy helped expand medical career pathways by establishing a mentorship program between students and healthcare professionals of color. Education is also a cause very close to his heart and an issue he seeks to work on in state government.

“If I get to Sacramento, I will be a huge advocate for educational funding and particularly at the community college level,” said Roy, adding that he also seeks resources to support students who fell behind at school during the pandemic.

While this is Roy’s first run for state politics, he has been involved in local politics for many years. Stretching back to high school and college, Roy was a member of his school democratic clubs. More recently he served as president of the Santa Monica Democratic Club.

“I’ve been tied in with local government and with legislative advocacy in Sacramento, so I know how all of those things interact,” said Roy. “I really intend to take the voice of the people in Santa Monica and the people in AD50 to Sacramento.”

Clara@smdp.com