Myers Would Be the Second Native Californian Elected to CA Legislature in History
Eureka, CA – Today, Yurok Tribe Vice Chairman Frankie Myers declared his candidacy for California Assembly District 2. “I have spent my entire adult life working with tribal, state and federal lawmakers, local communities, and private corporations to solve some of the North Coast’s most pressing issues. I am eager to use my experience to build a brighter future for District 2 and the entire state.”
Myers, a Democrat, decided to run for the District 2 Assembly seat because he wants to apply his leadership skills, experience, vision and values to serve the people of California. “We have a mental health and fentanyl crisis in our communities, climate change is threatening our environment, and too many Californians work full time but still can’t afford healthcare, let alone buy a home. Improving access to healthcare and high-paying jobs are just a few of the issues I want to take on as your next Assemblymember,” said Myers. “I can’t do it alone, but if the people of the district elect me, I am committed to building a broad coalition to tackle the big problems that affect all of us.”
For more than two decades, Myers was a leader in the successful effort to remove four fish-killing dams on the Klamath River. He helped build a diverse coalition of tribes, fishermen, conservation groups, farmers and even the dam owners to address this complex challenge. Currently underway, the Klamath dam removal is the most ambitious salmon restoration project in world history.
“Frankie Myers brought people from all walks of life, all backgrounds and all income brackets together to un-dam the Klamath River. He took on big government and big business to do something that many thought was impossible – remove four large dams and restore one of America’s greatest salmon fisheries. I know he’s not afraid to take on the big fights and I know his constituents can depend on him to stand and deliver no matter the challenge,” said California’s first elected Native American state legislator, James Ramos, Serrano/Cahuilla. Ramos added, “Representation matters, and electing Native voices into the legislature will allow for greater diversity and perspectives from California’s First People.”
Myers has served as Yurok Vice Chair since 2018. The Yurok tribal government is one of the largest governing bodies in District 2. The Tribe employs approximately 600 local community members and administers nearly 50 departments and programs, including police and fire departments, education, transportation, planning and community development, housing, social services, fisheries, watershed restoration, wildlife, environmental protection, forestry, food security, substance abuse treatment and elder nutrition.
As Vice Chairman, Myers led many of the Tribe’s high-profile initiatives. Myers oversees three Tribal for-profit corporations in commercial construction and river restoration that collectively provide hundreds of living wage jobs. These efforts brought more than a half billion dollars to the region for infrastructure and environmental restoration projects and $61 million to install fiber optic cable connecting Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. The project will provide access to high-speed internet for thousands of residents, create more than 200 local jobs and fortify broadband services in the region.
Other significant achievements include:
The Yurok Tribe’s California condor reintroduction initiative. In 2022 the Tribe released the first of these sacred birds to fly over the North Coast in more than 100 years;
Raising national awareness of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People crisis, co-hosting the first annual Northern California Conference on MMIP;
The 2023 launch of Condor Aviation. The tribally owned company administers a fleet of aircraft equipped with cutting-edge aerial imaging technology serving clients across the nation.
Myers grew up on the Yurok Reservation near Weitchpec in the same village where his ancestors lived since time immemorial. While Myers has served two terms as the Vice Chairman of California’s largest Tribe, his career in politics didn’t start there. “My father, a Vietnam War veteran, mother, aunts and uncles, served on Tribal Council, local school boards and housing commissions. Public service has always been important to my family. This feels like something I have been preparing for my whole life,” Myers said.
Many local tribal leaders celebrated the announcement. Hoopa Valley Tribal Chairman Joe Davis noted, “I can think of no better way to close out Native American Heritage Month than to see the next generation of tribal leaders step up to represent not only their tribe, but all of the people of the district.”
# # #
For Immediate Release: November 30, 2023
For more information: Frankie Myers, Candidate for Assembly District 2, (707) 296-0814