|Joe Hicks, a longtime leader in the human rights and civil liberties
arena, was appointed to the State Bar Board of Governors last month by Assembly Speaker
Antonio Villaraigosa. Hicks has been executive director of the Los Angeles City Human
Relations Commission since 1997. Prior to that, he was the executive director for the
Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles.
He also served as
communications director for the ACLU and as publications and media director for the
Service Employees International Union, local 660.
In 1993, Hicks testified
before the Colorado Supreme Court as an expert witness against Amendment 2, a ballot
measure that portrayed gay and lesbian civil rights as "special rights." He
currently is writing a book about race relations.
Hicks said he's familiarizing himself with the State Bar, but it is too early to say
what issues he might focus on.
"Joe Hicks is a man of extraordinary integrity," Villaraigosa said. "His
many years of exemplary work as a community leader and civil liberties activist will be a
great asset to the State Bar. It is critical to the work of the bar that the board include
individuals like Mr. Hicks who can transcend political lines and focus on bringing people
There are six public member positions on the board. Only two seats are currently filled
- businessman John Morris and psychologist Dorothy Tucker, both of Los Angeles. Morris'
term expires in October; Tucker's expired last October, but she can continue to serve
Gov. Gray Davis has four appointments to make.