Moreno Valley Councilwoman Carla Thornton dies at age 42 – Press-Enterprise


Moreno Valley Councilwoman Carla Thornton has died.

Moreno Valley Councilwoman Carla Thornton has died, the city announced on Thursday, Jan. 21. (Photo courtesy of the city of Moreno Valley)

Thornton, 42, died Thursday, Jan. 21, after an illness, according to a city news release.

“Councilwoman Thornton was a dedicated public servant who cared deeply for the residents of her district and the city as a whole,” Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez said in the release. “Carla brought an incredible amount of enthusiasm, energy and real joy to her council work, and she had so much more to contribute. This is a tremendous loss for Moreno Valley, and I will miss her as a colleague and as a friend.”

Thornton was elected to represent District 2 in 2018. She was the first African American woman elected to the council.

“Dr. Thornton was an inspiration. I was just so happy that she was able to do the things she did while she was on the council. She was pro-growth, pro-progress and she really had her heart set on making Moreno Valley a destination point,” Councilwoman Victoria Baca said Thursday.

No decision has yet been made on how to fill Thornton’s seat, which will be up for reelection in 2022. According to Interim City Attorney Steve Quintanilla, the City Council can either appoint someone to fill the vacancy by March 22 or a special election will have to be held on Nov. 2, 2021.

Last summer, Thornton co-founded the Riverside County Alliance of Black Elected Officials, which seeks to coordinate policy across the region and advocated for the Riverside County Board of Supervisors to declare racism a public health hazard, which they did in August.

She formed the organization with Riverside County Board of Education trustee Corey Jackson, whom she defeated in the 2018 Moreno Valley City Council race.

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“She became one of my biggest allies in the community,” despite him being a progressive and her being a conservative, Jackson said Thursday. “She always looked for common ground with people.”



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