The state Assembly for the first time in its history elected a black woman to be its speaker Thursday. Karen Bass of Los Angeles was elected with the help of outgoing Speaker Fabian Nunez, according to the Los Angeles Times. The election of Bass, along with state Senator Darrell Steinberg as president pro tem earlier this month, also means the Bay Area will not be represented among the state's political leadership for the first time since 1974, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. Before being elected to the Assembly in 2004, Bass never held political office before. But she quickly rose to power after aligning herself with Nunez.