Doris Topsy-Elvord, the first Black councilwoman elected in Long Beach, dies at 90
Doris Topsy-Elvord, the first African American woman to serve on the Long Beach City Council, died Wednesday morning. She was 90.– ADVERTISEMENT –
Topsy-Elvord, who had a long career in public service, was elected in 1992 to represent the city’s 6th Council district in Central Long Beach. After being selected unanimously by her colleagues twice to serve as vice mayor, she was termed out in 2000.
Topsy-Elvord was “a legend for Long Beach,” said Carl Kemp, who was a close friend of the former councilwoman. “She paved the way for women. She paved the way for Black people. She paved the way for Black women.”
“At every post she had she went above and beyond to help people,” Kemp said. “She gave everything.”
“Mother Doris was a very special figure in Long Beach,” said 9th District Councilman Rex Richardson. “We called her ‘Mother’ as a term of endearment because she took all of us under her wing.
Richardson met Topsy-Elvord when he was a staff member for then-9th District Councilman Steve Neal and was an aspiring politician. “I would sit on her couch and listen to her stories as the only person of color on the council. Mother Doris always knew what was going on in the city well after her years of service. She continued to be a tremendous figure in our city.”