Letitia Clark is a mother of three, and has been part of local government in the city of Tustin since 2016, when she was elected to city council. One year ago, she took that involvement a step further, when she was elected the suburban Orange County city's first female mayor in almost two decades.
Now, she can add "author" to her list of accomplishments, with her book "Mommy is the Mayor."
The book is designed with diversity in mind, and she's taking that message to young children hoping to dispel stereotypes early.
"My kids see that," Clark said. "They see the picture and say, hey, one of these is not the same."
From a page in a book to the lobby at Tustin City Hall, Clark says the message may be subtle but its intentions are bold.
"I think its a great message to our kids," she said. "You don’t have to look like everyone else to be a leader and to be a voice for others."
Clark's own kids didn't quite grasp what a mayor does beyond ribbon cuttings and council meetings. So Clark wrote the book for them.
"What does a mayor do?" the book reads. "She seemed a bit surprised, but said 'Let me show you.'"
Clark also wrote the book because Orange County has an African American population of just 2%, and there are just a handful of Black faces in city government.
"Because not enough African Americans and African American women are elected, it feels like an an anomaly," said Sally Henderson, who runs the Women's Leadership Council, an organization that teaches women of color how to get elected. "But that becomes more normalized the more it happens."
With her youngest son, Zavier, born just two months ago, Clark is now a mother to another young child. She hopes that, when he can read, the message will resonate for him as well.