Sassy, classy with a touch of badassy are a few of the words that have been used to describe Jasmyne Cannick. But depending on who you ask, so are difficult and stubborn. As an unapologetic Black woman with an opinion who speaks up for herself and others, she continues to stay focused and ignores the negative stereotypes. It is what it is and she said what she said.
She’s a journalist, a political strategist, and a constant advocate for underrepresented and marginalized communities. She’s also proud a Gen Xer who calls it like she sees it.
Jasmyne Cannick made her home at the intersection of race, politics and society long before being an influencer was a thing. She earned her stripes and respect early on for her willingness to speak up on issues most felt were better left unsaid.
From the newsroom to the front lines, Jasmyne has been outspoken on today’s most pressing social issues at the national and local levels–including politics, foster care, criminal justice reform, women’s rights, HIV/AIDS, racism in the LGBTQ community, homophobia in the Black community, voting rights, and homelessness. She is unashamed of being equally critical of the killings of Black people by the police as she is of the killings of Black people by other Black people.
But she’s not just a talker, Jasmyne has worked at all levels of government including in the California State Assembly as a press secretary before reprising that role in the House of Representatives. She’s worked for several city and county governments including five mayors and the president of the Los Angeles City Council. Jasmyne is the principal and CEO of Empowerment Justice Strategies where she advises political candidates, campaigns, law firms, and non-profits.
Jasmyne Cannick has been a loud voice and an advocate for causes near and dear to her heart. She led a national campaign to retire white gay comedian Charles Knipp’s character Shirley Q. Liquor, a self-described inarticulate Black woman on welfare with 19 kids. In 2005, she used her voice to help make sure that the Los Angeles City taxpayers did not foot the bill to honor a homophobic Black pastor. That same year, she helped lead a protest against the”Tookie Must Die Hour” on KFI AM with talk-show hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou. Stanley “Tookie” Williams was the founder of the Crips gang and scheduled to be executed after being convicted in the 1979 killings of four people. Cannick also was the last person to interview Williams before his execution.
She would go on to face off against KFI AM again after talk-show hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou made fun of Whitney Houston after Houston was found dead in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton calling her a “crack ho.” A comment that resulted in their suspension from the station–a first in the duo’s 20 plus year career. Several years later Jasmyne took KFI AM morning show host Bill Handel to task for calling Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson a “cheap sleazy Democrat whore” on air that resulted in him having to make a public apology.
Jasmyne has always been an advocate of the Black LGBTQ community. When Proposition 8, a measure that made same-sex marriage illegal in California was on the ballot, she was one of the leading voices in the Black and LGBTQ communities calling out African-Americans for their homophobia and the white-led LGBTQ community for their racism against Blacks. She is known for her column “A White Gay’s Guide on Dealing with the Black Community for Dummies” where she would break down the pervasive and systemic racism in the white gay community towards Black people.
When Mitrice Richardson went missing after being released from a Los Angeles County jail in Malibu, Jasmyne worked with Mitrice’s family to call attention to the case and to challenge the Sheriff’s Department on the narrative they were spinning in the media.
In 2018, Jasmyne won a major victory on behalf of a dozen tenants in South Los Angeles facing homelessness after a transitional housing manager took their money, failed to pay rent, and abandoned the property. Through her advocacy for the victims, she was able to get them relocation assistance as well as call attention to a new practice taking place in Los Angeles where low-income renters are being taken advantage of with rent-a-room scams.
Most recently Jasmyne spent four years covering Ed Buck, a major Democratic donor, after two men died in his apartment of meth overdoses and countless other Black gay men came forward about the white man in West Hollywood who had a Tuskeegee Experiment like fetish that included injecting young Black men with meth. Ed Buck was finally arrested in September 2019 and charged with the deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean. He was convicted on all nine counts in a federal court on July 27, 2021, and sentenced to 30 years in prison on April 14, 2022.
Featured in Emmy Magazine as an up-and-coming producer, Jasmyne’s produced several films and television projects among them the documentary 41st and Central: The Untold Story of the Los Angeles Black Panthers and the pilot for “Noah’s Arc,” the first African-American LGBT television series.
Jasmyne was emancipated from the foster care system in Los Angeles when she was 17.
A SoCal native by way of Hermosa Beach and Compton, in her spare time Jasmyne enjoys hiking and tennis. She’s been very open and loves to speak about her life including her time in foster care, struggle with food dependency, body positivity, and her recent onion omg hysterectomy due to fibroids. She is passionate about plus-sized fashion and supports a number of body-positive brands.
She is the host of the podcast series “Ring the Alarm with Jasmyne Cannick”.
Honors & Awards
DEMOCRAT OF THE YEAR
LA County Democratic Party
BOB CRAIG MEDIA AWARD
Stonewall Democratic Club
JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
First A.M.E. Church
25 WOMEN SHAPING THE WORLD
LA COUNTY JOHN ANSON HUMAN RELATIONS AWARD
MOST FASCINATING ANGELENO
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SEVEN WOMEN OF VISION
Principal and CEO,
Empowerment Justice Strategies
Founded Justice For Gemmel and All of Ed Buck’s Victims
Elected Delegate to Local and State Democratic Party
National Black Justice Coalition
Stonewall Democratic Club
Black Alliance for Justice Immigration Political Action Committee