Born in Chicago to interracial parents, Sydney got her first taste of politics working with her grandmother to help elect Harold Washington – the city’s first Black mayor.
Sydney came to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California as a political science major. While she was at USC, the 1992 riots following the Rodney King verdict erupted.
And that catalytic event motivated Sydney to work with Rebuild LA and the Los Angeles Festival, two nonprofit organizations that advanced job creation and public arts programs to restore broken communities.
Early in her career, Sydney worked at the Social and Public Arts Resource Center (SPARC) in Venice and then as an advocate for quality childcare and early education at the nonprofit Crystal Stairs in Los Angeles. She served as District Director for Holly Mitchell, when Mitchell was first Assemblywoman and later Senator.
In 2013, Sydney was appointed to the Los Angeles County Commission on Children and Families.
She was elected in 2015 to the Los Angeles Community College Board, where she fought to make higher education and career training affordable and accessible to everyone, with special focus on underserved communities and students who were previously in the foster care system or incarcerated. Sydney successfully ran for State Assembly in 2018 and State Senate in 2021.
Senator Kamlager is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and earned a B.A. in political science from USC and an M.A. in Arts Management and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. She lives in View Park with her husband, Austin Dove, her two step-children, and their rescue pets.