LOS ANGELES — Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday morning that he will appoint California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to serve as California’s next U.S. senator, filling the vacancy that will occur when Vice President Elect-Kamala Harris is sworn in on January 20. Padilla will be the first Latino to represent California in the United States Senate.
Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur:
“We applaud Governor Newsom’s historic appointment of Secretary Padilla to serve as the next and first Latino U.S. senator from California. In addition to running the largest and safest election in California history, Secretary Padilla has been a true ally to the LGBTQ+ community throughout his career and an exceptional partner to Equality California. Earlier this year, Secretary Padilla worked with Equality California to ensure that transgender and gender-nonconforming Californians can vote free from discrimination or harassment. We couldn’t be prouder that a son of immigrants, a partner in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality and a champion for free and fair elections — especially at a time like this — is headed to represent California in the United States Senate.”
Equality California sent a letter to Governor Newsom in October asking him to appoint an openly LGBTQ+ person or a strong ally to the United States Senate, listing Secretary Padilla as a “full-throated champion” for LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice who serve the state and the LGBTQ+ community well.
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org