Tagline: Until the Work Is Done
An open letter to Supervisor Jane Kim
May 19, 2016 at 2:31 pm

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May 19, 2016

Supervisor Jane Kim
Jane Kim for State Senate
PO Box 113
San Francisco, CA 94104

Dear Supervisor Kim:

We are writing to express our disappointment with your recent comments and press releases that falsely accuse Equality California of taking money from Chevron to fund an independent expenditure in support of your opponent for the 11th Senate District race. We are deeply troubled that your campaign has spread misinformation and has unfairly attacked the integrity of our organization and our electoral programs.

We are calling on you to retract your misstatements and correct the record with the media. Unfortunately, several calls placed to your campaign manager, Eric Jaye, have gone unanswered. So, let us set the record straight: Your claims regarding Equality California are flat wrong.

Your implications that our electoral programs are controlled by any of our supporters are flatly inaccurate. The Equality California PAC has not obtained direct contributions from Chevron, and, to the best of our knowledge, contributions from other sources have not included funds from Chevron. When we read your claim that our program included money from a $300,000 donation from Chevron to one of our donors, we checked the http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/ website and ascertained that the donation by Chevron to our donor was made AFTER the contribution by that donor was made to our PAC. Therefore, your assertion that our political program is funded by Chevron is blatantly false.

Equality California is the nation¹s largest statewide LGBT civil rights organization dedicated to creating a fair and just society. We have worked tirelessly to achieve equality for LGBT people and all the communities of which we are a part, through electoral, advocacy, education and mobilization programs. As part of our work, we have lobbied to pass more than 110 pieces of legislation that have advanced LGBT equality and social justice. As a result of our work with legislators and coalition partners, California now has the most comprehensive LGBT civil right protections of any state in the nation. We have built and participated in broad and progressive coalitions to seek social justice for some of California¹s most vulnerable populations, including undocumented immigrants, homeless individuals, people living with HIV/AIDS, LGBT youth, transgender people, and members of communities of color. Equality California seeks support for this work from a diverse range of individuals, labor organizations and businesses dedicated to achieving LGBT equality and social justice. Our electoral programs seek to elect LGBT candidates and allies who are committed to advancing equality for LGBT people and all the communities of which we are a part. Our endorsements of candidates are determined through a rigorous process involving the Equality California PAC and the Equality California board of directors and are independent of any individuals, organizations or businesses that support our work. This process includes a comprehensive questionnaire, an interview with statewide leaders, and endorsement criteria available to the public on our website. We alone decide who we endorse, and we alone decide how to spend the resources we raise. The money we raise supports candidates in priority races across the state.

In Senate District 11, we interviewed both you and Supervisor Scott Wiener. We determined that Supervisor Wiener was the better candidate to advance the priorities of Equality California and California¹s LGBT community based on our endorsement criteria, which include depth of experience working on LGBT issues, knowledge about LGBT community priorities and a demonstration of commitment to advance these priorities as an elected official. In addition, Senate District 11 is a priority race for us because its LGBT population is among the highest in the state. We want the next state senator to continue the significant leadership that Mark Leno has provided on LGBT civil rights issues over the last decade. Also, Senator Leno is one of the few openly LGBT members of the Legislature. Maintaining the strength of the LGBT Legislative Caucus is a priority for us because of the importance of having LGBT legislators who can speak authentically and first-hand about our lives and the challenges we face. We endorsed Supervisor Weiner because he demonstrated a deep and superior knowledge about the myriad priorities of the LGBT community, and he offered concrete and specific ideas about how he would tackle LGBT civil rights and social justice issues as a legislator.

We call on you to refrain from leveling falsehoods and distortions at Equality California. These misleading attacks impugn the integrity of Equality California and are inconsistent with your claim to be an ally of the LGBT community. We remain focused on the issues in this election rather than smear tactics, and the residents of your district and California¹s LGBT community deserve the same from all the candidates in this race.

Sincerely,

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Rick Zbur

Executive Director

CC: Eric Jaye


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