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Equality California Announces School Board Candidate and Recall Endorsements In Key Races Ahead of March 5 Primary
February 21, 2024 at 10:21 am

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2024

CONTACT: Jorge Reyes Salinas, Equality California
PHONE: (213) 355-3057/MOBILE: (213) 355-3057/EMAIL: press@eqca.org

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With attacks against LGBTQ+ students in California escalating, Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, announced the endorsements of four pro-equality school board candidates and weighed in on a handful of local school board recall efforts – with the March 5 Primary election just two weeks away. 

“The increase in anti-LGBTQ+ attacks at school boards across California places new and important emphasis on our electing pro-equality allies to school boards — which is why, for the first time, Equality California is endorsing non-LGBTQ+ candidates for local office and taking a stance in recall races where the wellbeing and safety of LGBTQ+ students and their families hang in the balance,” said Executive Director Tony Hoang.  “All students have the right to be safe in our schools, and when far-right extremist school board candidates try to run on a platform of attacking our students, we will stand against them and stand strong with our pro-equality allies.” 

The full list of new endorsements can be found below:

Local Offices:

  • Alameda County Board of Education, Area 5: Lupe Angulo
  • Glendale School Board District, Trustee Area E: Neda Farid
  • Orange County Board of Education, Trustee Area 3: Dr. Nancy Watkins
  • Riverside County Board of Education, Trustee Area 7: Maliha Williamson

Equality California has prioritized the endorsement of strong, pro-equality champions in these key districts to fight back against attempts to discriminate against LGBTQ+ youth. Previously in Glendale, the organization endorsed Telly Tse for Trustee Area A. 

“In addition to electing pro-equality leaders, we remain vigilant in holding current elected leaders to account — especially those who are spreading their hateful agendas and putting the wellbeing and safety of LGBTQ+ youth at risk,” said Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang. “Equality California stands ready to vote out any elected leader that uses LGBTQ+ people as political pawns. We will not tolerate the sort of vitriol and attacks we have seen from incumbent school board members in Orange, Temecula and Woodland – they are unfit for public office and we look forward to their political careers coming to a swift and appropriate end.” 

Local Recall Efforts:

  • Orange Unified School District Recalls of Rick Ledesma and Madison Miner: YES
  • Temecula Valley Unified Recall of Dr. Joseph Komrosky: YES
  • Woodland Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees Recall of Emily MacDonald: YES

In Orange, Rick Ledesma and Madison Miner brought troubling proposals to nearly every board meeting in 2023 — including attempting to censor libraries and discriminate against special needs and LGBTQ students. Each supported the successful passage of a forced-outing policy for trans students at OUSD. In Temecula, Dr. Joseph Komrosky made national headlines when he described civil rights icon Harvey Milk as a pedophile and used the mention of Milk in optional reading material as reasoning for rejecting new educational materials for students. He also removed several long-term employees including Superintendent Jodi McClay, who made inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community important to her administration. In Woodland, Emily MacDonald opposed a resolution affirming support for all Woodland students during Pride month, and in her comments attacked the transgender community as a ‘social contagion.’ 

The Orange and Woodland recall elections will occur in March; Temecula’s has yet to be scheduled, but will likely happen mid-May, 2024. 

For a complete list of Equality California’s endorsements, please visit eqca.org/elections.

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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


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