Los Angeles – Equality California announced today that it will endorse San Diego City Councilmember Todd Gloria for California Assembly District 78, José Cisneros for reelection as San Francisco treasurer and Chris Ward to replace Gloria as councilmember for San Diego City Council District 3. EQCA makes early endorsements of exceptional LGBT candidates in races for the state legislature and local government.
Todd Gloria’s history as an advocate for LGBT rights began while still a student at University of San Diego, where he successfully lobbied for the addition of sexual orientation to the university’s non-discrimination policy. Gloria also served as chair of the San Diego LGBT Community Center and has remained a strong backer of LGBT issues as an elected official. He was elected to represent District 3 on the San Diego City Council in 2008, and served as interim mayor for six months following the resignation of Mayor Bob Filner in 2013. Gloria is running for the assembly seat that will be vacated by Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), who terms out next year.
“Todd has said his mission is to leave things better than he found them,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of EQCA. “He has certainly achieved that during his time on the city council, where he helped ease homelessness, create affordable housing and made San Diego a better place to live for LGBT people and all its residents.”
José Cisneros is running unopposed as treasurer of the city and county of San Francisco. He was first appointed to the position by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom in September 2004. He has since been reelected several times by wide margins. During his tenure, Cisneros has worked tirelessly to advance LGBT rights, fighting hard against Proposition 8 and serving on the board of Equality California Institute and the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club. He steered the city successfully through the 2008 recession, has fought for the economic well-being of working families, and has used his experience in the tech and banking industries to enhance San Francisco’s taxpayer systems.
“Even before his time as an elected official, José proved himself an effective leader and a strong advocate of the LGBT community,” said Zbur. “We are excited to endorse him for another term.”
Chris Ward is running for the San Diego City Council seat that Gloria will vacate next year due to term limits. He currently serves as chief of staff for State Senator Marty Block. Ward previously worked as an environmental planner for a private firm, working with government to develop land-use plans and community-based solutions to neighborhood challenges. He is a member of the boards of the San Diego LGBT Community Center, the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, and serves on the San Diego Community College District’s Citizens Oversight Committee, as well as working as a volunteer for other community organizations.
“Chris is new as a candidate but he’s no stranger to public service,” said Zbur. “His experience in government, as an environmental planner and as a volunteer for issues ranging from LGBT concerns to education will make him an outstanding policymaker.”
The Equality California Political Action Committee endorses viable candidates who have a proven track record of supporting equal rights and legal protections for LGBT Californians and who are committed to advancing these goals in their capacity as elected officials. Cisneros will appear on the ballot of the November 3, 2015 San Francisco municipal election; Gloria and Ward face election in June, 2016.
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization dedicated to creating a fair and just society. Our mission is to achieve and maintain full and lasting equality, acceptance, and social justice for all people in our diverse LGBT communities, inside and outside of California. Our mission includes advancing the health and well-being of LGBT Californians through direct healthcare service advocacy and education. Through electoral, advocacy, education and mobilization programs, we strive to create a broad and diverse alliance of LGBT people, educators, government officials, communities of color and faith, labor, business, and social justice communities to achieve our goals. www.eqca.org