Tagline: Until the Work Is Done
Equality California Endorses Candidates in California State Senate and Assembly Races
February 7, 2018 at 1:52 pm

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February 7, 2018

CONTACT: Tony Hoang, Equality California
PHONE: (323) 848-9801/MOBILE: (281) 703-9292/EMAIL: tony@eqca.org

Sacramento—Today, Equality California announced the endorsement of four pro-equality candidates for California State Senate and Assembly offices.

“To continue to advance LGBTQ equality, Equality California endorses candidates for public office who have demonstrated a 100% commitment to fighting for our community” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California. “The candidates we have endorsed today will make California stronger by fighting for the rights of all Californians, including those of the LGBTQ community.”

The candidates are as follows:

Senate District 12

Equality California endorses Anna Caballero for California Senate District 12. Caballero currently represents Assembly District 30 and previously served as secretary of the California Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency. She is a former mayor of the city of Salinas and former Assemblymember representing Assembly District 28. During her time in the Assembly, she has received an Equality Score rating of 100% each year she served. Caballero has been a public and steadfast ally of the LGBTQ community for more than a decade. Both as a Mayor and as Assemblymember, she was an early and vocal supporter of marriage equality in a socially conservative district. She was one of the first LGBTQ officials in the Salinas Valley to support LGBTQ civil rights and marched as grand marshal in Salinas’ first-very LGBTQ pride parade. She serves on the board of directors of the Equality California Institute.

“Anna Caballero has a long history of advocating for LGBTQ equality as a public official and has been a strong voice and champion for our community in the rural communities she represents,” stated Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California. “Her 100% pro-equality voting record in the Assembly speaks for itself, and we look forward to her continued leadership in the fight for equality in the California Senate.”

Assembly District 30

Equality California endorses Robert Rivas for California’s Assembly District 30. Rivas currently teaches at Gavilan Community College, is the Student Support Manager at San Benito High School, and serves on the San Benito County Board of Supervisors. As Supervisor, Rivas has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights and programs to meet the needs of the LGBTQ community. Rivas led the effort to create the first LGBTQ resource center in San Benito County, served on a regional LGBTQ taskforce organized by Assemblywoman Anna Caballero, and worked to develop local partnerships in his community to create ongoing discussions about LGBTQ issues. From his experience working in education, Rivas understands the key role school districts play in identifying and supporting at-risk LGBGTQ youth and is committed to implementing programs in our schools to assure that all schools are safe and supportive for all students.

“Robert Rivas has been an outspoken advocate to assure that government programs meet the needs of LGBTQ people in his rural community,” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California. “As a member of the San Benito County Board of Supervisors, he has demonstrated his strong commitment to the LGBTQ community and we look forward to his continued leadership as a member of the California Assembly.”

Assembly District 38

Equality California endorses Christy Smith for California’s Assembly District 38. As a member of the Newhall School Board, she advocated and supported policies to make schools safe and secure for LGBTQ students. When elected to the Assembly, she has promised to take steps to assure full implementation of the FAIR Education Act and to work to create LGBTQ cultural competency training programs for government workers and public safety officials so that they are able to better serve the LGBTQ community.

“Christy Smith will be a strong ally to the LGBTQ community as a California Assemblymember,” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California. “Her commitment to improve government programs that serve the LGBTQ community by implementing LGBTQ cultural competency trainings and instructional materials in schools will improve the lives of LGBTQ youth and people.”

Assembly District 44

Equality California endorses Jacqui Irwin for reelection to California’s Assembly District 44. Throughout her career in public service, Irwin has been an effective advocate for the communities she represents, working across party lines to advance LGBTQ equality, improve public safety, and increase access to quality, affordable education. As an Assemblymember, she worked to increase funding in California Community Colleges to help close achievements gaps for students, including LGBTQ youth, who often face financial barriers to pursuing higher education. In 2016, she authored AB 2524, which requires criminal justice data, including details on hate crimes based on a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity, to be publicly available online to help ensure better policing, public awareness, and public policy to end violence towards the LGBTQ community.

“Assemblymember Irwin has been a dedicated ally to the LGBTQ community, focused on improving equality, opportunity, and safety for LGBTQ Californians, said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “Working across party lines, Irwin has fought to provide quality, affordable education for LGBTQ students, and authored legislation to increase access to criminal justice data, including anti-LGBTQ hate crimes, to help improve policing, and address violence against LGBTQ people. We look forward to continuing our partnership to advance LGBTQ equality.”


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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