Tagline: Until the Work Is Done
What They’re Saying: Leaders Applaud Tony Hoang as Equality California’s Next Executive Director
April 14, 2021 at 12:40 pm

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April 14, 2021

CONTACT: Samuel Garrett-Pate, Equality California
PHONE: (323) 848-9801/MOBILE: (973) 476-3770/EMAIL: press@eqca.org

LOS ANGELES — Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, and Equality California Institute announced Wednesday that Managing Director Tony Hoang will lead the organization as the next Executive Director when Rick Chavez Zbur steps down at the end of 2021. The organizations’ boards of directors unanimously selected Hoang after an extensive year-long succession process. As Executive Director, Hoang hopes to expand the organization’s physical presence across California, with a particular focus on the Central Valley, Orange County and the Inland Empire. He also plans to focus on advancing racial justice, immigration reform and deepening Equality California — and the LGBTQ+ community’s — political power across the state.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
“Today, Equality California announced that Tony Hoang, a son of Vietnam War refugees & civil rights leader, will be their new Executive Director. Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing the Equality Act become law with his leadership!” (tweet)

Governor Gavin Newsom:
“I want to congratulate Tony Hoang on his selection as Equality California’s next executive director and thank Rick Chavez Zbur for his years of service to the organization, the LGBTQ community, and our state. Tony’s life reflects the California spirit: a son of refugees, the first in his family to graduate from college and a tireless advocate for equality and justice. I am confident that the LGBTQ community will be well-served by his leadership, and I look forward to working with him to advance our collective vision of a California for all.” (release)

U.S. Senator Alex Padilla:
“Congratulations to Tony Hoang, the next Executive Director of Equality California! As a passionate, dynamic veteran of the LGBTQ+ movement, Tony is a wonderful choice to lead Equality California’s fight for LGBTQ+ civil rights & social justice at this critical moment.” (tweet)

Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis:
“Congratulations to Equality California’s next Executive Director Tony Hoang! Equality California is a key progressive partner and I am so proud to fight alongside them and Tony for LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice. I look forward to our continued work together.” (tweet)

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara:
“Congratulations to Equality California’s incoming executive director Tony Hoang. Tony has proven time and time again that he isn’t just a leader — he’s a proven champion for advancing our civil rights and LGBTQ+ political power.” (tweet)

Treasurer Fiona Ma:
“Congrats to Tony Hoang on being Equality California’s next Executive Director. From Field Intern to Executive Director, Tony brings a wealth of knowledge, immense energy, compassion & the strength to continue lifting up California and the nation’s LGBTQ people. I look forward to working with Tony as we fight for equality together.” (tweet)

Controller Betty Yee:
“As a longtime supporter of Equality California and a former Equality California Institute board member, I am excited about Tony’s leadership and service as its incoming Executive Director. From his early internship performing canvassing activities to his hands-on management of the organization’s complex operations and policy and strategic initiatives, Tony has earned the trust and confidence of all of Equality California’s stakeholders. He will be an effective intersectional leader of Equality California.” (release)

Attorney General-designate Rob Bonta:
“Congratulations, Tony Hoang, on your incoming role as Executive Director of Equality California! Your personal story and passion for promoting civil rights for LGBTQ+ Californians are inspiring! I look forward to working together as we advance justice for all Californians!” (tweet)

U.S. Representative Mark Takano (D-Riverside):
“Congratulations to Tony Hoang for being named Equality California’s next Executive Director! Equality California has been a leader in our state, and across the country, in the fight to advance equality for LGBTQ+ people. I’m confident that Tony will continue that important work.” (tweet)

Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins:
“Congratulations to Tony Hoang on becoming Equality California’s Executive Director! Tony began his journey at Equality California as an intern and has since become a stalwart champion of LGBTQ rights. I look forward to all he will do in this new role.” (tweet)

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon:
“Congratulations, Tony Hoang! Tony represents California’s diversity in the best of ways. I’m so glad Equality California has chosen him as its first Asian American executive director. Can’t wait to see Equality California thrive under his leadership.” (tweet)

Legislative LGBTQ Caucus Chair Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley):
“Anyone who follows someone as passionate and talented as Rick Chavez Zbur would have enormous shoes to fill, but Equality California identified an excellent successor in Tony Hoang. With his extensive record of grassroots organizing and activism on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community, I have no doubt that Tony will help usher in a new era of equality and racial justice in California. As the son of Vietnamese refugees, his lived experience will also play a pivotal role as we seek greater representation from our leaders and continue our efforts to stop anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander hate crimes.” (release | tweet)

Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco):
“I want to offer my sincere congratulations to Tony, who will be a fantastic Executive Director for Equality California. I’ve known Tony for many years and have been consistently impressed with his passion for justice and equality, as well as his leadership. As a gay Asian American man and the son of refugees, Tony understands the importance of supporting marginalized communities and fighting for civil rights. Equality California is an incredible partner in the work we do to further LGBTQ rights in California, and I look forward to working closely with Tony on this effort.” (release | link)

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles):
“Congrats to Tony Hoang, the new and first AAPI Executive Director of Equality California! I’m looking forward to working with you to advance LGBTQ+ equality and progressive values statewide!” (tweet)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti:
“Congratulations to Tony Hoang for their next role as Executive Director at Equality California! Tony has served honorably on the Innovation and Performance Commission, and I know he will continue to flead California’s fight for LGBTQ+ civil rights with compassion and empathy.” (tweet)

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria:
“Congratulations, Tony Hoang! Equality California has made significant progress under Rick Chavez Zbur’s leadership. I know you’ll keep up the momentum and help California remain a global leader in LGBTQ equality.” (tweet)

Civil Rights Leader & Labor Icon Dolores Huerta:
“Tony Hoang is the right person at the right time as our country is awakening to the many ‘wrongs’ that people of color, women and our LGBTQ community have suffered,. He has the experience, intelligence, charisma and ‘people skills’ to take Equality California to new heights. He is also a very hard worker. Tony has proven his dedication to Equality California and social justice issues with his life’s work. We are so lucky to have him direct this great organization.” (release | tweet)

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David:
“Congratulations to Tony Hoang, Executive Director-designate of Equality California. Tony is a veteran of the LGBTQ+ movement dedicated to leading the organization with the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality, racial justice and immigrant rights at heard. Let’s lead together with pride.” (tweet)

NCLR Executive Director Imani Rupert-Gordon:
“We are excited to welcome longtime Equality California staffer Tony Hoang as the organization’s new Executive Director. After more than a decade at Equality California, Tony will bring a wealth of experience and vision to Equality California’s next chapter, including a much-needed focus on advocating for LGBTQ immigrants and asylum seekers and reforming our nation’s immigration system. Tony is a respected leader in the LGBTQ community and a perfect choice to succeed Rick.” (release | tweet)

GLAD Executive Director Janson Wu:
“On behalf of GLAD, I am thrilled to congratulate both Equality California and Tony Hoang on the announcement of Tony as the organization’s next Executive Director. Under the leadership of Tony as Managing Director and outgoing Executive Director Rick Zbur, Equality California played a vital role in the successful effort to overturn the transgender military ban over the past 3+ years and we are grateful to have had the organization’s partnership in that critical fight. Tony’s experience leading efforts to pass state civil rights legislation and implement groundbreaking public education campaigns, his experience as the son of Asian-American immigrants, and his passion and understanding for addressing the intersections of identity and structural inequality make him well positioned as a leader to meet this moment in our movement for justice. We wish Rick all the best as he moves on to his next role and look forward to working with Tony and the entire team at Equality California to continue advancing equity lived equality for everyone in the LGBTQ+ community across the country.” (release | tweet)

Freedom For All Americans CEO & National Campaign Director Kasey Suffredini:
“This native Californian is so excited about this! Tony Hoang has already done so many great things with Equality California — can’t wait to see what he accomplishes with them next as Executive Director!” (tweet)

LGBTQ Victory Fund:
“Congratulations, Tony Hoang! We look forward to continuing to work closely with you as, together, we build power for the LGBTQ community.” (tweet)

Lambda Legal:
“Congratulations, Tony Hoang! We’re excited about the great work you will do as executive director of Equality California.” (tweet)

Equality Federation:
Congratulations to Equality California for naming their next leader Tony Hoang! Tony is an asset to the LGBTQ movement not only in California but nationwide. (tweet)

Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California President Jodi Hicks:
“On behalf of Planned Parenthood in California, I want to extend a heartfelt congratulations to Tony Hoang on being named the new Executive Director of Equality California. Tony’s decade-long tenure at Equality California, coupled with his keen insight and vision for the future, makes him exactly the right person to lead the organization moving forward. His focus on expanding Equality California’s efforts to reach the most marginalized members of the LGBTQ+ community and his focus on advancing racial justice are just a few examples of the work that we look forward to partnering together on. And congratulations as well on being the first Asian American Executive Director. PPAC is deeply grateful to outgoing Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur for his dedication, passion and commitment to equality for all Californians and beyond. Not only has he been an admirable leader of Equality California, but a true partner in the work Planned Parenthood does to advance  health equity and access. I want to personally thank Rick for his invaluable collaboration during his time at Equality California and congratulate Tony on his new position. Planned Parenthood looks forward to continuing to collaborate and fight for a future where people have full control over their health, bodies, and lives.” (release | tweet)

BART Director Rebecca Saltzman:
“Super excited for Tony Hoang and Equality California! Tony’s made so much progress for California LGBT rights, and I can’t wait to see what he does as executive director. Thanks to outgoing Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur, who has done incredible work building the organization over the past several years.” (tweet)

Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair Mark Gonzalez:
“Congratulations to Tony Hoang, Equality California’s next executive director! Tony has dedicated his career to the LGBTQ+ movement, and he is the perfect choice to lead Equality California’s fight for LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice at this critical moment for our community.” (tweet)

CHIRLA Executive Director Angélica Salas:
“CHIRLA enthusiastically applauds and supports the selection of Tony Hoang as Equality California’s Executive Director-designate. As an immigrant, child of Vietnam War refugees, experienced civil rights warrior, and a role model for LGBTQ youth of color, Mr. Hoang represents the Golden Promise of a society that is nurturing, just, and welcoming for all. We look forward to many years of collaborative and inspirational work with Mr. Hoang and Equality California.” (release)

Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith:
“Equality California is more than a state LGBTQ organization. They are a national resource and a trailblazer and Tony Hoang is a stellar choice to continue and expand that legacy,” said Nadine Smith, Executive Director for Equality Florida. “The programs that Tony has helped develop at EQCA have been a successful model not only for Florida but for state equality organizations around the country.” (release)

Georgia Equality:
“Congrats to our fabulous colleague Tony Hoang — newly named Executive Director-designate of Equality California! Tony is a longtime friend and partner of Georgia Equality and we look forward to continue fighting for LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice with him and all of our friends in California!” (tweet)


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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