LOS ANGELES — Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, announced its endorsement Thursday of California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who is running for re-election in 2022. Thurmond has been a strong supporter of Equality California’s Safe and Supportive Schools program and recently personally intervened to help defeat an anti-trans policy proposal in the Chino Valley Unified School District. He is committed to closing the learning and equity gaps that were amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic and stopping discriminatory policies directed at LGBTQ+ and other vulnerable students.
“Superintendent Thurmond is a passionate advocate for LGBTQ+ students, committed to ensuring every child feels safe and supported in our public schools,” said Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang. “He has worked diligently alongside Equality California to counter the attacks against our trans and gender-nonconforming youth, in particular, and we could not ask for a better ally and champion for all California students.”
Thurmond has also championed Equality California’s effort to ensure public school teachers and staff have the tools and training they need to support openly LGBTQ+ students, co-sponsoring legislation authored by then-Assemblymember Todd Gloria in 2019 to create an online teacher training program for public school employees and supporting a $3 million budget allocation in 2021 for the California Department of Education (CDE) to develop a curriculum for the program, in partnership with LGBTQ+ civil rights organizations.
“I am proud to earn Equality California’s endorsement and look forward to working with them to make California’s schools as inclusive and diverse as possible,” said Thurmond. “At the California Department of Education, we are advancing LGBTQ+ civil rights for students in the classroom. In my time leading the department, we have secured funding for cultural competency training programs, an online repository of resources to prevent bullying of LGBTQ+ students in CA schools, and the creation of an online training platform through CDE, teaching transgender history in the classroom, and even took on school districts that carried out harmful practices that would’ve hurt LGBTQ+ students. In 2022 and beyond, we will continue doing the important work of protecting all of our students in California together.”
In addition to Equality California, Thurmond has been endorsed by U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Governor Gavin Newsom, Lt. Governornor Eleni Kounalakis; Attorney General Rob Bonta, Secretary of State Shirley Weber, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers.
Thurmond was elected in 2018, after serving in the California State Assembly, West Contra Costa School Board, and Richmond City Council. He lives in Richmond and has two daughters, who attend public schools.
For a complete list of Equality California’s 2022 endorsements, visit eqca.org/elections.
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