Sacramento—Today, Equality California announced the endorsement of four strong pro-equality candidates for statewide offices.
“Our elected officials are crucial to the continuous fight for LGBTQ equality in California and our country,” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California. “The candidates we have endorsed are strong allies of the LGBTQ community and have proven records of supporting LGBTQ equality and social justice. We know that each of them will continue to fight for the LGBTQ community in California.”
The candidates endorsed by Equality California are as follows:
Fiona Ma [State Treasurer]
Equality California endorses Fiona Ma for California State Treasurer. Ma currently serves on the State Board of Equalization, and formerly served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and in the California State Assembly. As an Assembly member, she co-authored SJR 9 in 2007 which called on Congress to adopt a policy of nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation and called for the repeal of the United States Military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. In 2012, she was a co-author of SB 1172, Equality California sponsored legislation that banned conversion therapy for minors.
“Fiona Ma has been a long-time champion for the LGBTQ community and was awarded the Equality Ally award by EQCA in 2007,” said Rick Zbur, “We are confident Fiona Ma will continue to be a steadfast ally as our State Treasurer.”
Betty Yee [State Controller]
Equality California endorses the re-election of Betty Yee for California State Controller. Yee has dedicated herself to public service for over 30 years, and her work on the State Board of Equalization and various other state boards and commissions has rightly earned a reputation as one of the most capable and effective elected officials in our state. She has been a life-time supporter of the LGBTQ community, and, as an elected official, has been an exceptional champion of fairness and equality for LGBTQ Californians. Of her significant contributions, we are especially grateful for her work in advancing tax equality for same-sex couples as a member of the Board of Equalization. She has also served with distinction for many years on the board of directors of Equality California Institute, EQCA’s educational affiliate, where she led the search for new staff leadership in 2012.
“Betty Yee is one of the LGBTQ community’s most dedicated and steadfast allies,” said Rick Zbur. “A recipient of Equality California’s Ally Leadership Award in 2014, her steadfast commitment to the LGBTQ community and continual efforts to support equality characterize her public service in every capacity, and we are delighted to endorse her re-election.”
Alex Padilla [Secretary of State]
Equality California endorses Alex Padilla for re-election as California Secretary of State. Alex Padilla publicly campaigned against Proposition 8 which called for a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. As a former state senator, he strongly supported the School Success and Opportunities Act, which protects transgender students and allows them to fully participate in school, and he earned a 100% Equality voting record when he served in the legislature.
“Equality California is proud to endorse Alex Padilla for Secretary of State,” said Rick Zbur. “He has advocated for LGBTQ youth and the LGBTQ community throughout his career in both the state legislature and as Secretary of State. His work to expand and protect voting rights for all Californians affects each and every one of us.”
Tony Thurmond [Superintendent of Public Instruction]
Equality California is proud to endorse Tony Thurmond for California Superintendent of Public Instruction. Tony Thurmond currently serves in the California State Assembly and formally served on the Richmond City Council and the West Contra Costa Unified School Board. This past year he was a joint author on Senator Ricardo Lara’s bill SB 396, the Transgender Work Opportunity Act, which made California the first state in the country to require LGBTQ+ employment diversity training. Throughout his time in the California Assembly, Tony Thurmond has had a perfect 100% Equality voting record.
As State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Thurmond has promised to support and advocate for funding of programs that train teachers, school counselors, and administrators about how to better serve and protect LGBTQ students who face low rates of school success, bullying, and high rates of suicide risk.
“Tony Thurmond understands the importance of protecting LGBTQ students and making all schools safe, and inclusive places to learn,” said Rick Zbur. “With high rates of bullying, suicide, and school drop outs experienced by LGBTQ students, we need a strong advocate for LGBTQ youth leading the Department of Education. Equality California endorses Tony Thurmond because he will work tirelessly for LGBTQ and all youth.”
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