Equality California Endorses John Chiang, Fiona Ma and Elizabeth Echols

Today, Equality California is proud to announce its endorsement of John Chiang for State Treasurer, Elizabeth Echols for Assembly District 15, and Fiona Ma for the State Board of Equalization District 2. All three candidates hold strong records of achievement on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians and they join a group of nearly 40 other candidates already endorsed by Equality California in the 2014 election cycle.

Chiang currently serves as the State Controller, and swiftly responded to the Supreme Court’s decision on Proposition 8 by ensuring state employees in same-sex marriages were able to painlessly transition to new tax and withholding laws. He was also instrumental in securing price relief for HIV and AIDS medication for low-income patients in California, a change that led all states to receive price relief.

“John Chiang’s leadership in bringing drug companies to the table ensured access to affordable HIV and AIDS medication for over 37,000 Californians, and over 190,000 people nationwide,” said John O’Connor, EQCA executive director. “Not only has he been exemplary in implementing pro-equality policies for state employees, he’s made a real difference in the lives of thousands of people.”

As a regional administrator for the Small Business Administration, Echols helped ensure LGBT-owned businesses had equal access to programs to help them succeed. Prior to that, she has evidenced a longstanding commitment to LGBT equality through her work with the Democratic Party, including actively organizing against Prop. 8. She has been endorsed by local LGBT elected officials, including Berkeley City Councilmember Darryl Moore and Berkeley School Board Member Judy Appel.

“Strong pro-equality allies are critical for the LGBT community to achieve lasting political power, and Elizabeth Echols is one of those allies,” said O’Connor. “EQCA is pleased to join local LGBT elected officials and many others in endorsing pro-equality trailblazer Elizabeth Echols in Assembly District 15.”

Fiona Ma has a long history of supporting the LGBT community both as a San Francisco Supervisor and a member of the Assembly, including authoring the Name Equality Act, which ensured the same name-change rights for domestic partners as married couples. She also authored bills addressing domestic violence and health care, and acted as the Assembly Floor Manager for the Assembly passage of SB 1172, a bill authored by Senator Ted Lieu that banned abusive and fraudulent attempts to change the orientation of LGBT youth.

“Fiona Ma has been a staunch ally for LGBT equality as a San Francisco Supervisor and as a member of the Assembly, and she will be a staunch ally on the State Board of Equalization,” said O’Connor. “She has regularly spoken of how her background as the child of Chinese immigrants helps her understand the struggles of LGBT people for equality, and she’s demonstrated that again and again with her record in the legislature.”

The Equality California Political Action Committee endorses viable candidates running for statewide offices and the state legislature 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.

Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender advocacy organization in California. For more than a decade, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to a state with some of the most comprehensive human rights protections in the nation. Equality California has partnered with legislators to successfully sponsor 96 pieces of pro-equality legislation. EQCA continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, electoral work, public education and community empowerment. www.eqca.org