Equality California Endorses Nine Allies of the LGBT Community for Congress and Assembly

Equality California today announced the endorsement of nine strong LGBT allies for Congress and the California Legislature.“Each of our endorsed candidates is a proven ally of the LGBT community,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “They come from communities large and small, and demonstrate that there are strong champions for LGBT equality throughout California. We are confident that they will have a powerful impact on the LGBT civil rights landscape in California and across the country.”

The candidates are:

Emilio Huerta for Congressional District 21 – Public interest attorney Emilio Huerta is a lifelong resident of the San Joaquin Valley. The son of civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, he shares a deep family commitment to social justice that extends to and includes the LGBT community. Huerta has served as a boardmember of the Bakersfield AIDS Project and as legal counsel for United Farm Workers, the Dolores Huerta Foundation and César Chávez Foundation, and other non-profit organizations representing the interests of children and working families.

Helene Schneider and Salud Carbajal for Congressional District 24 – With two candidates demonstrating extraordinary leadership and a strong record of support for LGBT civil rights and social justice, Equality California has endorsed both Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider and Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal for Congressional District 24.

Helene Schneider has been an outspoken advocate for full LGBT equality and the rights of women for more than 15 years. From co-chairing Santa Barbara’s No on Prop 22 campaign in 2000 to speaking at numerous rallies in support of marriage equality and against Prop 8, Schneider has been at the forefront of the LGBT equality movement. As mayor and a member of the Santa Barbara City Council, she worked to expand funds for HIV awareness and services and advocated for LGBT-diversity training for Santa Barbara’s police department.

Salud Carbajal also has been a tremendous advocate for LGBT people throughout his career. As Santa Barbara County supervisor, he has sponsored board resolutions promoting the rights of LGBT county residents and has advocated for expanded funding for organizations that serve the LGBT community. He fought to defeat Prop 8, and has consistently participated in LGBT pride events.

Dan Wolk for Assembly District 4 –Dan Wolk has served as city councilmember and mayor of Davis since 2011 and has a long record of supporting LGBT equality and social justice. Ahead of last year’s historic marriage victory, he led a national coalition of mayors in filing an amicus brief in favor of marriage equality with the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2013, as Solano County counsel, he personally helped the Solano County clerk issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples following the repeal of Proposition 8.

Marc Berman for Assembly District 24 – Marc Berman is a native of the Palo Alto area and has served on the Palo Alto City Council since 2013. He previously served as development director at the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, a non-profit focused on closing the achievement gap in public schools in Silicon Valley. Both through his community service activities and as a public official, Berman has consistently worked to advance LGBT civil rights. He has provided pro-bono legal assistance to LGBT immigrants seeking asylum, and vocally opposed Prop 8 as a member of the Palo Alto City Council.

Ash Kalra for Assembly District 27 – Ash Kalra has served on the San José City Council since 2008, and has been a resident of the city for 37 years. He twice led city council efforts to pass resolutions condemning Proposition 8, opposing then Mayor Chuck Reed and while facing reelection in a swing district. Before his election to public office, Kalra worked 11 years for the Santa Clara Public Defender’s Office and has served on the boards of the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the Valley Transportation Authority.

Anna Caballero for Assembly District 30 – Anna Caballero is 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 received an Equality Score rating of 100 percent each year she served. Caballero has been a public and steadfast ally of the LGBT community for more than a decade. Both as 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 LGBT officials in the Salinas Valley to support LGBT civil rights and marched as grand marshal in 2007 in Salinas’ first-ever LGBT pride parade.

Monique Limón for Assembly District 37 – Limón is currently serving her second term on the Santa Barbara Unified School Board and is a lifelong resident of the 37th Assembly District. As a member of the board, Limón was a champion of the FAIR Act, advocating to implement it and other LGBT-inclusive curricula in the district’s schools. Keenly aware of the impact of bullying on LGBT students, she has helped develop school safety plans that include comprehensive bullying-prevention programs. She also has worked as an HIV prevention counselor, helping low-income and LGBT clients obtain critical health services.

Abigail Medina for Assembly District 40 –As the daughter of working class immigrants, Abigail Medina understands the impacts of poverty and inequity on the LGBT community and all communities that have been subject to discrimination and lack of acceptance. As a member of the San Bernardino Unified School Board, Medina has pushed for accountability in schools and worked to address bullying and discrimination against LGBT students.

The Equality California Political Action Committee endorses viable candidates who have a proven track record of supporting equal rights and social justice for LGBT Californians and who are committed to advancing these goals in their capacity as elected officials.

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Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization dedicated to creating a fair and just society. Our mission is to achieve and maintain full and lasting equality, acceptance, and social justice for all people in our diverse LGBT communities, inside and outside of California. Our mission includes advancing the health and well-being of LGBT Californians through direct healthcare service advocacy and education. Through electoral, advocacy, education and mobilization programs, we strive to create a broad and diverse alliance of LGBT people, educators, government officials, communities of color and faith, labor, business, and social justice communities to achieve our goals. www.eqca.org