Happy Birthday, Harvey!

Democrats for Equality,

Happy Birthday, Harvey!

Today would have been his 89th birthday. Enough cannot be said about the legacy Harvey left, in terms of being the first LGBTQ elected official in California, and one of the first in the country.

Since his election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, members from the LGBTQ community have held elected office in all 50 states. Last November’s election brought even more LGBTQ representation and advancement at all levels of government, and even today, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg finds himself as a legitimate contender for our Democratic Party’s nomination for President.

“Hope will never be silenced” — a statement that rings more and more true every day.

If you missed last week’s meeting, let’s give you a quick update…
We elected five new members of our executive board:

  • Murphy Walsh as At-Large Member
  • Melinda Vasquez as North Area Representative
  • Angel Godinez as South Area Representative
  • Evlyn Andrade-Heymsfield as East Area Representative
  • Ben Aguilar as Metro West Area Representative

Congratulations to these awesome new additions!

If you’re keeping score at home, that means out of our 15-member executive board, 9 are women, 1 from our transgender community, 8 are people of color, and 8 qualify as Young Democrats (under 36).

As an intersectional, progressive, LGBTQ Democratic club, I think it’s important that we continue to strive for that diversity, and including voices of diversity on our board will only strengthen our perspective moving forward into the 2020 election cycle and beyond.

We had two endorsement considerations on our agenda last week. We are proud to have endorsed Councilmember Steve Padilla for re-election in Chula Vista’s District 3.

Also, we are excited to have endorsed Stephen Whitburn for San Diego City Council in District 3.

I mentioned in our announcement e-mail last week that Council District 3 has a special place of pride for our club. We are the club that fought for district-specific elections back in the late 80’s/early 90’s which led to the historic 1993 election of Christine Kehoe — the first member of the LGBTQ community ever elected to office in San Diego.

In the years since, our club has played a significant role in defining the electoral history of LGBTQ elected officials from Council District 3: Toni AtkinsTodd Gloria, and Chris Ward.

Our club will dedicate the work necessary to add Stephen Whitburn as the successor to that distinguished list.

For what it’s worth, a recent take from Voice of San Diego described it as a “big endorsement.” We think so, and appreciate the shout-out!

If you’d like to endorse, donate, or get volunteer for Stephen’s campaign please check out his website and connect with his campaign: whitburnforcouncil.com

Finally, we heard a presentation and formally endorsed SB 132 from Senator Scott Weiner. The bill ensures that transgender people in custody have equal rights and protections and to help protect the human dignity and safety of all people in custody.

Moving forward, club member Brandon Torres has been appointed as our club’s Legislative Advocacy Director, and will be handling our club’s endorsement process on legislative items. Brandon currently works as a community representative and policy advisor for County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher. Thank you for stepping up, Brandon!

(Insert some catchy sign-off here)

Ryan Trabuco
Club President
San Diego Democrats for Equality