May 25, 2017:Tom Ammiano and Bay Area LGBTQ Leaders Endorse Jovanka Beckles for Assembly District 15

Tom Ammiano and Bay Area LGBTQ Leaders Endorse Jovanka Beckles for Assembly District 15

If elected, Jovanka would be the first out African-American and Latina state legislator and first LGBTQ member of the state Legislature from the East Bay.

Richmond, CA --  Led by former Assemblyman and long time LGBTQ champion Tom Ammiano, Bay Area LGBTQ leaders have endorsed Jovanka Beckles for Assembly District 15.

Tom Ammiano said:

“I am excited to endorse Jovanka’s campaign because she has continually represented the LGBTQ community with dignity and grace, and she is the fierce legislator we need representing the diverse Assembly District 15 and all LGBTQ persons in Sacramento.”

 Jovanka Beckles has a long history as a LGBTQ advocate and was the first openly lesbian City Council Member in the City of Richmond’s history. In 2014, Jovanka gained state wide attention as she stood tall against vitriolic hate speech thrown against her during City Council meetings by homophobic constituents.

The SF Chronicle reported in August of 2014 that Richmond residents verbally attacked Jovanka at City Council meetings, using public comment time to say, “I’m going to keep coming up here and tell you how gays have no morality… You’re filth. You’re dirt. Because I have the constitutional right to say it.”

B.K. Williams, Board Vice President of Richmond Rainbow Pride, explains, “Jovanka has a proven record of rising above hateful tactics and speech to produce real results for the communities who elected her.” She went on to say, “As the City Council liaison to the Human Rights Commission, she has continually spoken out against bullying of all types and advocated for gay pride and acceptance in Richmond and the Bay Area. I happily endorse such a qualified candidate.”Renowned LGBTQ organizations and clubs, like the Harvey Milk Democratic Club based in San Francisco, the Stonewall Democratic Club in Oakland and the Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County were outraged at such homophobia in the Bay Area, and wrote letters of support and encouragement to Jovanka.

As an openly gay--woman of color, Jovanka understands the barriers that candidates like her face, but she knows in order for LGBTQ, African-American and Latino issues to be addressed, candidates like her must be in Sacramento and at the table.