I hope you will join us in these voter engagement efforts this year as we Persist with Pride.
In a letter sent out to San Diego media organizations, San Diego Pride congratulated Sen. Toni Atkins on Thursday for making history as not only the first woman to become California State Senate president pro tempore, but the first lesbian to do so.
Although he recognizes this historic event as an important one to the community, Executive Director, Fernando Z. López emphasized the need for people to continue making these landmark events by getting out to the polls and voting.
Here is that letter:
Yesterday many of us looked on in awe as San Diego’s own Sen. Toni G. Atkins broke several historic barriers by becoming the first woman and the first LGBTQ California State Senate president pro tempore, and the first woman to lead both the California State Assembly and the California State Senate. It was ineffably inspiring to think that all of this happened with her legally wedded spouse, Jennifer LeSar, who not only stood by her side but was also greeted with a standing ovation. Just a few years ago this moment would have been literally impossible.
For many of us, we remember growing up and not being able to see LGBTQ role models who reflected back to us the people we aspired to be some day. Sen. Atkins’ new appointment is a signal that the LGBTQ youth of today may fortunately never know that feeling.
Let there never be any doubt that elections matter. That your vote on every single elected official and issue from the top of the ticket to the bottom of the ballot is vital and necessary. If we want the values of our community to be reflected in the policies that impact our lives, then we must commit ourselves to engaging in the voting process.
If we as a community want to leave a legacy of progress for our next generation like we saw yesterday, then we must educate ourselves on the issues, register to vote, volunteer our time to remind others to vote, mail in our ballots, show up to the polls, and take pride in voting. I hope you will join us in these voter engagement efforts this year as we Persist with Pride.
Fernando Z. López
San Diego Pride