August 25, 2017 at 1:25 pm PST | by Karen Ocamb
Stonewall Young Democrats honors heroes Abbitt, Lara and Galperin on Saturday

Stonewall Young Democrats 2017 Hero Awards Honorees

Frustrated longtime LGBT activist Diane Abbitt asks: Where is the leadership in fighting Donald Trump? The National Democratic Party just congratulated longtime openly gay politico Eric Bauman on the final, official confirmation of his election as California Democratic Party chair, though loser Kimberly Ellis still refuses to concede. In fact, Ellis has threatened to sue to CDP at a time when Democrats around the country are counting on California Democrats to defeat seven Republican incumbents in the effort to take back Congress.

“We all keep following the new reality series ‘The Trump Circus,’ waiting to talk about, write about or tweet about the next outrageous Trump tweet, the next betrayal of a Trump supporter, the money being made by the Trump family, the undying support of his followers, the Trumpettes, Fake News, or the changing of the guard in the Trump White House,” Abbitt writes in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Blade.  “But while the media and the public are fascinated by the Trump Circus, we’re missing the real news that’s impacting our real lives. Personally, I’m sick of the Trump Circus and I’m looking for leadership—true leadership! But where?”

Stonewall Young Democrats think they have an answer to Abbitt’s question—celebrate and encourage strong leadership at the local level to protect Los Angeles and California from the encroachment of Trumpian discrimination. On Saturday, Aug. 26, SYD honors three LGBT heroes for their smart, hard and steadfast work on behalf of political and economic justice—and one of those heroes is attorney Diane Abbitt, whose legacy includes co-chairing MECLA and the then-new APLA, co-chairing the Equality California Board and its PAC, and being an outspoken leader of ANGLE.

Also being honored is out State Sen. Ricardo Lara, who Equality California just endorsed for Insurance Commissioner. Lara has been in the forefront of many LGBT issues, including ending all aspects of the child-abusive so-called “conversion therapy.” 

This week, as vice chair of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus, he helped introduce a Resolution blasting Trump for ordering a ban on transgender military service.

“Military rules and regulations allow trans people to serve their country, and even the commander-in-chief cannot change those via Twitter. Thousands of trans service members on the front lines deserve better from their commander-in-chief. Discrimination doesn’t make us safer, but it does exclude those with the desire and talents to serve our country. Their service matters, their lives matters, and the CA LGBT Caucus stands with our trans service-members,” Lara said in a statement.

SYD is also honoring one of least recognized most powerful elected officials in Los Angeles—out LA City Controller Ron Galperin. He is not only the city’s financial watch-dog, but he thinks outside of the box to offer resources and recommendations for perplexing political issues, such as mapping LA’s marijuana dispensaries.

Galperin has what so many elected only hope for—real respect. Consider this 2013 endorsement by the conservative Daily Breeze:

“To earn election to public office, a candidate needs both talent and experience in community affairs. Often a candidate with the former needs time to build up the latter. And sometimes the result is well worth the wait. Ron Galperin is a great example,” the Breeze editorial board wrote. “Galperin has spent the past four years adding to his qualifications by working as a volunteer on important city commissions and building connections. Now he’s back on the L.A. primary ballot, running for city controller. He is clearly the best choice to act as the official watchdog over city government finances and performance.”

The SYD event on Saturday is from 4:00-6:00pm at a private home. For more information and tickets, visit their Facebook page.

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