An openly gay candidate for the City Council of Redwood City, located on the San Francisco Peninsula in Northern California’s Bay Area, was the victim of an apparent hate crime, according to a spokesperson for Redwood City Police Chief Dan Mulholland.
The Daily Journal newspaper reported that last Thursday, October 11, Jason Galisatus, 25, came home at around 4:30 p.m. shortly before a previously scheduled candidates’ forum, to discover “#gay” spray-painted on the fence next to his bedroom window. Additionally, one of his campaign posters, which was hanging on the fence above the graffiti, was torn down.
Police Chief Dan Mulholland told the Daily Journal that an investigation is currently underway, and so far it appears no suspects have been identified.
“The police department takes these allegations very seriously and detectives conducting the investigation are treating the matter as a hate crime,” Mulholland said.
“I am surprised and very saddened to hear this,” Mayor Ian Bain was quoted as saying in an email. “Our community is better than this, and no matter how heated the campaign gets, our candidates deserve better than this. Everyone who is running is a good person, and they should be treated with respect, not subjected to hurtful and personal attacks.”
Galisatus currently works for Stanford University in neighboring Palo Alto and is a graduate of the university. He’s also a Redwood City native and serves as co-chair of the San Mateo County LGBTQ Commission.
In a personal blog post published last Friday, Galisatus wrote: “This has been unsettling, but I want to be clear: we will not be intimidated. It is our duty as City leaders to be outspoken to ensure that all residents of Redwood City are treated with dignity and respect. […] I also would like to thank the Redwood City Police Department for their sensitivity and responsiveness in investigating this matter.
Reporting by The Daily Journal and the staff of the Los Angeles Blade