The East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club has voted to give an early endorsement to six LGBT Democrats running for local office this November. The candidates include:
Lori Droste, who is running for an open seat on the Berkeley City Council from District 8. Droste serves a member of the Housing Advisory Commission and as Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women, and Vice-Chair of the Alameda County Human Relations Commission. She has also served on the boards of the National Women’s Political Caucus-Alameda North and the Claremont Elmwood Neighborhood Association. Her priorities include promoting economic vitality, promoting safe streets, meeting our climate action goals, and helping struggling families. As a mother of two young children, she is focused on making Berkeley the best possible place to raise her children. If elected, she would be the first out lesbian and the only one with school-aged children on Berkeley City Council.
Marguerite Young, who is challenging a five-term incumbent for a seat on the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) Board from Ward 4. Young is running as an environmental and labor candidate who believes that new progressive leadership is needed from her district to address critical issues the board faces in the years ahead. For example, Young points to a recent vote by incumbent Katy Foulkes to oppose Senator Loni Hancock’s bill (SB 1199) to increase environmental protections for EBMUD’s primary water source, the Mokelumne River and the need to invest in climate smart infrastructure. Young works for SEIU as a senior policy analyst, and previously led work on water and environmental issues for Clean Water Action and California League of Conservation voters. EBMUD needs a fresh perspective, someone with the knowledge, courage, and imagination to lead the way forward, and Marguerite Young is that person.
Abel Guillen, who is running for an open seat on the Oakland City Council from District 2. Guillen, who publicly identifies as two-spirit, is currently serving his second term as a Trustee for the Peralta Community Colleges – Laney, Merritt, Berkeley and Alameda. He is also Vice President of an East Bay school finance firm that has helped raise more than $2.5 billion to build and modernize California’s public schools and community colleges. Guillen grew up in a working class neighborhood and was the first in his family to graduate college. His priorities include improving public safety, enhancing core city services, reducing government waste, and attracting new businesses to Oakland. Guillen faces several competitors in November, but he has already secured a number of important endorsements from labor groups and elected officials.
Richard Fuentes, who is running for an open seat on the Peralta Community Colleges Board from Area 7, the seat currently held by Guillen. He previously served as Legislative Director for the Oakland City Council and was involved in a number of important legislative issues, including the budget process. As President of the Hoover School Site Council, Fuentes has spearheaded several programs that have transformed Hoover Elementary into the most improved elementary school in West Oakland. He has actively helped many LGBT Democrats get elected to office over the years, and has already secured endorsements from several prominent LGBT Democrats. If elected, he will focus on creating more career pathways for students, promoting good governance practices, and enhancing support services for students.
East Bay Stonewall also voted to endorse Kriss Worthington, who is seeking reelection to the Berkeley City Council from District 7, and Andy Katz, who is seeking reelection to the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) Board from Ward 3.
“It’s great to have so many progressive LGBT Democrats running for office,” said Brendalynn Goodall, the Club’s president. “East Bay Stonewall is looking forward to doing whatever we can to help these candidates win in November.”
The Club’s early endorsement meeting was held on July 9th at the South Berkeley Library. With almost 100 people in attendance, it was one of the best attended meetings in the Club’s history.