On Monday night, the Stonewall Young Democrats held its much-anticipated endorsement meeting to back a new candidate for the redrawn 50th Assembly District, which spans the Westside and includes Agoura Hills, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood.
Our club was faced with two candidates, Betsy Butler and Richard Bloom. After the club voted by secret ballot, Assemblywoman Betsy Butler walked away with our endorsement. She is the front-runner in the race and remains very popular among grassroots activists from the Westside and local Democratic Clubs.
Prior to the endorsement vote, Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz, West Hollywood Mayor Jeffrey Prang and Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair Eric Bauman shared the same message about Butler: "Betsy is the best-qualified candidate to represent the new 50th Assembly District." They also cited current legislation that Assemblywoman Butler got to the governor’s desk that affects the LGBT community: AB 1700 – Keeping LGBT People in Their Homes. The death of a lifelong partner is traumatic. But under current law, that trauma can be worsened by property tax penalties that apply unequally to same-sex partners, especially impacting LGBT seniors. AB 1700 (Butler) will ensure that no LGBT person is put at risk of losing the home that he or she has built over a lifetime with a loved one.
Another key to Betsy Butler's victory on Monday night was her long-time friendships with LGBT Democratic activists over the past 20 years. In addition, many Stonewall members met and got to know Betsy five years ago, a year after she joined the Board of Equality California. In the primary they endorsed Torie Osborn because they felt connected with her history. This time they connected with Betsy Butler.
Despite new members joining to vote for her opponent, many long-time members had never seen Mr. Bloom at Stonewall events prior to him running for the 50th Assembly District. I am reminded of that old saying "Loyalty is a two-way street," and I cannot wait to use our resources to help re-elect a progressive champion to the Assembly! Go Betsy, Go!
In recent weeks, Butler has scored several consecutive endorsements, including: West Hollywood/Beverly Hills Democratic Club, Santa Monica Democratic Club and Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City.
For more information about Betsy Butler, please visit her website at: www.betsybutler.com