LA Leadership Awards 2007

Christine Chávez and Judy Chu honored at Los Angeles Leadership Awards

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More than 300 people turned out Sept. 30 for the Los Angeles Leadership Awards honoring LGBT rights advocates Christine Chávez and Judy Chu. The event, held at the Beverly Hills Hotel, raised nearly $120,000 to support the work of the Task Force.

Christine Chávez, the granddaughter of legendary civil rights pioneer Cesar Chávez, has a personal heritage so tied to civil rights (she was arrested at a rally for the first time at age 4!) that, learning that a majority of the Latino/a community did not support same-sex marriage, she boldly took the fight for the freedom to marry to her own community. Since then, she has been a tireless advocate for equal marriage rights. We thank both of these women for their commitments to civil rights and equality on every level.

Judy Chu, vice president of the California State Board of Equalization, is a longtime proponent of equality and tolerance. She has spoken out for the freedom to marry on the floor of the California Legislature, likening Assemblymember Mark Leno's marriage equality bill to the California law that finally allowed people of Chinese ancestry to marry whites. She has also supported API Equality-LA, a coalition that includes LGBT organizations as well as groups that serve the API community, in advocating for marriage equality. In addition, she has worked hard to have the California public schools teach not only tolerance but to include the lives of LGBT people in the study of history.

Taking place as the fate of a transgender-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) was being shaped in Washington, D.C., this year’s event had particular meaning. The speech of each honoree reminded the audience of just how much work remains to be done to achieve full equality for all of our community.

The Task Force thanks everyone involved with making the Los Angeles Leadership Awards a success. Special thanks to the steering committee, led by Ron Buckmire and board member Hans Johnson, and board member Andrew Ogilvie, and former board members Stephen Macias and Mario Guerrero.

Special recognition is due to our Platinum sponsor, Darden Restaurants, and Gold sponsors AltaMed Health Services, Arriba! Ski and Snowboard Club, Equality California, Andrew Ogilvie & Cary Davidson, board member Loren Ostrow & Brian Newkirk, Time Warner Cable and United Teachers of Los Angeles.

Many thanks also to our Silver sponsors: American Federation of Government Employees District 12, Alan Hergott & Curt Shepard, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, board member Mark M. Sexton & W. Kirk Wallace; and Bronze sponsors Floe Financial Partners, Brian A. Johnson, Stuart L. Leviton & Herb K. Schultz, SEIU Local 721 Lavender Committee, SEIU United Healthcare Workers West and Jeff Soref, in honor of Kevin Wayne Williams.