08 • JUNE 28, 2019 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
Photos courtesy Gov. Newsom’s office
Deputy Legal Criminal Justice
What do the Black Cat and Stonewall rebellions mean to you and why should we care anymore? Not only were they critical ﬂash points in the march towards freedom and equality for LGBTQ people, they are important reminders of how important visibility and speaking out against injustice are. These lessons are just as vital today as they were 50 years ago — whether we’re talking about the ﬁght for humane treatment for immigrant families, for young black and brown men, or for transgender people. Of all the employment opportunities open to LGBT people today, why did you choose government/public service? I became a lawyer to protect and advance civil rights and liberties. I’ve had the good fortune of being able to do so while working in non-proﬁts, the private sector, and government. It is an incredible privilege to be part of harnessing the power and
authority of government to try and make the California dream a reality for everyone. This is what Gov. Newsom’s vision of a “California For All” is really all about. How old are you? Where do you live? What’s your relationship status? I live in Oakland and am married to my college sweetheart, Terri Shaw. We have a 16-year-old daughter, Kaden, who will be a high school junior in the fall. She bakes, plays lots of different sports and is a math and science whiz. All talents that she deﬁnitely did NOT inherit from me. We have two dogs — a sweet old black lab named Jupiter (aka Joop Doggy Dog) and a clownish little terrier named Rocket. In my spare time, I love cooking, watching horror movies and whiskey tasting. Is there something important you want to convey? Deep appreciation to my grandmother who raised me and to all those who came before us who made it possible for a queer black girl from the projects to be where I am today.
Senior Adviser Communications
What do the Black Cat and Stonewall rebellions mean to you and why should we care anymore? An example of how these pivotal rebellions of our past should inform our present is in the current debate regarding police use of force. The queer community knows how fundamental it is to have conﬁdence that law enforcement is there to protect and respect our safety and our lives without bias. All Californians deserve the same. Of all the employment opportunities open to LGBT people today, why did you choose government/public service? I chose public service at a time when public policies, practices and laws had to change in order for queer Americans and those living with HIV to avoid being criminalized, marginalized and denied the most basic of rights. I returned to public service this year for the privilege of working with a governor whose early leadership around marriage equality demonstrated he is willing to take bold and risky action when people’s dignity and human rights are at stake.
How old are you? Where do you live? What’s your relationship status? I’m 59 years old. I was born and raised in Sacramento where I live now with my partner, our two children, two cats and a German Shepherd named Sparky. When I was coming of age — and coming out — in 1980, the message was clear. If you were open and honest about being queer, many careers would be off limits to you, like high proﬁle public service, military service or a career in law enforcement. You would never have a lasting relationship. And you would certainly not be allowed to experience parenting. Contrary to all those negative messages, I’ve had a career in public service and raised two kids within a 39-year relationship with a peace officer. So I know from my own life experience how together we can overcome bigotry and false assumptions about our limits. That applies to our brothers and sisters with disabilities and to those targeted by racial and gender bias, religious discrimination, transphobia, antiimmigrant scapegoating and other forms of hate. Don’t believe the hateful hype. Is there something important you want to convey? Please see #3 above.
Losangelesblade.com, Volume 3, Issue 26, June 28, 2019