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The PAC ended up endorsing Vice Mayor Beverly “Babs” Sandeen and the Planning Commission Chair Martha Guerrero on the strength of their interviews and because of their sterling records of contribution to the City of West Sacramento. After the endorsement, the PAC learned that West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon wasn’t pleased with our decision. He shared with me that while the PAC is full of good people, no one on the PAC lives in West Sacramento and understands the community. As the Mayor of West Sacramento and a well-respected member of our LGBT community, Cabaldon was disappointed the PAC didn’t reach out to him and ask for input on which candidates would help him achieve his strategic goals for West Sacramento. He makes a good point. While the PAC would never decide an endorsement on just what a Mayor wants, a Mayor’s long term goals (think Joe Serna or Darrell Steinberg) could have a significant impact on the PAC’s deliberations. In the end, the general membership decided to endorse “Babs” Sandeen, but split on endorsing a second candidate. West Sacramento School Board The race for the Washington Unified School Board in West Sacramento had three seats open, with five candidates. We were surprised to meet Dmitriy Voloshin, an openly gay man, with a PhD in education from Santa Cruz, and who immigrated to this country almost 23 years ago from the Ukraine. According to Slavic Sacramento, the City of West Sacramento has a population of over 50,000, and approximately 10% are Russian. There has never been a person of Russian decent who has served on the school board. The PAC thought Dmitriy could make a significant contribution as both a gay man and a voice for the Russian community. The other two candidates picked by the PAC were also impressive. Alicia Cruz is an incumbent with a 45 year history of activism in the West Sacramento community. Alicia said that she and her children have attended the schools where she now serves as a Board member. The PAC thought her connections to the community and her fierce dedication to education would serve the school district well. Alicia shared that her opinions about LGBT issues have changed over the years because of discussions with her daughter’s friends from school. The PAC was impressed with her openness and willingness to learn about LGBT issues and to set policy at the Board level to support LGBT youth. The other endorsed candidate was Jackie Thu-Huong Wong. She has over 20 years of experience as a teacher, school social worker, district administrator, senior policy advisor and children’s advocate. Jackie spent six years at the California Department of Education developing and implementing policies to improve the education of students. Both her young children attend schools in the district. The PAC thought her professional work experience would be a good match for the district. Jackie was pleased with the endorsement and shared with me, “Being a Southeast Asian refugee child, it means a lot to me that Stonewall supports the cultivation of more women with my background in public office.” This race also included another LGBT candidate of note named Danny Thirakul, a 19 year old, who has just graduated from the school district. Danny said he was running because there is a lack of youth and minority representation on the school board. While the PAC didn’t endorse Danny because his campaign needed more development, this is a young man who the PAC hopes will continue to build his knowledge of campaigns and run again. Solano Community College Board If you get a chance to meet Quinten Voyce, you will find him refreshing. This is his first run for public office, and he is quickly and ardently learning how to put together a strong campaign. He is a high school science teacher in Solano County, with a Master’s Degree in Education who just happens to be gay. In his Stonewall Questionnaire, Quinten shared with us the joy of seeing his gay brother marry his partner of 10 years last year. Quinten is a strong voice for LGBT rights, and said, “I believe our community college programs would benefit from a safe-spaces campaign, especially in our vocation training programs, to make sure that there is a welcoming and safe environment for LGBT students and staff.”

Quarterly- Fall 2016  
Quarterly- Fall 2016  
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