LOS ANGELES, January 11, 2022 — As President Biden, Vice President Harris and advocates across the country continue to push for federal action to safeguard the freedom to vote, Equality California announced its endorsement of California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley N. Weber on Tuesday. Secretary Weber is running for a full four-year term in 2022, after making history last year as California’s first Black Secretary of State — following her appointment to the position by Governor Gavin Newsom.

“As other states attempt to roll back voting rights, Secretary Weber has used her office to protect and expand the freedom to vote — here in California and across the country,” said Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang. “LGBTQ+ Californians are lucky to have such a dedicated partner in the Secretary of State’s office. Throughout her career, Secretary Weber has been a committed ally and a champion for full, lived equality, and we look forward to helping elect her to a full term this November.”

Weber has helped lead the nationwide fight to protect voting rights — joining lawsuits against voter suppression efforts with other secretaries of state and advocating for the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act — in the face of undemocratic attempts to limit access to the ballot box. In the Assembly, Weber was consistently one of the most outspoken champions for LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice, helping to secure key nondiscrimination protections, criminal justice reforms and laws requiring LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum in public schools.

“I’m honored to be endorsed by Equality California, with whom I have had a strong relationship for many years –– as an Assemblymember, and now as Secretary of State,” said Secretary Weber. “I firmly believe California’s strength lies in our diversity, and our shared commitment to equality for everyone who calls our state home –– no matter their sexual orientation, gender identity or anything else. I am a proud ally of the LGBTQIA+ community and a proud partner of Equality California. I look forward to fighting for the civil rights of every Californian alongside EQCA’s leadership and membership for years to come.”

Weber is the daughter of sharecroppers from Hope, Arkansas, who moved to California after her father was threatened by a lynch mob. Weber’s father did not have the opportunity to vote until he was in his 30s, and her grandfather never had the chance to cast a ballot. Although her family moved to California when Weber was three years old, it was her family’s experience in the Jim Crow South that has driven her activism and legislative work. 

In addition to Equality California, Weber has been endorsed by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla Governor Gavin Newsom, Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis; Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, Attorney General Rob Bonta, Treasurer Fiona Ma, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, Controller Betty Yee, the California Legislative Black Caucus and the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, among dozens of elected and community leaders and progressive organizations.

After Vice President Kamala Harris left the U.S. Senate in January 2021, Governor Newsom appointed then-California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to serve the remainder of Harris’ U.S. Senate term; and then Newsom appointed then-California State Assemblymember Weber to fill the remainder of Padilla’s term. The primary election for the Secretary of State position will be June 7, 2022.

For a complete list of Equality California’s 2022 endorsements, visit eqca.org/elections.

Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ+ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org