Sacramento – Equality California will honor Assemblymember Rich Gordon, Mario Guerrero of SEIU, Executive Secretary to Governor Brown Nancy McFadden, and Dana Williamson, former cabinet secretary to Governor Brown and principal of Grace Public Affairs, for their steadfast support of the LGBT community. This year’s Sacramento Equality Awards will take place Monday, March 7, 2016 at Cafeteria 15L.
Gordon will receive this year’s Vanguard Leadership Award for his years of service to the LGBT community, his leadership of the LGBT Legislative Caucus and for authoring and winning passage of legislation that has improved the lives of LGBT Californians. Gordon authored important bills advancing LGBT equality, including laws mandating LGBT cultural competency training for healthcare providers, requiring public utilities to include LGBT-owned businesses when doing outreach to minority- and women-owned contractors, and reducing the out-of-pocket costs to patients of expensive drugs to treat HIV and other conditions. Since first elected in the 1990s as San Mateo County’s first openly LGBT public official, he has worked to ensure that California invests in the education of its children, to maintain the state’s position as a leader in environmental protection, and to make sure that all Californians have access to healthcare.
“As an assemblymember and leader of the state’s LGBT Legislative Caucus, Rich Gordon has been a tireless advocate for the health and wellbeing of LGBT people and the many diverse communities of which we are a part,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “As he prepares to leave the Assembly, the laws he authored are a strong legacy that advance the health and wellbeing of LGBT Californians.”
Mario Guerrero will receive this year’s State Farm Good Neighbor Award for making Sacramento a better place for LGBT people to live. He has over a decade of experience as a policy advocate, including serving as EQCA’s government affairs director from 2010 to 2011. He currently is legislative affairs director with Service Employees International Union, Local 1000. He serves on the board of the National LGBTQ Task Force and is past president of the Stonewall Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento, which has worked to advance LGBT civil rights and social justice through its electoral work to elect candidates supporting LGBT equality.
“Mario’s experience advocating on behalf of LGBT people makes him one of our community’s most effective advocates,” said Zbur. “Throughout his career, he has advanced LGBT equality both on the job and on the many boards and committees on which he has served. As one of the leaders of Sacramento’s LGBT community, he has devoted considerable time and energy to improving the lives of LGBT people both locally and across the state.”
Nancy McFadden and Dana Williamson will each receive Equality California’s Ally Leadership Award. Both have been key allies in Equality California’s work by advancing policies and programs within state government that benefit LGBT Californians. They had instrumental roles leading to the success of Equality California’s entire 2015 legislative package, including bills mandating the collection of LGBT demographic data, providing resources for teachers to support LGBT students who face bullying and lack of acceptance in schools, and requiring LGBT-inclusive sex education in California schools.
McFadden is executive secretary to California Governor Jerry Brown. Prior to that she was with PG&E Corporation, as senior vice president and senior advisor to the chairman and CEO, and as senior vice president of public affairs. She also served as senior advisor to Governor Gray Davis, as a senior member of the Clinton Administration, as deputy chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore and as general counsel for the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Williamson currently is principal at Grace Public Affairs. Previously, she served as cabinet secretary and senior advisor to Governor Brown, as director of public affairs at PG&E, as communications director in the California State Assembly majority leader’s office and as associate vice president of public affairs at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte.
“Nancy and Dana’s focus on and commitment to assuring full equality for LGBT people have made them impressive allies and unsung heroes of the LGBT community as a whole,” said Zbur. “As two of the governor’s top advisors, they have been on the front lines advancing policies and programs that have benefited millions of LGBT Californians. In the last several legislative sessions, they worked hand-in-hand with Equality California and we thank them and Governor Brown for the part they played in the success of on our policy agenda in Sacramento.”
Each year, Equality California recognizes individuals and organizations who have made an impact on the movement to secure full and lasting equality for LGBT people at its annual Equality Awards — a series of formal events held in San Francisco, San Diego, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, and Sacramento.
The 2016 Sacramento Equality Awards are co-chaired by Assemblymember Richard Bloom, Senator Ricardo Lara, Joseph Gregorich and Deanna Johnston. They are sponsored by AT&T, La Crema, PG&E, Sempra Energy, Southwest Airlines, and State Farm Insurance. For more information about the Equality Awards, click here. For tickets or sponsorship information, contact Scott Gizicki at or by calling .
This year’s Sacramento Equality Awards take place on Monday, March 7th, 2016 from 5:30-7:30 at Sacramento’s Cafeteria 15L, 1116 15th St. in Sacramento.