Editorial: Stefani is best choice for SF Assembly

  • by BAR Editorial Board
  • Wednesday January 31, 2024
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Assembly candidate Catherine Stefani. Photo: Courtesy the candidate
Assembly candidate Catherine Stefani. Photo: Courtesy the candidate

San Francisco residents on the city's west side have an opportunity to elect a new member of the state Assembly and, for the March 5 primary, we recommend District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani.

Assemblymember Phil Ting (D), an ally who is termed out, has done an admirable job during his time representing the 19th Assembly District and has passed some significant LGBTQ-related legislation, including the establishment of all-gender restrooms for local businesses. Stefani, a Democrat and longtime ally who has a gay sister and a trans brother, will continue that advocacy, including around services for trans and nonbinary residents. As she wrote in her Bay Area Reporter endorsement questionnaire, "I support policies to improve access to gender-affirming care and other necessary health care services for transgender people. I believe we should increase state funding for organizations that serve transgender and gender-nonconforming people, to ensure that they have access to necessary care, housing, and financial assistance." Stefani added that she also supports "policies to protect incarcerated transgender people and their right to be housed consistent with their gender identity."

Stefani also supports state funding for an LGBTQ history museum in San Francisco or elsewhere in the state. Readers may recall that the GLBT Historical Society has long been working toward a full-scale, freestanding LGBTQ history museum in the city but has yet to find a site. A combined $17.5 million in state and local funding has been earmarked for the project. Stefani stated that she would be "eager to discuss further with LGBTQ+ advocates, organizations, and residents throughout the state" how to support such an institution.

Gun reform is a top issue of Stefani's — she founded the San Francisco chapter of Moms Demand Action to take on the National Rifle Association — and noted that she stood with the LGBTQ+ community after the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in June 2016. Through her gun violence prevention work, Stefani stated that she's "marched in the streets to disarm all forms of hate."

Stefani noted that she's been endorsed by statewide LGBTQ rights group Equality California and looks forward to partnering with the organization on things such as its public school survey. In the last two reports, a majority of districts have not responded. If state legislation is needed to require school districts to respond to the biennial report, Stefani said she's on board with that.

Overall, Stefani would be a solid ally in the Legislature, at a time when trans rights are under threat and conservative school districts seek to roll back students' rights. We think she will be a great addition to the Assembly and an unwavering voice for LGBTQ equality.

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