Letters to the editor

  • by BAR staff
  • Wednesday February 14, 2024
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Letters to the editor

Foreign policy group backs Ratevosian

In November, voters will face the most important election of our lifetimes. On the ballot will be the future of American democracy, protections for vulnerable communities and human rights for all, and the moral character of the U.S. role in the world.

At this critical moment, with so much at stake, we should be grateful for every candidate willing to run and serve our communities in Congress. But in California's 30th Congressional District, one candidate stands out from all the rest.

Jirair Ratevosian, Ph.D., will be on the March 5 primary ballot in Southern California. He is an extraordinarily talented and dedicated public servant, a respected public health expert, and a lifelong advocate for equity and justice. As a former adviser to Congressmember Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) in Congress, he led the fight to mobilize resources to fight HIV/AIDS around the world. At the State Department, he delivered life-saving aid to communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ratevosian is running now to represent his home community as a continuation of that lifetime of service. He's a rare leader with a track record of listening to stakeholders, developing solutions, and delivering results. At Foreign Policy for America, we're very proud to endorse him.

Andrew Albertson, Executive Director

Foreign Policy for America

Washington, D.C.

Standing united against attacks on trans youth

As a coalition of LGBTQ+ and allied organizations, we write to address a range of attacks on transgender youth in California. In 2023 alone, states around the country introduced hundreds of bills restricting the rights of transgender young people. California has long been one of the most inclusive and welcoming places in the nation for LGBTQ+ people, but even we are now facing a distressing surge of threats against the rights and safety of transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex youth.

Across our state, far-right school board members are pushing policies that deny students access to essential historical information about LGBTQ+ people, forcibly out transgender students, and undermine the basic rights of transgender youth to use facilities and participate in school activities aligned with their gender identity. These actions jeopardize the safety of all students and undermine the fundamental values of equality and dignity that should be the bedrock of California schools.

And now, many of these same extremists are collecting signatures to advance a ballot measure that would roll back the rights of all transgender youth in California. Their hateful efforts would strip away vital civil rights protections painstakingly established for transgender youth and their families, including their rights to safely be themselves at school, participate in youth sports, access school facilities consistent with their gender identity, and receive life-saving gender-affirming care. The weight of this moment is heavy, and we share the fears and worries expressed by many Californians.

Protecting the rights of every LGBTQ+ person, safeguarding our loved ones, and nurturing an inclusive future for transgender youth are non-negotiable. Our organizations, along with many other partners and allies, have been working tirelessly to address the harm that these attacks have on our youth, and we stand ready to take action whenever and wherever needed to protect our communities.

Nothing is more crucial to us than safeguarding your rights, your loved ones, and your children's future. We are continuing to actively monitor the proposed ballot measure and stand ready to take any essential action necessary to prevent its advancement. Together, we will overcome these attacks on our community and pave the way for a California where every individual, regardless of gender identity, can continue to thrive in safety and dignity.

Tony Hoang, Executive Director

Equality California

Jodi Hicks, CEO

Planned Parenthood of California

Bamby Salcedo, President and CEO

The TransLatin@ Coalition

Camila Camaleón, President

San Gabriel Valley LGBTQ Center

Ezak Perez, Executive Director

Gender Justice LA

Kathie Moehlig, Executive Director

TransFamily Support Services

Ashley Morris, Organizing Director

ACLU of Northern California

Amanda Goad, Audrey Irmas Director

LGBTQ Gender and Reproductive Justice Project

ACLU of Southern California

Tai'Rance S. Kelly Sr., Founder/CEO

Tranz of Anarchii Inc.

Terra Russell-Slavin, Chief Impact Officer

Los Angeles LGBT Center

Imani Rupert-Gordon, Executive Director

National Center for Lesbian Rights

Ebony Harper, Executive Director,

California TRANscends

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