The San Juan Unified School District is in the process of adopting new K-8 Social Science and History textbooks. These textbooks comply with California state law requiring LGBTQ-inclusive content. The School Board has received a number of public comments opposed to the adoption of the textbooks because of their LGBTQ-inclusiveness.
RainbowPAC, the non-partisan political action committee of the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, is proud to join other area organizations, including Sacramento LGBT Community Center and Stonewall Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento, in voicing our support for this important change. Here’s how you can help:
Email SJUSD Board Members to express your support for LGBTQ-inclusive textbooks. Let them know how inclusive textbooks impact you or your children, or what it would it have meant for you growing up to have seen yourself reflected in your schoolbooks. If you are an ally, let them know how important it is to the future of our community that our youth are educated in a diverse and inclusive environment.
School Board Member Email Addresses: Member Pam Costa – firstname.lastname@example.org Member Paula Villescaz – email@example.com Member Michael McKibbin – firstname.lastname@example.org Member Zima Creason – email@example.com Member Saul Hernandez – firstname.lastname@example.org Superintendent Kent Kern – email@example.com
Attend the SJUSD Board Meeting on Tuesday, April 23, to express your support for LGBTQ-inclusive textbooks. Public session begins at 6:30 p.m. in the board room of the district office at 3738 Walnut Avenue, Carmichael.Please be aware there are expected to be opponents of the new textbooks in attendance who can be expected to make highly negative comments about LGBTQ people. Members of our community who attend are encouraged to practice self-care. Come help us fill the room with supporters!
In just the past couple of weeks, our nation has been rocked to its moral core by several incidents of violence and terrorism: the hate-inspired shooting of two African American people shopping at their local grocer; the mailing of pipe bombs to two former presidents, the Jewish billionaire philanthropist George Soros, CNN and several other high-profile critics of President Trump’s policies; and, most recently, the tragic murder of 11 members of a Pittsburgh synagogue as the gunman shouted that he wanted to “kill all Jews.”
Just days before this latest string of brutal attacks, the Trump administration reported plans to redefine gender in a way that would effectively render transgender and gender non-binary individuals invisible. While LGBT people have made tremendous advances over the past few decades toward achieving societal acceptance and equal treatment under the law, equal rights for the transgender/gender non-binary community have lagged behind. Since 2016 the Trump administration has zeroed in on this vulnerable population, first threatening to ban transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military; most recently, by limiting the definition of gender to that documented on birth certificates, threatening to erase their very existence.
On behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors, we rebuke this effort by the Trump administration to deny the existence of transgender individuals in the strongest possible terms. We are honored to represent transgender business owners and individuals in our membership, and we are so proud of our LGBTQIA Rainbow Chamber Foundation Scholars, including several who identify as transgender or gender non-binary.
To those members and leaders, and to the greater transgender community, we stand with you, and we will do everything in our power to prevent the implementation of this inhumane and unjust policy.
To our LGBTQIA youth, please know that these actions taken against you or other members of our community by the current administration are wrong. They are not right or normal or moral or justified. They are not even logical. As terrible as it feels to be attacked in this way by elected officials at the highest levels, please know that most people in this country know it is wrong. We are not going to lie down, and we will not allow them to erase you.
As a Chamber of Commerce, one of our core missions is to support small business owners and to promote leadership and policies that foster small business success and economic prosperity. As an organization of LGBT and allied business owners and professionals, our core mission is to advocate for and defend diversity, inclusion and equal rights for all.
History teaches us that tyrants test their limits on the smallest and weakest populations first, before turning to larger, more challenging targets. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.
All of the above acts are attacks against American citizens and residents of our country; against freedom of religion; and against our cherished American ideals of democracy, equality and inclusion.
We know that equality–the assurance that all individuals and families have the same rights and are equally protected by the rule of law–is good for society and good for business.
Our colleagues at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) may have said it best:
The NGLCC and our partners will continue to assert that any attempt to diminish or erase transgender or gender non-binary Americans is both morally reprehensible and economically ruinous for the United States. Gender identity is distinct from biological sex, and neither is a binary to be legislated by the current administration, which has repeatedly demonstrated a desire to turn back the clock on LGBTQ progress. A proposed national policy to limit Americans’ gender identity is not only a repudiation of several major court decisions upholding LGBTQ protections under Title IX, but it also contradicts widely respected and reported scientific and economic evidence. According to NGLCC’s America’s LGBT Economy Report, which has been referenced and acknowledged by countless public and private policy experts, LGBT business owners across the nation bring countless innovations, contribute over $1.7 trillion to the economy, and create tens of thousands of jobs in their communities. Transgender and gender non-binary business owners across our country make up an important piece of these contributions, and their contributions make all of us stronger: they build our roads, improve our schools, and defend our nation. America’s transgender and gender non-binary entrepreneurs add too richly to the social and economic success of our country to be erased by their government.
To our LGB and allied community, we ask that you join us in solidarity with transgender and gender non-binary people against this and similar bigoted and short-sighted policies. One way to make your voice heard: Vote.
Early voting in Sacramento and surrounding counties is underway now. If you have not mailed your ballot, you can find the location and hours of voting centers, ballot drop-off locations and polls on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, as well as the status of your vote-by-mail or early ballot, at https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/.
If you have already cast your ballot, thank you for fulfilling your civic duty. For those who have yet to vote, we know how hectic life can be for small business owners, working professionals and students. We understand that taking the time to get your ballot in on time might seem like just one task too many in a busy day or week. We are asking you, in this critically important midterm election, to make sure your voice is heard: Please vote! Many races this year will be decided by a mere handful of votes, and every vote really does count. Our future depends upon it.
Diana DePaola Fred Palmer President Executive Director
Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled issued its decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, ruling 7-2 in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
As an organization committed to building an inclusive and equal business environment that empowers all communities to prosper and thrive, we are discouraged by a decision that allows any person to be refused service based on whom he or she loves. The unspoken message to LGBT consumers: If you are open and honest about who you are, you may be confronted and turned away. The decision is a small but disheartening step backward on our path to full equality for all.
But, while the Court’s decision is deeply disappointing, its ruling is specific to this case only, based on a concern that members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission may have evidenced an anti-religion bias. The Supreme Court upheld the principle that a public business must serve all members of the public, without discrimination. As Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said, ‘The court reversed the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision based on concerns unique to the case but reaffirmed its longstanding rule that states can prevent the harms of discrimination in the marketplace, including against LGBT people.’
We know other opponents of LGBT equality already are lined up to test that principle before the Supreme Court, and this case is no doubt the first of many to come. In California, the Unruh Civil Rights Act prohibits public businesses from discriminating based on sexual orientation, as well as race, gender or religion. But earlier this year, the Kern County Superior Court ruled in favor of a Bakersfield bakery owner who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. In the Bakersfield case, the judge said the baker’s First Amendment rights to free speech superseded the state law against discrimination, but only because the baker was being asked to create a product that violated her beliefs. In clarifying his decision, Judge David Lampe wrote:
A retail tire shop may not refuse to sell a tire because the owner does not want to sell tires to same sex couples. There is nothing sacred or expressive about a tire. No artist, having placed their work for public sale, may refuse to sell for an unlawful discriminatory purpose. No baker may place their wares in a public display case, open their shop, and then refuse to sell because of race, religion, gender, or gender identification.
While we expect to see lots more cases challenging the equal rights of LGBT people, we continue to believe, to paraphrase the late Dr. Martin Luther King, that the ‘arc of the moral universe’ still ‘bends toward justice.’ We know others will use this recent Supreme Court decision to attempt to justify different forms of discrimination against LGBT people, at other kinds businesses and public venues, but we also know that equality is good for business and good for communities. The collective spending power of LGBT people worldwide is estimated at $3.7 trillion, approximately $900 billion within the U.S. alone. Communities and economies thrive when all individuals and families are protected equally under the law, and the Chamber remains committed to working toward a future in which fairness and equality prevail.
What can you do?
VOTE! Today (June 5, 2018) is Election Day, and your vote is critically important to the future of our region, state and country! Please vote or drop off your ballot today. Check here for information about voting and ballot drop-off locations: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/polling-place/
Report discrimination. If you or someone you know has experienced discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or other factors, the California Attorney General’s office offers a list of resources and responding agencies.
Participate with RainbowPAC. Rainbow Chamber’s non-partisan political action committee endorses candidates and supports public policy measures that mirror our business-positive values of diversity, inclusion and equality. Visit here for a list of local candidates endorsed by RainbowPAC in 2018.
Participate in Sacramento Pride! Presented by the Sacramento LGBT Community Center, Sacramento Pride events are scheduled all weekend, beginning with the annual Pride Awards Friday, June 8, honoring Rainbow Chamber Past President Richard Hernandez. Learn more about the history and achievements of the LGBT civil rights movement and next steps at Pride Activated on Saturday, June 9, at Mango’s in Midtown. Then join Rainbow Chamber at the Sacramento Pride Parade/March and Festival on Sunday, June 10, at Capitol Mall.
We are grateful for all the work our member businesses, professionals and allies do every day to make our region and business community better. Thank you!
RainbowPAC, the non-partisan political action committee of the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, endorsed 15 candidates in 2018 state and local races at an endorsement event March 7 at Sierra 2 Center. Candidates in 14 races, or their representatives, spoke to the gathering. Following candidate presentations and audience discussion, Rainbow Chamber members in attendance voted on endorsement, with a 60 percent majority required for endorsement.
The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a long-standing member of the Western Business Alliance(WBA), a coalition of LGBT and allied business chambers. With the WBA and neighboring LGBT Chamber the Golden Gate Business Association, we are honored to be holding the second annual LGBT Economic Summit on March 16, 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The summit will address the economic factors and policy agendas that affect LGBT and allied businesses and communities in the western U.S. and Canada.
The full-day summit, including breakout sessions an “Power Lunch” will explore topics such as: needs of millennial LGBT entrepreneurs, LGBT homeless issues/solutions from a regional perspective, creating new LGBT entrepreneurs via ‘disruptive technologies’, removing barriers to Transgender economic development, accessing capital for LGBT businesses, and expanding LGBT participation in government/business contracting.
Through keynote presentations and panel discussions, attendees will share information, provide critical input to regional challenges, and build relationships with other LGBT and allied business leaders from 20 chambers throughout North America.
The Board of the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce is actively participating in this event and its planning efforts. We encourage any/all interested parties to join this historic, and meaningful, event. It is sure to spark a new level of momentum in the LGBT economic equality movement.
$125 Full day (includes Power Lunch, Break-outs and both receptions) REGISTER HERE
ABOUT THE WESTERN BUSINESS ALLIANCE
The Western Business Alliance, formed in 1994, is a coalition of LGBT and allied chambers of commerce located in 21 cities and 11 states in the western United States and Canada. WBA chambers are committed to expanding economic opportunities for the LGBT and allied community by promoting equality through business. Through cooperation and sharing best practices, our chambers are integral to the economic health of our region and proudly connect the more than 4000 businesses we represent located throughout the western U.S. and Canada.
THE WBA CHAMBERS INCLUDE:
Sacramento Rainbow Chamber (Sacramento, CA)
Rainbow Chamber of Commerce of Silicon Valley (Sunnyvale, CA)
Portland Area Business Association (Portland, OR)
LOUD Business of Vancouver BC (Vancouver, BC)
Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (Los Angeles, CA) Long Beach Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (Long Beach, CA) Lambda Business Association (Las Vegas, NV) Inland Northwest Business Alliance (Spokane, WA)
Greater Seattle Business Association (Seattle, WA)
Golden Gate Business Association (San Francisco, CA)
Desert Business Association (Palm Springs, CA)
North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce (Dallas, TX)
Greater San Diego Business Association
ABOUT OUR HOSTS AT THE GOLDEN GATE BUSINESS ASSOCIATION
Founded in 1974 as the world’s first LGBT chamber of commerce, the GGBA holds a special place in the history of the ever-changing economic landscape on the local, national and international levels. GGBA uses its affiliation with many organizations to build recognition for today’s vibrant LGBT business community and to foster the growth of similar organizations throughout the world