By Bonnie Osborn –

Sacramento Rainbow PAC Endorses Ben Phillips for SMUD Board

            Oct. 23, SACRAMENTO—The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce political action committee, Rainbow PAC, has endorsed Ben Phillips for SMUD Board of Directors, Ward 5.

Phillips has a corporate telecommunications and financial services background and is active in numerous community organizations and causes, including green energy and human rights.

“Ben Phillips has worked tirelessly for the betterment of the Sacramento community in the areas of small business development, human rights, and green energy and sustainability. He has played a leadership role in bringing diverse segments of the community together and in helping pass legislation supporting California gay- and lesbian-owned businesses,” said Rainbow Chamber of Commerce President Dr. Darrick Lawson. “I am proud our Chamber has voted to endorse Ben Phillips for SMUD Board Ward 5.”

Phillips has held management positions with Fortune 500 companies and financial institutions, including Pacific Bell, SBC Communications, The Golden 1 Credit Union, Solano First Federal Credit Union, and the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce. Phillips has served two terms as vice chair of the SMUD Community Advisory Panel, which provides outreach to help small businesses become SMUD vendors. He has served as a board member of the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce since 2010 and previously served as board vice president. He currently serves on the board of the Sacramento Gay & Lesbian Center. He is a founding and charter board member of the Sacramento Metropolitan Lions Club. He has contributed to the Metro EDGE Regional Action Committee. Phillips was recognized as the 2011 Ambassador of the Year for the Sacramento Asian Chamber of Commerce and was a 2011 finalist for the Sacramento Business Journal’s “Top 40 under 40.” He lives in Sacramento with his partner Lonny and in his spare time enjoys coaching and mentoring new business owners.

Phillips is one of two openly gay candidates endorsed by the Rainbow PAC. The other, Steve Hansen, is a candidate for Sacramento City Council District 4. In 2011, the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce played a leading role in a redistricting effort resulting in a redrawn central city district that encompasses nearby Land Park and a unified voting population identified as being largely LGBT-positive. If elected, Hansen would be the first openly gay person to serve on the Sacramento City Council.

The Chamber’s non-partisan Rainbow PAC supports candidates and issues that foster equality, inclusion and a prosperous business environment. Other candidates endorsed by the PAC before the primary include former City Council member and SMUD Director Rob Kerth for Sacramento City Council District 2; Rancho Cordova City Councilmember Ken Cooley for State Assembly District 8; incumbent Assemblymember Roger Dickinson, who carried AB 1960 supporting California LGBT-owned small business; Assemblymember Dr. Richard Pan, who carried AB 1505 to help California LGBT veterans; Rep. Doris Matsui for Congressional District 6; and Jack Uppal for Congressional District 4.

Established in 2012, the RainbowPAC supports candidates for public office and ballot initiatives that will have an impact on the Sacramento area’s LGBT community and its many businesses and enhance the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce members’ awareness of political and social issues. Visit www.rainbowpac.org for more.

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