Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce President Richard Hernandez, on behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors, expressed gratitude that California voters supported Proposition 55 endorsed by the Chamber’s non-partisan political action committee, RainbowPAC, and Chamber members.
“RainbowPAC and Chamber members endorsed California Proposition 55 because it reflected our members’ view that the economic prosperity of our state depends on adequate funding for schools and hospitals and a robust social-service safety net,” Hernandez said. “We are gratified that California voters supported our choice.
“We also extend our congratulations to our successful local candidate endorsees: State Senate District 3 incumbent Cathleen Galgiani; Assembly District 7 incumbent Kevin McCarty; Assembly District 8 incumbent Ken Cooley; Rancho Cordova City Council incumbent Donald Terry; SMUD Director Ward 1 candidate Brandon Rose; Roseville City School District incumbent Gary Miller; Washington Unified School District (West Sacramento) incumbent Cody Pizzotti and candidate Jackie Wong; and Solano Community College District Trustee Area 5 Quinten Voyce.
“In addition to these successful candidates, Chamber and RainbowPAC members endorsed Sacramento Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg and Sacramento City Councilmembers Steve Hansen, Eric Guerra, Larry Carr and Allen Warren in the primary election,” Hernandez said.
“We look forward to working with these newly elected and veteran leaders on creating an economically prosperous, diverse and inclusive community.”
Dr. Darrick Lawson, owner of Healing Touch Chiropractic, civic leader and LGBT activist, has been named Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce 2015 Business Leader of the Year.
Lawson is a former board member and past president of the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce and founded the organization’s RainbowPAC. He was instrumental in helping to pass AB 1960 in 2012, which requires the state Department of General Services to collect and report voluntarily submitted information on LGBT-owned companies who contract with the state.
“I am proud to have built a successful business as an openly gay man, and to have worked with organizations such as the Chamber, the Stonewall Democrats and other institutions to create a diverse, inclusive economic environment in Sacramento where all people can be valued for their contributions rather than excluded for their differences,” Lawson said. “I am honored to receive the Business Leader of the Year recognition.”
“Darrick is an example to all of us of someone who has succeeded in business, in his family and personal relationships, and in his community,” said Chamber President Paul Weubbe. “Despite the demands of running a thriving practice Darrick gives generously of his time and leadership experience. He is an excellent choice for our 2015 Business Leader of the Year.”
The Business Leader of the Year is selected by a panel of Chamber and community leaders and recognizes an individual who has demonstrated leadership success within his or her business and the business community as well as within the Sacramento LGBT community and who has and will continue to serve as a role model for the Greater Sacramento community.
Lawson received his doctorate from the Cleveland Chiropractic College in 1991, passed his state exam and joined a Central Valley practice, where he became a partner within one year. In 2000 he relocated to Sacramento, helped build a successful practice in Orangevale, and in 2003 opened his own Midtown Sacramento office, which has grown steadily every year since.
Lawson has served on the Human Rights/Fair Housing Commission for six years and is a former chair of the commission. He was appointed by then Senate Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg to the Capitol Area Committee, which oversees development of state-owned property located near the Capitol. He has served on U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner’s Hate Crimes Task Force.
Lawson is a founding vice president and former president of the Stonewall Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento and a co-chair of the LGBT Redistricting Committee, which helped establish Sacramento’s LGBT community as a “community of interest” for city and county redistricting purposes. He is a 2012 recipient of the Stonewall Democrats Founder’s Award.
Sacramento Rainbow PAC Endorses Hansen, Kerth for City Council
Cooley, Johnson, Pannell Among Those Endorsed by Non-Partisan Business PAC
April 3, SACRAMENTO—A political action committee launched recently by the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce has endorsed candidates in two hotly contested Sacramento City Council races: Genentech executive and openly gay community activist Steve Hansen for Council District 4, and former City Council member and current SMUD Board of Director Rob Kerth for Council District 2. “I look forward to working very closely with [the] Rainbow Chamber as we expand business opportunities for everyone throughout Sacramento,” Kerth said.
“The Rainbow Chamber works tirelessly to foster a healthy economy in Sacramento, and I’m proud to have their support as we redouble our efforts to get Sacramento back in the black,” Hansen said. If elected, Hansen would be the first openly gay member of the Sacramento City Council.
Launched in February 2012, the Chamber’s Rainbow PAC supports candidates and issues that foster equality, inclusion and a prosperous business environment. Rainbow PAC Chair Dr. Darrick Lawson said the PAC fills a need for a non-partisan, business-positive PAC committed to LGBT equality and other issues of fairness and inclusion. “The Rainbow PAC will allow LGBT people of all political persuasions to have a voice in the political process,” Lawson said, “as well as support candidates and policies that promote business growth and job creation.”
At its first endorsement meeting, Rainbow PAC endorsed candidates in a number of other local-regional races, including incumbent Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who recently pledged his support of same-sex marriage by joining the national initiative “Mayors for the Freedom to Marry.” Other endorsements include Dr. Richard Pan for State Assembly District 9, who recently introduced AB 1505 to help California LGBT veterans; Rancho Cordova City Councilmember Ken Cooley for State Assembly District 8; incumbent Assemblymember Roger Dickinson for State Assembly District 7, who introduced AB 1960 to help California LGBT small business be counted within state contracting reports; and Sacramento City Council incumbents Kevin McCarty for Council District 7 and Bonnie Pannell for Council District 8, who are not known to be aligned with Mayor Johnson on issues like city redistricting, the new downtown entertainment sports complex, and most recently the city’s sewer-water plan and infrastructure.
Other Rainbow PAC endorsements include Rep. Doris Matsui for Congressional District 6 and Jack Uppal for Congressional District 4; Sacramento County Board of Supervisor candidates Jeff Kravitz for District 3 and Gary N. Blenner for District 4.; business owner Greg Higley for Elk Grove Mayor; and Twin Rivers Unified School District Trustee candidates Walter Garcia Kawamoto, Ph.D., Cortez Quinn, and Annette Emery.
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. ###