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An Historic Election For The LGBTQ Community
November 9, 2020

Dear Center Community,
An historic year calls for an historic election - and what an election it has been! First, we congratulate President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris on their historic victory. Evident by the joyful celebrations this weekend, in Hillcrest and all across the country, hope is in the air - hope for our Country's future.
In his first national address, President-Elect Biden made history in more ways than one, outwardly acknowledging the transgender community, becoming the first to do so in a victory speech. And we celebrate this historic election for Vice President-Elect Harris, as she is now the first woman, and first Black and South Asian-American woman to be elected Vice President. It is our hope that the Biden-Harris administration will unite our Country, and move us forward towards a better America for everyone.
Let us also take a moment to celebrate the Rainbow Wave that was ushered in with historic wins for LGBTQ candidates, and huge LGBTQ voter turnout. Nationally, LGBTQ candidates scored a series of historic wins. Though votes are still being counted, at least 160 of nearly 600 LGBTQ candidates on the ballot had won, nine of whom are transgender. We are on track to have the most number of LGBTQ people in the U.S. House of Representatives, including the historic elections of Ritchie Torres (NY-15) and Mondaire Jones (NY-17), both will become the first openly LGBTQ Black members of Congress; Ritchie Torres is also the first openly LGBTQ Afro-Latinx member of Congress. Transgender state legislative candidates achieved historic victories and nearly doubled transgender representation in state legislatures across the nation. Among the history-makers, Sarah McBride, Stephanie Byers, and Taylor Small, as well as Mauree Turner who became the first non-binary state legislator in American history, winning their seat for the Oklahoma state House.
Locally, the historic rainbow wave swept our region as well, with LGBTQ people being elected across levels of government. When all the votes are counted, San Diego County will be home to more than a dozen out LGBTQ elected officials throughout levels of government. From Todd Gloria, the first openly LGBTQ person and first person of color to be elected Mayor of America’s Finest City, to Terra Lawson-Remer, the first openly LGBTQ person to be elected to County Board of Supervisors, to continuing our community’s strong representation in Sacramento with the re-election of Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins and the election of Chris Ward to the Assembly, to a number of LGBTQ candidates that are on track to be elected to City Councils and other offices throughout the region, including Stephen Whitburn in San Diego, Steve Padilla in Chula Vista, Marcus Bush in National City, and Gina Roberts in Valley Center. The Center uplifts these historic wins and knows that the San Diego region is a beacon of hope for what is possible when the LGBTQ community is at the table, on the ballot, and in positions of power. We know that diversity and representation matter and we are better served when our leaders mirror all of our communities. We look forward to continued progress from these representatives to better serve our region and the lives of those living in it.

In celebration,
-Cara Dessert (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers)
Chief Executive Officer
Hear from newly-minted Unites States citizen (of  just one hour!) and first time voter who came to The Center to register and vote.
The Center is proud that over the past four months, our civic engagement team has been engaging with voters - making tens of thousands of nonpartisan calls and texts to Center supporters - to make sure everyone had the information they needed to make their voice heard and vote in this election. And to let them know that, like in years past, The Center is here for them.
Last week, The Center was proud to serve as a Super Polling location in this Election and welcomed more than 1,200 community members to drop off their ballots, vote, or register to vote and vote over four days of in-person voting. We saw families, couples, individuals, first-time voters, and seniors, all come vote, some in Halloween costumes! We saw our clients and community members, excited that The Center’s doors were open.  A senior, who lives in the senior apartments on Park Blvd, shared that she has been voting for more than 50 years, never missing an election, and was determined to walk down the street to vote at The Center. Another community member who became a US Citizen earlier that day came dressed up, with all of his paperwork, to vote for the very first time - watch his very moving video. We also had several of our Project Compassion clients come by to say hello and to vote; two clients weren’t sure if they were registered, and were able to get registered and vote right then! Time and time again, people thanked us for being there so they could vote.
This election, with its historic turnout, is about all of us. The Center is inspired by your stories, dedication, and desire to use your voices and your vote to create a brighter future. We look toward the future, knowing we need to continue to make our voices heard, hold our elected officials accountable, and advocate for issues that are important to us and affect the lives of our LGBTQ community.

-Rebekah Hook-Held (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers) 
Chief Public Affairs & Civic Engagement Officer 

AIDS Walk & Run San Diego is one of the most cherished and important HIV fundraisers for the local organizations who work hard all year long to provide HIV services and prevention programs. With the myriad challenges facing our community this year, The Center was uncertain about the fundraising outcome of this Walk & Run and the effect it would have on our 10 local HIV service organizations. The Center is excited to announce that we will be providing nearly $100,000 to our local funding recipients.

A million thanks to the generous donors, fundraisers, participants, and partners who made this year’s AIDS Walk & Run San Diego such a success.
-Ian Johnson (Pronouns: He, Him, His)
Director of Development
Join us for the Neighborhood Food Bank tomorrow Tuesday, November 10th from 7:30am - 10:30am in The Center's parking lot at 3909 Centre Street. For more information, visit the San Diego Food Bank website at or contact Sarah at 619.692.2077 x214 or
The San Diego HIV Planning Group (HPG) seeks to recognize the outstanding contributions made by persons involved in the struggle against the HIV/AIDS epidemic in our community. In doing so, we honor the memory of Dr. A. Brad Truax and his tireless dedication to prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Dr. Truax, who chaired the first advisory board on HIV/AIDS in San Diego County, was a persistent and diplomatic person who encouraged people with different interests and agendas to work together to achieve goals that benefit the community.
The Truax awards are given annually to individuals currently contributing to HIV efforts, with outstanding achievements in one or more of the areas designated below.
  • HIV Education, Prevention and/or Counseling and Testing
  • HIV Care, Treatment and/or Support Services for persons living with HIV/AIDS
  • HIV Planning, Advocacy or Policy Development related to HIV education, prevention, counseling and testing, care, treatment and/or support services
Please click the following link (English) or (Spanish) to be directed to the form. Submit by Tuesday, November 10, 2020 via email to
From the nominations received, the selection committee will designate award recipients for each of these three categories and one overall award recipient.
The Center wants you to stay connected, so join us on Zoom! We have meetings, discussions, special events, groups, and more to help you feel connected. Please visit our website, visit The Center's Facebook page, or call us at 619.692.2077 x 211 to find the right one for you. Reach out and connect with community today! 
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If your friends would like to sign up to stay informed, they can sign up here:
If you are in crisis or considering suicide, you are not alone. There are resources and help available for you:
  • Trans Lifeline: 1.877.565.8860 - For trans or nonbinary folx in the US
  • Trevor Project Lifeline: 1.866.488.7386 - For LGBT youth (18-24)
  • National Suicide Hotline: 1.800.273.8255 - For all ages & identities
  • San Diego Access and Crisis Line: 1.888.724.7240 - Free suicide prevention/intervention hotline in San Diego County
Copyright © 2020 San Diego LGBT Community Center, All rights reserved.

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