Gay state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) has endorsed a gay Latino activist seeking a Los Angeles-area Assembly seat.
This week Ammiano announced his support for Luis Lopez, a founding board member of the Latino LGBT political action committee Honor PAC. In a statement released by Lopez’s campaign, Ammiano called him “living proof the California dream is still alive.”
“He has come from an immigrant family in East Los Angeles and persisted through hardship to get excellent training and apply it capably in service to his neighbors,” stated Ammiano, who is running for re-election himself next year.
He added that, “Luis doesn’t back down in a fight. He has repeatedly shown leadership in advancing full equality for LGBT people and families.”
The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund earlier this year also endorsed Lopez. And in a rare decision, as she often does not make political endorsements, L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center CEO Lorri L. Jean has also decided to publicly support Lopez.
“Luis has not only taken leadership and founded organizations that have become a vital part of the fabric of our community like Honor PAC, an organization that has really been setting a national trend for empowering Latino LGBT people in the political realm, but he has been involved in other sorts of grassroots organizations that are designed to make the community stronger,” Jean recently told the Bay Area Reporter. “And not just the LGBT community but they also make our city work better.”
Lopez is running for the Assembly’s 51st District, which encompasses Northeast Los Angeles and East L.A. Yet he and his partner, Hans Johnson, (seen in photo at left) own a home in Silver Lake that falls into the newly drawn 43rd Assembly District based in Burbank where an incumbent Assembly member will be seeking re-election.
The boundary line between the two districts is basically at his property line, said Lopez. Because state law requires legislative candidates to live within the district they are seeking, the couple recently rented a place in Eagle Rock.
“I am the proudest, newest, happiest resident of the Eagle Rock community,” Lopez told the B.A.R. during a fundraiser he held in San Francisco this month. “It’s an area I’ve always liked. We are going to love it; we already do.”
The couple is keeping its Silver Lake home, and Lopez said he isn’t concerned about being labeled a “carpetbagger” by his opponents for moving into a different district.
“I was born in East L.A. and served on the Silver Lake Council as its president,” said Lopez, noting that most of Silver Lake falls within the new 51st Assembly District.
He also served as president of the East Area Planning Commission, which he has served on since 2008. The planning body, noted Lopez, covers most of the district he wants to represent. Its jurisdiction excludes East L.A. since it is an unincorporated area.
“The reality is no one has a deeper track record of service in the district than I have,” said Lopez.