California’s statewide LGBT advocacy group announced this week it had bolstered its staff ranks and will be heading to the Central Valley to hold a community town hall.
Joining Equality California as its new chief administrative officer is Rikimah Glymph and as its communications director is Jesse Melgar.
Glymph, seen at right, had worked at ColorOfChange, a non-profit dedicated to advocating for African Americans in politics and policy, as director of operations and administration. She also worked as the director of finance and operations for the New Organizing Institute, a non-profit dedicated to giving progressive organizers access to skills and technology.
Melgar had been with public relations firm Cerrell Associates Inc., where he worked as an account executive in the campaigns, issues management and media relations practice area.
He also serves on the board of directors for HONOR PAC, the statewide Latino lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political action committee. Melgar had served as the group’s vice president of communications.
In a release announcing the hires, EQCA noted that Melgar’s fluency in Spanish will provide significant help to the agency as it expands outreach to Spanish-speaking Californians and Spanish-language media outlets.
“Rikimah and Jesse will provide significant strategy and leadership in their respective areas and build on the incredible momentum we are experiencing,” stated EQCA Executive Director John O’Connor, who took over the agency in December.
Glymph began working in the organization’s San Francisco office, where she will be based, in late April. Melgar, who will be based in Los Angeles, will start on May 13. EQCA did not provide salary information for the new employees.
Fresno town hall set for May 16
EQCA also announced it was boosting its outreach efforts in the state’s Central Valley with back-to-back events next week in Fresno.
The first will be a town hall meeting at which O’Connor will present an update on the agency and its current advocacy work in the state Legislature. There will also be a Q&A session for audience members.
Immediately afterward there will be a briefing titled “Health Happens with Equality” focused on the state’s health care exchange it is setting up as part of the federal Affordable Care Act. It is part of a series of similar talks being held statewide to educate the LGBT community about the new health insurance options created by the legislation.
“The Central Valley is an important part of our mission to bring full equality and nothing less to California, and that means both actively engaging with the community there,” stated O’Connor, “and making sure that they have access to programs like” the health care talk.
The town hall is slated to run from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 16 at the Fresno LGBT Community Center, 1055 N Van Ness Avenue, Suite A. The health care talk with go from 7 to 7:30 p.m.
Both events are free and open to the public. For questions and further information contact Bella Week at Bella@eqca.org or call (323) 848-9801.