Loretta Sanchez Wants to Represent All Californians
by Jonathan Taylor
Loretta Sanchez is known for her support of military personnel, veteran’s rights, women’s rights and the LGBT community. Currently, she is running for the U.S. Senate, challenging Kamala Harris to replace Barbara Boxer.
Representative Sanchez has been a long-time supporter of LGBT rights. “Discrimination against any group is unacceptable,” she told me in a recent interview. “I have always supported the LGBT community, marriage equality, and our LGBT service members long before it was the popular thing to do.
“I had a cousin that I grew-up with that came out as gay. He was a successful hairstylist, homeowner, and business owner. He was also one of the early cases of HIV/AIDS. I saw him lose his business, his home and denied healthcare because of the disease. I saw government turn its back on my cousin, which is why I have always been a strong supporter of equality for the LGBTQ community.”
She has fought for awareness, funding, and treatment of HIV and AIDS; “As a member of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Task Force, I work with my colleagues to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In 2009, I voted for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act. I also support the President’s National HIV/AIDS Initiative for the United States.”
She understands that many of the problems facing the LGBT community begin at youth; “LGBT youth must be guaranteed protection in schools and other institutional environments. I have supported policy and legislation that protects LGBTQ youth in schools, including Seth’s Law (AB9) and AB1156.”
She is also fighting for an end to violence; “I proudly voted for the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009.” Even with the progress of winning marriage equality last year, she is aware the fight is not over and says; “I believe the First Amendment Defense Act would roll back all the progress we have made in equality. The passage of such legislation would be detrimental for this country. Any source of discrimination should be eliminated. We cannot pick and choose who deserves the right to equal protection under the law. I will oppose the nomination, confirmation, and/or election of judges or justices that are opposed to full legal equality for the LGBTQ community. Passing the Equality Act is crucial for the LGBT community and I have cosponsored this bill.”
As a Hispanic woman in the House of Representatives she is a pioneer. From Southern California, she who advocates for the diversity of the people of the state. She fights for our veterans; “I have chosen to advocate for veterans and the military because they put their lives on the line to ensure our freedoms. Rep. Nancy Pelosi appointed me to the Homeland Security Committee right after the 9/11 attacks based on my Armed Services Committee experience and knowledge.”
Representative Sanchez has supported equal pay for women; co-sponsoring the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. She says there is still significant work ahead; “I will continue to champion legislation to drastically reduce gender inequality in the U.S. Senate, specifically by working to eradicate gender inequality in the workplace, addressing violence against women, and ensuring that women have the right to control their reproductive health.”
She is known for building relationships across party lines and gaining bipartisan support. “I served under Republican Presidents and in the Republican majority in Congress and one must be able to work with your colleagues on behalf of your constituents.”
She has advocated for an end to assault on women, in the military, domestically, and internationally; “Human trafficking is modern-day slavery … a blatant violation of human rights … over 17,000 thousand victims are trafficked in America every year. I have consistently spearheaded legislation to address human trafficking, including the 2016 DHS Human Trafficking Prevention Act and will continue to do so in the U.S. Senate.”
Running to replace Senator Boxer, Sanchez says; “Senator Barbra Boxer never backed down and wasn’t afraid to fight for the people of California. I will continue Sen. Boxer’s legacy of doing what is right, not what is easy, in the U.S. Senate. I took the tough votes in the House. I voted against the Iraq War, against the Patriot Act, and against the wall street bailouts.”
Jonathan Taylor has written for Examiner.com and Stonewall Democrats Quarterly and is an LGBT political and economic writer, with a B.S. in Accountancy from University of Phoenix, and a Master of Legal Studies from Drexel University.