The California Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus Announces New Leadership for the 2023-2024 Legislative Sessions

November 01, 2022

SACRAMENTO, CA — The California Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus elected Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) as Chair and Assemblymember Chris Ward (D-San Diego) as Vice Chair. The new leadership will transition on December 5, 2022.

“I am proud to see the historic increase in LGBTQ+ Caucus membership with the new class of incoming LGBTQ+ legislators,” said Assemblymember Evan Low, outgoing Chair of the LGBTQ+ Legislative Caucus. “The California State Legislature has never had this many openly LGBTQ+ members in state history. We have built off of the foundation of those who have come before us. I am so excited to see the future of our caucus and the direction we are moving under the leadership of incoming Caucus Chair Susan Talamantes Eggman and Vice Chair Chris Ward.”

During Assemblymember Low’s time as Chair, he secured over $160 million in state funds to go directly to LGBTQ+ organizations and projects across the state. In 2021, Assemblymember Low worked with his colleagues to pass critical legislation for the LGBTQ+ community, including supporting HIV+ seniors (SB 258 Laird), creating gender-neutral retail departments (AB 1084 Low), and making it easier for LGBTQ+ parents to adopt children (AB 746 Cervantes). In 2022, the Caucus passed legislation under his leadership to support trans children seeking gender-affirming care (SB 107 Wiener), support LGBTQ+ foster children (AB 2466 Cervantes), and require LGBTQ+ cultural competency training for pharmacists (AB 2194 Ward). These are just some of the life-enriching and life-saving pieces of legislation that the California Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus has delivered for the community.

“I am deeply grateful for the faith and support my colleagues have placed in me by selecting me as the next Chair of the LGBTQ+ Caucus, “said Senator Susan Talamantes
Eggman. “In my final two years in the State Legislature, I’m honored to lead such a distinguished and historic group of legislators as we take on the many serious issues facing our community today. In these next two years, I plan to have a real focus on rural equity for the LGBTQ+ community, working as I always have to bring San Francisco services to the Central Valley. In addition, I could not ask for a better Vice Chair in Assemblymember Ward. I know we will work well together to advance the work of the Caucus.”

Serving alongside Senator Talamantes Eggman is Assemblymember Chris Ward, who was elected in 2020 to serve the 78th Assembly District representing San Diego. Assemblymember Ward focuses his legislative efforts on housing, homelessness, climate, state budget and water supply issues, while balancing other key priorities concerning constituents. Assemblymember Ward stands as the third generation of historic LGBTQ+ leaders from this district, following San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and California State Senate Pro Tempore Toni Atkins. He is also the Assistant Majority Leader of the State Assembly.

“I am honored to be chosen as the next Vice Chair of the California Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus,” said Assemblymember Chris Ward. “At a time when transgender and LGBTQ+
rights are openly being attacked and erased across the country, I am committed to working with our colleagues across the state to protect equality and guarantee that California remains a safe place for those seeking care or refuge from harm. As Vice Chair, I will continue to look for areas where we can work together to protect gay and trans youth and ensure they have support so they don’t feel isolated.”