17 May 2010 – Today almost 100 leaders from the transgender community and their allies gathered at the state Capitol for the first-ever Transgender Advocacy Day. Presented by Equality California Institute and the Transgender Law Center, participants met with state legislators to educate them on the need for good jobs and healthcare in the transgender community.
“Transgender Californians are twice as likely to earn wages below the federal poverty line compared to the state’s general population,” said Equality California executive director Geoff Kors. “We must act swiftly in order to bring an end to this economic disparity. In partnership with our state’s leadership, I am confident we can help ensure equal access to economic opportunities for all Californians.”
Participants also discussed the Data Inclusion Act, an Equality California-sponsored bill introduced by Assemblymember Ted W. Lieu (D-Torrance), which is the first bill in the nation that would require the state to add questions about sexual orientation, gender identity and domestic partnership status in the voluntary demographic section of California’s government forms, enabling the state to gather vital data about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community’s use of public services, such as health care, unemployment, the AIDS Drug Assistance Program and programs for women, infants and children.
“One reason transgender Californians are overlooked in state programming is that we are not counted in the U.S. Census and other population surveys,” said Masen Davis, executive director of the Transgender Law Center. “With the Data Inclusion Act, the state can ensure that transgender Californians receive the services and support we need to thrive.”
The Transgender Advocacy Day was preceded by the 5th Annual Transgender Leadership Summit, Capitol T: Growing a Movement for Transgender Equality, hosted at the University of California at Davis.
Equality California Institute (EQCAI) educates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and the public at large about issues impacting the LGBT community and our allies. Established in 2000, EQCAI organizes and empowers individuals, communities and allied groups to work proactively for fairness, equality and justice. www.eqcai.org
The Transgender Law Center (TLC) is a civil rights organization advocating for transgender communities. TLC uses direct legal services, policy advocacy, public education, and movement building to transform California into a state that recognizes and supports the needs of transgender people and their families. www.transgenderlawcenter.org