In an interview with the Stockton Record yesterday, California Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani came out as as a lesbian.
Galgiani, 47, was being interviewed about one of her pet projects, a proposed high-speed rail system, when reporter Dana Nichols raised a question about her orientation. Though she had deflected inquiries before, Galagiani decided it was time to be open—in part to help young people struggling with their sexual identity. “It sickens me that young people would think about taking their lives because of who they are,” she told Nichols.
Galgiani, a Democrat, says she didn’t come to grips with her sexuality until well into adulthood—after she was elected to represent Merced County, CA, north of Fresno.
Her announcement might cost her votes, says the Merced Sun-Star, but it remains to be seen if it’ll cost her the next election.
Although the majority of voters in Merced County are registered Democrats, when it comes to social issues, many residents express conservative leanings. In 2008, 71 percent of Merced County voters supported Proposition 8, the ban on gay marriage, while only 29 percent voted no.
However, the recent redistricting of California’s political boundaries means that, if elected, Galgiani would represent much of San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties in the state Senate. Not Merced.
That’s part of why Mary Ward, a Merced political consultant who has worked with Galgiani, said the sexual orientation disclosure won’t change a thing about her chances for election.
“The district is a very urban area. I think it has more liberal social views in San Joaquin County than it does farther south,” Ward said. “I really don’t see how it would affect her campaign. It certainly doesn’t change who she is or her voting record or how she conducts her campaigns. I don’t think revealing your sexual orientation changes who you are.”
Congrats to her on coming out. Its much more difficult under the public eye.
That said, does California really need a high-speed rail system? They’re barely paying the bills as it is.
Jason L. Tulock
Her admission will only hurt her in the polls amongst bigots.
What may cost her the election is her blind support of all policies coming out of the High Speed Authority and her blind defense of those corrupt crooks. And that she is dumb as a post.
Jay Tulock, Vacaville
No. 1 · Riker wrote, “Congrats to her on coming out. Its much more difficult under the public eye. That said, does California really need a high-speed rail system? They’re barely paying the bills as it is.”
While there seems to be a general consensus that the management of the high speed rail authority is incompetent (whether fairly or not), the system makes a lot more sense if you look at a map of California’s population density:
The high-density areas, accounting for a good chunk of the state’s population (over 37
million) are pretty much lined up with where such a the rail system would go, and the gridlock on the freeways, particularly in the San Francisco and L.A. areas, is extremely expensive. Cost estimates per resident per year are $760 in San Francisco/Oakland, $750 in San Jose, $1000 in Los Angeles, $675 in San Diego, and $605 in Sacramento. Then throw in an estimated $600 to $700 per year in car damage due to poor road conditions.
Source: http://www.rebuildca.org/road.html . Even if they are exaggerating by a factor of two, the numbers are still high enough to suggest that the status quo is just not working. Also, according to http://www.nasvf.org/index.php/membernews/50-milken-institute/5079-california-traffic-congestion-now-costs-$19-billion-per-year-according-to-milken-institute-increased-infrastructure-spending-needed-to-curb-future-losses traffic congestion in California is now at about $19 billion per year.
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