The future is bright for LGBT elected leaders in San Mateo County

San Francisco Dyke March 2016

Bay Area Reporter - Matthew S. Bajko

While no LGBT candidate ran to succeed him, Rich Gordon believes the power of the LGBT community on the Peninsula will continue to be strong. Both gay Mountain View City Councilman Chris Clark and lesbian San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan won re-election earlier this month, ensuring there is a farm team of LGBT elected leaders to run for higher office in future years.

Gordon noted, "There never were that many out electeds in San Mateo County; I was often the only one at the party." Yet in recent years he said there has been "a greater emergence of an LGBT community" in the area, pointing to the establishment of a countywide LGBT commission to ensure there is local funding for LGBT programs.

"I think the future is very bright in San Mateo County," he said.

Six women to compete for own Mavericks title: Big wave surf competition to host first women’s division

San Mateo Daily Journal - Samantha Weigel

Coastside resident and activist Sabrina Brennan, a local harbor commissioner who’s advocated for women’s inclusion and is working with the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing, said she’s thrilled to see this first step.

“This is just really fantastic news and nice that it’s happening the same year that we are hopefully going to be electing our first woman president. I think it’s a really important year for women and I’m glad to see their recognition and they’re making a significant step forward toward the inclusion of women and I hope that grows,” Brennan said.

Brennan noted many of the group’s requests — such as having women involved in the selection process, providing more than just a one-heat women’s division and an equal purse prize — still stand.

“My hope is that the event evolves,” Brennan said. “There needs to be real equity.”

Women to surf at Titans of Mavericks

The Mercury News - Julie Jag

“I’m pretty excited about what’s going on, especially since Friday I was pretty pissed off,” said Sabrina Brennan, who has been a driving force for the inclusion of women in the competition.

Brennan, a San Mateo County Harbor District Commissioner, made her initial push for inclusion when she appeared before the California Coastal Commission during its local meeting in 2015. She asked the CCC to make including women in the contest a requirement for obtaining the commission’s permit. The commission voted to adopt the requirement for future permits. 

Brennan said Wednesday’s announcement is good news. Still, she noted that the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing — the group founded by pro surfers Bianca Valenti, Keala Kennelly, Paige Alms and Andrea Moller — will continue to push for equal treatment.

“It is great news. I’m very excited about it,” Brennan said. “I think having the dialogue is very important.”

“Whoever holds the permit needs to run a professional event,” she added, “and that means including equity for women.”