“Toni has indeed become the pride of California and most probably a future Governor of our great State.”
Yesterday when Toni Atkins was sworn in as the 48th President of the California State Senate she made history as the first woman and member of the LGBT community to be elected to this powerful position.
She also became the second San Diegan to achieve this position. San Diego officials, civic and LGBT leaders flew to the state capital to witness Atkins make history from Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Sheriff Bill Gore, former Senators Chris Kéhoe and De De Albert, Superior Court Judges David Rubin and Paula Rosenstein to City Commissioners Nicole Murray Ramirez and Beth Kransberger, Doug Case, Russell Roybal, Kevin Tilten and Robert Gleason.
Rabbi Laurie Coskey, a member of the LGBT community came up from San Diego to give a most stirring invocation. Senator Scott Weiner of San Francisco and Senator Anthony Portantino of Los Angles gave speeches exalting Atkins outstanding leadership qualities to be Senate President (Atkins also made history as the only past speaker of the Assembly to be elected President of the Senate).
Republican Minority Leader Patricia Bates spoke of her “wholehearted support” for the Senate President and hopes that Democrats and Republicans will work more together under Atkins leadership.
“It was beyond exciting to see our Senator Toni Atkins make history as she was sworn in as the Senate President Pro Tem. Every San Diegan should celebrate her barrier-breaking accomplishment. It is a point of pride for us as a community to have one of our own at the very top of California’s leadership” stated State Assemblyman Todd Gloria.
When Atkins was finally elected by a unanimous vote she received a prolonged standing ovation and then the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court Tani Cantel-Sakauye gave Atkins the oath of office. President Atkins wife, Jennifer LaSar was by her side. In a moving speech Atkins, whose father was a coal miner in Virginia and whose family grew up in poverty spoke about the future of California and the rich diversity of its citizens. She states that all people would be welcome to the “People’s building” (State Capitol) with respect.
“In 1961, World War II Veteran Jose Julio Sarria became the first GLBT Californian to run for public office… in 1987 Harvey Milk became the first to be elected to public office and now Toni Atkins in 2018 has also made history,” stated City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez. “Toni has indeed become the pride of California and most probably a future Governor of our great State.”
Photos courtesy Nicole Murray-Ramirez