Corey Jackson makes history as the first Black and openly gay member of the LGBTQ+ community to be elected to the California State Assembly.
Corey Jackson makes history as the first Black and openly gay member of the LGBTQ+ community to be elected to the California State Assembly. Credit: twitter

S.E. Williams

Corey Jackson made history on November 8 2022, when he became the first Black openly gay member of the LGBTQ+ community to be elected to the California State Assembly. 

Jackson will represent Assembly District 60 which is largely Democratic and includes the communities Moreno Valley, Perris as well and parts of Riverside, Hemet, and San Jacinto 

It has been 44 years since Harvey Milk became the first openly gay man elected to public office in California. Milk was sworn in as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on January 6, 1978. With his victory, Milk became a forerunner in the push to elect and ensure more members of the LGBTQ+ community take positions of power at all levels of leadership. 

As Milk once declared, “If you help elect more gay people, that gives a green light to all who feel disenfranchised, a green light to move forward.” Jackson is furthering that mission.

Jackson’s election not only represents progress for the State of California and the voters in AD 60 who elected him, as well as the broader inland region, but also for members of the Black LGBTQ+ community who have long fought the dual battles for equity against racism and homophobia.

In a recent statement from Tony Hoang  executive director of Equality California, the  largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization in the nation, described Jackson as a social justice advocate and leader who has  dedicated his career to combating poverty and violence.

“He will continue to uplift vulnerable and working-class communities and bring transformational leadership to the State Assembly, and we look forward to working with him as he begins his historic term in office,” said Hoang in a written statement.  

Residents of  the Inland Empire have borne witness to Jackson’s advocacy and commitment in his many roles serving the community. One that stands out for me most significantly is his advocacy for youth. 

As founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SBX Youth and Family Services, Jackson made it his mission is to break the cycle of poverty and violence and he has demonstrated this commitment through mentoring, educating, and community organizing. 

The YAT program, created in 2001 in Riverside County to target at-risk youths for intervention, in many instances ended up doing nothing more than serving as a funnel for minority youth into the school to prison pipeline. (source: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout.org).

In his role as CEO of SBX Jackson, recognizing Riverside County’s Youth Accountability Program was treating youth, particularly those of color, as if they were hardened criminals for what most would consider minor teenage misbehaviors, he joined forces with the ACLU and filed a lawsuit and put a stop to it.  

The class action lawsuit filed in July 2018 reached a historic settlement putting an end to the maltreatment of the youth and the misguidance of their parents.

Regardless of race or sexual orientation Jackson has proven he is committed to making a difference and has the skills, ability and determination to advocate and work for change. He is the kind of leader the inland region and all of America needs to create the beloved community and more perfect union for which we aspire.

Of course this is just my opinion. I’m keeping it real.

Author

  • Stephanie Williams is executive editor of the IE Voice and Black Voice News. A longtime champion for civil rights and social justice in all its forms, she is also an advocate for government transparency and committed to ferreting out and exposing government corruption. Over the years Stephanie has reported for other publications in the inland region and Los Angeles and received awards from the California News Publishers Association for her investigative reporting and Ethnic Media Services for her weekly column, Keeping it Real. She also served as a Health Journalism Fellow with the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism. Contact Stephanie with tips, comments. or concerns at myopinion@ievoice.com.

S.E. Williams

Stephanie Williams is executive editor of the IE Voice and Black Voice News. A longtime champion for civil rights and social justice in all its forms, she is also an advocate for government transparency and committed to ferreting out and exposing government corruption. Over the years Stephanie has reported for other publications in the inland region and Los Angeles and received awards from the California News Publishers Association for her investigative reporting and Ethnic Media Services for her weekly column, Keeping it Real. She also served as a Health Journalism Fellow with the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism. Contact Stephanie with tips, comments. or concerns at myopinion@ievoice.com.