By Elijah Lefkow
Looking for some hopeful optimism to counter Donald Trump’s ugly, bigoted politics in 2020? Meet LGBTQ San Diego County News’ Woman of the Year: Georgette Gomez.
As a young girl, Georgette helped her immigrant parents clean the office buildings across the street from San Diego City Hall. Now, she sets the agenda there — as San Diego’s first-ever queer Latina City Council president.
And what is Gomez’s agenda? Delivering more funding and better services for working people in our neighborhoods, and standing up for immigrants, women, communities of color, and everyone under assault by Trump’s hateful policies.
Gomez’s values are a part of who she is. Georgette is a lifelong San Diegan and first generation Mexican American. From her time as a community organizer fighting against domestic violence and for our environment, to now as San Diego City Council president, Georgette has never forgotten where she comes from or who she’s fighting for.
Gomez’s journey is the American dream personified. And with her campaign for Congress this year, she may also become a nightmare realized for Donald Trump. A powerful, progressive queer Latina representing America’s biggest border city in Washington … we can already imagine the nasty late-night tweets.
But it’s not Gomez’s inspiring story that truly sets her apart – it’s her relentless fight for equality, justice and fairness for San Diego families.
As City Council president, Georgette has never backed down from pushing the city to oppose Trump’s dangerous and immoral policies. Taking office just weeks before Trump’s inauguration, Georgette authored the resolution putting the city on record against Trump’s border wall and she fought to ban the city from doing business with companies building Trump’s wall.
From day one, Georgette has been a strong voice for joining lawsuits to stop the Trump administration’s attacks on equal rights for transgender students and his never-ending threats against the Dreamers.
And Gomez deserves credit for fighting to deliver serious progressive change to make life better for San Diego families. Georgette authored the San Diego’s Housing Action Plan and engineered the landmark compromise to spur more affordable housing construction. She’s been unwavering in her support for expanding proven programs to tackle the homelessness crisis so more families can get off the street and into housing, treatment and supportive services.
And Georgette shepherded the Community Choice Energy plan through the City Council to achieve 100% clean energy for San Diego by 2035 – a massive win for our environment and ratepayers. These are big time progressive accomplishments for San Diego and none of them would have been possible without Gomez’s proven, progressive leadership.
A lot of political insiders have been surprised by just how effective Gomez has been at City Hall. Not us.
Before winning her underdog race for City Council in 2016, Georgette spent over a decade as a community organizer taking on corporate polluters and powerful special interests to clean up the environment. She directed the Toxic Free Neighborhoods Campaign to keep toxic chemicals away from children and polluting industries out of residential neighborhoods. Early in her career, Gomez was a counselor for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Georgette is dedicated, passionate and she never gives up. You can see it in what she’s fought for all her life.
Georgette fought to overcome tough challenges, from poverty to discrimination, growing up as the queer daughter of Mexican immigrants. She fought for victims’ rights and cleaner, healthier neighborhoods as a community organizer. And now, as San Diego City Council president, she’s fighting every day to stand against Trump’s hate, defend our values and put our community first.
That’s why Georgette Gomez is our woman of the year in 2019. And if Georgette wins her congressional race and becomes America’s first LGBTQ Latina congresswoman, we may just make her woman of the year again in 2020!