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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.

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“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.

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.