State Representative Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso) is one of six finalists nominated for the Victory Fund’s first-ever Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award.
The award was created to honor an up-and-coming state or local LGBT elected official “whose promising political career will move forward equality.” The award is named after Tammy Balwin, an openly-lesbian Democrat who is the junior U.S. Senator from Wisconsin.
According it it’s website, “the Victory Fund is the only national organization dedicated to elevating openly LGBT leaders who can further equality at all levels of government.”
González came out as pansexual (she is attracted to various gender identities) after being elected in 2012. In 2015, she was honored by Equality Texas with the Advocate Award which is given annually to “a public figure or figures with a steadfast reputation for supporting issues of equality for all Texans.”
In their award announcement, Equality Texas praised Gonzalez for championing House Bill 71 to equalize Texas’ “Romeo and Juliet” defense and “for her outstanding advocacy on behalf of LGBT people in the 83rd and 84th Legislative Sessions.”
The same year she received the Equality Texas award, Gonzalez was honored by having a transitional center for LGBT youth in El Paso named after her. The center serves hot meals, connects young people with resources and provides clothes and toiletries. Eventually, the center will include a shelter.
“We always need to make sure that we are taking care of our most vulnerable young people,” González told the El Paso Times at the time. “We know that we need to have a place where they will feel safe.”
The five other finalists nominated for the Tammy Baldwin Award are: State Rep. Evan Low from California; State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith from Florida; State Rep. Leslie Herod from Colorado; and Mayor Alex Morse of Holyoke, Massachusetts.
October 31 is the last day to vote for a nominee for this award. Votes can be cast on the at this link on the Victory Fund’s website.
“One of my political role models is Senator Tammy Baldwin, an amazing U.S. Senator who has shown courage, strength, dedication, and grace,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “I am honored and excited to be a finalist for the Tammy Baldwin award. I stand with the LGBTQ community. I am grateful for this nomination, and will continue to fight for socially just policies that benefit all members of our community.”