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West Hollywood, CA — Saturday, June 2, 2012, The Stonewall Young Democrats & the Honorable Betty Yee announced The SYD 6th Annual HERO Awards 2012 Honorees: Year of the Women.

List of The SYD 6th Annual HERO Awards 2012 Honorees:

  • Honorable Dianne Feinstein, California United States Senator
  • Honorable Debra Bowen, California Secretary of State
  • Honorable Cynthia Loo, Referee, LA Superior Court
  • Susan Dunlap, CEO, Planned Parenthood-Los Angeles

Lifetime Achievement Award:

Honorable Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Feinstein has built a reputation as an independent voice, working with members on both sides of the aisle to find common-sense solutions to the problems facing California and the Nation. Dianne was first elected to the Senate in 1992. Since then, she has built a legacy of accomplishment – helping to strengthen the nation’s security both here and abroad, combat violence and crime, combat cancer, protect California’s environmental jewels, and secure funding for critical projects.

Dianne’s career has been one of firsts – she was the first woman President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the first woman Mayor of San Francisco, the first woman elected Senator of California, and the first woman member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Dianne entered public service in 1969, when she was elected to the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors and served 2 ½ terms as President of the Board. She became Mayor of San Francisco in November 1978 following the assassination of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.

When it comes to politicians who have stepped up in the fight for LGBT equality, Senator Dianne Feinstein is at the top of the list. Her long work for the LGBT community dates back to her work alongside city supervisor Harvey Milk and more recently sponsoring a dozen private bills blocking the deportation of bi-national couples in the state, as well as her support for the proposed Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

We are proud to honor Senator Feinstein. When the LGBT Community most needed her, she was there!


Trailblazer Award: Susan Dunlap

Sue Dunlap has been a leader in women’s health advocacy for over a decade. Sue currently serves as the CEO of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles (PPLA) and the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County. She previously served as Vice President of External Affairs at PPLA, overseeing Public Affairs, Communications Marketing, 501(c)(4), and PAC operations. Her leadership has helped defeat three anti-choice ballot initiatives in California and increase reimbursement rates for family planning providers.

Prior to joining PPLA, Sue was the Deputy Political Director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in Washington D.C. While in Washington, she developed and implemented a national strategy to increase the visibility of women’s health in the 2004 elections and coordinated Planned Parenthood’s first presidential debate. Sue has also served as the Vice President of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. During her tenure, she led strategic efforts to pass and defeat hundreds of bills, and oversaw the signing of seven groundbreaking measures, including California’s Reproductive Privacy Act, which guarantees the Constitutional protections of Roe v. Wade in state law.

In addition to her work at Planned Parenthood, Sue has worked as a producer ofdaily news and political programs for National Public Radio. Sue’s award-winning article, “Queer Citizenship/Queer Representation: Politics Out Of Bounds,” appears in The Politics of Gender(United Nations University Press, 2008). She received her B.A. in Political Science and Psychology and completed all coursework for a Masters degree in Latin American Studies at San Diego State University.

Earlier this year, Assemblywoman Betsy Butler recognized Sue as her “Woman of the Year” honoree. We’re proud to recognize Sue!


Mentorship Award: Honorable Debra Bowen

A pioneer in open government reform, election integrity, and personal privacy rights, Debra Bowen became only the sixth woman in California history elected to a statewide constitutional office when she was elected as Secretary of State in 2006. Secretary Bowen was reelected to her second term in November 2010.

First elected in 1992 to represent the 53rd Assembly District in west Los Angeles County, Secretary Bowen served three terms before being elected to represent the 28th Senate District in 1998. She then served two terms in the Senate until she was elected Secretary of State in 2006. Prior to being elected Secretary of State, Bowen served six years in the State Assembly (1992-1998) and eight years in the State Senate (1998-2006). As a legislator, Secretary Bowen authored several election-related laws designed to boost integrity, including measures related to verifiable paper trails and public audits.

When gay marriage was temporarily legalized in California in 2008, Secretary of State Debra Bowen was the host the marriage of Dennis Mangers and Michael Sestak in the Secretary of State’s auditorium. The Secretary of State’s office is the home of the State Archives, and holding the ceremony in the building that documents the history of earlier struggles for human rights felt right for Debra- and it’s a message that was not lost on those in attendance that day. Later, she had the great privilege of officiating over the marriage of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Zeke Zeidler and Jay Kohorn.

In short, Debra has been there early and very publicly arguing that same-sex couples should have the right to marry. She supports marriage equality and has done so very publicly and very vocally for more than a decade. As a state senator, Bowen twice vote in favor of same-sex marriage: in 2004 on Assembly Joint Resolution 85, which opposed the federal marriage amendment, and in 2005 on Assembly Bill 849, which would allow same-sex couples to marry in California.


Youth Advocacy Award: Honorable Cynthia Loo

Cynthia Loo was appointed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court on March 7, 2000. In January 2005 she received the  ”Outstanding Judicial Officer” award from the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court’s Bar Association. Referee Loo is a 1990 graduate of the University of Southern California School of Law. While in law school, Cynthia was a legal intern at AYUDA, a non-profit agency assisting low-income individuals in immigration, domestic violence, and landlord tenant matters. She was an extern and research attorney for U.S. District Court Judge Edward Rafeedie, as well as a law clerk at the ACLU and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Referee Cynthia Loo has been a long-time straight ally of Stonewall Young Democrats since its inception in 2004. Since then, Cynthia has been an integral part of SYD’s success in helping elect pro-equality candidates to offices by helping us raise the money needed to run successful campaigns in Los Angeles. She is a member of the Lesbian & Gay Lawyers Association of Los Angeles. Cynthia has prioritized a forgotten population of Youth who go through the Juvenile Justice System, LGBT Youth. She has urged officials and group care facilities to reassess their treatment of transgender and gender non-conforming youth and to adopt policies and practices that provide these youth with appropriate, fair and equal care.

For the past five years she has presided over juvenile delinquency cases in the Eastlake Juvenile Courthouse in East Los Angeles. In an article in which she was profiled in LA Youth, it concluded, “One day in one court isn’t enough for me to understand the whole court system, but by the time we left, I had learned a lot about the mercy a judge can have. Judge Loo wasn’t only fair; she was respectful, and she wanted to help teenagers live meaningful lives.”

Emails for Small Business with Constant Contact

This year event to be hosted (Master of Ceremonies) by Activist, Philanthropist, TV Personality, Actress Raquel Castaneda, Cast Member, Showtimes The Real “L” Word.

The SYD 6th Annual HERO Awards 2012 will be held at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites located 404 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90071-1710 on Saturday, August 25, 2012 from 4:00pm ~ 6:00pm

The event host Committee are Assemblymember Steve Bradford, Ed Buck, Ari Ruiz, Michael Colorge, Malibu Mayor Laura Rosenthal, West Hollywood Councilman John Duran.

For event Information visit: http://www.stonewallyoungdems.org/heroes and for general tickets and sponsorship opportunities visit http://stonewallyoungdems.org/heroes/sponsor-us

About SYD HERO Awards:
The SYD Annual HERO Awards, now in its sixth year, recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of the rights of the LGBT Community. Past recipients include: Congresswoman Judy Chu, Maria Elena Durazo, Karina Samala, Fmr. Congresswoman/US Ambassador Diane E. Watson, West Hollywood City Council Member Jeffrey Prang and Jorge Valencia. For more information visit http://stonewallyoungdems.org/heroes

About SYD: Founded in 2004, Stonewall Young Democrats is a community of dedicated youth passionate about political and societal issues. They strive to give voice to LGBTQ youth and take action in a grassroots manner on matters of both local and national significance. For more information visit www.stonewallyoungdems.org

For last year before and after coverage visit:



Sources: http://stonewallyoungdems.org, Diversity News Magazine, Examiner.com, Yahoo Voices, Diversity News Publications.
Photos and Graphic credit to: Stonewall Young Democrats

Editor’s Note: For a second year in a row Diversity News Magazine from Diversity News Publications is again an official and proud media partner/sponsor of the Stonewall Young Democrats 6th Annual HERO Awards 2012.

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