California Assemblymember Evan Low, a Democrat from the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area, has been kicked off a key legislative committee with little explanation.
Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon booted Low off the Business and Professions Committee last week. Low had been the chair of the committee for the last five years, according to TV station KTVU.
Rendon then replaced Low with Marc Berman of Palo Alto.
Low’s removal has LGBTQ+ groups concerned.
The Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee, an LGBTQ+ political action committee, said it was “shocked" and “outraged” at the situation. The group demanded an explanation from the speaker.
“Assemblymember Low’s leadership has been crucial in responding to the crisis of hate and attacks against AAPI and LGBTQ+ people. To talk about elevating leaders that represent our communities while doing the opposite is mere lip service,” the group said on Twitter.
Statewide LGBTQ+ group Equality California said Rendon’s actions are just another instance when LGBTQ+ people and Asian-Americans are sidelined from the work they can do.
“We know that when LGBTQ people are in the room, at the table, in halls of power, our civil rights and policies that benefit our community that has historically been sidelined are more likely to advance,” said Samuel Garrett-Pate, spokesperson for Equality California, according to the San José Spotlight. “But it’s not just about LGBTQ leaders advancing LGBTQ policies. We know that our LGBTQ leaders, because of their unique life experiences, bring something special to the offices they serve in.”
Low is still the chair of the Legislative LGBTQ Caucus and vice chair of the Asian and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus.
In a statement, Low said, “My colleagues and I crafted legislation to help small businesses, combat the opioid crisis, implement a system to regulate legal cannabis, and work with Gov. Gavin Newsom to protect patients and health professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
"I look forward to continuing to serve in any capacity," Low continued.