Redwood City Council Candidate Jason Galisatus arrived home to a disturbing site Thursday afternoon – the phrase “#gay” spray-painted across his landlord’s fence.
Galisatus, who is gay, brought up the discovery of the graffiti during a discussion about diversity at the Climate Forum for City Council candidates Thursday night. On Friday, Galisatus told Climate he plans to file a report with the Redwood City Police Department “to ensure that the incident is documented.”
A longtime community advocate, Galisatus, recently endorsed by the Bay Area Reporter, an LGBT news publication, believes the graffiti is connected to an increasingly vitriolic political climate.
While Galisatus was moved by statements of support from his fellow candidates when he shared the incident Thursday night at a City Council Candidate Forum, he said it brought his general unease about the divisive national dialogue into sharp focus.
“This was a direct and bigoted attack on who I am, at my home,” he said. “We need to acknowledge that intolerance exists in our community and what happened is an unfortunate reminder.”
In referring to the ensuing discussion at Thursday’s candidate forum around race, culture, representation and community, Galisatus said, “It’s important that we have these conversations in public forums and at home, and I commend my fellow candidates who acknowledged that we have work to do on these issues, even in Redwood City.”
When asked if the incident changed his outlook on his candidacy, Galisatus said, “It was unsettling, but I want to be clear – we will not be intimidated. It is our duty as City leaders to be outspoken and on the Council, I will work to ensure that all residents of Redwood City are treated with dignity and respect. Every one of our residents – every person, every generation and every neighborhood deserves a voice in City Hall.”