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BAYMEC COMMUNITY FOUNDATION HIRES KEN YEAGER AS ITS FIRST EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release: March 13, 2019

Media Contact: Ken Yeager ken@baymecfoundation.org 408-391-2321

The BAYMEC Community Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce that it has hired former Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager to become its first executive director. In his new post, Yeager will lead the 501(c)(3) non-profit in its mission to advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ community and educate the community on LGBTQ issues.


James Gonzales, the BAYMEC Community Foundation (BCF) Board President stated, “We are very excited to have Supervisor Yeager on board. We see it as a continuation of the great job he has been doing in the community over the past 35 years. Franky, we can’t think of anyone who knows these issues as well as he does.”


“I’m delighted to be taking on this new endeavor,” Yeager said. “There is so much that needs to be done. I think it’s important to make sure the work I’ve been championing at the city and county will continue.”


Yeager said his initial focus will be to work with high schools and local colleges to educate students about LGBTQ issues and to make sure campuses are inclusive and welcoming places. He wants to ensure that the Getting to Zero campaign he advocated for as a supervisor to battle HIV continues to be funded. Also high on his list is the building of gay-friendly senior housing, a process he initiated before leaving office.

Equally important is the adequate staffing of the County’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, which he helped create, support for the new LGBTQ homeless shelter, and funding for the Transgender Health Clinic, another two programs that he fought for.


“There is no shortage of work that needs to be done,” Yeager said. “I hope the Foundation gets to the point soon where he can open an office and be a place where interns and volunteers can work on issues of concern to our community.”


Yeager, who had established an exploratory committee for a possible run for state senate, said he decided not to pursue running and but instead focus on building the Foundation, which he sees as part of his legacy. He does not rule out running for state legislative office in the future, however.


Yeager, who along with Wiggsy Sivertsen co-founded the LGBTQ political organization Bay Area Municipal Election Committee (BAYMEC) in 1984, is Santa Clara County’s first openly gay elected official, having won an election to the San Jose/Evergreen Community College Board of Trustees in 1992. He would later be elected to the San Jose City Council in 2000 and reelected in 2004. He continued his long list of firsts when he was elected to the Santa Clara County of Supervisors in 2006 and reelected in 2010 and 2014. He was termed out of office at the end of 2018.


“Ken is the one person who can effectively bridge all the community organizations and leaders to city and county services,” said Sivertsen. I’m glad we’re not losing him to Sacramento, at least not for the time being.”


Yeager received his BA degree in Political Science from San Jose State University and his two Masters and Ph.D from Stanford University. He taught full-time at SJSU for many years before his election to the San Jose City Council. He has continued to teach at SJSU since leaving public office.


For more information about the Foundation, including how to donate and volunteer, visit our website at www.BAYMECFoundation.org.


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The BAYMEC Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation of a more equal future for individuals of underrepresented sexual orientations and gender identities in Silicon Valley and neighboring regions. To learn more information about BAYMEC Community Foundation, visit our website at BAYMECFoundation.org or email contact@BAYMECFoundation.org.