Emmy Award-Winning Director and Film Producer Nneka Onurah and Former CEO of the LA LGBT Center Lorri Jean Join Rep. Barney Frank and The Exec Group Founder Jay Isak in Their Support of Jirair for Congress
LOS ANGELES (January 25, 2024) – Dr. Jirair Ratevosian, progressive Democratic candidate to represent California’s 30th district, welcomes a slew of new endorsements from notable LGBTQ+ leaders. Jirair for Congress is pleased to announce the support of Emmy Award winning director and film producer Nneka Onuorah, founder of the Exec Group, Jay Isak, former CEO of the LA LGBT Center, Lorri Jean, former Executive Director of the Black AIDS Institute Phil Wilson, and the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club who have added their names to the already impressive lineup of endorsements, including former Rep. Barney Frank, the first openly gay representative to serve in Congress.
In their endorsements, these pillars of the Los Angeles LGBTQ+ community share confidence in Jirair’s ability to represent the 30th District and note his decades of service as a public health doctor and policy director under Representative Barbara Lee. Dr. Jirair Ratevosian’s experience in organizing successful campaigns to repeal discriminatory HIV policies, expand access to syringe services programs, and mobilize billions of dollars to fight HIV make him the ideal candidate to address the health disparities faced by many members of the LGBTQ+ community and other underserved communities in Los Angeles and across the country.
Dr. Jirair Ratevosian’s growing number of endorsements is quickly making him a notable candidate in the race for Rep. Adam Schiff’s current seat. Jirair shares, “I am proud to have the support of pillars in our community, including Lorri L. Jean, Laura Thomas, Tiffany Woods, Phill Wilson, and the first openly gay Member of Congress, Barney Frank. People like Congressman Frank are who inspire me to run for office so that I can fight against MAGA extremism and dysfunction in Congress. I’ve spent years advocating for marginalized communities, and now it’s time to bring representation to Congress to fight for our community.”
Nneka Onuorah, Emmy Award winning director and film producer, provided the following statement addressing her reasons for supporting Jirair, “Dr. Jirair Ratevosian’s work as a public health official and policy director makes him the most qualified candidate to represent our communities in Congress. At a time when LGBTQ+ people and POC are largely underrepresented and disproportionately served in our healthcare system, it is important to elect members to Congress who understand the intricacies of our healthcare system and how to improve it.
“My recent projects directing influential leaders in government, including former President Barack Obama, shines a light on the key characteristics that a great leader must possess. In my thoughtful conversations with Jirair I am convinced of his potential as a force for good and his ability to enact real change. For these reasons, I am proud to lend my support and endorsement to Jirair in his campaign for Congress.”
Jay Isak, founder of the Exec Group, spotlighted Jirair’s commitment to diversity in his endorsement adding, “As a passionate advocate for racial equity, I’m proud to endorse Dr. Jirair Ratevosian for Congress in the CA-30 race. His commitment to creating a more equitable and inclusive society is exactly what we need in these challenging times. Jirair understands that our strength lies in our diversity, and he is dedicated to fighting for the rights and representation of all communities. Let’s stand with Jirair to build a brighter future for everyone.”
Lorri Jean, former executive director of the LA LGBT Center, shed light on the community’s urgent need for representation. Jean’s endorsement speaks to these issues, “With alarming attacks on LGBTQ people—especially youth—in Los Angeles and across the country, it is long past time for LGBTQ Angelenos to be represented in Congress. Jirair will be a fitting successor to Adam Schiff. He will stand up for our rights and will be exactly the public health and community leader we need in Congress now.”
Phill Wilson, a Hollywood activist and former executive director of the Black AIDS Institute, called attention to the health disparities within the LGBTQ+ community stating, “With so much on the line to finish the fight against HIV/AIDS and other health disparities, expand healthcare for all, and advance racial equity, we need experienced public health and community leadership in Congress. I’ve worked with Jirair for around 25 years, in the public and private sectors, on domestic and global issues. He has always been there for a healthy and a more equitable world. We need him more than ever in Congress. Jirair Ratevosian is the right candidate for a time such as this.”
ABOUT JIRAIR FOR CONGRESS
Born and raised in Hollywood, Dr. Jirair Ratevosian is a first-generation American born to Armenian immigrant parents. With a doctoral degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University, Ratevosian has spent his career working on behalf of underserved communities championing issues that most impact these communities. As part of President Biden’s policy team recognizing the Armenian Genocide, as a legislative director to Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and as a corporate social responsibility director at Gilead, Ratevosian has used his positions for the betterment of communities in need. He currently resides in Burbank with his husband, Micheal Ighodaro.
Ratevosian is running for Rep. Adam Schiff’s seat to be a champion for all communities within California’s District 30. California’s 30th is an open Congressional District in Los Angeles County that includes the cities of Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, West Hollywood, Sunland, Tujunga, and Hancock Park. Incumbent Adam Schiff is vacating the seat to run for the U.S. Senate. The district has the largest citizen voting-age population of Armenian-Americans in the country at 14%.
More information on Jirair’s campaign goals, which include issues of equal opportunity and public health, can be found on his campaign website.
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