Victoria Kolakowski - Potential First Trans Woman in Trial Court position in US

"When Bay Area attorney Victoria Kolakowski applied to take the bar exam in Louisiana in the late 1980s, her initial application was rejected on the basis that she was "not of sound mind."
Victoria Kolakowski is an out lesbian, transgendered woman who has been practicing law for over 20 years. If she is chosen over her to opponents, Kolakowski would be the first openly LGBT person elected countywide and the first transgender trial court judge in the United States.  According to the Victory Fund, there is a total of 12 elected and appointed openly transgender public officials in the United States.  And, while much higher, still a small number of openly lesbian elected and appointed public officials at 243.

Kolakowski is currently an Administrative Law Judge for Alameda County, a position she's held since January 2007.  She's been an attorney since the 80s, and has a long history working on behalf of LGBT civil rights.  She's a founding member and officer of Equality California, and a board member of San Francisco's Transgender Law Center.  While judicial elections and appointments should have nothing to do with politics - her campaign is historic and worthy of attention.  

While her judicial run is historic, it may be encumbered by the recent attacks on her allegedly illegal use of RoboCall messages to reach out to voters.  Robocalls (recorded messages made by machines to mass amounts of phone numbers) are illegal in California, and have been for years.  While the law is difficult to (and thus rarely) enforce, Thomas Hawk has taken a very active interest in enlisting assistance in bringing her down for being "unethical" and has enlisted The National Political Do Not Call Registry, as well as contacted various public officials and her two opponents to inform them of her use of these robocalls.

Kolakowski's response to the complaints was that her calls are placed from a phone number in Colorado, so they are not governed by the California law.  She then emphasizes the information-spreading merits of these sorts of calls.  Her open admission to circumventing law (especially one her position as Administrative Law Judge directly reviews) may prove to effectively stall her campaign's momentum if people like Hawk are able to gain more momentum in their attack.  However, her "circumvention" of the law is neither illegal nor unethical.  California's Public Utilities Code only covers California Public Utilities; one clause even uses the phrase "in this state" (2872(c)).  Thus, it has no legal bearing outside the state of California.

If you are interested in learning more about her campaign, or volunteering to support her campaign, click the links!  The current election (to fill a vacant seat) is this Tuesday, June 8 2010, and the general election is November 2, 2010.

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