Condemning Leanna Louie’s Bigotry and Joel Engardio’s Complicity

Condemning Leanna Louie’s Bigotry and Joel Engardio’s Complicity 

The recent antisemitic rant by Leanna Louie against Joe Eskenazi’s excellent investigative reporting is contemptible, dangerous, and disqualifying. Although we were glad to see that she issued an apology, it also missed the mark. We call on her to immediately withdraw her candidacy.

And we know that isn’t enough. It’s convenient for many to feign surprise at Louie’s outbursts, to act as if these are isolated incidents from a fringe extremist. We wish that was the case.

Louie has a long history of homophobia, transphobia, and racism. This behavior is not new—it’s what Louie has built her reputation and candidacy on. Alarmingly, Joel Engardio endorsed her candidacy and launched his campaign jointly with hers in a ranked-choice strategy, and continues to refuse to un-endorse Louie

In endorsing Louie, Engardio endorses her bigotry, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and antisemitism. He either agrees with her views, or finds them an acceptable trade-off for political expediency and his own ambition. 

We call on Leanna Louie to withdraw. We further call on Joel Engardio to immediately apologize for his complicity, rescind his endorsement of Leanna Louie, and cease all campaign coordination with her. If he does not, we call on fellow LGBTQ groups and advocates, like the Alice B Toklas LGBTQ Democratic Club and State Senator Scott Wiener, to rescind their endorsements of Engardio. 

As a community, we must make a clear, unequivocal, and united stand against this extremist hate — not cater to it, court it, or endorse it. 


The Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club