BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Staff Writer
Someone scrawled “#gay” on a fence beneath Redwood City Council candidate Jason Galisatus’ apartment window, while also tearing down the campaign sign he posted there.
Galisatus, who is gay, discovered the graffiti on Thursday (Oct. 11), which was also National Coming Out Day, an annual day of celebration for members of the LGBTQ community and their supporters. The Complete Streets commissioner said he noticed the graffiti around 4:30 p.m., when he walked to his mailbox at his apartment complex.
“It’s not as bad as it could have been,” Galisatus said, adding that unfortunately these things “come with the territory.”
Later that day, Galisatus attended a candidates forum, where he brought up the graffiti, and he was at odds with another candidate’s answer to a question about diversity.
“I have to disagree that we are uniformly accepting of diversity here in Redwood City. … We are getting divisive language at a national level, and, at best, it enables hateful behavior and, at worst, encourages it. What happened this evening is an example of exactly why we need leaders who not just tolerate diversity and accept it, but we need leaders who embrace and fight for it.”
All of the other candidates at the forum apologized to Galisatus about the incident.
Candidate Christina Umhofer mentioned at the forum that Galisatus’ mother was sitting in front of her. Umhofer said she would be happy to help the family clean up the graffiti if they needed assistance.
Galisatus said in a blog post that despite this incident, his campaign will not be slowing down one bit.
“This has been unsettling, but I want to be clear: we will not be intimidated. It is our duty as city leaders to be outspoken to ensure that all residents of Redwood City are treated with dignity and respect,” he wrote.
Galisatus also said that he is not making any accusations that the graffiti was politically motivated.
“I am not trying to reach any conclusions as to why it was there,” Galisatus said.
Galisatus said he reported the graffiti to Redwood City police, who have been looking into the issue.
Galisatus is one of seven candidates seeking three seats on Redwood City Council, and he is No. 2 in campaign fundraising.
Planning Commissioner Giselle Hale has raised $72,311 in cash while Galisatus has raised $58,323.