Political Notebook: Gay men seek Dublin, Redwood City council seats
by Matthew S. Bajko | Wednesday Aug 8, 2018 | Bay Area Reporter
Redwood City race
Galisatus plans to officially kick-off his campaign at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 19, at the Canyon Inn in Redwood City. Last month, shortly after pulling papers for the race, he earned an early endorsement from BAYMEC, the Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee that works to elect LGBT candidates in several South Bay counties.
Three of the council’s seven seats are on this November’s ballot. Two will be open, as the incumbents opted not to seek re-election. Candidates run citywide in Redwood City, and the race is expected to draw a wide field.
“Our city has undergone a lot of change in recent years. I believe the job of the city council is to proactively address the challenges associated with that change,” Galisatus told the Bay Area Reporter in explaining why he decided to enter the race.
Despite his youth, Galisatus already has built up an impressive resume in terms of his civic engagement. He was an inaugural co-chair of the San Mateo County LGBTQ Commission, which he pushed county leaders to form, and currently serves as vice chair of his hometown’s Complete Streets Advisory Committee, tasked with ensuring Redwood City’s road network is safe for pedestrians and bicyclists in addition to personal vehicles and transit.
In high school, Galisatus founded and led the Bay Area Youth Summit, which advocated for LGBT students. Twice he was named the best LGBT youth activist, in 2013 and 2014, in the B.A.R.’s annual Besties awards.
He doesn’t believe his youth will be an issue with voters.
“There have been young people elected to office before,” Galisatus noted. “Voters care about if someone has a good head on their shoulders and comes to the table with smart ideas and is able to do the job.”
Following college Galisatus briefly lived in San Francisco but returned to his hometown in 2016. He recently moved in with his partner of nearly a year, Chris Sturken, who also grew up on the Peninsula and works in community outreach at the Committee for Green Foothills.
“If I am elected, I would be the only renter on the city council, which I feel is a much needed perspective,” said Galisatus, who has two younger sisters and whose parents still reside in Redwood City.