Chula Vista City Councilman Steve Padilla. Photo: City of Chula Vista

The California Coastal Commission Friday elected Chula Vista Councilman Steve Padilla as its first openly LGBT chair.

Padilla, who was unanimously elected to the position, is also the first chair from San Diego County is several decades. Previously, he had served as the commission’s vice chair.

As chair, Padilla said he plans to prioritize mitigating the effects of climate change, expanding access to coastal areas, opposing offshore drilling and supporting environmental justice.

“California’s coast is a national treasure because we’ve fought to protect it from polluters, out of control development and harmful policies from Washington,” Padilla said. “I’m committed to continuing to defend our beaches, bays and shorelines by maintaining California’s global leadership on the climate crisis, enforcing strong clean air and water laws, and ensuring every community can access and enjoy California’s beautiful coastline for generations to come.”

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon appointed Padilla to the commission in 2017. He also previously served on the commission from 2005 to 2007. Padilla has served on the council from 1994 to 2002, and since 2016.

— City News Service

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