Loads of Love From Leno

Mark Leno’s endorsement of my run for Empress of the Imperial Council of San Francisco

I’m the type of person who wonders why their paths cross with someone else — especially when it’s someone you admire, look up to, and respect. In this case, it’s my friend Mark Leno.

Even before Leno served in the California State Senate until November 2016, I’ve long supported his work and mission. Leno at the time represented the 11th Senate district, which includes San Francisco and San Mateo County. (Before being elected to the State Senate in 2008, Leno served in the California State Assembly, representing the 13th Assembly District. Before his time in the California Legislature, he served as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors between 1998 and 2002.) Leno, too, is the owner of Budget Signs Inc., a small business, and was also a candidate in the San Francisco mayoral special election, held June 5, 2018.

I reached out to Mark when I considered my run for Empress of the Imperial Council of San Francisco.

Photo by GOOCH

After I called Leno, he replied: “Over the past many decades, I have long admired the institution and mission of the Imperial Court. As a member of the Board of Supervisors and then as a state legislator, it was always my pleasure and honor to support the Court by attending the annual Coronation, Imperial community fundraisers, and presenting official recognition of the Court’s ongoing good works. Through these activities, I understood better and appreciate the critical roles that the Empress and Emperor play in the Court system and, more importantly, throughout our city. Every title holder is committed to the service they have been elected and does a very admirable job. As we know, periodically, a unique personality arises who captures our community’s excitement and imagination. I firmly believe that Juanita is one of those rare individuals.”

Now, isn’t that sweet?

Frameline, 2019

Over the years, we’ve managed to squeeze in some lunches in between both of our busy schedules in the almost three decades we’ve known one another. (I even had the pleasure of having Mark over for dinner once!) It was during those personal lunches that I truly got to know Mark out of our day jobs. Mark is wise; he’s kind-hearted; his passion for our community is enormous — just like his heart.

Leno also added the following sweet sentences:

“In short, Juanita MORE! is a treasure and will bring her many diverse talents, intelligence, and a huge heart to the service of the Imperial Court should she win the title of Empress and prevail in the election. Juanita will be one Empress who would hit the ground running in full-capacity of a vision we rarely see.”

Since presenting me with an award in 2005, I’ve received more than a handful of certificates and awards acknowledging my philanthropy from Leno, who has so generously commended my work to better the lives of San Franciscans — all while bringing joy to our city’s communities. Should I be crowned Empress of the Imperial Council of San Francisco, I promise to continue that good-doing during my reign. And far beyond it, as well.

Love you, Mark.

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Juanita MORE!

High glamour, drag irreverence, danceable beats, culinary delectables, political activism and a philanthropic heart.