So much appreciative networking filled the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza dining room for the Victory Fund’s second annual Los Angeles Champagne Brunch on Sunday, that it took a minute to realize that three of California’s top elected officials were in attendence: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, State Sen. President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins. The honorees included Prop 8 plaintiffs Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami, actress Amy Landecker and producers Andrea Sperling and Rhys Ernst from the ground-breaking and renewed Amazon series, TRANSPARENT and Michael W. Kempner, President and CEO of the global PR agency MWW, which has a dedicated LGBT unit lead by Stephen Macias. Fox’s Red Band Society star Wilson Cruz and local political stars—L.A. City Controller Ron Galperin and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia also spoke to a warm reception.
But for all the political star power, the two who really stole the afternoon were Executive Director Chuck Wolfe, who is leaving after 12 years, and Ben Panico, the David Bohnett Victory Congressional Fellow who staffs the Equality Caucus on LGBT issues.