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The Eric I Know — Eric C Bauman for California Democratic Party Chair

I’m Michael Andraychak, and Eric Bauman is
my husband. Eric and I are both registered nurses. We met working night shift, in the middle
of the night, in the cafeteria, over lunch. And we hit it off right away. We were both caring for AIDS patients at that
time. Most of our coworkers, the other nurses, were
going into those patients’ rooms looking like they were astronauts. But, I remember Eric refusing to do that. And going into those patients’ rooms, and
consoling the patients and talking to the families. When Eric became the President of the Stonewall
Democratic Club, he began to get more involved with the HIV community. And I think that that propelled him into healthcare
policy. He later became involved with the Gray Davis
campaign. He brought Eric in as a Senior Advisor, and
then ultimately as a healthcare advisor. Eric became Deputy Insurance Commissioner
under Commissioner John Garamendi. He still uses that knowledge today. He has always been a proponent of single-payer
healthcare reform, and has worked toward that goal for years, and years, and years. Eric has talked over the years about how,
as a child and an adolescent, he watched his mother helping people. And I think that made a significant impression
on Eric. In a way that he is out there, trying to help
people with their healthcare needs today. She raised Eric as a single, lesbian mother. She is the one who taught him how to tie a
tie, how to wear a suit, how to carry himself in the street. So much energy and enthusiasm about life. And she passed that on to Eric. When Eric and I met in the early 1980’s, the
whole concept of same-gender marriage was unfathomable. When we were coming up on our twentieth anniversary together, we made a decision to get married. And, though it wasn’t legal at the time, we
still refer to that as our wedding. Later, Eric and I Iegally married. And, fortunately, the legality of that marriage
remained. Over the years we had discussions about whether
to have children. We subsequently made the decision that it
wouldn’t be fair to bring children into our lives when we were so busy. About three and a half years a go, little
Charlie came into our lives. Charlie is our Godson. We have shabbos dinner here with Charlie and
his parents, once a month. And after dinner, a lot of the time Eric will
sit down with Charlie and read stories to him. And he just eats that up. A lot of people want to call Eric a ‘Godfather.’ Well, he is. He is Godfather to our Godson, Charlie. When I ask myself what drives Eric to do all
this work — all of this incredible work he’s done — both with the L.A. County Democratic
Party, with the state party, and with all the other activity he’s done all over California… I think the driving force goes back, once
again, to his mother. And his desire to improve the lives of people
around him.

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