imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Queer Democrats Celebrate Women’s Equality Day

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Thursday, Sep. 03, 2009 at 6:30 PM
mgconlan@earthlink.net (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club celebrated Women’s Equality Day August 27 with a program featuring the club’s women’s caucus chair Kate Lyon, California NOW president Patty Bellasalma, Congressional candidate Francine Busby and Assemblymember Lori Saldaña discussing the history of feminist activism in the U.S. and the continuing difficulty of electing women to public office. The club members also considered an initiative to impose term limits on the members of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, but decided to delay taking a position on that for a month.

Queer Democrats Cele...
proclamation.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x450

Queer Democrats Honor Women’s Equality Day

Question Proposal to Impose Term Limits on County Supervisors

by MARK GABRISH CONLAN

Copyright © 2009 by Mark Gabrish Conlan for Zenger’s Newsmagazine • All rights reserved

PHOTOS, top to bottom: Assemblymember Lori Saldaña presents the San Diego Democratic Club with a proclamation honoring Women’s Equality Day at the club’s August 27 meeting. L to R: former club president Gloria Johnson, current club president Larry Baza, club women’s caucus chair Kate Lyon, Assemblymember Saldaña, California NOW president Patty Bellasalma and Congressional candidate Francine Busby.

The Women’s Equality panel: Patty Bellasalma, Francine Busby, Lori Saldaña.

San Diego Democratic Club women’s caucus chair Kate Lyon.

Union representative Jacob Regalado promoting term limits for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

Assembly candidate Crystal Crawford.

Former San Diego Democratic Club president Gloria Johnson paid tribute to the memory of Senator Edward Kennedy by carrying her 1980 Kennedy for President hat and banner, which she wore on the floor of that year’s Democratic convention as an openly Lesbian delegate.

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club gave over most of its August 27 meeting to a presentation honoring Women’s Equality Day — the August 26 anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote nationwide. Hosted by Kate Lyon, the chair of the club’s women’s caucus, the panel also featured Patty Bellasalma, president of the California NOW (National Organization for Women); Francine Busby, North County Congressional candidate; and Lori Saldaña, California State Assemblymember and longtime environmental activist.

Lyon began the presentation with a brief history of American feminism. “In July 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott led the convention in Seneca Falls, New York that articulated the rights of women,” she explained. “At the time, women had virtually no rights at all. They became legally dead when they married. They had no right to property, voting or education, and their husbands had the legal right to beat or rape them. The organized movement for women’s suffrage started a century and a half ago with a small group of people. Challenging the status quo, women protested in public — and were ridiculed and arrested for demanding basic rights.”

According to Lyon, like the Queer activists of our own time, the pioneering feminists were accused of making demands that would destroy the family and all traditional morality. “The efforts of women to win the right not to be beaten by their husbands have been accused of ‘demeaning motherhood,’” she said. “But they are working for all women. The early women’s rights activists worked hard to bring us choices. On Women’s Equality Day we look at how far we’ve come, but the U.S. is near the bottom worldwide on child support for working women — and our right to abortion is under constant attack, including terrorist attacks on clinics and the murder of doctors. We must renew our efforts for all women.”

Bellasalma, a former private-practice attorney who won a major case on race-based employment discrimination against the city of Los Angeles and worked on the unsuccessful campaign against Proposition 209, which banned affirmative action in California state employment and college admissions, began her talk with the “two priorities” of California NOW and the state’s women’s movement in general. One is winning marriage equality for same-sex couples. As she explained, the women’s movement has a broader concern with the California Supreme Court decision upholding Proposition 8, last year’s initiative banning legal recognition of same-sex marriages in California. Her group wants an initiative that doesn’t just repeal Proposition 8, but “protects the equal protection clause of California’s constitution from modification by simple majorities.”

The other major priority, she ruefully acknowledged, is “the perpetual: reproductive rights.” Bellasalma mentioned that the Orange County Board of Supervisors — which, like San Diego County’s, consists of five white Republicans — has implemented the gag rule countywide.” What they’ve done is forbidden any hospital, clinic or other medical facility that receives state or county money from mentioning abortion or birth control to their patients — meaning that any health provider that wants to talk about, let alone actually offer, such services has to do so through a separate organization in a separate building. The fight against the local gag rule will be “long and hard,” Bellasalma said. “We’ll be doing everything we can to get our state legislature to fix it.”

Bellasalma predicted that Orange County’s unilateral imposition of a local gag rule “is coming to a county and city near you,” and tied it in with the current effort in Congress to ban all taxpayer funding for women’s reproductive services as part of the health insurance “reform” — which could leave many women with less access to birth control or abortion than they have now. She said women are already being discriminated against in health coverage. “Women pay 40 percent more than men for individual health insurance,” she said, “and on top of that we’re charged extra for pregnancy and maternity services because for some reason we can’t share pregnancy and maternity with men — but we can share costs for Viagra and Cialis with men.”

Weighing in on the continuing controversy over whether the Queer community and its allies should try to repeal Proposition 8 in 2010 or 2012, Bellasalma was unequivocal: “2010 is out of the question if you want to win,” she said. “It’s already a year too late to have an organization on the ground.” She argued that because the California Supreme Court decision upholding Proposition 8 threatens all traditionally oppressed groups — since it means that all rights guaranteed by the equal protection provisions of the state constitution are fair game whenever a sufficiently willful and effective group puts an initiative on the ballot to take them away — there’s an opportunity to reach out to communities of color and others who disproportionately supported Proposition 8 but whose rights are threatened by the court opinion upholding it. “We can create a coalition that will last for decades — if we get it right,” she said.

Busby, who filled in at the last minute for Alex Rooker, female vice-chair of the California Democratic Party — who canceled due to the recent death of her mother — read a report from the party’s women’s caucus president, Karen Weinstein. Much of it addressed the problem of electing women to public office — which, as both Busby and Saldaña explained, often means persuading them to overcome their reluctance to run in the first place. “Women have a higher proportion of representatives in the congress of Rwanda than anywhere else, including the U.S.,” Busby said. “Many countries have quotas within their political parties guaranteeing that a certain percentage of their candidates will be women.”

According to Busby, only 17 percent of the U.S. Congress is female — mainly, she explained, because Congress has no term limits and therefore there’s little turnover that would create open seats in which women could win. She noted the grim irony that the U.S.-mandated constitution for Iraq requires that 25 percent of its legislature be women — something that would never be tolerated in this country. Asked by an audience member how to get more women, especially young women, interested in politics, Busby said, “You have to make it real for them. When I first ran for Congress, I was just an ordinary person, no different from you. People need role models. If they don’t see people they know [running for office], they won’t do it. Also, women don’t run if they’re not asked. We need to plant the seed that says we deserve to be there.”

“Men don’t even think about that,” Bellasalma said. “Competency is not part of the list of things they consider before they go after a job. There’s a certain kind of innate self-confidence that comes from being raised male, which we have to inculcate in our daughters. We have to find other ways of networking and mentoring.”

“Campaigning is about feeling confident and strong, and asking for money,” added Saldaña, the only person on the panel who has actually won elective office. “A lot of women aren’t raised to be comfortable about doing those things.” Mentioning former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina — who are seeking the 2010 Republican nominations for Governor of California and U.S. Senate, respectively — Saldaña said they are “very confident, did well in business and have a lot of money. My Republican women colleagues in the state legislature, with only one exception — Connie Conway — got there by being rich, and they don’t have any problems exerting the power that comes with personal wealth.”

Saldaña also discussed her work with the women’s caucus in the California legislature — “the largest caucus and also the only bipartisan one,” she explained. Among the issues they’ve dealt with are the rights of women in the U.S. military. “At least 50 percent of women in the U.S. military are harassed,” she said, adding that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prohibits Queer people from serving openly in the military gives male harassers a powerful tool to blackmail women into having sex with them. “If a woman in the military doesn’t have sex with a man, he can threaten to report her as a Lesbian and get her kicked out,” she explained. “In countries where Gay and Lesbian people are able to serve openly, a much lower percentage of military women are harassed.”

After the discussion on women’s equality and in particular on getting more women to run for office, the club put its money — and its volunteer time — where its panelists’ mouths had been by endorsing a Democratic woman against a Republican man in a state legislative race. Del Mar City Councilmember Crystal Crawford got the club’s full support for her race against Republican incumbent Martin Garrick by an overwhelming margin — 26 in favor to one opposed and three abstentions — despite concerns from club legislative advocate Matt Corrales about her use of the words “choice” and “preference” to describe sexual orientation, even though she said that Queer people “deserve to be treated with full equality.”

Supervisors’ Term Limits Controversial

The club also considered an initiative sponsored by the San Diego local of the Service Employees’ International Union (SEIU) to impose term limits on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors — but they delayed a decision on that measure for one month after several members were uncomfortable with endorsing a term limit when the club has always opposed them for other offices. According to SEIU spokesperson Jacob Regalado, who came to present the case for the initiative, the composition of the Board of Supervisors has remained the same since 1998, and no Democrat has served on the board since Leon Williams retired in 1994. What’s more, he added, the overall low profile of the office and the .5 million slush fund in taxpayers’ money controlled by each Supervisor has made it nearly impossible to defeat any of them at the polls.

“We have a Board of Supervisors that doesn’t reflect our community or our county,” Regalado explained. “We continually have to file lawsuits against them. We have the smallest food stamp program in the state. The San Diego Supervisors are the fourth highest-paid of all Supervisors in California, and their chief administrator, Walt Becker, is the second highest-paid in the country. Meanwhile, the wages of our members are near the bottom of the state and national averages.” Regalado also said that, unlike the San Diego City Council or (after last year’s election) the California state legislature, the Supervisors have final control over the design of their own districts — another weapon they’ve wielded effectively to deny challengers the ability to turn them out of office.

But while most of the club members agreed with Regalado’s critique of the Board of Supervisors, many weren’t convinced that term limits were the right solution. “We haven’t had any good people running against these horrible people,” said club activist and city workers’ union leader Michelle Krug. “This year, we have a chance to put good people in two of those districts, and I don’t want to handcuff them by subjecting them to a term limit.”

Club member Harold Wayne, who’s an announced candidate for the District 6 seat on the San Diego City Council to replace Donna Frye — who’s being forced out by term limits — asked why SEIU hadn’t done an initiative to take away the Supervisors’ power to draw their own districts rather than one for term limits. Regalado replied that this would require an amendment to the county charter, “and that would be a long process” — but Wayne noted that imposing term limits would also require amending the charter. Regalado also questioned whether “you could actually draw progressive districts” in the County of San Diego.

Lori Saldaña, who was there to speak as part of the women’s equality panel but is also planning a run against Supervisor Ron Roberts now that she’s being forced out of the state legislature due to term limits, urged the club to delay the decision. “I would recommend that a more thorough discussion take place,” she said. Both Saldaña and longtime club activist Elaine Graybill said that term limits had reduced the effectiveness of the California state legislature, and they wanted the club to deliberate longer before committing to support a term-limits initiative for the Board of Supervisors.

Club fundraiser and San Diego Pride at Work chapter co-chair Carlos Marquez called the comparison between the Board of Supervisors and the state legislature “apples and oranges,” mainly because the legislature is a larger body and its members don’t have the individual control over large chunks of tax money the way the Supervisors do. He also said that SEIU had already started gathering signatures for the initiative and wanted the club on board immediately to contribute both money and volunteers.

“Be careful, be very careful,” said veteran women’s and progressive activist Benita Berkson. “This is not typically a liberal cause. If you put effort into this, you could be sorry with what you come up with. You could wind up with no power and no continuity on the Board of Supervisors. I strongly recommend this issue be tabled for another time.”

Youth activist Jonathan Goetz supported the initiative. “I don’t care for term limits, but we have a county board of five white Republicans who don’t believe in social services, who think social services are morally wrong, and their job is to run social services,” he said. “I want to get rid of every single one of them.”

But, as Regalado had explained during his presentation, even passing the term-limits initiative wouldn’t necessarily get rid of them immediately. The current Supervisors would have the right to serve up to two more terms beyond the 20-plus years they’ve already been in the office. What’s more, there’s nothing in the initiative that would prevent the Supervisors from making so-called “legacy appointments” — resigning a year or so before their terms were up and appointing a new Supervisor who could then run as an incumbent. The Supervisors recently did this when county sheriff Bill Kolender decided to retire, and instead of serving out his term Kolender resigned a year early so his deputy, William Gore, could be appointed in his stead and run as an incumbent in 2010.

Eventually former club presidents Jeri Dilno and Gloria Johnson made a motion to table the decision on whether to endorse term limits for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors until the club’s September 23 meeting. The motion to table passed, 24 to 16 — and one of the members who voted against delaying the decision said he did so because “I want to vote it down tonight.”

Report this post as:

Patty Bellasalma, Francine Busby, Lori Saldaña

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Thursday, Sep. 03, 2009 at 6:30 PM
mgconlan@earthlink.net (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

Patty Bellasalma, Fr...
women_s_equality_panel.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x450

Report this post as:

Kate Lyon

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Thursday, Sep. 03, 2009 at 6:30 PM
mgconlan@earthlink.net (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

Kate Lyon...
lyon.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x800

Report this post as:

Jacob Regalado

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Thursday, Sep. 03, 2009 at 6:30 PM
mgconlan@earthlink.net (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

Jacob Regalado...
regalado.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x711

Report this post as:

Crystal Crawford

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Thursday, Sep. 03, 2009 at 6:30 PM
mgconlan@earthlink.net (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

Crystal Crawford...
crawford.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x762

Report this post as:

Gloria Johnson with 1980 Ted Kennedy memorabilia

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Thursday, Sep. 03, 2009 at 6:30 PM
mgconlan@earthlink.net (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

Gloria Johnson with ...
gloria_w_kennedy_sign.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x827

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy