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san diego city council

Queer Democrats Celebrate Election Victories at Freedom Awards (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democrats for Equality celebrated recent election victories in San Diego County at their annual Freedom Awards November 17 at 1202 Club in HIllcrest. They also honored retiring State Senator Christine Kehoe, the first open Queer ever elected to office in San Diego County, for her19 years in elective office.

Labor, Community Leaders Target Wal-Mart September 21 (tags)

Neighborhood activists and labor unions are organizing San Diego's biggest-ever anti-Wal-Mart demonstration Saturday, September 22 in the Golden Hill and Sherman Heights neighborhoods. Though the Wal-Mart in Sherman Heights hasn't even been built yet, it's already driving local businesses to close or cut back — and Wal-Mart has systematically refused to make any promises to the community to hire locally or mitigate the impacts of their store.

Queer Democrats Host Love-Fest for Endorsed Candidates (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democrats for Equality turned their June 28 meeting into a love-fest for their candidates who survived the June 5 primary and moved on to the November 6 general election. In the first test of their new policy against endorsing or rating candidates who aren't 100 percent for marriage equality or reproductive choice, they also refused to consider an endorsement or a rating for socially conservative Democrat Juan Vargas for Congress in the 51st District.

Zenger's Newsmagazine Election Endorsements (tags)

Full endorsements for San Diego voters in the June 5 primary election. As in 2010, in virtually every race Zenger's is recommending every Democrat over every Republican, not because the Democrats (with a few exceptions) are that progressive but because the Republicans are so reactionary they want to abolish the social safety net, virtually eliminate civil rights, workers', consumers' and environmental protections, and transform the U.S.as radically as the Nazis transformed Germany in 1933.

Queer Democrats Split in 51st Congressional District Race (tags)

For the second month in a row, the San Diego Democrats for EqualIty refused to endorse a progressive Latina for Congress. This time they were unable to come to a consensus whether to support Denise Moreno Ducheny or Juan Vargas in the 51st Congressional District, currently represented by mayoral candidate Bob Filner, despite Vargas's opposition to marriage equality and his abandonment of previous support for single-payer health care.

Occupy 2.0 (tags)

Photos of the Occupy San Diego three-month anniversary march January 7 downtown and an interview with Occupy activist and former hunger striker John Kenney on his ideas for the future of the movement.

Labor Rallies in Support of Occupy San Diego Oct. 28 (tags)

Despite a pre-dawn police raid on both Occupy San Diego sites — the Civic Center Plaza near City Hall and the Children's Park across from the Convention Center — a rally sponsored by organized labor in support of the occupation went ahead as scheduled October 28. At this time, the occupiers are still there.

Downtown Labor Day Rally Draws Over 200 (tags)

MoveOn.org's San Diego chapter and other local activists hosted a Labor Day rally outside Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego Monday, September 5, featuring speakers like Congressmembers Bob Filner and Susan Davis, San Diego-Imperial Counties Central Labor Council secretary-treasurer Lorena Gonzalez, State Senator Juan Vargas, State Assemblymember Lori Salda?a, former City Councilmember Floyd Morrow and Activist San Diego president Jeeni Criscenzo. Much of the action urged solidarity with the supermarket workers threatened by their employers' demands for a takeaway contract and the likelihood of a strike. While most of the speakers said, "Jobs, jobs, jobs," Criscenzo urged listeners to take another look at the whole concept of a "job" and question why the only way we should be allowed to make a living is to beg a rich person or corporation for the chance to make them richer.

Activists Discuss Debt Debate, Wonder How We Let Right Control It (tags)

Congressmember Bob Filner, San Diego labor leader Lorena Gonzalez and three other speakers appeared as part of a panel convened by Activist San Diego for their regular meeting August 15. The ostensible purpose was to discuss the recent debate in Washington over raising the nation's debt ceiling, but it soon turned into a discussion of how the Right managed to take over the debate, frame it the way they wanted and get virtually everything they wanted -- including promises of large cuts in government spending that will only worsen the economy and risk not only a double-dip recession but an outright depression. Filner talked not only about President Obama's willingness to concede the domestic agenda to the Republicans but his and the Democrats' Congressional leaders utter unwillingness to end the unaffordable wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

Rally Kicks Off San Diego Pride Events (tags)

San Diego's Queer (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Pride events kicked off Friday, July 15 at a rally on the pride festival site in Balboa Park. The featured speakers were New Age author and credentialed minister Marianne Williamson, who talked about marriage equality as a straight supporter who has performed same-sex weddings, and Daniel Hernandez, the young, openly Gay aide to Congressmember Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) who saved her life when she was shot at an outdoor rally in January. But the most powerful speaker was former San Diego Democratic Club president Larry Baza, who powerfully expressed the history of the Queer rights movement and the challenges it faces in the future.

Activist San Diego Screens Medical Cannabis Film (tags)

A new film, ?Medical Cannabis and Its Impact on Human Health,? exposes the lies about the medical use of marijuana that led the San Diego City Council to enact a virtual ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. Director James Schmachtenberger, who works at a local dispensary, appeared with the film Saturday, April 30 at a showing sponsored by Activist San Diego. The film is a bit dry, and even Schmachtenberger describes it as not especially entertaining, but it lays out the facts about marijuana's medical uses and makes the case for allowing the substance to be used to treat disease and preserve health.

San Diego Queers Split Over City Redistricting (tags)

San Diego?s Queer community has split over their response to the redrawing of district lines for the City Council. On one side are the members of the self-styled ?LGBT Redistricting Task Force,? who are pushing a major redesign of the city?s Queer-influenced District 3, pushing out the people of color and less affluent Queers in City Heights and adding more upscale neighborhoods like Mission Hills and Bankers? Hill to the Hillcrest/North Park core of the district. On the other side are Queer residents of the City Heights community of Azalea Park, who bought there because gentrification had priced them out of Hillcrest and North Park and now find themselves threatened that they will no longer be represented by a Queer Councilmember. The current District 3 is San Diego?s most ethnically diverse; the district proposed by the LGBT Redistricting Task Force and the Hillcrest Town Council will be 70 percent white.

San Diego Hosts Three May Day Rallies (tags)

San Diego hosted no fewer than three rallies on Sunday, May 1 — one between the Centro Cultural de la Raza and World Beat Center in Balboa Park, followed by a march to the Federal Building downtown where the second rally was held, and a third at the San Diego Community Concourse that united the participants with another set of marchers, who had assembled earlier in the morning in Chicano Park, also for a walk downtown. The rally speakers focused on a wide variety of progressive issues — workers’ rights, education cutbacks, health care, immigrants’ rights, war and peace, Queer liberation — and attempted to draw connections between them and psych the participants for the long struggle ahead to preserve and extend those rights in the face of a relentless assault on them by the radical Right.

San Diego Hammers Down on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Despite Public Support (tags)

Despite overwhelming public input asking for a looser ordinance that would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to locate in commercial areas throughout San Diego and remain open while they pursued permits, the San Diego City Council voted 5-2 on Monday, March 26 for an ordinance that will close down all dispensaries for at least a year and force them to locate only in industrial zones — inconveniently far from the patients they serve. Even most of the Councilmembers who voted for the ordinance, which was tweaked at the last minute to make it slightly less restrictive, made it clear that they regard medical marijuana patients and the institutions that serve them as a detriment, not an asset, to the city.

S.A.M.E. Rallies Against Hate Crimes, Bullying (tags)

Drawn by several recent hate assaults on Queer people in the Hillcrest and North Park areas, members and supporters of the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.) rallied at the North Park Community Park Saturday afternoon, March 26. The rally featured speeches by openly Queer elected officials like Assemblymember Toni Atkins and School Board member Kevin Beiser, as well as ministers and others in support of Queer equality, but the most moving statements came from people who’d been on the receiving end of anti-Queer violence or bullying themselves: S.A.M.E. member René Torres, high school student Maya Conti and North Park resident Jacob Harshbarger, who wasn’t at the rally but sent a statement describing not only the attack against him but the lax response of local police and prosecutors. “I felt that the system that was supposed to be there to protect me was treating me as though it was my fault,” Harshbarger said.

Assemblymember Atkins Warns Queer Democrats on State Budget Cuts (tags)

California State Assemblymember Toni Atkins spoke to the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club February 24 and warned of two approaching deadlines coming up in the state legislature's budget deliberations: March 6, the ending of the special budget session called by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; and March 10, the last day the legislature can vote to call a special election to extend the current state sales tax rates and vehicle licensing fees so that current Governor Jerry Brown's budget, which calls for $12.5 billion in spending cuts, can be enacted. Without that — and so far the Republican minority in the legislature has held firm to block any vote on the tax issue, which requires support from 2/3 of both houses of the legislature even to make it to the ballot — Brown and the Democratic majority will have to make $12.5 billion more in spending cuts, which will virtually end California state spending on health and welfare and eviscerate the state's already underfunded education system.

Over 1,000 Turn Out in San Diego to Support Wisconsin Workers (tags)

Over 1,000 people turned out for a rally outside the San Diego County Administrative Center February 26 at noon to support Wisconsin's unionized public workers against the threat by Governor Scott Walker and the Republican majority in the state legislature to pass a bill essentially eliminating the right of the state's public employees to unionize and bargain collectively. A wide range of speakers, including union activists, community leaders and elected officials, said that if Walker's bill and similar ones in other states pass, it will essentially mark the end of the American middle class. The rally was part of a nationwide mobilization, and many of those who braved the cold and the rain to attend mentioned that the protesters in Wisconsin itself are sleeping out in the cold and snow in weather far worse than that in San Diego.

Get Out the Vote for Stephen Whitburn! (tags)

Openly Gay County Supervisor candidate Stephen Whitburn made an impassioned plea for help in the last five days before the election at the October 28 meeting of the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club, of which he used to be president. Whitburn talked about the barrage of nasty hit-mail pieces Republican campaign groups are sending out against him at the last minute but also said that's an indication that they don't have a grass-roots campaign. Whitburn is seeking to become the first Democrat to serve on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in 16 years.

A Different Kind of Tea: Some Tea Partiers May Support Pot Legalization (tags)

Proposition 19, which would legalize and tax marijuana in California, may have some unexpected supporters in the conservative tea party movement, reports Leo E. Laurence, associate editor of Zenger’s magazine and a former deputy sheriff who's campaigning for the measure as a member of the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (L.E.A.P.).

Two Openly Gay Councilmembers Debate Sales-Tax Increase (tags)

Rival City Councilmembers Todd Gloria and Carl DeMaio — the first two openly Gay men elected to the San Diego City Council — spoke at the Hillcrest Town Council September 14 and debated Proposition D on the November 2 ballot. This would allow the city to raise its sales tax one-half cent for five years to plug the $72 billion hole in its current budget — but only after the city implements 10 “reforms” reducing its pension obligations to workers and making it easier to privatize city jobs. But even in Gloria’s relatively liberal district, the polite but hostile response from the audience made it clear the measure will be a tough sell to city voters.

Openly Gay Democrat Runs for San Diego County Supervisor, Bucks GOP Trend (tags)

Openly Gay Democrat Stephen Whitburn is challenging 16-year incumbent Republican Ron Roberts for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. In what's expected to be a “Republican year,” Whitburn is hoping voter disgust with ALL incumbents will boost his campaign. He's already won the endorsement of the San Diego Firefighters' Union — who backed Roberts in all his previous campaigns — largely because the all-Republican Board, out of partisan distaste for the Obama administration, turned down federal stimulus money that could have upgraded the county's ability to deal with San Diego's endemic wildfires.

Pride Rally Reveals Queer Community’s Divisions Over Obama (tags)

The July 16 San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender pride rally, which opened the city's weekend of Pride events, revealed the deep-seated divisions within the Queer community over President Obama and the proper way of organizing. Stuart Milk, nephew of Queer martyr Harvey Milk, said he'd attended a meeting at the White House at which Obama endorsed virtually the entire agenda of the Queer rights movement — but Fresno-based activist Robin McGehee said that doesn't matter. McGehee and San Diego Transgender activist Autumn Sandeen, who joined together for a direct-action campaign against the White House over Obama's failure to seek repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that keeps openly Queer people from serving in the U.S. military, said that the Queer community should use nonviolent civil disobedience to confront Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate majority leader Harry Reid and other Democratic politicians who aren't delivering on their promises to the Queer community.

Queer Democrats Back State Party on Redistricting (tags)

Choosing the interests of party over voters, the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club overwhelmingly voted at their July 22 meeting to support the state Democratic Party's attempt to destroy the legislative redistricting commission before it even has a chance to meet, and return to the old, corrupt system under which legislators get to draw their own district lines, thereby preserving incumbents and eliminating any real competition for legislative seats.

In the Streets for Human Rights: A People Without Borders (tags)

The recent immigrant rights demonstration in San Diego May 1 was inspiring, but a real solution to the immigration question will come only when we can disenthrall the American people from hateful corporate propaganda that pits disadvantaged groups against each other and convinces millions of Americans that their economic and social problems are caused by people below them, not people above. So-called “illegal” immigrants are just another in the long line of scapegoats corporate and Right-wing propagandists invoke to keep people confused and lead them to challenge each other instead of their corporate overlords.

Queer Democrats Oppose Strong-Mayor Proposition (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club overwhelmingly opposed continuing San Diego's experiment with strong-mayor government. At their April 22 meeting they voted to oppose Proposition D on the June 8 ballot, which would make strong-mayor permanent, add a ninth seat to the City Councll and raise the threshold to override a mayoral veto of a Council action from a simple majority to two-thirds. City Councilmember Donna Frye led the debate against strong-mayor; having served under both strong-mayor and San Diego's previous city-manager system, she said it's been harder for her as a Councilmember to hold the mayor accountable and get information she needs to make responsible decisions, to the point where she's had to sue the city, or threaten to, to get needed data from the mayor's office.

Over 50 Attend Whitburn Fundraiser in Hillcrest March 28 (tags)

Stephen Whitburn, openly Gay candidate for the Fourth Supervisorial District in San Diego County, held a fundraiser for his campaign Sunday, March 28 at the Bamboo Lounge in Hillcrest. Despite vicious attacks from supposedly “progressive” media outlets in both the straight and Queer communities, the event was a success, drawing more than 50 people who roared their support for Whitburn's opposition to the proposed Merriam Mountains development — a plan to blast off the tops of mountains to build houses on them — and the practice of Supervisors to accept gifts from individuals, organizations and corporations who directly benefit from the Board's decisions.

Queer Democrats’ Surprising Lieutenant Governor Endorsement (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club made a surprising choice in the June 8 Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom became a nationwide hero to the Queer community in February 2004 when he unilaterally ordered city officials to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but the club rejected him in favor of Los Angeles City Councilmember Janice Hahn. Members’ concerns about Newsom included his less than progressive stands on economic issues, his notoriously messy personal life, his potentially rocky relationship with presumed Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown, and the risks of going into a statewide election with two white men at the top of the ticket against likely Republican nominees Meg Whitman for governor and Abel Maldonado for lieutenant governor.

Queer Democrats Split on Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, School Board (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club strongly supported Hector de la Torre for insurance commissioner, Tom Torklason for state superintendent of education and Mona Rios for National City city council — but they were unable to reach consensus on lieutenant governor and attorney general. Faced with two weak Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor — a Los Angeles city councilmember and a state legislator with a long voting record against marriage equality — the club held off in hopes San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will run.

Queer Democrats Split on 79th Assembly District Race (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club revealed itself dramatically split in the Democratic primary race for the 79th Assembly District. City Council president Ben Hueso is running a classic “insider” campaign, relying on major endorsements and fundraising clout. His principal challenger, Sweetwater Union High School District board member Pearl Quiñones, is seeking the office in a progressive grass-roots campaign in the tradition of Assemblymember Lori Saldaña (who endorses her) and City Councilmember Donna Frye. The club was unable to reach the 60 percent threshold needed for an endorsement, and ultimately voted to rate both candidates “acceptable.”

Queer Democrats Endorse Saldaña, Take No Position on County Term Limits (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club endorsed Assemblymember Lori Saldaña for County Supervisor but failed to take a position on whether to impose term limits on the Board of Supervisors. Supporters of the term-limit initiative, being sponsored by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), said the five Republican incumbents on the board are so entrenched only limiting their future terms will get them out. Opponents said that Democrats have historically opposed term limits and if they supported them for the Republican-dominated Board of Supervisors, they'd be perceived as hypocrites the next time they try to ease-them for the Democratic-controlled state legislature.

Steve Hadley: Council Candidate's Odyssey from Pulpit to Politics (tags)

San Diego City Council candidate Steve Hadley is considered an underdog because he doesn't have the party connections, name recognition or donor base of his opponents. But he's got a lot of assets; as the chief of staff for the Councilmember he's running to replace, Donna Frye, he's got her support and that of the community organizers and activists he's worked with as part of her office. He's also got a compelling personal story; he grew up in the Seventh Day Adventist church, pushed the church towards greater acceptance of equality for women and Queers, then left the ministry to study law and work in politics.

Queer Democrats Endorse Alvarez, Wayne for City Council (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club took two different tacks in its endorsements in City Council races at its regular meeting October 22. In District 6 they endorsed veteran politician Howard Wayne over Steve Hadley, chief of staff to incumbent Councilmember Donna Frye. In District 8 they endorsed the grass-roots Latino candidate, David Alvarez, over two better connected candidates from established local Latino political families: Felipe Hueso, older brother of incumbent Councilmember Ben Hueso; and Nick Inzunza, uncle of former Councilmember Ralph Inzunza.

Queer Democrats Celebrate Women’s Equality Day (tags)

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.

PBS Documentary on “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” Airs June 16 (tags)

The PBS documentary “Ask Not,” dealing with the human cost of the “don't ask, don't tell” policy that excludes open Queers from the U.S. military, will be shown nationwide on June 16 and in San Diego June 21 as part of the “Independent Lens” series. The show depicts individuals thrown out of the military under “don't ask, don't tell” and the Queer community's fight-back against the discriminatory policy. In a May 3 preview screening at the San Diego Public Library, activists working against “don't ask, don't tell” discussed why even progressive people who generally oppose America’s wars should be concerned about this issue.

Over 70 Activists Stage Marriage Equality Sit-in at S.D. County Clerk’s Office (tags)

Over 70 marriage equality activists occupied the office of the San Diego County Clerk Wednesday, May 27 as a protest against the California Supreme Court’s ruling that Proposition 8, which restricts marriage in California to one man and one woman, is constitutional. Michael Anderson and Brian Baumgardner led the action by demanding a marriage license, and other Queer couples followed suit. The event ended peacefully, with no arrests, when the crowd dispersed an hour after the official closing time of the building.

Over 4,000 Rally in San Diego Against Prop. 8 Decision (tags)

Over 4,000 people attended a march and rally in San Diego on May 26 denouncing the California Supreme Court's decision upholding Proposition 8, the initiative banning same-sex marriage in California, while simultaneously keeping in force the estimated 18.000 marriages between same-sex couples during the 4 1/2 months the court's previous ruling allowing them was in effect. The mood of the action was a combination of sorrow, hope and determination to put the issue before California voters again and campaign at the ballot box for the repeal of Proposition 8.

Yes on 1A Through 1F May 19 (tags)

California's latest state budget deal requires passage of Propositions 1A through 1F on the May 19 special-election ballot. Though the measures have flaws, progressives need to unite behind them because their defeat will be a tremendous political victory for the anti-government, anti-human radical Right and will require even more desperate cutbacks in state education, health care and social service funding than their passage.

Obama's Medical Marijuana Rhetoric Better Than His Actions (tags)

Despite the much-ballyhooed announcements from the Obama administration that they're going to stop prosecuting medical marijuana patients and providers as long as they abide by the laws of their states, little has changed, attorney Gerald Singleton and activist Dion Markgraaf told Activist San Diego at a meeting April 20. Patients and providers are still being raided, and the Justice Department disappointed medical marijuana advocates by recommending a five-year prison sentence for former Morro Bay dispensary operator Charles Lynch despite the request by the judge in the case for some legal ground to be more lenient.

Local San Diego Activists Defend Friendship Park (tags)

Since 1971, the Monument Mesa at Friendship Park on the U.S.-Mexico border has been an informal gathering place where people kept from physically coming together by the border fence could nonetheless reach out and pass each other greetings, kisses, presents and food. No longer: the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, seemingly determined to wipe out any sign that the people of the U.S. and Mexico should actually regard each other with anything other than wary hostility, have put the mesa straight in the cross-hairs of the triple border fence. Local activists Christian Ramirez and John Fanestil addressed a San Diego audience April 17 to tell what they're doing to try to save Friendship Park.

Over 500 Turn Out for Marriage Equality Demonstration (tags)

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and his Lesbian daughter Lisa (pictured) led off the San Diego installment of "March Forth on March Fourth," a series of rallies and demonstrations held statewide on the eve of the California Supreme Court's oral hearings on the legal challenges to Proposition 8. Mayor Sanders endorsed same-sex marriage equality last year after deciding he couldn't tell his daughter that her relationship was less important than his.

Prop. 8 and the Triumph of Theocracy (tags)

The passage of Proposition 8 proves that many American voters are committed to a basically theocratic view of government in which THEIR moral values and commitments should rule over others. It also means the Queer community needs to do some soul-searching over why people of color and others we considered natural allies voted for 8 in greater percentages than whites did, and whether "marriage" as a term carries too much religious baggage ever to win majority support for its legal extension to same-sex couples.

Stephen Whitburn: Progressive San Diego City Council Candidate (tags)

Zenger’s-endorsed District 3 City Council candidate STEPHEN WHITBURN is the real deal: an experienced journalist and progressive who’s seen more of the world than San Diego and knows from government in other cities what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be fooled by an opponent who offers nothing but charm, geography and experience at taking orders.

Progressive San Diego Council Candidate Takes On Developer (tags)

Progressive San Diego City Council candidate Stephen Whitburn held a press conference September 7 to protest a new development proposal for the Hillcrest area that would erect two high-rise towers in a small-scale, intimate neighborhood, adding to traffic congestion and destroying the community's atmosphere. Developer Bruce Lightenberger, also interviewed, said he couldn't care less; he claims that as long as it meets existing zoning, he has an absolute right to build his project and neither the city nor the community can stop him.

HRC Head Does Damage Control on Transgender Rights (tags)

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign — America's largest Queer-rights organization — came to San Diego July 24 to organize support for his group's campaign against Proposition 8, which would reverse the California Supreme Court's decision allowing same-sex couples to marry. But most of his 10-minute speech was damage control to repair HRC's relations with the Transgender community, strained by the group's decision last October to support a federal Queer-rights bill that doesn't protect Transgender people.

New Blackwater Controversy on the U.S.-Mexico Border (tags)

A proposed project run by the private military contractor Blackwater Worldwide is once again kicking up political hay on the US-Mexico border. Earlier rebuffed in its attempt to open a large training camp in the rural San Diego County community of Potrero, Blackwater now finds itself in a battle over the company's bid to open a training facility for the US Navy. Like Potrero, the latest controversy has pried open a Pandora's Box of thorny issues ranging from border relations to the Iraq war. The current dispute centers on Blackwater's plans to manage a 48-student school in San Diego County's Otay Mesa on the US-Mexico border and just down the road from US Border Patrol offices. According to Blackwater's plans, the site will offer indoor shooting instruction and simulated ship training to improve the anti-terrorist skills of naval personnel.

Zenger's Newsmagazine Election Endorsements (tags)

Zenger's Newsmagazine endorses in local, state and federal offices in the June 3 primary, including "revolutionary" candidate Eric Bidwell for Mayor and incumbent Mike Aguirre for City Attorney.

San Diego Queer Democrats Endorse Morrow for Mayor (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club endorsed former City Councilmember Floyd Morrow for Mayor at thier April 24 meeting — but Morrow was upstaged by City Councilmember and former mayoral candidate Donna Frye, who brought a volunteer in a fox costume to dramatize her contention that Proposition "C," a ballot proposal to allow the mayor to appoint the city's auditor, is "putting the fox in charge of the henhouse."

San Diego Earth Day Hosts Local Candidates (tags)

Though poorly attended, the candidates' debates at San Diego's Earth Day in Balboa Park April 20 offered useful insights into how the aspirants for mayor, third district city councilmember and city attorney might use their jobs to help protect the city's environment — or not.

San Diego Queer Democrats Reject Progressive City Attorney (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club supported the city's corrupt political establishment and its handmaidens in organized labor and refused to support progressive Democrat Mike Aguirre for re-election as city attorney. Instead they endorsed moderate Democrat City Councilemmber Scott Peters even though Peters voted to renew the Boy Scouts of America's sweetheart lease on city land in 2001 and refused to commit to backing Aguirre in a general election against a Republican.

Queer Democrats Hold Love-Fest for School Board Candidates (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club overwhelmingly endorsed three candidates in local school board races in a love-fest meeting February 28 that contrasted dramatically with their previous one on January, a knock-down, drag-out debate between incumbent city attorney Mike Aguirre and two of his challengers (one of whom has since left the race). They also rated openly Gay Republican Carl DeMaio "unacceptable" as a candidate for the San Diego City Council.

Queer Democrats Fail to Endorse for President (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club failed to endorse a candidate for President after a contentious meeting November 29. On the first ballot, Hillary Clinton received eight votes, John Edwards seven, Barack Obama three, Dennis Kucinich two and 14 club members voted against making an endorsement at all. The club also voted to oppose statewide Proposition 91 on the February ballot, which would block legislators from using gas tax money to balance the state budget.

S.F. Assemblymember Leno Speaks on Same-Sex Marriage (tags)

San Francisco Assemblymember Mark Leno was the keynote speaker at the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club's Freedom Banquet fundraiser October 6. He talked about the bill for marriage equality for same-sex couples he's pushed through the California legislature twice, the likelihood that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will veto it (as he did in 2005) and the various radical-Right initiative proposals to ban marriage for same-sex couples in California forever.

Queer Democrats Endorse Block, Pettis for Assembly (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club endorsed Marty Block, San Diego Community College board member, over more grass-roots candidates Arlie Ricasa and Auday Arabo for an open Assembly seat at its September 27 meeting. The club also endorsed openly Gay candidate Greg Pettis for another Assembly seat in Palm Springs and Riverside County.

Police Line Up for Congratulations at San Diego City Council (tags)

On Monday, July 23 the San Diego City Council voted unanimously to commend the San Diego Police Department, County Sheriff's Department, Highway Patrol, Harbor Police and FBI for a job well done in creating a police-state atmosphere in San Diego during the biotech convention June 24-27, keeping down the number of protesters and profiling people based on their clothing choices and anti-corporate T-shirts. Picture shows a line of some of the police officers who attended the meeting to receive this honor.

San Diego City Council Endorses Police Actions at BIO 2001 (tags)

Full text of the resolution passed by the San Diego City Council unanimously July 23 honoring the various police jurisdictions and city agencies for keeping the number of anti-biotech protesters low and maintaining order during the BIO 2001 convention June 24-27. [Posted by Mark Gabrish Conlan of Zenger's Newsmagazine, who transcribed it from his tape of the City Council meeting.]

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