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San Diego Queer Democrats Reject Progressive, Endorse Moderate for Congress (tags)

The San Diego Democrats for Equality, a predominantly Queer Democratic party club, decisively rejected the Congressional candidacy of progressive former Assemblymember Lori Saldaña at its regular meeting January 26. Instead they endorsed moderate Scott Peters on the ground that he'd be a better "fit" for the district, could raise more money and would have a better shot at unseating Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray.

Queer Democrats Endorse Occupy San Diego (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democrats for Equality (formerly the San Diego Democratic Club) held their first regular meeting since the name change October 27 and overwhelmingly endorsed Occupy San Diego. The strongly worded resolution, based on one passed by the San Diego County Democratic Party, not only supported Occupy's right to protest and camp out in the Civic Center Plaza downtown but also ringingly endorsed the group's challenge to corporate power. The club also endorsed progressive Congressmember Bob Filner for Mayor of San Diego in the 2012 election.

What's in a Name? "San Diego Democrats for Equality" (tags)

The mountain labored at the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club September 22 and produced the club's new name: "San Diego Democrats for Equality." The push to change the club's name was sparked by several members who thought the original name, approved when the club started in 1974, was a relic of a more closeted age and the club needed a new name that more openly and proudly proclaimed its identity as a Queer-rights organization. Though the club voted overwhelmingly to change its name, there was considerable debate over what to change it to: out of the three proposed alternatives, the least openly Queer name, "San Diego Democrats for Equality," won a majority on the first ballot against "San Diego Stonewall Democrats" (after the event commonly, but inaccurately, thought to have started the U.S. Queer rights movement) and "San Diego LGBT Democrats."

Queer Democrats Host Incumbent City Councilmembers (tags)

Thanks to a member who asked that all so-called "friendly incumbent" endorsements be pulled for further discussion, the three incumbent San Diego City Councilmembers who attended the September 22 meeting of the predominantly Queer San Diego Democrats for Equality (formerly the San Diego Democratic Club) ? Todd Gloria, Marti Emerald and Sherri Lightner ? found themselves on the spot. Instead of just showing up to receive their endorsements and thank the club, they spoke to the group on such controversial issues like the city's budget and pension problems, historical preservation and the influence of wealthy people like Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs on plans for Balboa Park.

Five Minutes of Geography ? (tags)

The late Lenny Bruce once joked that the radical Right's fears about ? shock! ? sex education in the public schools were unfounded because schoolkids weren't going to come home and tell their parents, "Today at school we learned five minutes of geography and ten minutes of cocksucking." The modern-day radical Right's campaign to get rid of SB 48, a bill recently passed by the California legislature to require middle and high schools to teach the role and contributions of Queer Americans (along with Pacific Islanders and people with disabilities), is driven by a similar paranoia and a disbelief that there even are such things as Queer people ? and so far the Queer community's response to the attack on SB 48 is all too faithfully copied from the losing campaign against Proposition 8: a "coalition" made up mostly of straight people and a whiny argument about how we supposedly need "role models" to keep from drinking, drugging or suiciding.

Free the Equality Nine! Action Sept. 28 in Downtown San Diego (tags)

Over a year has passed since the ?Equality Nine? ? members and supporters of the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.) ? were arrested on August 19, 2010 at the San Diego County Administrative Center. Now the Equality Nine plan to present their petitions to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith at a rally Wednesday, September 28, 4 p.m. outside the City Attorney?s office, 1200 Third Avenue downtown. The next court hearing in the case is scheduled for Monday, October 17 in the San Diego County Courthouse downtown.

SB 48 Referendum: THE Epic Struggle for Queer Rights in California (tags)

Roland Palencia, executive director of the Queer lobbying group Equality California (EQCA), calls the radical Right's attempt to get rid of the FAIR Education Act, also known as SB 48, "the greatest threat in years to LGBT [Queer] Californians." The Act adds Queer people, people with disabilities and Pacific Islanders to the list of communities whose "role and contributions" to American and Californian history and society must be acknowledged in lessons and textbooks used by the California public schools. Radical-Right activists, including some of the same people who successfully eliminated marriage equality in California via Proposition 8, plan to make it a referendum on the very existence and legitimacy of the Queer community and will likely wage an ugly campaign based on many negative stereotypes of Queer people. Palencia's group is fighting back by setting up a broad, mostly non-Queer coalition, and he, EQCA regional field director George Zander and openly Queer San Diego Unified School District board member Kevin Beiser spoke at the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club August 25 to mobilize its members to join the campaign and help organize the grand coalition.

Marching with S.A.M.E. at the San Diego Pride Parade (tags)

A lot of progressive Queers and Queer-friendly allies have written off the annual Pride events as overly commercial, corporate and mainstream. But that's not what it felt like to me when I marched with the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.) in San Diego's Pride Parade July 16. In a mixed contingent that also included members of the Bradley Manning Support Group and the International Socialist Organization, I felt like part of a movement, participating in an island of militant political awareness that asserted the values on which Pride was founded that have largely got lost in the overall celebration. With nine S.A.M.E. members facing criminal charges for seeking marriage licenses following the federal district court ruling declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional, some of the signs the contingent carried linked their members -- and Bradley Manning -- to notorious American political prisoners of the past.

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.

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.

Labor Representatives Under Attack, Seek Queer Democrats’ Help (tags)

Three San Diego union leaders — Central Labor Council CEO/secretary-treasurer Lorena Gonzalez, Municipal Employees’ Association general manager Michael Zucchet, and SEIU Local 221 head Eric Banks — spoke to the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club April 28 on the state of the local labor movement. They focused on the attacks on public workers by the Republican party and the radical Right, which is aimed not only at driving public-sector wages and benefits below those offered by the private sector but also denying the one source of substantial campaign funding available to Democrats and thereby winning elections by eliminating effective competition. They also talked about the Right-wing bias of San Diego’s media and their success in demonizing public workers’ pensions as the source of San Diego’s financial ills.

Queer Democrats Oppose Initiative to Add Non-Elected Members to School Board (tags)

Two multimillionaires, Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs and hedge-fund CEO Rod Dammeyer, are sponsoring an initiative called “San Diegans 4 Great Schools” to add four non-elected members to the board of the San Diego Unified School District. The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club debated this initiative March 24 and passed a motion urging voters not to sign to put it on the ballot. Among their concerns were the potential dilution of voter input on the school board, the presence of the president of Roman Catholic Church-owned University of San Diego on the panel of nine people making the appointments, and the ways paid signature gatherers routinely lie about what initiatives will do in order to get people to sign them. The club heard from Scott Himmelmeyer, USD employee and spokesperson for the initiative, as well as current school board president Richard Barrera speaking for and against it, respectively.

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.

Redistricting, Open Primaries and the Challenges for Democrats (tags)

At the January 27 meeting of the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club, Jess Durfee, chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party and former president of the club, explained the challenges the party faces as the citizens’ redistricting commission begins work on redrawing legislative lines for the 2012 election and beyond. He also talked about California’s new open primary law, which also goes into effect in 2012 and allows members of any political party, or of no party at all, to vote in primary races, with the two top finishers from the primary running against each other in the general election even if they’re from the same political party. California’s Democratic leadership opposed both these changes, but Durfee’s presentation focused on making them work and protecting the party’s interests in this new electoral environment.

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.

Foundation for Change Honors Local “Changemakers” Sept. 26 (tags)

The San Diego Foundation for Change held its annual “Changemaker Celebration” Sunday, September 26 on the Prado patio in Balboa Park. Part outdoor picnic, part bazaar of social-change organizations, part fundraiser and part short commemoration, the event honored longtime local activists Larry Baza of the San Diego Democratic Club, Victor Clark-Alfaro of Tijuana’s Bi-National Center for Human Rights, and the Environmental Health Coalition and its longtime director, Diane Takvorian.

Aguirre, Frye Debate San Diego's Prop. D at Queer Democratic Club (tags)

The campaign over Proposition D — an attempt to raise the sales tax in San Diego one-half cent to avoid draconian cuts in police, fire and other city services — has made strange bedfellows. Former city attorney Mike Aguirre, an otherwise progressive Democrat, has made common cause with Right-wing talk radio hosts and anti-tax zealots in opposing the measure. He and progressive City Councilmember Donna Frye debated Prop. D at the September 23 meeting of the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club — which overwhelmingly voted to endorse the measure.

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.

San Diego’s Queer Democrats Discuss Election Aftermath (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club heard from three local experts — San Diego County Democratic Party chair Jess Durfee, San Diego CityBeat editor David Rolland and political consultant Jennifer Tierney — on the aftermath of the June 8 primary election at their regular meeting June 24. The discussion centered mainly on how Democratic candidates like state gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown and local City Council candidate Howard Wayne can overcome the vast advantage of Republican money — and, in Brown's case, the multi-billion dollar personal fortune of his opponent, Meg Whitman. The club also took a position against SB 1070, the controversial anti-immigrant law recently passed by the Arizona state legislature.

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 Pride Town-Hall Draws Small Crowd (tags)

In sharp contrast to the earlier meeting in January, a town-hall called by San Diego LGBT Pride February 22 drew only about 50 people and lasted just 45 minutes. Instead of a bitch-fest aimed at getting rid of the Pride board — whose members resigned and were replaced with respected community veterans who'd served on previous Prides — the February 22 meeting offered constructive discussion about the fate of the annual Pride parade and festival, including concerns from politically oriented Queer activists that by abolishing the annual pre-Pride rally, the former board had betrayed the true meaning of Pride.

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.”

Town-Hall Meeting Bitterly Critical of Pride Board (tags)

San Diego's annual Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Pride celebrations have been jeopardized by a community controversy over a $5,000 payment authorized by the board to its chair, Dr. Philip Princetta. The board fired Pride's executive director, Ron deHarte, on January 5, one day after he wrote a letter calling the payment "self-dealing" and questioning its legality. Two other Pride staff members resigned in support, and on Sunday, January 10 members of San Diego's Queer and Queer-allied communities had a chance to weigh in on the controversy. With none of the current board members there to hear the community speakers or express their own version of the events, the meeting turned into a series of condemnations of the board members and a vote to ask that deHarte be reinstated — but many people there were frustrated that the structure of the board doesn't give the community any recourse that doesn't also hurt the Pride events themselves.

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.

Former Obama Adviser Attacks Him at Freedom Awards (tags)

Steve Hildebrand has been described as Barack Obama's closest Gay friend and the person he listens to on Gay issues, but at the August 22 Freedom Awards, the main fundraiser for the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club, he bluntly said, “The problem is Obama isn’t listening enough.” At the event, Hildebrand delivered a slashing attack on Obama and the Democrats in Congress -- both the so-called “Blue Dogs” in the House and the “moderates” in the Senate, as well as leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid who are letting them get away with hijacking Obama’s agenda and pushing him to the Right. Hildebrand predicted that the Democrats will lose their Congressional majority if they continue to tack Rightward and fail to do the things they were elected to do.

Congressmember Davis Speaks at Orderly Town-Hall Meeting (tags)

Elsewhere in the country Democratic Congressmembers are being heckled and sometimes driven off the stage when they try to hold town-hall meetings to explain the health-care reform bill the House is currently debating. Not in San Diego August 11, where Congressmember Susan Davis was able to hold a meeting in peace and discuss the issue in a polite, civil manner. This was largely due to the strategy of the sponsoring organization, the Hillcrest Town Council, which admitted their own members and Hillcrest residents first -- thereby assuring Davis a mostly liberal audience that wouldn't try to disrupt her meeting.

Does California Need a Constitutional Convention? (tags)

Does California need a constitutional convention? The question is being raised by a number of organizations, including the Bay Area Council — a group of business leaders based in the San Francisco Bay Area — and the California chapters of the League of Women Voters, Common Cause and the Mexican-American Political Association, all of whom sent representatives to an August 1 meeting that attracted an overflow crowd to the Mission Valley library. The push for a convention is driven largely by the state's inability to govern itself effectively, hamstrung by the current constitution's 2/3 vote requirement to pass a budget or raise taxes, Proposition 13, legislative term limits, legislative "safe seats" and initiatives that have put all but 7 percent of the budget outside the control of the political process.

Queer Democrats Endorse Susan Davis for Re-Election to Congress (tags)

Ignoring Congressmember Susan Davis’s often surprisingly conservative record on issues like the war (she voted against the authorization to attack Iraq but has faithfully voted for every supplemental appropriation to fund the U.S.’s wanton aggressions in Iraq and Afghanistan), global trade and health care, the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club endorsed her for re-election seven months before the filing deadline and thereby foreclosed the possibility of considering a progressive primary challenger should one run, as Mike Copass of Progressive Democrats of America did in 2008.

SAME Meeting Challenges Queer Establishment, Democratic Party (tags)

The San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (SAME) hosted a meeting at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center June 23 that was billed as a response to Proposition 8 and a discussion of the future of marriage equality in California — but it also turned into a radical response to the Queer establishment in general and the Courage Campaign in particular. Lesbian activist Robin Tyler, who was one of the lead plaintiffs in the suit that briefly won marriage rights for same-sex couples in California, criticized the strategies and tactics of the Courage Campaign and denounced the Democratic party as having screwed over Queer people for 35 to 40 years, She called for the Queer community to cut ties with the Democrats once and for all.

Don’t Rush Back to the Ballot on Marriage (tags)

The Queer community in California is asking itself the wrong question in the current debate over whether to try to repeal Proposition 8 at the ballot box in 2010 or 2012. Either date is too early, Mark Gabrish Conlan argues in this editorial from the July 2009 Zenger’s Newsmagazine. Rather than launch a premature initiative drive we will likely lose, organizing around this issue needs to occur outside the electoral process and take the form of nonviolent direct action and public education efforts to convince a majority of Californians that denying legal marriage to same-sex couples is an intolerable form of discrimination.

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.

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.

Queer Democrats Hear from Labor on Employee Free Choice Act (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club heard from Carlos Marquez, chair of the local chapter of Pride @ Work, at its regular meeting April 23. He presented a campaign called http://www.SharedAgenda.org, aimed at building grassroots support for two proposed pieces of federal legislation: the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which will make it easier for workers to form unions; and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which will ban discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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.

“No on 8” Actions, Discussions Continue (tags)

The fight against the anti-marriage Proposition 8 has lasted quite a bit longer than the election, in which the same-sex marriage ban passed by a five-point margin. Queer and allied activists are still holding demonstrations against the initiative and meeting to discuss where the fight will go next. But their discussions are stronger on building communications strategies than actually plotting a course to reverse the ballot measure.

Anti-Proposition 8 Protests in San Diego (tags)

The statewide wave of protests against the passage of anti-Queer, anti-marriage, anti-family Proposition 8 hit San Diego November 7 and 8 with a nighttime rally in Balboa Park November 7 and a march from Hillcrest to North Park, through San Diego's most Queer neighborhoods, the next day.

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.

Queer Democrats Endorse Aguirre for San Diego City Attorney (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club, which had endorsed moderate Democrat Scott Peters over progressive incumbent Mike Aguirre for city attorney in the primary campaign, reversed itself and voted to endorse Aguirre over Republican Jan Goldsmith at its June 26 meeting — but not before an intense debate in which the club president threatened to eject two members to keep the meeting orderly.

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."

“¡Aguirre Si, Labor No!” (tags)

Zenger's Newsmagazine announces its endorsement of progressive Democrat Mike Aguirre for re-election as San Diego city attorney, despite the opposition of reactionary city employee unions more concerned with preserving the pensions of current city workers than protecting the salaries and benefits of future ones.

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.

San Diego's Controversial City Attorney 'Speaks (tags)

To his supporters, San Diego city attorney Mike Aguirre is an activist and truth-teller who'sone of the few local elected officials dealing seriously with the city's budget crises. To his opponents, ranging from the Right-wing San Diego Union-Tribune to the city employee unions, he's a loud-mouthed obstructionist who's dividing the city and costing it money. The controversy was on display January 24, when Aguirre and two of his election oppoennts debated at the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club.

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.

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