fix articles 1567, stephen whitburn
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Marriage Victory Celebration Draws 3,000 to Hillcrest Streets (tags)
Account of the marriage equality celebration that occurred on the streets of Hillcrest, the San Diego neighborhood famous for its large Queer population, on August 4, 2010 — the day Judge Vaughn R. Walker announced his decision in the federal lawsuit challenging Proposition 8. Though Queer activists and allies have since been frustrated by the court-ordered delays in enforcing Walker's decision, they can be proud that a judge ruled that there is absolutely no rational basis for a ban on marriage between two partners of the same gender.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 Endorse Busby for Congress — Barely (tags)
The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club narrowly endorsed Francine Busby in her fourth attempt to unseat an incumbent Republican Congressmember in San Diego North County's 50th Congressional District. Her supporters promoted her as the most electable candidate because she's built up a large following of volunteers and contributors in the district; her opponents said she'd fudged the question of same-sex marriage equality on the club's questionnaire while her primary opponent, Tracy Emblem, had answered it forthrightly.
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.
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.
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.
San Diego City Council Candidates Debate (tags)
San Diego City Council candidates Stephen Whitburn and Todd Gloria debated at the Hillcrest Town Council September 9. Both are openly Gay men and the debate was held in the center of San Diego's Queer community, but the candidates are otherwise quite different. Gloria emphasized his roots in San Diego and his extensive experience working as a staff member for elected officials, while Whitburn criticized Gloria's support from developers and said his own experience in journalism and the nonprofit sector would make him a better Councilmember.
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.
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.
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.