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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.

Queer Democrats Make Defeating Prop. 32 a Priority (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democrats for Equality voted August 23 to make defeating Proposition 32 a priority race in the November 6 election. Proposition 32 is an effort to destroy the ability of organized labor to raise money for political campaigns, and it's being sold deceptively as a campaign finance reform measure even though its principal sponsors are multi-million dollar donors to Republican candidates and super-PAC's. On the eve of Women's Equality Day, the club also heard from professors Dr. Sue Gonda and Carla Kirkwood on the history of women's struggles for equality and their links to the Queer rights movement.

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.

Queer Democrats Demand 100% on Marriage, Choice (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democrats for Equality passed a sweeping change to its rules for endorsing or rating candidates May 24. The new rules demand that candidates seeking an endorsement or favorable rating from the club support full marriage equality for Queer couples and an eight-point agenda for protecting women's access to abortion.

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.

Queer Democrats Warned About Threats to Reproductive Choice (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club heard two presentations at its June 23 meeting: a report on the likely strike by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) against southern California?s three largest grocery chains ? Ralph?s, Albertson?s and Vons ? and a warning about the potentially devastating effects of Republican and radical-Right policies against women?s rights to reproductive choice. Though the struggles of women to maintain safe and legal access to contraception and abortion may seem to have little in common with those of workers for decent pay, access to health care and other benefits, speakers on both issues noted how the radical Right has effectively linked them in the service of a paternalistic agenda that regards workers as mere cogs in a capitalist economy, and women as mere vessels for giving birth to the next generation.

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.

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.

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’ 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.”

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 Can’t Agree on Marriage Strategy (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club discussed whether to seek the repeal of Proposition 8 in 2010 or 2012 at its regular meeting September 24 — and turned out to be as divided on that topic as the rest of California’s Queer community. The two major statewide Queer organizations, Equality California and the Courage Campaign, have taken totally different tacks on the issue. The Courage Campaign not only favors 2010 but is already organizing for the earlier date, while Equality California’s leaders are convinced that 2010 is premature. Both the club’s invited panelists and its own members differed widely on whether to go in 2010 or 2012, and both proposals for the club to take action on the issue were voted down by wide margins.

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.

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.

San Diego Queer Democrats Endorse Beach Booze Ban (tags)

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club voted September 25 to endorse Proposition 4 on the November 4 ballot in the city of San Diego, which would make the temporary ban on alcohol consumption at city beaches permanent. Opponents have argued that the ban is an attack on individual freedom, but the club rejected that argument and instead supported beach-area residents who say the ban has improved their quality of life.

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.

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.

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