fix articles 18346, john gordon
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.
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.
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.
San Diego Common Cause Debates Strong-Mayor Government (tags)
On June 8 voters in San Diego will decide whether to make the city's experiment in a strong-mayor form of government permanent. The ballot measure will also increase the size of the City Council from eight to nine (at a cost of $1 to $1.5 million per year) and increase the threshold for sustaining a mayor's veto of a Council action from five votes to six. San Diego's branch of Common Cause debated the issue February 13 and questioned whether the strong mayor has made local government more or less accountable, and whether the real purpose of strong-mayor is to increase the already massive influence of business and developers over local government.
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.”
Health Advocate McGuire Speaks Out for Single-Payer (tags)
Andrew McGuire, who's been active in grass-roots health campaigns for over 35 years, came to San Diego May 7 to speak at the First Unitarian-Universalist Church as part of his campaign to get a single-payer health care system enacted and operating in California. McGuire was eloquent about the "immoral, demeaning and lethal" health care system the U.S. has now, and the political pressures making reform impossible at the federal level,but even some progressives in his audience were concerned about details in the plan he was promoting.
Queer Democrats Oppose Flagship Budget Compromise Proposition (tags)
The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club voted overwhelmingly on March 26 to oppose Proposition 1A, centerpiece of the budget reform compromise adopted by the California legislature last January. Though 1A would extend the state's temporary tax increases from two years to four, club members decided that the price -- notably vastly increased veto powers for the governor, new corporate tax breaks and a "rainy-day fund" that could lead to cutbacks in major state programs -- wasn't worth it. The club also opposed Proposition 1D, suppported 1B, 1E and 1F, and took no position on 1C.