fix articles 8409, larry baza
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.
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.
Openly Gay Fort Worth City Councilmember Headlines Queer Democrats' Freedom Awards (tags)
As a boy, openly Gay Fort Worth City Councilmember Joel Burns was bullied by schoolmates and driven to thoughts of suicide. One of his friends, a boy from Oklahoma, actually did kill himself. As an elected official, Burns spoke October 12 in the Fort Worth City Council chambers and talked about his past in a speech that was heard 'round the world through YouTube and the power of the Internet. On November 13 Burns came to San Diego as the keynote speaker for the 35th Annual Freedom Awards of the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club and talked about teen suicide and the need for renewed commitment on the part of Queer Democrats and progressives to elect officials whose actions will make Queer teens safer.
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.
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.
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.
Pride Goeth Before a Fall (tags)
The current controversy over San Diego LGBT Pride is not only jeopardizing the future of the Pride events and potentially pitting board members against community volunteers in a potentially ruinous conflict, it's also opening doors for a real reconsideration of how Pride should be run and what its purpose should be. The author argues for an end to the self-perpetuating board of directors that currently runs Pride, a membership organization made up of volunteers and contributors, and a rethinking of the Pride events to emphasize community outreach and a celebration of Pride's liberationist origins as well as moneymaking and entertainment.
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.
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.
Queer Democrats Debate Proposition 8 Response (tags)
The wounds were still raw from the California Supreme Court decision upholding Proposition 8, the state’s voter-approved ban on marriage for same-sex couples, when the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club met May 28 and debated how the club should respond. The members heard from attorney Charlie Pratt, who had been at the sit-in at the County Administrative Center's marriage license bureau the day before and had been singled out for special harassment by police, and also discussed whether and when the Queer community should mount its own ballot initiative campaign to repeal Proposition 8.