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todd gloria

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.

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.

Queer Democrats Unanimously Oppose Pension "Reform" (tags)

The hottest issue on the June 5 ballot in San Diego is Proposition B, the public pension "reform" initiative sponsored by openly Queer Right-wing City Councilmember and Mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio. It would freeze all city workers' pay for five years and abolish the city's pension system for new hires, replacing it with a 401(k)-style plan. The product of a decade-long propaganda campaign by the radical Right politicians and media, it's expected to pass easily — but the predominantly Queer San Diego Democrats for Equality, after hearing a debate on it, unanimously voted to oppose it at their April 26 meeting.

Labor Rallies in Support of Occupy San Diego Oct. 28 (tags)

Despite a pre-dawn police raid on both Occupy San Diego sites — the Civic Center Plaza near City Hall and the Children's Park across from the Convention Center — a rally sponsored by organized labor in support of the occupation went ahead as scheduled October 28. At this time, the occupiers are still there.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A Different Kind of Tea: Some Tea Partiers May Support Pot Legalization (tags)

Proposition 19, which would legalize and tax marijuana in California, may have some unexpected supporters in the conservative tea party movement, reports Leo E. Laurence, associate editor of Zenger’s magazine and a former deputy sheriff who's campaigning for the measure as a member of the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (L.E.A.P.).

Two Openly Gay Councilmembers Debate Sales-Tax Increase (tags)

Rival City Councilmembers Todd Gloria and Carl DeMaio — the first two openly Gay men elected to the San Diego City Council — spoke at the Hillcrest Town Council September 14 and debated Proposition D on the November 2 ballot. This would allow the city to raise its sales tax one-half cent for five years to plug the $72 billion hole in its current budget — but only after the city implements 10 “reforms” reducing its pension obligations to workers and making it easier to privatize city jobs. But even in Gloria’s relatively liberal district, the polite but hostile response from the audience made it clear the measure will be a tough sell to city voters.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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 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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