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Gather round and help our community

Commentary: Conversations with Nicole

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Bingo at the convalescent hospital

Thank you to everyone who attended the San Diego LGBT Weekly 1st anniversary party at the award-winning Busalacchi’s restaurant. It was great to see Mayor Jerry Sanders, Congressman Bob Filner, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Sheriff Bill Gore and so many other VIP’s, businesspeople, community leaders and activists having such a great time.

Community members need food and assistance

These last years, this bad economy has affected many in our GLBT community. Parents losing jobs and homes, and people hardly being able to put food on their tables. I see this situation growing worse, while working with Family Matters, The Center and the Imperial Court. But as usual, we get by because of our community’s loving and compassionate spirit of giving. Recently, we provided school supplies and clothes for children of GLBT parents, and now we are once again coming together at The Center on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday Nov. 24 for the annual Scott Carlson Community Thanksgiving Dinner (2-5 p.m.). All are welcome, and we usually get visitors with cancer, HIV/AIDS and those that are homeless and lonely. All are welcome.

We also work with The Center’s Family Matters to provide food for families in need.

A big thank you to Big Mike, San Diego LGBT Pride, the Ben F. Dillingham Grant, the Imperial Court, the Rob Benzon Foundation and so many who always give.

I’ll have the complete list next issue. We still need food, grocery cards, canned goods and donations. Please contact us as Christmas is also coming up: 619-692-1967.

Pat Washington to run for state assembly?

Recently appointed city commissioner, Dr. Pat Washington has informed me that she is seriously considering a campaign for the 79th state assembly seat. Washington is well known and respected in, not only, the LGBT community but in many of the people of color communities.

Long-time civil rights leader and icon, Dr. Shirley Weber, has also announced her candidacy. Dr. Weber is the chair of the City of San Diego’s Equal Opportunity Commission.

Gay San Diego: LGBT WEEKLY

Gay icon Mike Ruiz in San Diego for book signing Dec. 3

Harvey Milk St. looking good in 2012

The recent meeting of the Harvey Milk St. Task Force brought forth exciting information. The street that is being considered? Well, almost all the residents have signed off the street change and we will soon be going to start the official process with the local city agencies. Having worked proudly with other San Diegans to get streets in honor of Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez, about eight years ago I approached then Councilwoman Toni Atkins about getting a street named after Harvey Milk and Jess Jessop. We ran into a lot of red tape and opposition from some street residents who did not want their street name changed. But not this time. In fact, there is not only a lot of support but much excitement about the possibility. All I can say is the street will be in Hillcrest and the Milk family has informed me that they will attend the street dedication when it happens, and the task force is looking in 2012. The task force is made up of community, government and leaders/activists and I so much appreciate their dedication and hard work these last months. I will let you know who these outstanding men and women are as our work gets into the final stages.

Gay businesses get raided for undocumented employees

It seems some of our gay-owned restaurants have been raided over the suspicion that many of their workers were undocumented. One place lost 75 percent of their staff who had been with them for years. While I will not go into naming these businesses, I can tell you that they were taking advantage of these people and paying them much lower wages.

An afternoon in a convalescent hospital

Decades ago, the Imperial Court de San Diego started making monthly visits to convalescent hospitals and homes for the aged. These visits included bingo games with prizes, cake and ice cream. I haven’t been to one for a long time, so I went with the Imperial Court volunteers this past Sunday afternoon. I left with very mixed emotions. Happy that we brought smiles to their faces, and that they were loving having visitors and people to talk to, but I realized how lonely so many of them were, and how families and friends had abandoned them. I helped call a few games of bingo, but the true heroes were the Imperial Court volunteers who have been doing this every month. You would all be so proud of them, as I watched them interact and bring friendship and joy to these people. I want to most sincerely thank Emperor Allan Spyere, Empress Erika Odessa, Princess Pepper Price, I.C.S.D. board member Michael Lechner and Jamie Elique for the honor and privilege of letting me go on one of your monthly visits. If you’re interested in donating bingo prizes, women’s jewelry, perfume and men’s socks etc, just call 619-300-1232.

Mike Ruiz hits San Diego Dec. 3

Mark your calendar, boys, as one of America’s hottest model photographers and TV celebrities is coming to San Diego – for one day only! Yes, it is that sizzling, masculine, god-like built Latino Mike Ruiz of the hit TV shows A-List New York, America’s Next Top Model, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Kathy Griffin Show and more. But this world-renowned photographer will be in San Diego for a book signing of his latest hit Masculine, and let me tell you, this is one book not only to give as a gift, but also to keep you warm at night! Mike Ruiz will be at two book signings: Saturday, Dec. 3 from 6-8 p.m. at the award-winning Rufskin store on 30th Street, in North Park. Then, from 9-10 p.m. at Numbers. For more information contact Allan Spyere 619-300-1232.

Nicole Murray Ramirez has been an award-winning columnist since 1973, and a Latino and gay activist for well over 40 years. He is currently a city commissioner and has served the last five mayors of San Diego. He is also a national board member of the Harvey Milk Foundation and chairman of the International Court Council of the USA, Canada and Mexico. Nicolemrsd@aol.com.



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Posted by LGBT Weekly on Nov 28, 2011. Filed under Conversations with the Mayor of Hillcrest. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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