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Your community’s history is important

Commentary: Conversations with Nicole

Gay San Diego

Patrick Wallace, Todd Gloria, Big Mike and Bonnie Dumanis

Well, my doctor has OK’d a speaking engagement for me in Texas this weekend, but then I’m grounded for another month.

Jerry Sanders … the pride of San Diego

When Mayor Sanders took office about seven years ago our city was under a dark cloud and the laughing stock of national publications including Time magazine and the New York Times. Our mayor had resigned and councilmen had been indicted. Is our city better off than we were seven years ago? You bet your ass we are and it’s because of the leadership of Jerry Sanders, a former police chief , executive director of United Way, the Red Cross and soon to be former mayor of San Diego. His legacy, because of his leadership, will include pension reform, a new modern library, convention center expansion , the soon-to-be Plaza de Panama in Balboa Park and probably a new sports stadium complex.

But what we will remember most about this mayor is that he was truly a mayor of the people; all its citizens and he has a big heart and took time to know all our communities and neighborhoods. Yes, I believe Jerry Sanders will go down in history as “the people’s mayor.” His last state of the city address … well, you really had to be there as he entered with music from Eminem and AC/DC. The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus sung our national anthem (you made our community so proud). A special shout out to our city’s first family: Rana Sampson, Jamie and Lisa. You’re the best!

Young activists: Please learn your history

“A community and activists who don’t know where they came from don’t really know where they are going,” – a famous quote of mine. The new blood, energy and activism of younger GLBT activists has been very inspiring and welcomed, especially by old aging activists like me. I love the new voices and young leaders taking their rightful place in our leadership. But, please know your community’s history and whose shoulders you stand on.

Recently, I had a cordial conversation with young activist Sean Sala who described in his blog recent activism he and others did as “history was made in our community” and they “set the standards” for others. With all due respect, outreach and dialogue to religious church organizations has been going on for decades – since the 1970s by the M.C.C. and others.

GLBT activists have volunteered to feed, clothe and shelter the homeless for decades; including women’s and children’s abuse shelters and agencies. I encourage Sala and others to continue their good work, (I also salute the “Gay is Good” volunteers) but learn about those activists, leaders, organizations and projects that came before. Thank you.

People, politics and opinions

I got some calls from our state capital recently, and it looks like respected attorney Paula Rosenstein could soon be our next appointed judge. Word is she is on our governor’s shortlist. Those of us who endorsed gay Latino Republican Andrew Valencia for the Sweetwater school board were not surprised with the felony indictments of his winning opponent Arlie Ricasa. Rumors of her corruption were being talked about back then.

Black lesbian activist Dr. Pat Washington is running for the 79th state assembly seat and former Solana Beach mayor, Dave Roberts is running for county supervisor. That means there could be six or more GLBT candidates for public office on your June primary ballot. Popular Donna Frye’s recent endorsement of Lori Saldana for congress will help her in this hotly contested Democratic primary. Congratulations to the newly elected chairman of the county board of supervisors, “honorary gay citizen” Ron Roberts .

Next Thursday, Jan. 26, the Bamboo Lounge will host a “GLBT Coalition” kick-off for ex-Marine Nathan Fletcher from 6-8 p.m. Poor Republican Congressman David D. Dreier of Northern California was “outed” again this past Saturday on Logo TV. I met him at an event for Congressman Brian Bilbray many years ago and, yes, my “gay radar” went off quickly. Tom Dickerson who manages a local prestigious law firm is a candidate for Emperor XI of San Diego. Word is that our city will be the first site of the soon-to-be nationwide chain of Harvey Milk All-American Diners. This past Monday morning’s Martin Luther King’s All People’s Breakfast had as its keynote speaker a gay Filipino – renowned award-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas. It was good to see GLBT involvement at the MLK breakfast which included, Dr. Linda Barufaldi, City Commissioner Bruce Abrams and Stan Lewis (outstanding video interview). The Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast has been set for May 25.

Congratulations Carl Demaio and Johnathan Hale on your third anniversary, from the queen who introduced you to each other.

Coronation 40 … a matter of respect

In 1971 (homosexual sex was still very illegal) GLBT people began organizing a local chapter of the Imperial Court de San Diego. For 40 years the Imperial Court has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for countless GLBT organizations. The court helped give the seed money for our Center, Pride, Mama’s Kitchen, AIDS Walk etc. Now its time for our community, its organizations, leaders and activists to show their appreciation and, yes, respect to this hard-working and giving non-profit organization by supporting and attending its 40th anniversary celebration, Feb. 10-11 at the Marriott Hotel. For further info, aspyere@cox.net or phone 619-403-1858.

Nicole’s quickie movie review

Contraband: A quick paced, exciting and fast-action movie.

The Iron Lady: Meryl Streep deserves an Oscar as she is the only great thing in this boring movie.

War Horse: Fabulous. But, bring lots of hankies.

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: One very dark, but outstanding, movie.

My Week with Marilyn: Marilyn Monroe comes completely alive in this movie.

The Devil Inside: If you see this movie you will definitely burn in hell.

The Artist: Best “silent” black and white movie I’ve ever seen. It brought me back to my childhood.

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 on Jan 23, 2012. Filed under Bottom Highlights, 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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