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Stuart Milk to endorse Bob Filner for San Diego mayor

Stuart Milk

EXCLUSIVE

Stuart Milk, an international civil rights activist and nephew of the late Harvey Milk, will endorse Democratic congressman, Bob Filner in his bid to become the 37th mayor of San Diego.

“Bob’s a friend, somebody who has a very rich history in terms of civil rights who has equality as part of the very fabric of his being,” Milk said during an exclusive interview with San Diego LGBT Weekly. “That’s a rare trait you don’t find in many people.”

Milk cited Filner’s early work as a teenager in the civil rights movement led by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In the early 1960s, Filner was among a handful of protesters and march participants who spent three months in a Mississippi jail in support of equality for African Americans, who at the time suffered the indignities of segregation and the hardships of wanton discrimination in the South.

“Equality is in his blood,” Milk said of his favorite candidate for San Diego mayor. “It was there when he stood up for African Americans; it’s been there for LGBT Americans for a long time too.”

Milk travels throughout the country in support of issues that impact the civil rights of LGBT Americans and other groups that don’t always enjoy the same rights and privileges of those in the majority. These days, Milk sees justice in the realm of economic opportunity as an issue that is coequal to more “standard” issues of equality. And, he says, Filner’s economic policies and proposals make him the better candidate of the two remaining in the mayor’s race.

“I think San Diego has the opportunity to be the next hub of technology and innovation,” he said. “Bob has a plan for innovating and taking advantage of the use of new technology and combining those with the diversity that San Diego has to make that happen.”

According to Milk, current mayor, Jerry Sanders did a great job of moving to stabilize the local economy.

“Now it’s time to take that to the next level,” Milk said. “I think one candidate has a plan to fix potholes and the other candidate, Bob Filner, has a plan that international companies and investors want to find in communities where they want to invest their dollars.”

Milk cites the case of an innovative European grocery retailer that just opened its first U.S. store in New York City.

“The CEO asked me where I thought was a good place for them to open their next store; what cities are using their diversity as a strength,” Milk said. “I said San Diego was one place that, with Bob Filner as mayor, would be one of a few great places to open their second store.”

Stuart Milk’s endorsement of Bob Filner came as Mayor Jerry Sanders, in a move that surprised some, endorsed City Councilman Carl DeMaio, Wednesday, for mayor.

Earlier this year, Sanders slammed DeMaio for taking credit for some of his (Sanders’) proposals during a news conference saying, “He probably takes credit for my weight loss. He probably takes credit for the weeds I pulled in the backyard last week. It’s all bullshit.”

Asked whether there was any irony in the fact that the gay nephew of slain LGBT civil rights pioneer, Harvey Milk, is passing on endorsing the openly gay candidate to endorse the straight one, while the straight, Republican sitting mayor has now endorsed the gay candidate Milk was circumspect.

“Nothing surprises me in politics anymore,” Milk said. “I consider Jerry Sanders a friend. He is one of only a handful of Harvey Milk Foundation Medal of Freedom honorees; and I’m proud of the work he’s done for marriage equality.”

After Sanders’ daughter Lisa came out as a lesbian, Sanders, over time, became a staunch advocate for marriage equality, going so far as serving as president of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry.

On the other hand, DeMaio has received harsh criticism for accepting money and support from opponents of LGBT rights from many in the LGBT community and the media, including in the opinion pages of this newsmagazine.

Stuart Milk will formally announce his endorsement of Bob Filner for mayor of San Diego tomorrow (Friday Sept. 28 at 11 a.m. at a press conference at San Diego State University).



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Posted by LGBT Weekly on Sep 27, 2012. Filed under Around the City. 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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