About Alvarez and FaulconerBottom Highlights, Conversations with the Mayor of Hillcrest Thursday, November 28th, 2013
Commentary: Conversations with the Mayor of Hillcrest
When it comes to GLBT issues and equality, our community has two solid candidates, supporters and friends in Kevin Faulconer and David Alvarez. While I do appreciate both of these candidates reaching out to me after the primary, I have not totally made up my mind, but will endorse a candidate in my next column. The main issue for me is who is ready to lead the eighth largest city in America. Who will bring new business and jobs to our city? The mayor’s race is non-partisan so there will be no Republican or Democratic label next to the candidates’ name as it should be.
I’ve had the honor of serving and advising the last six mayors of San Diego; two Democrats and four Republicans. For me it’s about the person, not their political affiliation. While Democrat, Maureen O’Connor, was the first mayor to establish a mayoral GLBT advisory board and walk in our Pride Parade, it was Republican Mayor Roger Hedgecock, who opened the City Hall doors to the GLBT community and appointed the first openly gay San Diegans to city boards and commissions. And it was Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders, who became a national advocate for gay marriage equality and along with O’Connor, are the two most popular and beloved mayors these last decades.
Both Alvarez and Faulconer are nice guys and hopefully this campaign will be more positive as they both have a good working relationship on the City Council. On social issues our community wins with either candidate, but we are not a one issue community. We care about our neighborhoods, public safety, clean air, pot holes, small businesses, tourism and jobs. So I will endorse and support the candidate who I feel is the best on all these issues in next weeks’ column.
My friend, Nathan Fletcher
Many of us had great hopes for this ex-Marine and assemblyman. We thought for sure definitely a future governor or U.S. senator. I called him the “Gavin Newsom” of the South” as he was a new generation public servant, articulate, charismatic, inspiring and handsome with a beautiful wife and two little boys. Nathan Fletcher was a true “golden boy” of politics who was ready to lead. The governor, lt. governor, state assembly speaker, senate pro-tem, two congressmen, two senators, assemblymembers, etc. – all of them respected and popular Democrats endorsed Nathan Fletcher for mayor. Then what happened? Because he was a new generation of politician; because he was independent and believed in working with both political parties many feared him and spent millions to destroy him and ran the most negative campaigns in history against him. Attacked by both the left and the right and against all advice Fletcher continued to run his positive ads and message about a new type of bipartisan leadership.
Well, as they say sometimes – good guys finish last. I truly feel that Fletcher’s defeat was all of our loss because in getting to know this man and becoming his friend I knew I got to know what was in his heart and that was a true public servant who wanted to bring communities and people together. Sadly, most voters bought the negative lies and false pitches painted about Nathan in those mailers and TV ads published by those special interest groups that spent millions of dollars attacking him. Nathan has, of course, accepted his loss like the gentleman he is and told me he is spending his time now with his family and doing some surfing. And Qualcomm, I hear, has some big global plans for this bright young man.
Though I know he probably won’t, I wish he take some years off, stay involved with his neighborhood and civic service and, yes, one day run for the City Council. I believe San Diego never really got to know the real Nathan Fletcher and in my opinion, it was our city’s loss.
Well, I’ll be at the annual Scott Carlson Community Thanksgiving Dinner at The Center this Thursday along with Interim Mayor Todd Gloria, Assembly leader Toni Atkins and Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who are all stopping by and helping along with our fabulous volunteers. Last year we served about 500 people and also supplied a Thanksgiving dinner delivery to more than 50 GLBT families with more than 130 children. Thank you for all your support and donations that I mentioned in my last column. However, I forgot to acknowledge the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, Lob Cabin Club and Chris Ward.
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