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President Beiser: a historical first

Commentary: Conversations with the Mayor of Hillcrest

Kevin Faulconer

Chris Kehoe’s election as our city’s first openly gay official was one of the most important moments in the history of our LGBT community. Since then LGBT San Diegans have been elected judges, district attorney, state assemblymembers and county supervisors, etc. To many of us, Kevin Beiser’s election to the school board was the second most important for our community and last week he was elected president of the school board.

Beiser has been a teacher for almost a decade and his mostly young teen students are more than 90 percent Latino. He has been named San Diego “Math Teacher of the Year” in the past and was named “Legislator of the Year” by the California Music Educators Association. He was honored with a Distinguished Service Award by the prestigious GATE Group and last year his school district was named one of the top four in the nation.

Kevin married his life partner, Dan Mock just a few months ago and is one of the most visible elected officials in the City, as he is always supporting diverse events in all communities. To know Kevin Beiser is to know this guy loves being a teacher and a public servant. He and Dr. Delores Jacobs were the major leaders in the anti-bullying policy that our school board now has. Beiser is truly a fighter for all students and though he is focusing on his current office, others are hoping in 2016 that he runs for an open City Council or state Assembly seat. When I ask him if he and Dan had any children, Kevin, the teacher quickly responded with pride in his eyes, “Yes! I have 219 children!”

People, politics and opinions

Long time equality ally and civic leader, the beautiful and classy Nancy Chase recently got engaged to handsome retired British businessman Malcolm Franks. Congrats to one great lady.

Openly gay top designer Andrew Soriano of Bravo TV’s hit show Styled to Rock may be doing a fashion show at Rich’s for a Filipino relief charity.

Did you know that in just 2013 the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF) gave out more than $625,000 to local organizations? The SDHDF is one of San Diego’s top gay organizations.

Congratulations to Carolina Ramos who will receive the annual “Ashley Walker Civil Rights Award” at the upcoming Martin Luther King All People’s Breakfast.

Mayoral candidate Kevin Faulconer stopped by Marine Captain Jacque Atkinson’s and her girlfriend’s holiday party recently and will be taking a walk through Hillcrest this Friday that will end at Harvey Milk’s American Diner. Faulconer also contributed some grocery cards for the GLBT families and children in need for Christmas through Family Matters at The Center.

Everyone is talking about the Gay Men’s Chorus holiday song in honor of our mayor entitled “Gloria”. Check it out. It is fabulous!

Enough already, just keep the cross on Mount Soledad … period!

The Advocate named Pope Francis its “Person of the Year” and I say bravo to this oldest gay national magazine.

Mayor Nicole Murray Ramirez of La Villita, Texas

Yes, that was a Black Santa that the Imperial Court had at their booth at the recent community holiday party at The Center.

Yes, I will be speaking at the upcoming Creating Change Conference which is expected to host about 3,000 GLBT activists and leaders from all over the U.S.A.

Keep your eyes on Anthony Bernal

He is a top aide to Interim Mayor Todd Gloria, lives in downtown San Diego, was named one of San Diego Magazine’s “Latinos making a difference” and the Urban League of San Diego County’s “40 under 40”, Handsome and, yes, straight but a long time straight ally and strong equality supporter who worked hard on both the Hillcrest Rainbow Flag and the Harvey Milk Street projects. Yes, Anthony Bernal is a top contender to replace Todd Gloria in District. 3. Already endorsed by Luke Terpstra, chair Hillcrest Town Council and Johnathan Hale, president of the Hillcrest Business Association as well as state Sen. Ben Hueso to name a few, he is also the southern regional director for California Young Democrats.

Anthony Bernal’s mother was a farm worker before working her way through community college to become a preschool teacher. The more I think about it, what matters more about the person that follows Gloria is not if they are gay or straight, but if they are the best person for the job. Others being mentioned as possible candidates are Chris Ward, Stephen Whitburn and Laurie Coskey.

Five days in Texas

The truth is that I will be going to Texas three times in the next 40 days. I just have always loved San Antonio and not just because I am the mayor of La Villita, but because of many friends I have there.

Just a few months ago San Antonio passed its historic non-discrimination ordinance that includes its GLBT citizens. I attended the LGBT Chamber of Commerce annual awards dinner where my good friend Dr. Rosie Valdez was honored. Ramiro Cavazos, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce gave a rousing equality speech.

I attended a charity event at the stately Woodlawn Theatre and stopped by their huge catholic cathedral downtown where the heroes of the Alamo are buried.

The best Italian restaurant in Texas is Paesanos at the Riverwalk. Mayor Julian Castro is a rising national political star and I also met young handsome veteran Guillermo Villarreal, who many are saying is a future gay Latino office holder. He currently is an aide to Congressman Doggett.

I, of course, was given another tour of my little village/city of La Villita which is about only four blocks! I also stopped by a holiday party for homeless teens sponsored by the local Stand Up With Kids and gave them a contribution from the ICC. I will be going to Houston in a few weeks then return again one week later.

Nicole Murray Ramirez has been an award-winning columnist since 1973, and a Latino and gay activist for more than 40 years. He is currently a city commissioner and has served the last six 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. Nicolemrsandiego@aol.com



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Posted by on Dec 19, 2013. 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

1 Comment for “President Beiser: a historical first”

  1. In his “Walk through Hillcrest” on Friday, 20 December, will Faulconer tell us what the Republicans and the Lincoln Club want to do with the Uptown Community Plan ?

    Barrio Logan will not be the only victim of Governing by Referendum if Faulconer and his Lincoln Club Republican developer buddies get their way.

    Say good bye to height limitations in Hillcrest. Say bye bye to plans for a safe network of bike paths in Uptown. The dream of a core historic trolley system will turn to dust. Preservation of the great significantly historic homes and structures in Mission Hills, Banker’s Hill, Hillcrest, North Park–forget about it.

    Remember this when you vote on February 11. If you want the Lincoln Club and the Republican Party to be in charge of Community Plans in the Uptown areas—vote for Faulconer !!

    If YOU want to have control of your community’s future, support and vote for David Alvarez.

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