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San Diego Pride Board disappoints … again

Commentary: Conversations with the Mayor of Hillcrest

Yes, once again the San Diego Pride Board did not listen to our community. A vast, vast majority of LGBT activists and leaders overwhelmingly supported and stood by Stephen Whitburn, who was dismissed as San Diego Pride’s executive director. Now they have replaced Whitburn with an unknown from back east. The San Diego community was solidly behind Fernando Lopez and Barbra Blake, who were finalists and could have hit the ground running, and continued to repair the public’s confidence that has been lost in the Pride Board. It will take this new guy well over a year to get to know our border city, our citizens, communities, activists, leaders and organizations, etc.

Barbra Blake will remain the outstanding CEO of the GSDBA that she is, and thank God Fernando has refused some better paying positions to remain and help lead the staff for 2017 Pride, which is only about a month and a half away.

While I appreciate and agree with the countless leaders, businesspeople and activists who have called me about how upset they are, we cannot and should not go through another “civil war.” Barbra and I will remain as co-chairs of Pride’s Community Advisory Council. I will be meeting with the new executive director next week. Let’s give him a chance and make 2017 Pride the best ever.

Thank you for supporting the Harvey Milk Breakfast

For nine years the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast has been a wonderful event, drawing over 1,000 people. I always wanted it to be our community’s annual civil rights breakfast like the Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez breakfasts, and our community, families and allies have taken this event into that status because of your attendance and support.

Keynote speakers, gay civil rights icon Cleve Jones and Bishop Yvette A. Flunder were outstanding. The inspirational Flunder took us to church!

The overwhelming support and prolonged standing ovation for Police Sergeant Daniel Meyer and Officer Christine Garcia was great to witness and also the ovation for Mayor Faulconer. It is always good to see the San Diegan that I have always called our own “Harvey Milk” that being former State Senator Chris Kehoe.

This year’s recipients of the Harvey Milk/Nicole Murray Ramirez student scholarships (founded in 1979) Alan Liang and Relle Goan were also inspirational.

A very special “thank you” to Dr. Delores Jacobs and the hard-working staff of our LGBT Community Center, who for nine years have been responsible for the great success of this event.

Next year Robert Gleason returns as my co-chair and we are also now working on a separate special tribute event next year honoring Dr. Jacobs for 16 years of outstanding service to our community and the civil rights movement.

About the AIDS Memorial

For over 30 years many San Diegans have dreamed about our city having an AIDS Memorial honoring and remembering the over 8,000 women, men and children who have died. Hundreds of cities across the country and the world have such a memorial. Now we have a city council and mayor in Kevin Faulconer (who has taken the lead) and who has committed to establishing one.

We have a San Diego AIDS Memorial Task Force which Katherine Faulconer (first lady of San Diego) and I have the honor of co-chairing. It is now a possibility and it could be in the soon-to-be “Olive Street Park.” There will be public input to what it should be and look like.

The Task Force and the mayor’s office has been working on this project for over a year and while a final selection site has not been officially chosen, know that the Task Force appreciates all continuing public input, suggestions, ideas, etc. Let us do it with positivity and respect. Thank you.



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Posted by on May 25, 2017. Filed under Bottom Highlights, Conversations with the Mayor of Hillcrest, Latest Issue. 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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