San Diego AIDS Memorial to become a realityBottom Highlights, Conversations with the Mayor of Hillcrest, Latest Issue Thursday, August 17th, 2017
Commentary: Conversations with the Mayor of Hillcrest
After almost three decades, many discussions, meetings, two mayors giving their support (Golding and Filner), proposals, controversies and two task forces I can say that San Diego will finally join other major cities across the United States and will have an AIDS Memorial to remember the over 8,000 men, women and children who have died of AIDS.
The Truax House has finally been sold and Mayor Kevin Faulconer has committed that a majority of the financial proceeds will be designated to building an AIDS Memorial. The San Diego City Council has expressed its support. As many of you know, I have led this effort since the 1980s and will always be grateful to those who have been there since the beginning, and the countless dedicated AIDS activists who have also been involved.
The message I have received from the countless San Diegans who have been affected by AIDS is that they want a place to go and reflect, remember and celebrate the lives of family members and friends whom they have lost on their birthdays, their marriage anniversaries and when they passed, etc. What got me was that many people still have the ashes of those whose families disowned and disavowed them.
The San Diego AIDS Memorial Task Force received input and suggestions on four possible sites: Balboa Park; The Embarcadero; Olive Street Park and Hillcrest. The San Diego AIDS Memorial Task Force membership includes women, LGBT citizens, African Americans, Latinos, individuals living with HIV/AIDS and religious leaders, all of whom have been involved with HIV/AIDS for decades. All of the Task Force meetings have been open to the public and $41,970 has been raised and is being held by St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral.
There will be a community meeting held Monday, Aug. 28 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral at 6 p.m. and all interested San Diegans are invited to attend and receive a report from the Task Force. We will also be giving out information on how those interested can submit designs and suggestions. In the next few days the San Diego AIDS Task Force will officially announce the site of the San Diego AIDS Memorial. We have been working on this project for almost two years. I know that some will be disappointed with the site as there was individual support for the four different sites. I hope we will all come together as I know we all come from a good place in finally having an AIDS Memorial.
I wish to especially thank Mayor Kevin Faulconer, our first lady of San Diego, Katherine Stuart Faulconer (co-chair of the Task Force) and State Assemblyman Todd Gloria for their leadership, and yes San Diego, we are on our way to making the AIDS Memorial a reality.
Support Councilwoman Gomez’s “anti-wall” resolution
City Councilwoman Georgette Gomez has put forward a resolution to have the City of San Diego go on record against the building of Trump’s “wall” on the border of the United States and Mexico. I urge everyone to support this resolution as our city should go on record and let the nation know that we San Diegans do not support Trump’s wall like other border cities have done.
Let us send the message that we are about building bridges to people and communities not walls. This week I put forth a motion before our city’s Human Relations Commission to support Councilwoman Gomez’s resolution. And thank you Ms. Gomez for your courage and leadership on this issue as I know you are getting hate mail.
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