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Learning about elderly neglect and abuse

Commentary: Conversations with the Mayor of Hillcrest

A special thank you to the San Diego Press Club on my award for journalism excellence for Conversations with the “Mayor of Hillcrest.”

Over a year ago I moved into a five floor senior housing project (residents must be 65+) and being the busy bee that I am, I’m gone a lot and therefore in and out. I have gotten to know some of my neighbors who are mostly elderly women living by themselves.

Last week there was a meeting for all the residents of my senior housing building and I was never so shocked, angry, upset and distraught at what I found out was happening to so many in my building; on site management: verbal abuse, neglect of bed bugs, lack of security… the list goes on. I witnessed frightened and scared elderly women and others who felt they had no voice.

For me what was so upsetting was when I moved into my apartment I was so happy to see that there were emergency cords in my bedroom and bathroom. Well, I learned at the meeting that at night no one will answer them and not all the time during the day! I was almost in a state of shock.

But what was more upsetting was that the representative of the building’s owner during the entire two hour meeting sat stone-faced while hearing the emotional heartbreaking stories of many of the residents including a 90 year old woman.

I immediately called government officials after the first meeting and four days later we residents held another meeting which Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher attended and representatives of Councilwoman Georgette Gomez, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, City Attorney Mara Elliot, Police Chief Zimmerman and the police department.

I pray that these elderly people will get the help and support they need, and I will not rest until they do.

USNS Harvey Milk to be built in 2019

Harvey Milk proudly served in the U.S. Navy and in the 1950s was stationed in San Diego. I was proud to have served as the national chair of the campaigns that resulted in the issuing of a Harvey Milk U.S. postage stamp and the announcement that a naval ship will be built and dedicated in his name in San Diego.

A San Diego official delegation that included Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Assemblyman Todd Gloria, San Diego County Veterans Board Members Ben F. Dillingham, Bob Lehman and I attended the secretary of the Navy’s official announcement ceremony and since then many of you have been asking me for an update. Well, I am glad to say that everything is still on schedule with the building of the USNS Harvey Milk to begin in 2019 at the NASSCO shipyard in San Diego!

In San Francisco for Rainbow Honor Walk

I will be in San Francisco next week for the installation of the new set of eight plaques in honor of LGBT luminaries and heroes. The bronze plaques will be embedded on sidewalks in the Castro District. Jose Julio Sarria is one of the honorees and was a War World II veteran, first openly gay candidate to run for public office (1961) and founder of The Imperial Court System and I am honored to speak at the ceremony. Gay activist Eddie Reynoso and The Hillcrest Arts Council are already looking into such a historic project here in San Diego!

Support the 29th Annual Scott Carlson Thanksgiving Community Dinner

For almost three decades the LGBT community has hosted a Thanksgiving Day dinner for people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, the homeless, seniors, families and people who are alone on this holiday.

Among this year’s supporters are: Rob Benzon Foundation, Calif. Sen. Toni Atkins, San Diego City Councilman Chris Ward, The US Firefighters Association, Chris Shaw, Robert Gleason, Tim Maxwell, Tom Urbanski, Big Mike Phillips, Robert Rodriguez, Sarah Critchlow, The Redwing Bar & Grill, Sir Nicholas, The Eagle, Rich’s, Angel Fairfax, Bears San Diego, Ashtray David, Integrity, Mike Bray, David Haasz, Bevan Robbins, Julie Hoffman, Summer Lee, Sean and Jackson Redmond, Calif. Assemblyman Todd Gloria, Gloria and Michael Grady, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, Mark Dobberthein and so many others.

This annual dinner has fed up to 600 people. We still need donations. Call Mikie Lochner at 619-972-6369 for more information.



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Posted by on Nov 9, 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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