Like many of you, I was awake until 5:30 a.m. Wednesday morning waiting for election results and though now it looks like Biden/Harris will end up with a narrow win, our nation has changed greatly and “Trumpism” is not going away. The Democratic Party needs to take a good look at itself and turning to “the left” is not the answer. And we People of Color, LGBTQ+ and progressives have to start voting to our potential because we still aren’t. Hopefully this week’s election results will wake up a sleeping giant (P.O.C.) for we indeed have the power to change America but first we must fully engage in the political process.
The city and county of San Diego is now finally a strong Democratic Party region and the two most influential and powerful leaders will be Mayor-elect Todd Gloria and soon-to-be Chairman Nathan Fletcher of the County Board of Supervisors. History was made Tuesday with the election of our city’s first Mayor of Color and LGBTQ+ citizen, Todd Gloria, and the election of Supervisor Nora Vargas as the first Woman of Color to the County Board. Indeed, the Golden State is turning Brown and so is America’s Finest City. But all people, especially the LGBTQ+ leadership and communities, must form stronger ties as Todd Gloria was subjected to homophobic attacks and many were from P.O.C. leaders and publications who endorsed the La Jolla millionaire backed by Trump Republicans. A message to the Lincoln Club: “Unless you truly become more non-partisan, you will continue to lose influence.”
The re-election of City Attorney Mara Elliott saved that office from a real nut case. Toni Duran and controversial San Diego Pride Executive Director Fernando Lopez’s last-minute smear campaign against Stephen Whitburn totally backfired with Duran losing big time. Rumors are that complaints are being filed and San Diego Pride’s nonprofit status may be in jeopardy over Lopez and other staff members dragging Pride into a political campaign. State Assemblymember-elect Chris Ward will return to the state Capitol, where he spent eight years as a former chief of staff to Senator Marty Block. Word is that popular Toni Atkins is on Governor Newsom’s short list to replace Senator Kamala Harris, but so is California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. The twist is that Lorena Gonzalez has already announced she is a candidate for that office. There is also already strong support for Georgette Gomez to run for Gonzalez’s seat if she vacates it as she plans.
Keep your eyes on Tyler Renner, Zach Bunshaft, Sara Davis, Will Rodriguez- Kennedy and Nick Serrano as future LGBTQ+ candidates for office. Mayor Kevin Faulconer is being urged to run for governor by civic leaders across the state. San Diegans voted to establish an independent Police Review Commission and there will be LGBTQ+ representation on it! Congratulations to City Commissioner Tom Hebrank, who is now the chairman of the powerful City Council Redistricting Board. Congratulations and thank you to Supervisor-Elect Terra Lawson-Remer, who defeated Trump cheerleader Ms. Gaspar in a landslide. The Republican Party of San Diego held its victory party Tuesday night at a homophobic-run, right wing “Christian Center” in Mission Valley — no wonder they continue to have no victories to celebrate!
Congratulations to Chairman Will Rodriguez-Kennedy of the San Diego County Democratic Party, whose strong leadership finally turned San Diego BLUE! Benny Cartwright becomes more influential and popular as the new owner of SDLGBTN! Congratulations to Benny, we at LGBTQ San Diego County News look forward to working on news projects with you. Hey, whatever happened to Rage Magazine? I, for one, miss it. I will be traveling to Hollywood and Las Vegas soon to give some speeches, then run out of the hotel ballrooms immediately after. Candidates endorsed by GLBT VOTE and Democrats for Equality won almost all their political races!
Congratulations to popular state Assemblymembers Brian Maeinschein and Shirley Weber on their re-elections. Sara Jacobs will be our new Congresswoman and we wish her the best. San Diego School Board member Richard Barrera again was easily re-elected and I wish he would run for higher office. Former Mayor of Chula Vista Steve Padilla was re-elected to the City Council and many of us want him to replace state Senator Hueso. School Board member Kevin Beiser is now more out in the public after keeping a low profile, he was spotted having lunch with Big Mike.
Please make sure to read our exclusive interviews with Mayor-elect Todd Gloria and Councilman-elect Stephen Whitburn in our November issue!