By Nicole Murray Ramirez
LGBTQ San Diegans Appointed to Police Commission
San Diego citizen voters, by over 70%, supported a ballot measure that would permanently establish a Police Practices Commission. The new Police Commission will investigate shootings by police officers and in-custody deaths, as well as review complaints against police officers and police practices within the San Diego Police Department.
Over 60 San Diegans were nominated with the nine City Council members having to vote on the final nominees, each who had to receive the vote of five councilmembers. Six members of San Diego’s LGBTQ community were elected: Doug Case, Mark Maddox, Joseph Smith, Bonnie Benitez, Dennis Larkin, and myself.
City Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe is greatly responsible for establishing this Police Commission, as she has been an outspoken advocate for police reform and oversight. City Councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera should be acknowledged for conducting a meeting – which lasted over four hours and took five rounds of balloting – with such calm, professionalism, and fairness.
I want to most sincerely thank our nine City Councilmembers for their unanimous vote of confidence in me. I will be a fair and honest member of this commission who, as a person of color and an LGBTQ man, feel this Police Commission was long overdue. San Diego will be getting a new Police Chief next year, as Police Chief David Nislett will be retiring.
Police/LGBTQ Baseball Game Set for August
Yes, you read right, San Diego will finally join every major city in the United States, when a softball game will be held in August between a softball team from the San Diego Police Department and softball players from our LGBTQ softball league. This will be a charity game benefitting the San Diego Police Officers Association’s Widows and Orphans Fund, Being Alive, and a transgender health program. It will surely be a fun outdoor event and will include drag cheerleaders, special baseball celebrities, and VIPs, and everyone is invited. We have been already meeting and planning this historic event, so to request for more info email [email protected].
San Diego Drag March Set for June 18
Yes, San Diego will also be joining cities across North America on Sunday, June 18, with a march in support of drag queens and trans performers. This march was organized by San Diego legends Glitz Glam, Chad Michaels, and Paris Quion. Starting at 5 pm, it will begin with a ,then a rally with special speakers and outstanding entertainment.
Drag queens have played a most important role in the history of San Diego’s LGBTQ community, especially in the early 1970s as drag shows were the major and almost only successful fundraising events that fueled our community’s movement. Remember, drag was not only illegal in San Diego during the 1970s, but homosexual acts in California were illegal until 1976.
Support San Diego LGBTQ County News!
Yes, our newspaper has gone through some major changes in ownership and staff. Popular Sacramento businessman Terry Sidie has turned the paper over and now it’s under the leadership of well-known and respected activist Eddie Rey (executive director, Equality Business Association). I will be continuing to write a column as I have since 1973 with the then San Diego Son. I wish to most sincerely thank Cesar Reyes and JP for their major contributions building this paper to what it is today.
And a big welcome aboard to our new award-winning editor Morgan! Every city needs an LGBTQ newspaper and we are the only one as there are Latino, African American, and Filipino newspapers in San Diego. Support the San Diego County LGBTQ News because it supports you!
–Nicole Murray Ramirez is lifelong Latino and LGBT activist and advocate, a longtime city commissioner, and is the Queen Mother of the International Imperial Court of the Americas. He can be reached at [email protected].