By Nicole Murray Ramirez
San Diego can indeed make history in 2020 with the election of not only our first gay mayor of color Todd Gloria, but also with the first Latina congress representative and lesbian in City Council President Georgette Gomez. As I have said many times the Golden State is turning brown and Gloria and Gomez’s election could also prove that while it is turning brown it’s with a hue of rainbow in many places. While many of us are sad that the popular and beloved Rep. Susan Davis announced her retirement, in a conversation I had with her she said she would continue to serve San Diego. She said that she would probably be involved with a non-profit and this is great news for our city and those of us that have been supporting this remarkable and dedicated public servant since her school board days. Everyone agrees that Davis, who is the only woman in our region’s congressional delegation should be replaced by another qualified hard-working woman who is a true public servant and Gomez places top of that list of being mentioned as candidate. Davis and Gomez are cut from the same cloth when it comes to genuine authentic and true proven public servants. Indeed, I believe Gomez will continue Davis’s legacy as the “people’s congresswoman!”
The race for mayor has become crystal clear as recent polls show that Council member Barbara Bry is being supported by very conservative Republicans. Millionaire Bry is not only being supported by right wingers but is receiving money from The Lincoln Club of San Diego County and most disturbing is that Bry and her supporters have launch absolutely negative attacks and adds against Gloria filled with lies and false information. San Diegans don’t like these types of nasty negative campaigns and that’s why every poll has Gloria with big leads to be our next mayor.
In the important Third Council District race Chris Olsen who once served on the staff of a Republican council member is gladly accepting financial support from right wing conservatives and the Lincoln Club. Olsen, like Bry is showing his true colors and many are saying that they are both Republicans wrapped in Democratic clothing. I met with Adrian Kwiatkowski and we both agreed that front runner Stephen Whitburn will come out of the primary and the question is who he will face. Kwiatkowski aims to be that person as Toni Duran did not only come in last in fundraising but has been lackluster on the campaign trail. Whitburn is definitely the clear front runner he has the endorsements of the most local Democratic clubs, vast majority of locals, and present and former Democratic office holders. He also has the highest financial contributions by the most people.
When this column comes out I will be back from a week in Washington D.C. and New York full of meetings, speeches and events. In D.C., first it was off to the Newseum were acclaimed film director Gillian K Willman gave me a tour and showed me the LGBT Civil Rights documentary “Into the Streets” on display through Dec. 31, which I am in. Also I had the honor to lay a wreath at the crypt of Matthew Shepard in the Washington National Cathedral with Staff Verger Scott Sanders and Judy and Dennis Shepard. I met with Executive Director Rea Carey of the National LGBTQ Task Force to discuss the issues of the day and next year’s elections. I actually spent three days of full meeting and speeches. Lastly I stopped by Lafayette Park right across from the White House to check out the bronze statue honoring openly gay Revolutionary War hero, Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben as the International Imperial Court Council and LGBT veterans organizations will soon be holding an official ceremony laying a rainbow as well as a red, white and blue wreath in Baron von Steuben’s honor.
Than it was off to New York which included meetings but mostly a long overdue rest at the beautiful home of Henry and Billy Bastos-Wood. Met with African American civil rights icon Bayard Rustin’s partner Walter Naegle and took him to the Stonewall Inn to see his lover’s name on the National LGBTQ Wall of Honor within this historic site. We talked about the International Imperial Court’s national campaign to get a U.S. postage stamp in honor of Bayard Rustin as we did for Harvey Milk.
I was also in New York as we observed the anniversary of 9/11. While it was a most productive week, to be honest this old man is exhausted.
— Nicole Murray Ramirez has been writing a column since 1973. He has been a Latino/gay activist for almost half a century and has advised and served the last seven mayors of San Diego. Named the “Honorary Mayor of Hillcrest” by a city proclamation, he has received many media awards including from the prestigious San Diego Press Club. Reach Nicole at Nicolemrsd1@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @Nmrsd2.
Editor’s Note: The opinions written in this column are the author’s own and does not necessarily represent the opinions of the staff and/or publisher of Gay San Diego and/or its parent company, San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN). The newspaper and its staff should be held harmless of liability or damages.