Conversations with Nicole
By Nicole Murray Ramirez
Toni Atkins for Lt. Governor!
San Diego’s Toni Atkins has already started a campaign for Lt. Governor in 2026. She is termed out in the State Senate and will leave her historic position as President Pro Tempore of the California State Senate, the first female elected to that position in the history of California. Toni has served as a City Councilmember, Council President, Interim Mayor, Speaker of the State Assembly, etc. She is one of the most qualified elected officials currently in our state capital and many are urging her to run for Governor!
I first met Toni in the 1980s when she worked at a women’s health clinic in Ocean Beach and the Imperial Court and I helped her raise money for women’s health needs. My slogan was “The Pink Ribbon should be as important to us as the red one is!”
The San Diego Union-Tribune Sold Again
There was a time that the Union-Tribune was the most powerful paper in San Diego County. Its endorsement of a candidate usually meant that candidate would win.
The Union-Tribune was very anti-homosexual, even though the owner’s son was one big sissy queen and its main popular columnist was a gay man. When AIDS came, they ran very homophobic cartoons and editorials. We even picketed the Union-Tribune because they used to run the name, place of work, occupation, etc., anytime a homosexual got arrested or “entrapped” by the police department.
Now the Union-Tribune, like other major city newspapers, is having difficult times and has been sold a few times in recent years. In the last few years, the Union-Tribune has changed and become more progressive and pro-LGBTQ equality. Tyler Renner and Fernando Lopez are now seeing their commentaries being run regularly and have established good relationships with the editor.
San Diego AIDS Memorial
The San Diego AIDS Memorial is moving along nicely with a 2024 fall dedication looking like it will happen on time. We have been working on this for over 35 years and three mayors. Finally, we will all have a place to go to remember so many we have lost. Former First Lady of San Diego Katherine Stuart Faulconer and I are still co-chairs of the AIDS Memorial Task Force.
Word Is . . .
On the subject of Tyler Renner, he is still looking like a frontrunner to follow Councilmember Stephen Whitburn. Javier Gomez is looking at the ninth district seat and is already lining up support. While many are really disappointed in Janessa Goldbeck’s loss for County Board of Supervisors, many hope she does not give up on running for office someday. Popular Lauren Cazares is considered a frontrunner for her La Mesa City Council seat. And Navy/Marine veteran Joseph Rocha is considered the clear frontrunner for California State Assembly District 76.
–Nicole Murray Ramirez is a 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].
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