Conversations with Nicole

By Nicole Murray Ramirez

The Holocaust … never forget

This past weekend was the “International Holocaust Remembrance Day” as 73 years ago the Allies liberated the death camps of the Nazis. Over the last year in Europe and beyond, there has been a rise of ultra-nationalism, extreme right-wing groups and anti-Semitism. Some right-wing leaders even try to say that the killing of 6 million Jews did not happen.

We know that thousands of GLBT people were killed in those camps as well. The Jewish people have been the most persecuted people in the world. Since the last American presidential election, there has also been a rise in hate groups and hate crimes. It is now more important than ever that the GLBT community builds stronger relationships with other communities.


(l to r) Mayor Racquel Vasquez of Lemon Grove and Assemblymember Todd Gloria (Photo by Nick Serrano)

Current predictions for the upcoming elections for the 4th District seat of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors is that former State Assembly member Nathan Fletcher and former District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis will make the run-offs, with Lori Saldaña being a possible strong dark horse candidate in this race. I want to make it very clear that while I have endorsed Nathan, I have the highest respect for Bonnie.

Word is that possible future District 3 City Council candidate Will Rodriguez Kennedy offered another possible candidate, Tyler Renner, a top job on his staff if he would not run. Meanwhile, Nick Serrano has launched “trail balloons” about his possible candidacy and Benny Cartwright is beginning to think about a possible run.

This past weekend, Sen. Toni Atkins was honored by one of our city’s most prominent black churches, Calvary Baptist Church, with its “Social Justice Award.”  I was at Todd Gloria’s table and had a great time with a wonderful meal and entertainment by the world-renowned Rance Allen Group.

Pastor Dr. Emmanuel Whipple gave a most stirring speech and it was great to break bread with popular Mayor Racquel Vasquez of Lemon Grove. Keep your eyes on this woman as she definitely has a great future ahead of her.

In my opinion, the best Democratic nominee for the 49th Congressional race would be Doug Applegate, and the best Republican nominee would be Rocky Chavez.

Council President Myrtle Cole will be honored with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the upcoming annual Bayard Rustin Honors at the San Diego LGBT Community Center.

Congratulations to Councilmember Georgette Gomez, the new chair of the prestigious Metropolitan Transit System.

Rick Ford Hall of Fame inductee

San Diego businessman Rick Ford was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the annual GayAVN Awards (established to honor work done in the gay porn industry) in Las Vegas last week, held at the famous Hard Rock Hotel with over 1,000 video stars, producers and business owners from all the U.S. in attendance.

Rick Ford at the recent annual GayAVN Awards in Las Vegas (Photo by Charles Ching)

Not long ago, Ford was also inducted into the hall of fame at the Harvey Milk Plaza in Long Beach and has been a successful businessman in San Diego since the 1970s.  He was the founder of All Worlds Video, Club Top Deck, All Worlds Resort, and currently the Adult Depot stores.

Ford has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars these last decades to countless GLBT organizations, civil rights causes, AIDS agencies, charities, etc.

A Rick Ford Lifetime Achievement Award was established in Long Beach with Mayor Robert Garcia as one of the first honorees. Ford is also a lifelong member of the Imperial Courts of Long Beach and San Diego.

It can be said that San Diego’s adult businesses have contributed millions of dollars to our community these last five decades. We owe a lot to Frank Stirriti, Mr. and Mrs. Greg Vasic, Darl Edwards, Paul King and Rick Ford.

— 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. He was named the “Honorary Mayor of Hillcrest” by a city proclamation and has received many media awards including from the prestigious San Diego Press Club. Reach Nicole at

EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions written in this column are the author’s own and by no means reflect or represent the opinions of the staff and/or publisher of Gay San Diego and/or its parent company, San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN) and they should be held harmless of liability or damages.

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