HBA defends new Hillcrest sign after Onion Award
The Hillcrest sign hanging on the corner of Fifth and University Avenues received a negative award from the annual Orchids & Onions architecture awards. Orchids & Onions is a fundraising program of the San Diego Architectural Foundation, a nonprofit organization raising awareness and encouraging discourse on San Diego architecture. As stated in a press release, this year the program awarded the Hillcrest LED sign an Onion in the category of Historic Preservation because of the “lack of respect for history, the exclusion of the larger community in the discussion [and] the failure to consider alternatives…” among others, including “most of all, the unfortunate visual result.” Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) Executive Director Benjamin Nicholls responded, “Although the HBA is not a historic preservation organization, it has worked to ensure that the original character of the Hillcrest sign remained true. The design specification for the façade and lighted letters were exactly the same as that of the 1984 sign.” In response to the Orchids & Onions claim the sign is “garish” and “ugly,” Nicholls said, “We have received dozens of calls and comments from people who like the new sign.” The HBA are stewards of the Hillcrest sign, including the upgrade and preservation to the new sign. It was unveiled at this year’s CityFest in August.
The Center receives grant
The San Diego LGBT Community Center was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation for a program to increase awareness of partner violence within the LGBT community. The grant will make it possible for The Center to support the Relationship Violence Treatment and Intervention Program by launching a social marketing campaign. In a press release, Center CEO Dr. Delores Jacob said, “Intimate partner violence is a public health problem of terrifying proportions within all communities, but LGBT partners face additional, unique obstacles when seeking help.” Tim McCallion, Verizon west region president said, “Verizon’s partnership with the San Diego LGBT Community Center is part of our efforts to increase awareness of domestic violence and provide compassionate care to all members of the community.”
Local endorsements from SDDE announced
In a regularly scheduled meeting, the San Diego Democrats for Equality voted on and announced several endorsements for future elections. As well as announcing their endorsement for Mayor of San Diego, the LGBT Democratic organization unanimously voted to endorse Assemblymember Marty Block to succeed Christine Kehoe as State Senator from the 39th Senate District. Block attended the meeting and spoke to the group, formerly known as the San Diego Democratic Club. The group voted not to endorse in the 79th Assembly District race. Craig Roberts, vice president of political action for the club, said in a press release, “Both Sid Voorakkara and Shirley Weber were rated as 100 percent on our questionnaires and… spoke eloquently about the plans and qualifications for the Assembly. Because both candidates were so good, neither received the 60 percent required for endorsement. While we think the district would be exceptionally well served by either, the club voted no endorsement….” The club recognized the option to reconsider early next year. The group also went on the record as supporting the Occupy San Diego movement, an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement started in New York City.
First LGBT contingent set for SD Veterans Day Parade
On Nov. 11, the San Diego Veterans Day Parade will host the first openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered servicemembers and veterans contingent. Organized by San Diego LGBT Pride, the parade contingent is open to all LGBT veterans, active duty servicemembers and their families and supporters. “Veterans Day is when Americans across the United States take time to honor those who have served our great country,” said San Diego Pride Executive Director Dwayne Crenshaw. “After years of institutionalized discrimination, our LGBT servicemembers and veterans can be full, open and honest about who they are without concern about who they love. It is time we honor our LGBT servicemembers and veterans for their patriotism, sacrifices and their deep love of country that they willingly served.” The parade contingent will meet at 10 a.m. on the west side of the north parking lot of the County Administration Building, 1600 Pacific Hwy. The Veterans Parade begins at 11 a.m.
Transition consultant appointed for EQCA
Clarissa Filgioun, board president of Equality California (EQCA), and Cathy Schwamberger, board president of the Equality California Institute, appointed Joan Garry as chief strategy and transition consultant for EQCA. Garry is a veteran LGBT civil rights leader and nonprofit advisor and will be conducting a formal and “focused assessment of the organization,” Filgioun and Schwamberger said in an announcement. Garry will also create an interim management and a short-term strategic plan that will “serve as a roadmap for a new executive director.” Roland Palencia recently resigned as executive director after serving approximately five months. Calling Palencia’s departure “unexpected,” Filgioun and Schwamberger said, “[W]e believe it is our responsibility to…use this transition time to carefully take stock of the organization at every level….” Dr. Julie Anderson will be joining Garry. The two served together at GLAAD; Garry as executive director of the media organization and Anderson as development director. Equality California secured a leadership grant from the Evelyn and Walter has, Jr. Fund to support the appointments.