Todd Gloria announces mayoral candidacy
California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria, leader of the 78th District covering many San Diego neighborhoods, announced his candidacy for the city’s mayor in the upcoming 2020 race. In a video posted to Facebook, Gloria paints his experiences as a third generation San Diegan and previous city leader while railing against longstanding issues facing the county.
A Clairemont native, Gloria has never been shy about his working-class background or his personal ties to San Diego. After graduating from the University of San Diego, Gloria entered public service as part of the county’s Health and Human Services Agency. In 2005, he was elected to City Council’s District 3 and went on to chair both the Budget Committee as well as the Smart Growth and Land-Use Committee.
Following the resignation of Mayor Bob Filner, Gloria acted as interim mayor. While acting as mayor, Gloria authored the Climate Action Plan which sought to eliminate half of all greenhouse emissions in San Diego by 2035. He is also credited with comprising the city’s minimum wage and sick leave ordinance.
As a member of the State Assembly, Gloria has served in leadership roles, manning the position of Majority Whip. He worked closely with prior Gov. Jerry Brown, earning the Governor’s signature on nearly 30 pieces of legislation on issues including affordable housing, gun regulation, and climate change.
“As Mayor, I intend to address the issues facing everyday San Diegans like housing affordability, access to public transportation and good jobs, and putting an end to homelessness,” Gloria said in a press release. “It’s time San Diego became a city of opportunity that invests in every neighborhood so that every person and family who calls San Diego home can see a future here for them, their children, and their grandchildren.”
If elected, Gloria would be the first person of color as well as the first LGBTQ person to serve as the city’s mayor.
Chris Ward announced bid for 78th district
City Council member Chris Ward revealed plans to campaign for the California State Assembly representing the 78th District. The seat is being vacated by outgoing Assembly member Todd Gloria, who recently announced his own campaign for San Diego mayor.
“This is a critical time to serve, and we must seize the opportunity to set the standard for the state and the rest of our nation. As the father of two young children, I’m living the logistical and financial challenges families face, and the concerns of today and tomorrow motivate me to do more,” Ward said in a press release. “The California Dream should be attainable for all; we need to make sure the tools are provided, and the safety net is strong for our most vulnerable.”
He noted his dedication to solving problems that have long plagued the district, including affordable housing, job growth, and concerns of climate change from the perspective of a major coastal community.
Pride announces record setting year
San Diego Pride (SDP) has reported the record setting numbers of last year’s Pride festival in a recent press release. The organization, which hosts the city’s chapter of the national LGBTQ pride festival, thanked those who helped make the event possible and renewed calls for sponsors and volunteers for the upcoming 2019 festival.
A total of over 250,000 people turned out for the iconic parade, and more than 45,000 for the following two-day festival. The remarkable attendance made for substantial gains in fundraising. Pride announced total donations topped $170,000 and were distributed to organizations serving LGBTQ communities throughout the county. When in-kind donations are considered, that number nearly doubles to a total of $223,000.
Since its inception in 1994, SDP has become among the most successful Pride organizations in the nation, having donated upwards of $2.7 million over the course of its 25 years.
Alliant University receives grant for LGBTQ students
Alliant Educational Foundation (AEF), a nonprofit organization established to provide financial assistance to students and faculty of Alliant International University, has received a grant of $1 million to help support LGBTQ students for underserved communities. The donation was endowed by retired Alliant University administrator and professor, Connell F. Persico.
“With his generous gift and visionary spirit, Dr. Persico has created a lasting legacy for Alliant,” said AEF CEO Valin Brown in a press release. “This gift adds to the impact of the existing Connell Persico Scholarship, which shares Alliant Educational Foundation’s goals of boosting diversity, equity and inclusion.”
Since its creation in 2015, AEF has assisted more than 2,400 California students work towards advanced degrees in a variety of fields. In 2018 alone the organization awarded more than $1.75 million in scholarships to students in need of financial support.
LGBTQ advocates to be honored by Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) has announced its intent to honor prominent LGBTQ advocates Judy and Dennis Shepard at the upcoming Time to THRIVE conference on Feb. 15-17 in Anaheim.
In the wake of their son’s death at the hands of hate crime, Judy and Dennis Shepard founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation in December 1998. In 2009, they partnered with other families affected by hate to pass the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Today the organization focuses its efforts on providing support for underprivileged LGBTQ youths and creating dialogue around the topics of hate and acceptance.
“Our nation will never forget Matthew, and his life and legacy continue to inspire progress. By honoring his memory and his family, and by continuing to support the crucial work of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, we can help create a world where no person lives in fear because of who they are or who they love,” HRC president Chad Griffin said in a press release.
HRC will honor Dennis and Judy with the Upstander Award at the sixth annual Time to THRIVE Conference for their efforts to end hate and spread awareness of marginalized people across the country.
‘Out at the Fair’ gains non-profit status
“Out at the Fair,” the LGBTQ-focused event which began in San Diego and expanded to five fairs in two states last year, achieved nonprofit status following fiscal support from the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF). SDHDF is among the most prominent LGBTQ networks in the country and the only grassroots foundation dedicated to supporting the San Diego LGBTQ community.
Beginning in 2013 as an unofficial event during the San Diego County Fair, the “Gay Day at the Fair” grew into a popular mainstay, eventually becoming an annual occurrence renamed “Out at the Fair.” The following years saw considerable event expansion, gaining acclaim from leaders in the private and public sectors. In 2017 and 2018, the event spread to California fairs in Sacramento and San Jose, as well as Albuquerque, New Mexico. Out at the Fair now has a broad network of support from a number of community organizations and elected officials.
The event includes entertainment including local LGBTQ performers and public officials, LGBTQ-themed fair games and booths, and visiting national talent. It has also brought about changes to fairs — seeking to make them more inclusive to those in attendance, such as all-gender restrooms and decorations representing the LGBTQ spectrum.
—Compiled by Jules Shane.