By Nicole Murray Ramirez | Conversations with Nicole
This week’s primary election was one of the most negative and nasty one in decades. Every day our mailboxes and television programs were nearly full of candidates, with both Republican and Democratic Parties attacking each other. Former Marine Nathan Fletcher was subjected to the most negative campaign ads with about 1.3 million spent against his bid to become a county supervisor. Thank goodness it was a big waste of money, as he pushed to the top of the polls over about half a dozen candidates! I have been a longtime supporter of Fletcher since he stood up in the State Assembly and spoke out against “Don’t Ask … Don’t Tell.”
And let me say that of all the LGBT candidates ever to run for public office, Dave Meyers was the worst I have ever seen. He attacked Sheriff Bill Gore as not supporting LGBT civil rights and in particularly failed to protect trans people in jail. Me
yers also said that Gore supported Trump. All these are complete lies and I should know as I co-chair the Sheriff’s LGBT Advisory Board. Gore is responsible for the jail protocol that protects and respects all transgender inmates as does Carolina Ramos of The Center. Ramos helped write the current protocols for their protection. Meyers ran such a negative and nasty campaign that even Sen. Toni Atkins and Gov. Jerry Brown endorsed Gore, as well as the 2,500 members of the Deputy Sheriffs Association, who accused Meyers of “deceptive campaign tactics.” Now, I would not vote for Meyers even if he ran for dog catcher.
Yes, I am a registered Democrat and proudly supported and endorsed Gavin Newsome for governor, Sara Jacobs for Congress as well as representatives Susan Davis and Juan Vargas. But let me say this. The Democrat party’s attacks on Lori Saldana were disgraceful. While I have never supported Saldana’s campaigns, she did not deserve those Bob Filner ads. The local Democrat party is a mess and needs new leadership.
While most GLBT leaders including Sen. Christine Kehoe, Sen. Toni Atkins, Assemblymember Todd Gloria and San Diego City Councilmember Chris Ward endorsed Myrtle Cole (the first African-American woman elected City Council president) as I did, the local LGBT Democrat Club did not. Very disappointing.
Hooray! Interim San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan defeated her opponent who received well more than $1 million from outside our city. The three incumbents I endorsed — Cole, and Councilpersons Chris Cate and Lorie Zapf — took the lead. I am also glad to see Antonio Martinez made the run-off in November to replace Councilmember David Alvarez.
Gloria easily won re-election with 70 percent of the vote and predictions are that he will announce he is a candidate for mayor early next year. In San Francisco, my longtime friend and former senator Mark Leno took the lead to become San Francisco’s first gay mayor as I write this column early Wednesday morning. And the best news of all — Democrats are still in good shape for a possible takeover of Congress.
Salt Lake City, the new gay mecca
Recently, I spent five days in Salt Lake and boy has it changed. It has a lesbian mayor and three gay councilmembers. A new multi-million-dollar LGBT Community Center and its annual Equality Utah dinner gala draws more than 2,000 people! It’s still one of the most beautiful cities in America and no wonder it has been voted as one of the best places to live for LGBT people. Even its homeless problem is hardly noticeable as the city, and yes, the Mormon Church provides many outstanding services. During a reception at Salt Lake’s historic City Hall, its Jackie Biskupski and I exchanged Harvey Milk street signs, as this city is the second one to have a street named after Milk. I fell in love with Salt Lake City and so will you. This city and LGBT community rivals San Francisco, New York City and West Hollywood for the very best quality of life and environment. The mayor proclaimed me a “Honorary Citizen” so I will be back.
2018 Pride parade new award categories
The Pride Community Advisory Council, along with San Diego LGBT Pride, will be giving out beautiful awards for 12 different categories for this year’s parade for its contingents. Yes, a first, second and a third place will be awarded for every category, so really make sure that your parade contingent really stands out this year!
The 12 Categories are:
- Outstanding use of the pride theme by a float contingent
- Outstanding use of the pride theme by a marching contingent
- Outstanding musical contingent
- Outstanding nonprofit contingent
- Outstanding faith based contingent
- Outstanding HIV/AIDS awareness contingent
- Outstanding corporate ally contingent
- Outstanding San Diego business contingent
- Outstanding youth/student contingent
- Outstanding health and wellness contingent
- Grand Marshall Award to the most entertaining/crowd pleasing contingent
- Pride/Judges Award
— 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 Hillcrestqueen5@gmail.com.
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). The newspaper and its staff should be held harmless of liability or damages.