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Well the San Diego Pride Board did exactly what I predicted less than a year ago, it split ways with Executive Director Eric Heinritz. Fernando Lopez has been named the new Executive Director. Congratulations Fern. But…
Besides bringing in someone from the outside who had no experience managing a pride event the size of San Diego’s, now the Pride Board appoints Lopez without a formal call for applications for the job. It is customary to have a search, however small or short. Not so much for the SD Pride Board in their selection process, but I completely understand why.
I suggested that Lopez leave after Pride last year. It was a disgrace that Lopez, or Barbra Blake, GSDBA Executive Director, were not selected during the initial selection process. I predicted that Lopez would carry the heavy load of 2017 Pride because Heinritz would not even be wet behind the ears before it was time for him to put on the event. Now with Heinritz’s departure, if Lopez was not selected, the same situation would have happened; Lopez carrying the load for 2018 Pride. Yet, a lack of a small, formal selection process still sends an inappropriate signal to those in the community. It also denied Lopez the honor of being selected over other qualified applicants.
I don’t know who might have applied, and clearly no one is more familiar with the organization and planning for Pride than Lopez. In the end, had someone else been selected, Lopez would have been smart enough to quit before Pride this year. Please do not think I am suggesting that Lopez is not the best person for the job. What I am suggesting is it is time to clean house at the SD Pride Board of Directors.
This whole debacle started with Stephen Whitburn’s forced departure, then ignoring the quality of candidates from San Diego by hiring Heinritz, and finally making a rush decision without full transparency to the LGBT community. Why was Heinritz let go? Who made the decision? Was he paid a severance? If so, how much? It is time for the community to start over with the SD Pride Board, it is not a lifetime appointment, and board members should be selected based upon critical experience by popularity, i.e. a lawyer, financial expert, someone with development exerience, you get the idea.
Next up is the selection of the new ED for the LGBT Community Center. I hope their board learns from the glaring mistakes of SD Pride. Thank goodness Lopez is there to clean up the mess created by the board to which he will report. Best of luck Fernando, you’re going to need it.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced its endorsement of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) for re-election to the U.S. Senate. Sen. Gillibrand will speak this Saturday at the 2018 HRC Greater New York Gala — one of organization’s largest events of the year, attracting more than 1,000 of HRC’s most active leaders, supporters and members.
“Sen. Gillibrand has spent her career fighting for equality — for LGBTQ people, for workers, for women and for families,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “From fighting back against Donald Trump’s transgender military ban to pushing for LGBTQ non-discrimination protections through the Equality Act, she fights for what’s right and she never backs down. New Yorkers and all Americans need her leadership now more than ever before as we pull the emergency brake on the Trump-Pence administration’s hate-fueled agenda.”
A leader for LGBTQ equality in Congress, Sen. Gillibrand has consistently scored a perfect 100 percent on the HRC Congressional Scorecard throughout her time in the Senate. In response to President Trump’s discriminatory attempt to implement a transgender military ban, Gillibrand announced bipartisan legislation to protect currently serving transgender troops from being discharged. She also recently spoke out against violence targeting LGBTQ Americans and the critical need for equality voters to make their voices heard at the ballot box.
HRC recently announced a bold, proactive grassroots expansion with the launch of HRC Rising — a campaign to accelerate progress in states from coast-to-coast, resist the politics of hate, fight anti-LGBTQ legislation, and fuel pro-equality candidates and initiatives. The expansion is the biggest strategic investment in the organization’s 37-year history. HRC has identified more than 5 million New Yorkers as likely Equality Voters, meaning they are strong supporters of progressive LGBTQ policies including same-sex marriage, adoption by LGBTQ people, and laws that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Photo: Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — VICE News has learned that a year-old detention center for undocumented immigrants in Dallas, Texas never opened its unit for transgender people detained by ICE. Prairieland Detention Center had plans to feature a protected, 36-bed pod exclusively for transgender detainees to keep those individuals safe from violence and abuse.
ICE spokesman Carl Ruskok confirmed to VICE News that despite reports a year ago, the wing has never been used to house transgender detainees and there are no plans to do so in the future:
“Due to an increased demand for detention bed space and other foreseen factors, the Prairieland Detention Center currently does not operate a dedicated transgender housing unit.”
The decision to set aside a special unit for trans detainees at Prairieland came under the Obama administration, as ICE policy gradually started to reflect the concerns of LGBTQ and immigrants rights groups over the detention of transgender asylum seekers. In 2015, ICE released a memo with guidelines for appropriate placement and care of trans detainees.
WELLESLEY, Mass. — #QTHEVOTE, a digital voter registration platform for the LGBTQ community and their allies, launched today as its flagship website went live at www.qthevote.com. #QTHEVOTE was founded by serial entrepreneur Trevor Burgess who was the first openly gay CEO of a publicly traded bank in the United States. #QTHEVOTE leverages cutting-edge voter registration tools from vote.org and aims to register as many LGBTQIA+ Americans as possible in advance of the November 2018 elections.
“We’ve seen it time and time again, one vote can make all the difference. Our community has a duty to the next generation to make sure we are heard at the ballot box,” said #QTHEVOTE founder Trevor Burgess.
In the 2016 national election, five states were decided by less than 1.5% of the vote. #QTHEVOTE estimates that there were more unregistered gay and lesbian Americans in each of those states than was the difference between winner and loser.
“It’s simple math, analyzing data from Gallup and Project Vote, if every LGBT American had voted in 2016 we would not have our fundamental rights under attack today,” said #QTHEVOTE founder Trevor Burgess adding, “we can and should be the most powerful and passionate voters in America.”
#QTHEVOTE plans to target unregistered LGBTQIA+ Americans through social media, online advertising and through partnerships with direct outreach organizations.
Q The Vote, Inc. has made application for 501(c)(3) status and is accepting donations on its website www.qthevote.com. #QTHEVOTE is nonpartisan and does not support nor endorse any particular candidate for public office.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Leadership Conference Education Fund today released “Without Justice: Trump’s Across-the-Board Assault on Civil and Human Rights,” a report on the Trump administration’s first year and its attacks on our nation’s hard-fought civil and human rights achievements. The report is the 2018 edition of The Education Fund’s annual Civil Rights Monitor and comes the day after President Trump failed to mention the words ‘civil rights’ or ‘human rights’ in his first State of the Union address.
In 1982, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (now The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Education Fund’s sister organization) published a report, “Without Justice,” documenting the Justice Department’s attacks on civil rights during the first year of Ronald Reagan’s presidency. This year’s version of “Without Justice” recalls that dark moment in our nation’s history and reminds us that civil rights progress in the United States has never been linear.
This edition of the Civil Rights Monitor examines the Trump administration’s relentless attacks on voting rights, criminal justice and policing issues, education, LGBTQ rights, economic security and workers’ rights, immigrant rights and protections, media and telecommunications, and a fair and accurate 2020 Census. It also highlights the Republican-led Congress’ rubber-stamping of Trump’s judicial nominees, its use of the Congressional Review Act to repeal critical protections, and its misguided efforts to strip health care from millions and give large tax cuts to millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations.
“Since taking office, President Trump and his administration have demonstrated a well-documented hostility to civil and human rights,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Education Fund. “Moreover, the Republican-led Congress has been unwilling to consider and pass desperately needed reforms on a host of issues, and has proven ineffective at advancing policies to promote and protect the civil and human rights of everyone in the United States. At the same time, the federal judiciary is being shaped in the president’s image, at a cost to fair and impartial courts. The civil and human rights community has fought back every step of the way, and we will continue to fight back to ensure that the United States lives up to its ideals.”
Click here to read this year’s Civil Rights Monitor.
The Leadership Conference also issued a timeline of the Trump administration’s rollbacks on civil and human rights. That list is available here.