Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hilarious TRUE campaign posters

http://thetenderblog.com/2010/10/22/the-real-district-6-campaign-posters/

Friday, October 15, 2010

Endorsement interviews: Glendon "Anna Conda" Hyde | San Francisco Bay Guardian

Endorsement interviews: Glendon "Anna Conda" Hyde | San Francisco Bay Guardian

World Homeless Day: San Francisco’s Leslie Hotel takeover

World Homeless Day: San Francisco’s Leslie Hotel takeover

Golden Gate [X]press : District 6 canidates take different stances on sit/lie

Golden Gate [X]press : District 6 canidates take different stances on sit/lie

With 19 Days to go

I think it would be very hard not to say that no matter what we have won. The team has always said the idea is to win but our goal is to fight, and we have fought as hard as any little lady could. We have taken on Big Time politics and risen to the top of the heap and garnered respect and stayed dignified in the process. It is with undying gratitude to Jessica Berardi, Tyler Hosack, John Ferreria, Jason Smart and Adam Britt who have stayed with me since a year ago today on one of the toughest experiences that we could have together. Dean Disaster, Matt Contrill, Joe Kowalke, Jeff Javits, and Alic Shook who got us off to a flying start and have contributed as much as they could over the year and helped keep the campaign going even as they found jobs and struggled to pay rents in this economy. I am forever grateful to Orlon, Steven, Gene and David Lewis for going above and beyond the call of duty and really taking to the streets for the cause. Also the many many many of you that spared anywhere from 5 to 500 dollars to support our campaign because to have raised 20K (including in kind donations) is a great accomplishment and has allowed us to be a contender for this Nov 2 election. Also to my club friends and new friends that I have met along the way your efforts at out reach in the TL and fundraising efforts at your parties help solidify our chances and prove that there is a voice to be heard that is not in a condo or part of the main stream but still a voice that demands being heard!

We are proud that all our materials are from recycled stock and are printed with soy based ink and will not harm the environment. We can also be proud that our message did not cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to get out there. Instead our foot work and out reach has all been community based. We feel that it is time to really look at what elections are and how we abuse and confuse the voters into believing that it is necessary to buy elections or spend ungodly amounts of money to influence your vote.

We started this campaign to prove that YOU can make a difference in politicks and we have. To be the drag queen candidate, who came out of no where and ended up being endorsed by some of the leading media, organizations, and voter groups has proven that we can make a difference and that we should take the time to do so.

As exhausting as this has been I have never felt better or more alive. It has truly connected myself and my team to what is going on at a level that none of us expected. The fight is not over an we can always use your help in the last days for out reach and especially on Nov 2! Mostly though I want to share my gratitude to YOU, the people who created a force to be reckoned with against all odds. My friends we are the voice of change against the over gentrification and selling out of our city. Our fight is not over but thats alright! We know now that we can do it and on November 2nd we are going to see some very surprised faces when they see just what we have achieved together.

Finally to those who wrote us off and to my parents who told me being gay and female identified would lead to a life of misery and rejection.... You were wrong. As a survivor and a fighter I am very proud to say that. Instead of a statistic we have become innovators. Thanks for not giving up because we have already enacted change and will continue to do so in the years ahead.

Thanks for the support and continued effort till the votes are counted. Never give up because as Queen said in our team theme song this year "We are the Champions my friends, and we'll keep on fighting till the end."

Humbly,

Anna Conda

Sunday, October 3, 2010

"A DRAG QUEEN CAN'T BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY.'"-- Theresa Sparks, candidate for District 6 City Supervisor.

"A DRAG QUEEN CAN'T BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY.'"-- Theresa Sparks, candidate for District 6 City Supervisor.

If this were the only way that candidate Theresa Sparks insults the queer community, that would be bad enough. But while claiming that her position as Director of the Human Rights Commission shows her commitment to human rights, Sparks's actions prove otherwise:
+In an anti-democratic move, she has pressured store owners not to hang the signs of other candidates.
+As a police commissioner, Sparks has supported the police policy that says trans women carrying more than 1 condom on their person can be [detained/arrested?] as prostitutes.
+Sparks actively endorses the proposed sit-lie law that criminalizes the homeless--many of whom have ended up living on the street as the direct result of being trans or queer. (This also contradicts Spark's claim that she is a fiscal conservative: Not only will passage of this unconstitutional law immediately embroil the city in an expensive lawsuit, but three days of jail time for a homeless person costs the same [more?] than providing them housing and social services for an entire month.)

I'm proud of my history as a drag queen, and that's why I include my drag name in my campaign. I'm asking for your vote, however, based not on my (admittedly fabulous) outfits, but on my progressive policies and my commitment to the district that has been my home for 14 years. As Supervisor of D6, I promise:
I will [fight] for more affordable housing for all.
I'll [push] to extend rent control to small businesses.
I'll collaborate on revamping Muni so that it really works--without punishing the Muni workers who keep it running..
I will sponsor a tax non-medical cannabis
I will fight to make sure San Francisco's funds are spent
housing people rather than jailing them
creating jobs instead of providing billionaires tax breaks/cutting sweetheart deals with corporations
repairing, cleaning, and greening the streets and sidewalks rather than attacking San Franciscans sitting on those sidewalks.
[ital/bold]Can drag queens be taken seriously? Damn right we can![end ital] VOTE FOR ANNA CONDA aka GLENDON HYDE ON NOVEMBER 2nd.

League of Pissed Off Voters Endorse Anna

Here are the League's endorsements for November. Our full voter guide that explains why we're voting this way will be posted on theballot.org soon.

State Candidates:

Governor: Jerry Brown

Lt Governor: No endorsement (Gavin came up one vote short of getting our endorsement!)

US Senator: Barbara Boxer

Sec of State: Debra Bowen

Controller: John Chiang

Treasurer Bill Lockyer

Attorney General: Kamala Harris

Insurance Commissioner: Dave Jones

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Larry Aceves

State Board of Equalization: Betty Yee

State Assembly District 12: No endorsement

State Assembly District 13: Tom Ammiano

State Senate District 18: No endorsement

Supreme Court Justices: Cantil-Sakauye, No; Chin, No; Moreno, Yes

State Props:

19: Yes - Legalize!

20: No - Expands undemocratic redistricting commission to cover congress

21: Yes - $18 vehicle fee to pay for state parks

22: No - Complicated & suspicious way to prevent state borrowing from local agencies

23: Hell No - Cold-cocks CA’s landmark anti-global-warming bill

24: Hell Yes - Repeal corporate tax breaks

25: Hell Yes - Restore majority rule for the state budget!

26: Hell No - Cripple CA’s ability to pay for services via fees

27: Yes - Eliminate that sketchy redistricting commission (see 20)

Local Props:

AA: Yes - $10 vehicle fee for roads, transit, and pedestrians

A: Yes - $46m bond to seismically retrofit affordable housing

B: No - Increase city employees pension contributions & take away health care

C: Yes - Question Time with the Mayor . . . Round 3

D: Hell Yes - Allow non-citizen public school parents to vote for school board

E: Hell Yes - Election Day voter registration for SF-only elections!

F: No - Suspicious consolidation of random Health Services Board Elections

G: No - Standardize Muni drivers’ pay formula, but add anti-worker language

H: No - Bar some SF elected officials from political party committees

I: Yes - Donation-funded Saturday voting pilot program for 2011

J: Hell Yes - Raise the hotel tax to save City services

K: Hell No - Poison pill against raising the hotel tax

L: No - Make it illegal to sit on the sidewalk anywhere in SF

M: Yes - Require police foot patrols & block Prop L

N: Hell Yes - Raise the tax on properties sold for more than $5 million

Local Candidates:

Board of Supervisors

District 2: Janet Reilly

District 4: No endorsement

District 6: 1- Jane Kim; 2- Glendon “Anna Conda” Hyde; 3- Debra Walker

District 8: Rafael Mandelman

District 10: 1- Chris Jackson; 2- Tony Kelly; 3- Ed Donaldson

BART Board: Bert Hill

Assessor: Phil Ting

Board of Education: Hydra Mendoza, Bill Barnes, Kim-Shree Maufus

Community College Board: John Rizzo

Public Defender: Jeff Adachi

Judge: Michael Nava

Monday, September 27, 2010

United Playaz Fundraiser this Saturday October 2

ime
Saturday, October 2 · 4:00pm - 7:00pm

LocationPowerhouse Bar
1347 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA

Created By

More Info
During my run for Supervisor of District 6 I met a group that touched my heart more than any other and that is United Playaz!
There Mission is:


United Playaz is...a violence prevention and youth leadership organization that works with San Francisco's hardest to reach youth through street outreach, case management, in-school services, recreational activities, and support to incarcerated youth.
United Playaz has committed more than 15 years to improving the lives of young people surviving in vulnerable environments and show high incidence of truancy and low academic performance, or have been involved in the juvenile justice system through direct service and community collaboration. United Playaz believes that

"it takes the hood to save the hood"

They are currently trying to buy their Building at 1038 Howard street after being "excused" from the local Community Center. The dedicated and wonderful staff need our help.

Please come to the Powerhouse for a Drag Show Fundraiser to help this amazing group! I'm even going to do a Hip Hop number for my very first time! Raffle, door donations and jello shots make up a great way to help people helping themselves!

Team Anna Conda

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Stop Marginalizing Anna Conda 2010

ONE SUPPORTER SAYs........."I call bullshit on the Bay Guardian for leaving you out of their DCCC questionnaire recap and I think all of your supporters should call and email Tim Redmond- tr@sfbg.com."

I think this is a great idea! we have proven over and over that we are a strong clear focused campaign and yet main stream media and organizations such as the DCCC continue to marginalize us. Please send an email or write on the SFBG Blog about your feelings! Thanks and lets go get that idae that if you ignore us we don't exist. This is the exact reason I have chosen to run. I will not allow myself, my friends and my community be ignored. You can't arrest people for sitting and lying on the sidewalk because they are poor. You can't keep destroying DJ equipment and hurting bar patrons in raids, You can't kill San Francisco and make it a playground for Yuppies, You can't just close all the gay night spots and performance venues BECAUSE WE WILL NOT LET YOU!. We don't ALL want to live in the Marina! We will not stand for marginalization! Thanks, Anna Conda

http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2010/08/10/what-dccc-questionnaires-reveal-about-adachi-reform-sit-lie-and-marijuana


Response from a supporter...

You have run a serious and issue-based campaign, you have received good reviews from your debate and other public appearances, and you deserve to have your effort treated and covered seriously and with respect. I won't let up on calling out unfair treatment by the media, especially the so-called progressive media. It is not okay just to cover you and your campaign as part of a Pride issue - in fact, it is the worst marginalization of a serious queer candidate that I can think of.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Endorsement from TAC PAC

Dear Glendan Hyde:

Please refer to the enclosed letter of endorsement when announcing our support for your campaign. We appreciate your timely response to our candidate questionnaire.

If you have any questions about our endorsement please refer to the contact information in our attached letter.

TACPAC "Tenant Associations Coalition Political Action Committee" endorsement slate for District 6 Supervisor is as follows:

1) James Keys

2) Jane Kim

3) Glendon Hyde

TAC PAC
P.O. Box 420846
San Francisco, CA 94142-0846
(415) 289-2024
FPPC #1241868
Since 1/02

Lost Classic: The Woodentops * Giant (Rough Trade/Columbia, 1986)

Lost Classic: The Woodentops * Giant (Rough Trade/Columbia, 1986)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

sit lie discussion

As a new condo owner in the Mid Market area, I support the Sit and Lie Law. Something has to be done to stop the problems business and property owners have with the homeless. They block the entrance to our buildings, trash the sidewalks in front of our homes, urinate and defecate anywhere they please.

2 hours ago · · · Report
    • Anna Glendon Conda Hyde
      How much do you donate to housing every year? Housing is often blocked by attitudes just like this but when you house someone and give them a toilet the problem is solved. It is our selfish spending and lack of compassion that allows this epidemic to continue. If it is not our problem then who's problem is it? Why should the homeless be put in jail? It costs 1 months worth of housing to incarcerate someone for 3 nights. Until we all take an active part in creating change and expecting others to do the work for us we will continue to have problems. Sit?Lie is about calling attention to a problem and then saying that the homeless are criminals and this is NOT a solution. It is a bastardization of our governmental process and should never have even been created. By the way it was an idea germinated here in SF to throw gays in jail instead of having them hanging out in the Castro. Should we just keep using laws like this till were all in jail!

First Endorsement for Anna Conda 2010.com

Glendon Hyde AKA ANNA CONDA campaign:

Manor Advocates wishes to inform you that we have

decided to formally endorse your bid for Supervisor in

District 6 for the year 2010. We have reviewed your

distinguished history as a community activist on

behalf residents in the North of Market area as well

as the City and County of San Francisco. We are deeply

impressed by your commitment in advocating for those

living in San Francisco’s substandard SRO buildings.

We also note your community leadership achievements

and efforts improving the quality of life for some the

most struggling populations of San Francisco.

In 1997 Manor Advocates was formed to preserve

affordable housing for all current and future elderly

and disabled low-income households in buildings such

the Antonia Manor, Marlton Manor, Marie Manor, and The

Alexander Residence. Manor Advocates also co-authored

District 6 Candidate Platform in 2000.

We are asking other community-based groups that we are

affiliated to also endorse your candidacy.

Our Slate for District 6 Candidates is as follows:

1. James Keys

2. Jane Kim

3. Glendon Hyde

Manor Advocates

P.O. Box 846

San Francisco, CA 94102-0846

manoradvocates@yahoo.com





I would like to thank Manor Advocates because I believe in their mission of making sure there is DIGNITY for all San Franciscans. When it comes from a group that is involved in work that my team and I feel so strongly about it is an honor to receive our first endorsement and we are very proud to be chosen.


Anna Conda and Team Anna Conda 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Chris Daly Primary for District 6

We will not be participating in this primary. This does not fit into our campaigns plans and we are not fully supportive of Daly's plans for this Progressive Primary Elections. Our team has worked hard to become involved in the community, eschew the traditional mudslinging tactics and we wish to continue on with our plans. We have met all the requirements but feel that this is a divisive measure in many ways and are glad to be part of a district race that has so many involved and capable people running. We feel the more people involved in the political process the more likely we are to see the concerns of the D6 Community arise and take precedence in this race. The very fact that so many people want to be involved we feel is a great sign that the apathy towards the disenfranchised in our district will soon be a thing of the past.
And now the actual letter..........


Dear Candidate for District 6 Supervisor, On Saturday, July 17th, the District 6 Progressive Primary will be held at the San Francisco War Memorial, 401 Van Ness Avenue, between 10AM and 2PM. The Primary is open to all District 6 residents who are registered to vote. District 6 residents who register to vote on the day of the event will also be able to participate. As a declared candidate for District 6 Supervisor, you are invited to compete in the Progressive Primary. In order to qualify your name for the Progressive Primary ballot, you are required to: 1) Become certified as eligible to receive public funds by the SF Ethics Commission and agree to comply with the City’s Individual Expenditure Ceiling; 2) Sign the Progressive Pledge; and 3) Agree to endorse the winner of the Progressive Primary as your first, second, or third choice for the November election for District 6 Supervisor. The filing deadline for qualifying your name for the Progressive Primary ballot is 12:00pm on Thursday, June 17th. In addition to the above requirements, you will be required to declare your legal name, name in Chinese characters, and a ballot designation as they would appear on November’s ballot. You may also submit a candidate statement of no more than 200 words. For more information on these requirements, please reference the Department of Elections’ Candidate Guide for Local Elective Offices for the November 2010 election. The order in which candidate names will appear on the ballot will be determined by a “random alphabet” drawing, which will be held at 12:00pm on Thursday, June 17th, outside of the Department on Elections in the basement of City Hall. This random alphabet applies to the surname, or last name, of the candidate. If two candidates have surnames beginning with the same letter, their order on the ballot will depend on the order in which the next distinctive letters in their names were drawn in the randomized alphabet drawing.Candidates who are unable to qualify their name for the ballot by June 17th may file a statement of write-in candidacy by 12:00pm on Tuesday, July 13th. The Progressive Primary will use the City’s ranked-choice voting (RCV) system to determine the winner of the Primary. District 6 voters participating in the Progressive Primary will be able to select a first-choice candidate in the first column on the ballot, and different second and third-choice candidates in the second and third columns on the ballot. The counting of the ballots will proceed similarly to the City’s November election. To start, every first-choice vote is counted. Any candidate who receives a majority (more than 50%) of the first-choice votes is declared the winner. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the first-choice votes, a process of eliminating candidates and transferring votes begins. First, the candidate who received the fewest number of first-choice votes is eliminated from the race. Second, voters who selected the eliminated candidate as their first choice will have their vote transferred to their second choice. Third, all the votes are recounted. Once the votes are recounted, if any candidate has received more than 50% of the votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes, the process of eliminating candidates and transferring votes is repeated until one candidate has a winning majority. All participating candidates will be allowed to have one designated observer present during the counting of the ballots. Please complete all the enclosed forms and return to: Progressive PrimaryPO Box 410686San Francisco, CA 94141-0686 Alternately, you can submit your paperwork to me before the alphabet drawing at 12:00pm on June 17th. Feel free to email me back at this address or call or text me on my cell phone. 415-244-7419. Thank you, Chris Daly

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Waffle waffle but don't sit or lie.

I was talking to a candidate for an elected position about our tactics and I learned a lot.
The topic was Sit/Lie. there was some talk about how I opposed it and that we hoped that David Chiu wouldn't be lame enough to push for it as a ballot measure. Laws like this is where we really see what Prop 8 did to us. Now we can criminalize marginalized populations by popular vote. Bigotry en mass. Any way we were talking about Sit/Lie laws.
I began recounting the great experience that I had opposing the Sit/Lie ordinance. My team and I had a little lemon aid /cookie stand in the tenderloin. We signed people up to Stand Against Sit/Lie. My new pal Andy Blue, who also hosts League of Pissed Off Voters on Pirate Cat Radio, helps organize these city wide protests and also works for the amazing 2 year old Tenants Together was there. Andy really got into it; as he is a guy full of really great energy; and we had cameras and lemon aid and homeless and drag queens right out in public! Deborah Walker and her enormous cardboard head were there. It was a who's who right on the side walk. Say it like in Female Trouble "Anna Conda's having a lemon aid stand right out in class!"
The day was awesome and we dealt with lots of folks who call the streets their home. They were very nice in general and certainly no one has bullied us. We had about 85% people who supported and we listened to the reasons people gave for "not wanting to step over "that" every day." "That" by the way is a he or she incase you might not have noticed as you scorned them as the lie suffering under your feet. But I digress.
So I'm chatting about how I think San francisco should remain open to the ideals that make it a shelter and a bastion of uber liberal ideals and I say...
"It was such a great experience you should do it to I think its a great way to state your position and just meet people."
Reply "Well i think its better for me to stand back and talk about it from a political angle than to get involved. Plus it's risky my district might go for this or support sit/lie laws."

What? Ok I get it we ALL want to be elected. I know about the whole "it's a game" mentality. But this is exactly the disconnect that government has from the people. The idea that as a leader you would not get involved in civic matters at a very basic level is where the problems are happening. Would this person change their position to get elected? This is everyones choice to make and I know but the very story that we tell should be who we are. It is like the Born Again Christian Ministers who buy rent boys after calling for the death of fags. If you hate yourself so much that you would compromise your moral fortitude who cares what you say. It is only by being counted and standing up that a voice can be of use. All social change came with a fight. Without the fight poor, ethnic, gay, trans, ect... get bulldozed under in society.
It is not time to hide behind popularity and desire to win. There is always a bit of compromise but involvement early on is key to keeping the freedoms granted us by the universe are ours. Again look at Prop 8 and what it has done and we are so apathetic that we can't get it together to actually do anything about it. we are waiting for the courts to decide. You know what BIGOTRY as LAW is worth standing against. Thats what Prop 8 is thats what Sit/Lie is. By the way this is all brought to you by a Mayor who uses MUNI as a slush fund causing it to be deeply in debt, allows corrupt shelter systems to carry the burden of SF's homeless population while cutting their funding, and yet calls himself a humanitarian for fighting for gay rights. Yes a making the city so full of developers that fill your own personal agenda while bullshitting your way into the next office available.
This hypocrisy is not what is going to create solution. Accountable and sustainable should be our motto. We need to slow growth enough to become sustainable as we are. We must house the families, the teens, the junkies and all the disenfranchised before moving on. That is what our government is in place for. Not a stepping stone to salaries beyond reason.
We only have ourselves to blame when the rhetoric of "Only in my best interest" is acceptable as a way into elected office. How is that attitude actually going to stand up for our rights instead of their own best interests? They will not because they didn't getting elected. This is the down fall of the Democratic party in my view. No fortitude to take a stand and defend it.
So to end our conversation I said, "I just hope to help keep San Francisco a place that is magic and a retreat from the often abusive world."
They replied, "After living here a while you forget that about the city."
I hope we never never forget.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Compassionate Criminalization of Smokers

am an asthma sufferer. I do not like cigarette smoke in my lungs, on my clothing, or in my wig for sure! That plastic just reeks after a smoke filled venue! I'm glad we no longer smoke in bars. It’s very difficult to look at cigarette smoking in public as something that should be protected by law. However, I absolutely do not support a ban on smoking patios that ignores the root cause of high rates of smoking among minority populations, places additional financial burdens on small businesses, and exploits children as a means to an end.


I recently attended the hearings to banning smoking patios in San Francisco. When I spoke up in defense of smoking patios, I was told by one man that I “didn’t care about the GLBT community” because I do not support a ban on smoking in the city of San Francisco. He argued that smoking on a smoking patio was the same as walking into a bar and spraying DDT all over the place. “Would you support that?” I was asked. Another woman who rents a unit to a smoker spoke out saying that she wanted the freedom to evict her tenant simply because she “hates smokers and smoking”. Where do we draw the line?


The Anti-Smoking Coalition – who is behind these proposed bans – is a rabid bunch that will do just about anything to disallow smoking in public. At the hearings, children were paraded shamelessly (dare I say “exploitatively”?) in front of the Board of Supervisors and other attendees. The children were there to speak about asthma and were used by the Anti-Smoking Coalition to tug at our heartstrings. What are children doing on smoking patios anyway? Fact is that the two highest causes of asthma are high-density housing and car exhaust – not second hand smoke. If the Anti-Smoking Coalition is as concerned about children’s health as it makes itself out to be, why are they not calling for some sort of referendum regarding the two highest causes of asthma, both of which are particularly relevant in an urban environment like San Francisco? Maybe we should all get out of our cars and take MUNI! They certainly could use the cash!


Previous smoking bans were put in place to keep smoke contained to one area and away from non-smokers. Many bars – especially Castro neighborhood businesses – opened smoking patios in order to keep smoke outside and comply with city codes. Many of these bars and restaurants have spent thousands of dollars creating smoking patios. The new law – sponsored by Supervisor Eric Mar – would ban smoking patios, costing bars and restaurants even more money. After pressure from bar and restaurant owners, Mar has suggested that a grandfather clause be added to the new ruling to allow previously-existing patios to stay open with no smoking 10 feet from the door. Also the new ban sends smokers into the street to be 15 feet away from the front entrance of a business or building. That means smokers in the street littering the gutters with butts instead of ash trays. More litter in the bay is better than smoking?


From where I see it, this is not about smoking patios. This is a freedom of choice issue. In an economic downturn, placing added financial hardship on small businesses – in the way of lost opportunity for business – is not a solution. And certainly, criminalizing personal behaviors and pushing smokers out of sight is not a solution either.


Besides being told that I “didn’t care about the GLBT community” I learned at the hearings that there are far fewer smokers in San Francisco than just a few years ago! Harm reduction strategies are working. We have already created a dialogue and citywide plan that is reducing the number of people who smoke. Why change what’s already working?


Perhaps we should put our time and effort into lobbying tobacco companies. After all, tobacco companies are responsible for creating and selling a product that is unhealthy and addictive. I say go for the real criminals! Why not hold hearings in favor of more funding for educational campaigns and quit-smoking programs for smokers? Why not allocate prevention funding specifically to youth and other marginalized populations at most risk of smoking?


Urban environments are by nature a melting pot of ideas, choices, and freedoms. San Franciscans have the freedom to choose what businesses they frequent and if those businesses have smoking patios or not. Similarly, we have the choice to drive cars or to utilize public transportation. We decide where our money goes and whether it goes into education and prevention versus the criminalization of personal choices.


I dislike the smell, the taste, and the slew of health problems – and healthcare costs! – that come along with cigarette smoking as much as the next person. What I dislike even more, however, is criminalizing personal choices. Criminalizing adult behavior removes some of the freedoms and foundations on which this "liberal" city is built. Criminalization is never a solution. Imposing bans on smoking patios under the guise of “Save the Children” propaganda is both exploitative and factually unfounded.


We must be vigilant that good intentions do not create laws that disenfranchise the disenfranchised. Smoking surely is a health concern but the way to solve health concerns is education not criminalization. We have in place safety measures that work by reducing the number of smokers and the inhalation of second hand smoke and these extra measures are far too strict.We all want to enjoy nightlife and many of us don't want to breath second hand smoke and there are many choices of venue to go to that don't allow smoking. Finally to the person who wrote to me saying; "I pass out, my throat closes; and I must be rushed to the hospital every time I breath in a hint of smoke"; I worry that an urban environment is far too dangerous for you. I don't want to see you die so make the right choice and please stay away from the smoking patios and be very careful walking down the street. I do care about your issues so I worry what choices you are making to live in an urban and uncontrolled environment. For the rest of us I say make a wise choice and be glad you can; even if your a smoker.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

In solidarity with the people facing bigotry in Hawaii. Wear Black arm bands


Van Law February 4 at 10:30am Reply
Aloha,

On Friday, February 5, 2010 we will be mourning the death of Democracy at the Hawaii State Capitol.

It will be one week to the day since the House Leadership (Say and Magaoay) did everything they could do to ensure that HB 444 (through an anonymous voice vote) would not pass this session. This is NOT just a gay issue – if they can do this to the Civil Unions bill when the entire State is watching, what will they do when not everyone is paying attention!

Starting at 3:00 PM (State Capitol)

HAND DELIVER “Thank You” notes to the Representatives for speaking up on our behalf. (We are looking for people to do this with their mouths duct taped a la "NO H8" campaign)

4:00 PM – 5:30 PM (State Capitol)
SIGN WAVING: in support of Civil Unions especially given that Lambda Legal and ACLU Hawaii will be filing a lawsuit against the State of Hawaii for Civil Unions.

5:30 PM – 6:30 PM (State Capitol)

MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR DEMOCRACY


We ask everyone to wear black or at least a black armband and a rainbow lei and bring a flash light.
There will be speakers from the different groups supporting the event talking about what democracy meant to them and their organization.

We will also announce the launch of the 20*10 Campaign.


6:30 PM – 7:30 PM (State Capitol to Chinatown)

SILENT MARCH to Chinatown to hand out fliers calling on Say and Magaoay to revive democracy at the State Capitol and let HB 444 have its vote. Ending the march at the park next to the Hawaii Theatre (behind Indigo)


We hope that you can make all or even part of this action to keep Civil Unions issue alive in the realm of public opinion and letting the House "leadership" know we are not going away!

Mahalo!


Sponsors of the event:
PFLAG-Oahu
Pride Alliance Hawaii

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Community response

For me the reality of the awesome task ahead has hit and I'm ready. There are no words that can describe the palitable momentum that I feel. I am buzzing with sheer joy at what is at hand. I live for a "Land Use and Economic Growth" meetings these days. I believe that this is one of the most far reaching Committees as far as impact to the feel and taste of San Francisco. Budget is good but there is something very wonderful at play in Land Use. Plus you get the added bonus of San Franciscans who come to the Board meetings to sing songs with little recorded devices. Amazing. Or to watch the venerable Sophie Maxwell yield power with such grace and precision. This is the most awe inspiring stuff ever. Quite frankly its like a night at Charlie Horse with everyone and everything happening at once but no vomit and much more reading.... the book kind darlings!
Yet the other side of "wielding power or saying that you want to be an elected official" is the hard part of dealing with the public and their expectations. (Again that was the hard part of Charlie Horse as well but thank goodness I excell at that!) Everyone wants theirs and they want it yesterday. People trying to protect their home values, businesses, intrests, kids and with every right to do so. The general public is angry already and that starts the conversation off in a way that often prevents both sides coming to an agreeable solution. This fear is based in the idea that government is one thing and the working class and lower are separated from this "government thing". That is not true at all. Just ask my new hero Jazzie Collins what you can do, I bet she can name 100 in a minute flat! Maybe everyone should spend some time running for office of some sort; I know I certainly have a lot less time to bitch and moan. In fact its not so complicated at all to get up to speed. I belive history and precidents are the things one must learn that take longer, but as I learned at the Dynamic Adaptability Conferance emotion and passion supply the drive and thoughts to create answers and make solutions possible.
This decision to care on a whole hearted level and without anything to loose has been the best decision ever. I am taking myself out of my comfort zone. WAY out. I used to believe that strength had something to do with where you came from; but now I know it's where we are going. In this journey I have found that we knew the solution all along. I like to think of myself as part of a community. I often hear that communities have no idea how to change things that they don't like or are causing discorse. Usually there is another force involved or in opposition. Both sides are equally right to have an opinion. Both do not have the right to believe the solution is going to be black or white or yes and no decisions that make up the final solution. It will probably be somewhere in the middle and if it is a good resolution should require that the community be an ongoing part of the solution. Bi partisan politics and refusals to bend lead to the inabilty to actually solve problems. Does our Government want us to go without health care and become bankrupt? Sure looks like it. Is over 7,000 homeless not a alarming tragety that we can't open our minds and be part of a solution? Sure looks like it. I was recently fuming over the Haiti relief benefits being held EVERYWHERE. Not that I think Hatian people should suffer or that people should give their money else where by any means. But.... and its's a big one.... What about the 7,000 plus refugees living in our city causing so much anger and resentment; that we decide if they can sit on the side walk or not by law. Why are we criminalizing the people who need help most this is insane!
Yet the solution does not lie only on the coffers of the city. It relys on the community getting in volved. We should demand that the SRO's be run in a more respectable fashion. For example we all know that if you live in a 6th street SRO you have crack and prostitution and petty crime galore. Now add cronic filth, bed bugs, rats, roaches and on and on. Third world living conditions in our city. We are responsible for these conditions; maybe not quite as much as say;.....the managment, but as much as the city and state government for allowing people to be treated this way. Yet with all our money spent on corporation bail outs and keeping the city a float where is the money to fix these problems? Where is the money for the after school programs that are being cut going to come from. It is time for us as a community to ban together and find it. We must get more involved in the solution. We are not owed a solution. They are something that is earned before its owned. If in one month I can raise enough to qualify for public funding for my campaign, in one show raise almost $1300 for a homeless organization then I believe the solution is at hand and its easier than we think.
Community must stop relying on others to do this for them. SRO's are NOT the problem. The Managment or Mismanagment is the problem. We need to enforce that people be treated with dignity by the people providing the care or remove the managment. This care must be more strictly regulated. We must stop letting giant corporate investors and large institution from buying all the affordable housing. Without affordable housing and rent controll across the board we will never end homelessness because it will continue to be perpetuated by special intrest and developers. This cycle must end. Small business must jump through so many hoops that they can hardly open without having to wait far too long to pass inspections and comply to the miriad of rules. We need friendly and user friendly services for all kinds of people. Communities must use their voices not to criminalize but to bind and create success. a sucessful SRO or restaurant or business is going to help the community not just part.
Our personal intrests really are based in healthy communities. We must keep it based there and hold the government accountable for helping in this struggle. If we don't want Walgreens on every corner we are going to have to help in the solution. We must fight for just laws. We must utilize businesses that are thriving and not penalize them to encourage more growth. We must not criminalize the people who need help but take to task the people who exploit their misery. Mostly we must find ways in our communities to raise funds to help the schools, the people, and each other. We are not just part of the solutions that we seek, we are those very solutions.

Friday, January 15, 2010

St. Luke's. Land and Hookers, Shame Shame Shame....

St Luke's hospital in the mission has been closing for years. Honestly it was the worst run hospital I have even been to. My friend Jason and I were left to rot till I went over to General and the wait was actually shorter. Now I think I understand why. The plan was to let this hospital; that is one of 2 South of Market hospitals; rot into the ground and build a new one in the TL. The same TL that is having problems with the gluttonous land absorbsion and alleged near slum lord tendencies of the AAU. So I ask you when 150 SRO's are taken out of the Tenderloin and now Sutter Health is vacating 11 more where are these people going? Where do we imagine they go. To another SRO? Exactly where is that SRO going to be since we have lost 160 or more recently; and as far as I know land developers are not exactly jumping at the chance to build a home for poor or elderly poor, or any other low income folk. So are we saying they have less rights than people who can afford to live here? With affordable housing driven out of the TL where are my friends to live?
Having lived for 2 years in an SRO after arriving to San Francisco perhaps people don't quite understand what it is like. For $450 a month in the late 90's dot com boom era I got a room on California Street with a shower. It was awesome. I had no cooking facilities so I got a hot plate from a friend and ate a lot of ramen noodles and fresh produce from Project Open Hands pantry. See I was also going to Beauty School at Miss Marty's school of Beauty. I wasn't working, my GA was all the money I had and that was $400 a month. Catholic Cheraties had to take my case on and pay my rent and subsidize my income, so I was left with $200 a month to live on. In San Francisco. During the Dot Com Boom. It was only by the help I received from community organizations at that time that kept me alive and healthy and able to make something out of myself. They are the reasons I could succeed in life.
What I learned while living in this SRO is that there are many people who need help in the most desperate ways. People who can't bathe themselves and think for themselves but there is no place to go for them. One time in line at general I saw a man covered in his own feces who had very obvious mental disorders and the staff person told me terminal cancer. This is what is out there and the fact that by closing St Luke's the city gets rid of beds for these people. Plus there are no care facilities with bed to help the mentally ilL who are unable to care for them selves! Downsizing St Luke's removes over 70 acute bed care options as well as eliminating 81 psychiatric beds. Just what the Mission and SF General need in that area. Imagine what we get to see our next visit to General or on a street near you. This is not how housing and care should be dealt with in our city. Land development needs to consider the people who are already living in a community and what their needs are first.
While I was at City hall the other day I was listening to the Native Americans talk about how this was their land and they are not recognized. I thought it just happens over and over again. The people with enough money to silence and discriminate so often reap the rewards. This is still happening at such a quick rate in San Francisco frightens me. I am afraid because so many people seem asleep at the wheel. Grass roots organizing was changing and is changing things but without effort by the communities themselves our cares go without voice. There have been many mayors in this city in a row that run things as they wished and favored business and gentrification. It has changed our beautiful liberal city into a Manhatten Jr. I don't want our city to be owned by Disney with pretty fake atmosphere and botiques only. I want the trannies and the freaks to stay in this city if they want and to be able to find housing. This city should work to become the producer of more success stories like myself. Only through dignity and offering care where it is really needed can we keep this city vibrant for all people.
It's not just land use either. The Polk Street Merchant organizations with Police Chief Gascone and Kamala Harris have decided the Polk is unsafe. They state that the THOUSANDS of trannie hookers, male hookers and a "new influx of hookers from out of town" are making it unsafe to live on Polk. Poor little Johnny is getting stabbed by needles on his way to school and pimps are killing each other every day. First off these are lies. Lies to cover the mass gentrification ideas that the city has for the polk. The Polk is 300 times more white washed and suburban that when I first arrived in San Francisco. You know what is gone from the Polk? Gays. The gay businesses have been snuffed out on purpose because of the beliefe that we are degenerates and ruin the neighborhood. Gay businesses have been blackballed from re opening. In fact one Polk Merchants Association leader thanked the ABC and Entertainment Commission for coming to the aid of a condo owner who lived next to a noist bar and looks forward to working with them again in future such cases.
Gascone and the Merchants association believe shame is the best way to do this. First keep you camera ready because they are asking YOU to take pictures of suspicious characters and turn those pictures into the police. Thats right BIG Brother is here to clean up the Polk. Also pictures of men who use prostitutes will be plastered about the city to shame them into not partaking in the night time trade.
As a gay man I have been shamed, photographed and put in a hospital for the mental disorder called being gay. None of these have worked. I am a very rebellious and angry citizen because of it. I am living proof that shame does not work. Instead of shame shouldn't we give these people, because they are people after all lets not forget; a place to live that they can afford so that like myself they can become another success story for our city. Stop the shame and stop the destruction of affordable housing! There are 2 ways to make the city livable for everyone. To the lady on the Polk Merchants association who said its a women's issue because god knows what these men bring home after tricking; I say this; where is your heart and compassion. Until we offer dignity to the "undesirable" you desirables will not be able to find it for yourself. Personally Kamala, Gascone and the Polk Merchants I don't know how you can sleep at night. That bed of shame money must be pretty darn soft.