Friday, January 8, 2010

kick off

Well here we go. I remember the day after I filed the papers stating my intention to run for Supervisor of District 6 thinking I am putting myself on the chopping block and I feel amazing. Yesterday while preparing with my team I felt that same elation. I couldn't wait to be here with you. I have always said that there is no reason that I should be here and not you or someone else. I am here for the same reasons you would be. I have lived for 14 years in this city and in District 6 almost all of that time. If I was not in the district I was right on its borders. This district is where I could afford to live. It is where my friends live, work and created. It is the heart of the entertainment industry as well as home to some of the poorest in this city. It is the center for visitors from foreign lands and multi national corporations. I'm finding out what its all about when a person takes their political activism and become a politician. This has been a steep learnig curve for me and I expect it to get steeper. I expect this to be the most challenging time of my life. I expect it to be but I am going to do it anyway. Well what I hope to say is that WE are going to do this anyway, and we are gonna start making the difference.
We are the ones who call this district and city home. We are the ones who walk the streets instead of driving through them looking for parking. I know that personally without this community I wouldn't be here today. What has happened to our city based on community? The Cockette's, Finochio's, the Barbary Coast, Grace Slick and Janice Joplin, Small and large artists and collectives that have raised this city's profile to national acclaim. Where are those voices that have made this town great and opened the world to counter culture? Well they have been sold out to special interests and developers who care nothing of the people but only about the cash. It is time this behavior by our leaders be stopped; and its time we stopped it. Our apathy has kept us down long enough and we will stand up and demand that our city take care of it's environs before special interests.
When a hotel is paying 2 % increase of its property tax assessment of 1978 market value because it is owned by the same company; especially when the same hotel was an SRO in 1978 and is now a Hotel, Nightclub and restaurant; and their taxs have not been reassessed since 1978..... something is wrong. When there for a meet and greet with the new Tenderloin Police Chief the new proprietors talked about how they really cleaned up the block. Did they clean it up by creating new housing or by offering their toilets to those in need? When we can't find money for ADAP spending or homeless solutions, there is no excuse not to hold multi national or even local corporations responsible for helping to fund our city's infrastructure. Their ability to make and invest money has gotten them special privildeges and wealth. So it's only natural to believe that they should be made to share that wealth with those who have no wealth. Yes it's socialism but for all of you educated here in America there are far worse isms to be. There must be more accountability by our leaders in industry, public service, and public office. When an organization like the Community Housing Partnership has a 98% success rate why is it that they face their funding being cut? It certainly makes more sense to support the organizations that are creating dignity for this city than the ones creating cash only. Now is the time for fresh ideas and aggressive grass roots organizing. It's time to put the "we" back into po"we"r with no more excuses.
We must start saying and hearing yes. Yes there are solutions and yes there is money out there. Yes there will be change and it will be change that is wise and decent. Not hollow promises handed over for a quick buck for a very few, or people who own interest in our city but live elsewhere. When condo owners can shut down a bar that existed before the condo was slapped together, we see an imbalance of power. When a Mayor wants to do away with condo lotteries we see an even more unbalanced power structure emerging for the future. All because of greed and a power hungry ego. My friend Dudley once said he would rather vote for someone who didn't want to hold office because at least they wouldn't have an agenda. It is time for that kind of leader now. It is time to remove the corruption in our government and it's spending to free up the money needed to solve the problems of this city.
We must become more active. There is a steep learning curve ahead but we don't care about the struggle because that is what creates community. We have what we need right in our own community to create change and to protect those who are falling through the cracks. Not just the homeless but immigrants and families who can no longer afford to be part of the city that is San Francisco. We must unite to remind those in power that our city and our dignity are not for sale. Our city's government must be accountable. Why do we have an entertainment committee that is not encouraging the proliferation of entertainment? We already have the ABC and the Police to keep these entertainment venues in line. Its like a film commission that says "Stay away don't shoot or show films here". We need to create an environment and a liaison that serves the community and finds solutions instead for spreading fear and deceit. Not just in entertainment but in all areas. I just chose entertainment because it's what I know. It makes no sense to destroy an industry that is already working and supplying revenue.
We need new ideas and strong advocates for change. People who will not dumb themselves down to the middle to appease wealthy interests, labor, or to protect their job. We need fighters for justice or justice will keep getting bastardized. No one is going to do it for us and in the last year we have seen how we can loose rights; that were already granted to us; and let bigotry become law. We can not let these fascist tendencies go unchallenged. By raising our voices for what we know is right is the way to a brighter future. Not just for us but for the people who have neglected to recognize this truth for themselves. When given dignity and given a place to live a little gay named Glendon Hyde could put himself through beauty school, win Miss Trannyshack as the dark horse, run a very successful club, become an leading activist, and find his/her true spirit. Proof that dignity and community can create success and there is no need to own shame, oppression and fear any longer. That I would even consider standing before you tonight asking for contributions when you have already given me so much seems strange. I must remember however, that I am not asking for me, but for us. What this community has given us is a gift and not a gift that we should ever forget. We left the suburbs to find solice with like minds and to share our gifts where we wouldn't be shunned or killed for doing so. This is our city as much as it is anyones, and our city has been the voice calling others to share and create this magic. This magic, our community, these legends, are ours and we will not let them be sold. Not for any price.
To the guy who after a political meeting said "Oh so your the "drag queen"". I say yeah thats right buddy and don't you forget it; because Drag Queens have taken bigger games than this to the mat; and won.

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