Conversations with Nicole
Published Thursday, 12-Jun-2008 in issue 1068
San Diego Pride is coming up so get your festival tickets early! They are already on sale at The San Diego LBGT Community Center, the San Diego LGBT Pride office, and about a dozen nonprofit organizations are selling them too. Also, keep your eyes open for information on this year’s rallies. They are going to be more exciting and more important than ever, so be there!
Councilmember-elect Carl DeMaio
Some people are already taking pot-shots at District 5 Councilmember-elect Carl DeMaio. Many people are suspicious of the strong, conservative Republican Party loyalist. I’ll tell you, though, I’ve had discussions with him throughout his campaign and he has an independent side to him. His top priority is government reform and more public input at City Hall. Yes, he made history as the first openly gay man elected to the City Council (and he won the highest percentage of votes in the history of District 5), but he’s been honest and open: he has never and will never be a gay activist or an advocate. My friend Lorena Gonzalez of the San Diego Imperial Counties Labor Council said she thinks Carl will not be a friend to the poor and working class. I respectfully beg to differ.
I’ve had long discussions with Carl, who has a Jesuit background and who lost his mother to cancer. He has a deep compassionate side to him. He will serve his constituents and all of San Diego’s citizens well. He will reach out to people of color, faith communities and the GLBT community. Let’s give him a chance. After all, his first conference, in which he spoke with Donna Frye, should tell you something!
You are all invited to a marriage reception, June 17
On Tuesday, June 17, almost 300 GLBT couples will receive their marriage licenses and marry, on a very historic day in San Diego. You are all invited (particularly you newlyweds!) to a huge marriage reception at 7 p.m. at Universal. There will be a huge wedding cake, many people celebrating and even a few surprises. Your official hosts will be USMC veteran Sgt. Bob Lehman and City Commissioner Tom Felkner, who will be married June 17. They invite everyone to come out and celebrate! Donations to The Center Advocacy Project are encouraged. See you all at Unievrsal (1202 University Ave.) Tuesday night!
Obama’s GLBT National Leadership conference call
After Sen. Hillary Clinton withdrew from the presidential race, Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign immediately organized a national conference call of GLBT national leaders from the Clinton and Obama camps. I found Elizabeth Birch’s remarks very moving and solid, and David Mixner was his usual articulate self. I think Obama’s deputy campaign manager did an outstanding job facilitating the conference call. Keep your eyes on San Diegan Stampp Corbin, the national co-chair of the Obama GLBT Leadership Council (which I am proud to be a member of). The Advocate predicts Corbin will be in President Obama’s administration. As a gay Latino, I feel Obama will not have any trouble winning the GLBT vote. It’s the Latino vote he needs to work on.
People, politics and opinions
Word is that Jane Filner (wife of Congressmember Bob Filner) has left the Stephen Whitburn City Council campaign.
Leo Wilson, who sold his soul to the losing, anti-gay mayoral candidate Steve Francis, is the laughing stock of the community, with his pro-Francis ad listing himself as a leader.
Congratulations to my good friend Mark Leno (author of the Harvey Milk state holiday bill) on his solid election as San Francisco’s new state senator.
Popular Councilmember Toni Atkins has been selected the 2008 honoree for the annual Community Tribute Banquet, which will salute her for her eight outstanding years as the District 3 council representative.
The handsome and intelligent George Biagi has a new job at City Hall: Deputy Director of Legislative Services in the City Clerk’s office. George has now worked for a city councilmember and mayor, and rumors are he could be the leading candidate to be the next District 3 City Councilmember after Todd Gloria. Congratulations Mr. Biagi!
Also, Biagi and Fred Sainz were part of Mayor Jerry Sanders’ communications team that was recently awarded the highly coveted Public Relations Professionals of the Year Award by the Public Relations Society of America. Congratulations – San Diego is proud of you!
By the way, among the city leaders at the Gloria victory party were Superior Court Judges David Rubin and Rod Shelton, along with Councilmember Atkins and her partner Jennifer LeSar. Political mover and shaker Bob Nelson and Murray Olson have announced their marriage date (at the prestigious Lodge at Torrey Pines). Word has it, this will be one of the top marriage ceremonies this year.
Dish’s brunch is the best!
Tom Felkner and I stopped by Dish for brunch, and let me tell you, it is one of the very best in town. “Iron Chef” Antonio Friscia’s brunch menu is out of this world, offering big portions at reasonable prices. I particularly recommend the Coulotte Steak and Eggs and Our Crouqe Madama. If you love waffles and French toast and pancakes, the Dish’s brunch is for you. Chef Friscia’s menu makes the food at International House of Pancakes taste like it’s from a soup kitchen. Our hostess was the red bombshell Seana Horrobin and our outstanding waiter (always with a smile) was Justin Johnson. Dish’s staff are all quick, friendly and professional. Check out the brunch at Dish. Just one taste and you’ll be back for more! For more information, call 619-296-3474 or visit www.dishhillcrest.com. Brunch begins Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m.
Meeting Mario Lopez and his family
Recently I got to spend some time with actor Mario Lopez and his family. I fell in love with his fabulous, beautiful mother and his wonderful grandmother. I met his cousins, aunts and his dad – this is one beautiful, loving family, which says a lot about Mario. He’s down to earth, kind and respectful. Chula Vista and San Diego should be proud of our “home boy”! Mario gives his time to charity and worthy causes and is a great role model for all Latinos and young Americans. His grandmother promised to make me my favorite Mexican soup, menudo! It was my honor to meet the Lopez family and present Mario with a special community recognition.
Premiere wedding venues: Sternwheelers and Park Manor
I’ve been getting countless of calls from GLBT couples asking me 100 questions. First, yes I can marry you. As a city commissioner, I have a special, county-issued license for the day.
Here are my recommendations for those of you planning weddings:
For your wedding cake, visit Babycakes. For more information, call 619-296-4173 or visit www.babycakessandiego.com.
The best wedding venues are Sternwheelers and Park Manor Suites. Sternwheelers will donate a portion of your wedding bill to the fight for marriage equality. For more information, call 858-539-7720, visit www.sternwheelers.com or see its ad in this week’s Gay & Lesbian Times. For more information on Park Manor, call 619-291-0999 or visit www.parkmanorsuites.com.
Also, let’s support our gay and lesbian owned businesses for your wedding needs. ROK Enterprises wants to help you with your wedding plans this summer. ROK offers a variety of items, including signs and invitations available at all price levels. The owner, Rick Koenig, is wonderful and easy to work with. Visit ROK at 3118 University Ave.