THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF SACRAMENTO STONEWALL
OCTOBER 2016 ISSUE
STONEWALL DEMOCRATS ENDORSE FOUR GAY MEN FOR SCHOOL BOARD SEATS
IT COULD HAVE BEEN MY SON PAGE 10
voter guide PAGE 3
PERSISTENT ROAD BLOCKS TO MARRIAGE EQUALITY
TOP WEALTH RHETORIC VERSUS REAL NUMBERS
President's Message PAGE 2
LGBT History Quiz
COLUMN SERIES: WHAT DOES STONEWALL MEAN TO YOU? PAGE 4
Lavendar Library receives grant from CA Humanities PAGE 14
Stonewall PAC reaches over the river to endorse candidates in West Sacramento, Roseville and Solano County PAGE 15
P.O. BOX 161623 | FPPC# 2478892 SACRAMENTO, CA 95816 WWW.SACSTONEWALL.ORG
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR By Lanz Nalagan, Communications Chair This is it, folks! Mail ballots are out and I'm pleased to distribute our special Elections Issue of the Quarterly. What a year its been in Sacramento and in the country. I'm constantly inspired by your work in our community and beyond. Thank YOU for doing what you do and supporting the work of Sac Stonewall. So take a break, relax, and enjoy your Elections Issue! We especially hope you enjoy the new face-lift of our magazine. You deserve it! -The Stonewall Quarterly is published 4 times a year by the Stonewall Democrats of Greater Sacramento and distributed to all members of "The Club That Gets Things Done!" I encourage you to submit news, advertisements, and features for publication. The views and opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the contributors and not necessarily of the Stonewall Democrats of Greater Sacramento.
By Jann Dorothy, President
When Hillary Clinton takes the oath of office on January 20, 2017 as our nation’s first female U.S. President, we will all share in the pride of knowing that we helped elect the most uniquely qualified individual ever to hold the office. We will also rejoice in relief that the most dangerously unqualified individual ever nominated to run against her was defeated. Not only will Hillary Clinton’s victory stand as a testament to the definitive shattering of the final and hardest glass ceiling, but it paves the way for greater achievement in diversity moving forward. Progressive ideals and victories have brought us our first African American President and our first female President is soon to follow. But looking ahead, it’s exciting to think about other women following on Hillary’s heels. Perhaps there will one day be a President Kamala Harris. As a Democratic Club dedicated to supporting and electing LGBT candidates, a Clinton victory allows us to think ahead and see the possibility of a President Tammy Baldwin who became the first openly gay U.S. Senator when she took office in 2013. Our diversity is our strength. In years ahead, we will elect more women, more people of color, more LGBT candidates and more people with disabilities. It’s just a matter of time. As this issue of the Stonewall Quarterly is being prepared, people all over the country are working hard to register new Democrats, to campaign hard for Hillary and other down ballot candidates through phone banks and door knocks, to raise money for our candidates, and most important of all, to turn out voters on election day and encourage early voting by mail. I hope you’re among the many volunteers giving generously of your time and available financial support. Awareness is strong about elections at the national level, but elections close to home are of critical importance as well. Elsewhere in this issue, you’ll read about the work that our Political Action Committee has put in evaluating and interviewing local candidates for a variety of offices, from school board races to city council races and others. Please familiarize yourself with these candidates and support those whom Stonewall endorses. I’m proud of the work our PAC has done and continues to do, volunteers all, giving up many hours on Saturdays and Sundays to vet these candidates and bring the best and the brightest to you. Voting is the most important responsibility we have as Americans. As political activists, we also extend ourselves as volunteers. If you’d like to participate beyond voting and aren’t sure where you can offer the greatest contribution, I invite you to contact me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will match you with the activity and candidates who can use your help, even if you’ve only got a few hours to spare once or twice. It matters.
STONEWALL VOTER GUIDE
The Stonewall Democratic Club of Sacramento is proud to endorse the following candidates and measures for 2016.
United States Congress Doris Matsui Ami Bera
Solano Community College District Board Quinten Voyce (LGBT)
State Senate Cathleen Galgiani (LGBT)
Los Rios Community College Board Valarie Jean Martin
State Senate Mariko Yamada
Elk Grove Unified School District Nancy Chaires Espinoza
State Assembly Kevin McCarty
Natomas Unified School District Susan Heredia Scott Dosick Reichel Everhart
Mayor of Elk Grove Steve Ly Elk Grove City Council Maureen Craft Rancho Cordova City Council Donald Terry West Sacramento City Council Beverly “Babs” Sandeen Washington Unified School District (West Sacramento) Dmitriy Voloshin (LGBT) Alicia Cruz Jackie Wong Roseville City School District Board David Larson (LGBT) Gary Miller (LGBT)
Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Brandon Rose Nancy Bui Rob Kerth Measure B (Transportation funding) Vote Yes Measure G (School funding measure) Vote Vote Yes Measure L (Establishes Redistricting Commission) Vote Yes Proposition 61 (Prescription drug pricing) Vote No
By Tim Kamermayer, Vice-President
EXCLUSIVE COLUMN SERIES
The following column will be an ongoing six-part series allowing members to share what Sacramento Stonewall means to them, and how the organization has impacted their lives. For our first contributor, Vice-President Tim Kamermayer shares how Stonewall helped him become a better activist and how participation in the organization greatly improved his involvement in the LGBT community. I’m an ally. If this surprises you, then you really need to attend more meetings. I’ve been an ally of the community since I was young boy, but I did not become an activist until college. In college, my worldview expanded and I was blessed to develop some very substantial friendships with members of the LGBTQ community. At the same time, my resume as a Social Justice Warrior (SJW) was isolated to ivory tower discussions in academia. When I moved to Sacramento I made a promise to get more involved. Unfortunately, I had no idea how to get connected and who I should ask for assistance. This is where Sacramento Stonewall, and their always amicable membership, come into the picture. While attending a social gathering for another organization, I was approached by a Stonewall member…and the rest is history. Knowing I was an ally, I was graciously offered the ability to join and participate, and I did. Had that person not approached me, I might still be sitting at home pontificating about how I could be a better SJW. A little over 3 years later, and I’m proud to be the first ally Vice-President. I’m also active with the DPSC Central Committee, the Woman Democrats of Sacramento, Young Democrats of Sacramento, and many more organizations. All because Sacramento Stonewall offered me a home to advocate and learn more about the LGBT community. Sacramento Stonewall is more than a political club; it’s a community. A community that truly thrives when membership is excited and engaged. Friends, this is a very important political season. One of the candidates is running on merit, but the other is abandoning the typical campaign process and trying to utilize blind emotion and fear mongering to win the Presidency. The worst part is that to some extent the fear mongering is working. Like an internet troll with no filter, Trump is coming dangerously close to yielding substantial power without safeguards. To combat his gradual takeover, one must be willing to publicly and loudly challenge the underlying stereotypes his rhetoric continues to disseminate. We must boldly refute his bombastic claims with truth and poise. And, if our friends/acquaintances begin to adopt his rhetoric, we must not be afraid to stand up and fight.
STONEWALL DEMOCRATS ENDORSE FOUR GAY MEN FOR SCHOOL BOARD SEATS
By: Rosanna Herber, PAC Chair This was an unusual year for Sacramento elections. Many of the races Stonewall watches closely were decided in the June primary. Mayor Darrell Steinberg won outright, and so did Councilmen Steve Hansen, Larry Carr, Allen Warren and Eric Guerra, who were all up for re-election. Surprisingly, the races for the Sacramento City Unified School Board, which have been very competitive in the past, were also decided by June, as were the seats on the San Juan Unified School Board and the Folsom School Board. After the Mayor and Council offices, Stonewall sharply focuses on school board races. This is because many youth form their opinions about the world and others in school. This is the place where students learn to appreciate different cultures and different views of people on the planet. Making sure that there is a safe place for students on campus who are LGBTQ or who come from LGBT families is a high priority for Stonewall. We all know stories about the impact of bullies, and tragically, we have seen LGBTQ students in our own back yard who have committed suicide. A recent 2016 survey of California high school students aged 12-17, found that 49% of LGB youth, as compared with 14% of straight youth, have “seriously considered attempting suicide.” The author of the study, Ilan Meyer, a Senior Scholar with the UCLA School of Law, says the numbers jump even higher for transgender youth. The truth is that times haven’t changed much for LGBTQ students. We still have a long way to go to create safe and nurturing environments for LGBTQ youth. The good news is that four gay men have stepped forward to run in races that will set the stage for how LGBTQ youth and adults will be treated in educational settings. Because Stonewall didn’t contribute to school board races in the Sacramento City Unified School District, there was money to contribute to surrounding school board and educational races. Quinten Voyce, a 30 year old science teacher, is running for a seat on the Solano Community College Governing Board.
Long time LGBT activist Gary Miller is seeking re-election to the Roseville City School District Board, and another LGBT community leader, David Larson, is running to fill an open seat on the same Board. Dmitriy Voloshin, a Russian man with a PhD in education, is running for the Washington Unified School District in West Sacramento. All of the gay men running for school board seats are uniquely qualified and received $1,000 from Stonewall. Quinten received $500 for the Solano Community College Board. Here’s a short profile of each candidate. Stonewall hopes you will consider supporting these gay men and their campaigns. Each of them is in a tight race, where they have a strong chance to win, if they raise enough money and volunteers to get their message out. Gary Miller is a longtime Sacramento LGBTQ activist, who served on the Robla School Board in North Sacramento for almost 20 years, before moving and winning a seat on the Roseville School District Board in 2008. He was re-elected in 2012 and now serves as President. Gary is a member of the Sacramento Quakers, and the Stonewall Democratic Club. He believes, “Education is a lifetime experience.” David Larson owns a State Farm insurance business in Roseville and is well-known for his many years of service to the Sacramento LGBTQ community, most notably as the Founding President of the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce. . He has been the Chair of the Roseville Planning Commission and the President of his neighborhood association. David believes, “The decisions made now for our school district will shape and impact our children’s future for decades to come.” Dmitriy Voloshin is the Director of Educational Services at Linden Unified School District in Stockton. He was born in Odessa, Ukraine and came to the United States as a refugee 23 years ago. He moved to West Sacramento after receiving his PhD in Education from UC Santa Cruz in 1999. He was employed with the Washington Unified School District for several years, and is now seeking a seat on the Board. Dmitriy said, “I want to be a strong voice for equity and equality for all students and staff at the Washington Unified School District.” Quinten Voyce is a high school science teacher for Rodriquez High School’s Early College High School Program. He graduated from Solano College before going on to get an undergraduate degree in molecular biology and a master’s degree in education from the University of California in Davis. He lives in Solano County. Quinten says, I’ve got great friends in Sacramento, but my roots are here in Solano County. I want to make sure the next generation always has access to quality, affordable, community college education, just the same way I did.”
IT COULD HAVE BEEN MY SON.
By: Kathleen Montgomery, Contributor My heart was racing. My son was dying and I couldn’t get to him. I woke up in a cold sweat from a nightmare in which my son had been murdered. As I caught my breath and cleared my head, I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that “it was only a bad dream." But it seemed so real. Then I was shocked wide awake with the realization that 49 mothers on the other side of the country were living my worst fear. It seems that I had fallen asleep several hours earlier watching the news. As I slept, the horror of the Orlando massacre unfolded and the CNN reporter’s narrative entered my subconscious and created the context of my nightmare. It was real. It just wasn’t my son. But it could have been. I wanted so badly to put my arms around my child and hold him close. It doesn’t matter that he’s 39 years old. He’s still my baby. As he lives in England, the best I could do was call him. It took some time, but I finally caught him midmorning at his job as Fundraising Director at Positive East - an organization similar to CARES here in Sacramento. He and his co-workers had already heard about Orlando and they were discussing additional security measures they might want to take for their participation in the up-coming London Pride celebration. We commiserated and preached to the proverbial choir. Before we hung up, I made him promise me that he would be extra careful. It’s a mother’s job to worry about her kids. When they are little, our concerns focus on skinned knees from playground mishaps and hurt feelings at not being invited to birthday parties. As they grow older, the worry doesn’t go away. It just changes to things like car accidents and “sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll." “Mother-worry” is a universal condition. Mothers of LGBT kids have an additional entry in their catalog of concerns. Gay bashing. I’m exasperated by those who think my son does not have the right to be gay. I’m infuriated by those who think he does not have the right to marry the person he loves, work at the job he enjoys or reside in the home of his choice. I am terrified by those who think Ian does not have the right to live. The tragedy and outrage in Orlando underscores the chilling fact that – regardless of the recent strides for civil rights - the LGBT community continues to be a target of hate. The shocking murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998 placed a spotlight on the horrific magnitude of hatred...
...directed toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and those who care about them. We cannot allow ourselves to become complacent and forget Orlando, Matthew, and countless others. In 1999, in a spirit of that resolve, the members of Sacramento PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) met to plan a commemoration of Matthew’s death. A committee of chapter members including Audrey Barth, Joan Burke, Jim and Ginny Burnett, Clifford Carte, Todd Clark, Jean Hansen, Harriet Orchard, Belva Russell and myself gathered in Jean’s living room in early June. At one point during the meeting, Clifford mused aloud “I wonder how many Matthews there have been who never received any headlines?” The entire group paused, felt the energy gears in the room shift and determined together that all the “Matthews” must be honored. The Service of Remembrance was born. The first Service of Remembrance, offered in memory of all who have died violently through murder or suicide because they were or were perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender was held on October 10, 1999. Over the years, this solemn occasion has been welcomed by a variety of faith communities including St. Francis Roman Catholic Church, Congregation B’nai Israel, Pioneer Congregational United Church of Christ, St. John’s Lutheran Church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, First United Methodist Church, The Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento, Westminster Presbyterian Church, and Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. The eighteenth annual Service of Remembrance will be held on October 16, 2016, at 4:00 PM at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 2620 Capital Avenue in Sacramento. This interfaith service embraces a variety of spiritual expressions including those of the Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, and Native American faith traditions. Featured during the service is a period of time during which we honor the List of Lost Lives. Matthew Shepherd and the 49 victims of Orlando are but 50 names on a lengthy roll call of people who have died at the hands of ignorance and bigotry. The List of Lost Lives now numbers over 900 names (and countless others whose names are not known to us) – all victims of fear, hatred and intolerance toward their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. The service provides the opportunity to remember their lives with love, bear witness to the atrocity of their deaths and affirm together that hatred and violence must end.
IT COULD HAVE BEEN MY SON. It is not a coincidence that the service is held each year near National Coming Out Day (October 11th). This is in recognition of the fact that coming out is a risk and very dangerous for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families. We are reminded that by coming out, LGBT people risk their homes, their jobs, their friendships, their faith community memberships, their family relationships, and even their lives. In addition, October is designated as Gay and Lesbian History Month. Thus, this service recalls the history of LGBT people that has been fraught with injustice, hatred and violence. Finally, October marks the anniversary of the horrifying torture and murder of Matthew Shepard. Every year, I wonder when we will reach a point in which we no longer need to have a Service of Remembrance. Every year, I sigh as I enter new names into the List of Lost Lives. Every year, I think about the mothers who cannot hold or even call their children. Just when I think we may have turned a corner, I learn of another incident of bullying, another beating, another suicide, another murder. Another child has suffered and another mother mourns. I, together with other mothers, fathers, family members, and friends, refuse to throw up our hands in defeat. We are committed to standing in solidarity with the members of the LGBT community, recognizing their value and honoring their dignity. Further, we resolve to continue to teach other parents to protect and advocate for their children not â€œin spiteâ€? of who they are but because of who they are â€“ perfect and beautiful creations to be loved and celebrated. Thank you, Stonewall, for providing a forum wherein we can speak the truth and not allow bigotry to go unchallenged. Thank you for your tireless efforts to create a just and enlightened community. Thank you for supporting all of us who are audacious enough to think we can change the world. Although we have witnessed monumental changes in recent years, a great deal of work lies ahead. Alone we cannot do everything. Together we can. Kathleen Montgomery Past President, Sacramento PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) Charter Member, Stonewall Democratic Club of Sacramento
THE PERSISTENT ROADBLOCKS TO EQUALITY By: Jonathan Taylor, Contributor Even with the recent marriage equality win at the Supreme Court last year, there is significant opposition and obstruction to LGBT equality. Over 100 anti-LGBT bills are introduced to state legislatures nationwide. Only 19 states have state level laws that protect LGBT people. In 31 states LGBT people can still be fired, evicted, even denied medical treatment for their sexual orientation or gender identity. The ACLU has identified five common types of anti-LGBT laws; marriage related exemptions, adoption and foster care, college and university, and medical treatment. The outright obstruction of the law, LGBT rights, and marriage equality have continued by the likes of people like Roy Moore, Donald Trump, and Mike Pence. Donald Trump has made a clear statement that he is a strong opponent to LGBT rights, equality, and LGBT people by choosing Mike Pence as his VicePresident. Pence is only known internationally for supporting Indiana’s discriminatory Religious Rights Refusal Act as Governor. Trump has made a clear and strong declaration that he will oppose equality if elected President. President Obama has been the most effective executive to support equality by publicly supporting the issues, legislation, and people. In addition, this is evidenced in several executive orders and the fact that his administration refused to support the discrimination of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell or the Defense of Marriage Act. It is necessary that our president sign equality legislation but congress must pass it first and currently both houses of congress are Republican. While the First Amendment Defense Act is making some progress through Congress, the Equality Act has a 0% chance of leaving committees. While we did win marriage equality as a country at the Supreme Court last year; only a few states; Maryland, Maine, and Washington passed marriage equality by popular vote. We are making progress. The polls show that more Americans support equality but our country is still divided, almost by half over allowing basic, equal rights, and protections to LGBT Americans like marriage equality, workplace protection, education rights, and equal medical rights. While the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) often finds that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is not an acceptable business practice no federal law establishes that it is illegal. In addition, many statements provided by the EEOC provide a false sense of security that gives LGBT people, advocates, and legislators hesitation in pursuing full federal equality. They undermine the need for Federal Equality laws when more than half of our states are introducing laws that specifically establish the right to discriminate against LGBT people in the workplace and the First Amendment Defense Act is the current federal bill before the United States Congress.
LAVENDAR LIBRARY RECEIVES GRANT FROM CA HUMANITIES
Lavender Library, Archives and Cultural Exchange (LLACE) receives grant award from California Humanities for “Legends of Courage,” a LGBT documentary film and history project led by 3D Media Solutions.
Sacramento, CA — California Humanities recently announced the 2016 Community Stories grant recipients, awarding Sacramento’s Lavender Library, Archives and Cultural Exchange (LLACE) $10,000 for its project titled “Legends of Courage.” The Community Stories competitive grant program of California Humanities gives expression to the remarkable variety of experiences of California’s people in ways that can be shared widely. As a film project that preserves the history of advocacy by men and women of the Sacramento region who led the movement for LGBT equality, “Legends of Courage” seeks to broaden awareness and deepen understanding. Directed by Dawn D. Deason, executive producer of 3D Media Solutions, “Legends of Courage” focuses on two outcomes: a documentary film featuring lesbian civil rights activist and attorney Rosemary Metrailer, and a collection of filmed interviews of individuals who have played significant roles in Sacramento’s LGBT movement. The Metrailer saga highlights her successful lawsuit against the late Reverend Jerry Falwell (1986), and a landmark sex discrimination case finally settled by McClellan Air Force Base (1988) on behalf of women employees. “We are honored that our project has been recognized from among so many extraordinary stories that enrich California,” said Project Director Dawn D. Deason. “LGBT struggles for equity have traveled a path parallel to many groups fighting to secure civil rights. Our narratives help us find commonalities, appreciate differences, and learn how to live well together.” California Humanities received just over $623,000 in requests, however was only able to fund approximately $190,000 in awards. The demand for programs that explore issues of significance to Californians is extraordinary, and speaks to the importance of capturing and communicate them across audiences. “California’s population has such varied stories to tell—and we can all benefit from knowing more about each other,” noted Margaret Shelleda, chair of the board of California Humanities. “We are proud to award grants to those who find creative ways of sharing stories with new audiences and connecting Californians whose experiences deserve greater appreciation.” Since 2003, California Humanities has granted more than $4 million to enable communities to document histories—many previously untold or little known. Through video, photography, murals, zines, theater, audio, and more, these collections have been shared with broad audiences, both live and virtual. California Humanities is an independent non-profit state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, please visit www.calhum.org.
STONEWALL PAC REACHES OVER THE RIVER TO ENDORSE CANDIDATES IN WEST SACRAMENTO, ROSEVILLE AND SOLANO COUNTY PAGE 15 By Rosanna Herber, PAC Chair A big part of the mission of Sacramento Stonewall is to advance equal rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We also want to help elect qualified, openly LGBT people to public office, as well as democratic candidates who support equal rights for lesbians, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. In the past, our plate has been full with Sacramento County races that involve the cities of Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove, and Sacramento. This year many of the Sacramento County races were decided in the June primary. This freed up the PAC to venture across the river and interview candidates for races in West Sacramento, Roseville and Solano County. The goal was to seek out new LGBT candidates and progressive democrats who support LGBT issues. This new outreach strategy surfaced many unique candidates, and also caused a bit of controversy when the endorsements were announced. Still, in the end, the winners were the stellar candidates who ended up getting significant resources from Stonewall to communicate with voters. Here’s an overview of the races and how the endorsements turned out. I should point out that these are my impressions from the PAC interviews and endorsements, and other PAC members may feel differently. Roseville School District Board Two of Sacramento’s long time LGBT advocates, Gary Miller and David Larson, are running for the school board in Roseville. It’s no secret that the City of Roseville is dominated by conservative Republicans. In spite of that fact, Gary was elected to the School Board in 2008, and now serves as President. Unfortunately, he regularly receives hate mail, and one very homophobic man still continues to blog about why Gary is unfit to serve on the school board because he is gay. David was also viciously attacked for being gay when he ran for City Council in 2010. In spite of his service on the Planning Commission, strong community endorsements and outstanding community service, David lost the election. Gary suggested to David that he might have better success in running for the School Board. David agreed, and has been working hard on his campaign. Of significant note is that State Controller Betty Yee has endorsed David and was at his campaign kick-off. Both these outstanding, service-oriented gay men received endorsements from the PAC and $1,000 towards their campaigns. West Sacramento City Council In this race, there were five candidates for two seats on the West Sacramento City Council. We interviewed four candidates, all of whom brought unique credentials to the table. Candidates included incumbent Vice Mayor Beverly “Babs” Sandeen, longtime community activist Maria Grijalva, Planning Commission Chair Martha Guerrero, and Deputy District Attorney Quirina Orozco. These candidates are all strong women, which is fortunate for the City of West Sacramento, which has barely seen any female representation on the Council since the City incorporated in 1987.
The PAC ended up endorsing Vice Mayor Beverly “Babs” Sandeen and the Planning Commission Chair Martha Guerrero on the strength of their interviews and because of their sterling records of contribution to the City of West Sacramento. After the endorsement, the PAC learned that West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon wasn’t pleased with our decision. He shared with me that while the PAC is full of good people, no one on the PAC lives in West Sacramento and understands the community. As the Mayor of West Sacramento and a well-respected member of our LGBT community, Cabaldon was disappointed the PAC didn’t reach out to him and ask for input on which candidates would help him achieve his strategic goals for West Sacramento. He makes a good point. While the PAC would never decide an endorsement on just what a Mayor wants, a Mayor’s long term goals (think Joe Serna or Darrell Steinberg) could have a significant impact on the PAC’s deliberations. In the end, the general membership decided to endorse “Babs” Sandeen, but split on endorsing a second candidate. West Sacramento School Board The race for the Washington Unified School Board in West Sacramento had three seats open, with five candidates. We were surprised to meet Dmitriy Voloshin, an openly gay man, with a PhD in education from Santa Cruz, and who immigrated to this country almost 23 years ago from the Ukraine. According to Slavic Sacramento, the City of West Sacramento has a population of over 50,000, and approximately 10% are Russian. There has never been a person of Russian decent who has served on the school board. The PAC thought Dmitriy could make a significant contribution as both a gay man and a voice for the Russian community. The other two candidates picked by the PAC were also impressive. Alicia Cruz is an incumbent with a 45 year history of activism in the West Sacramento community. Alicia said that she and her children have attended the schools where she now serves as a Board member. The PAC thought her connections to the community and her fierce dedication to education would serve the school district well. Alicia shared that her opinions about LGBT issues have changed over the years because of discussions with her daughter’s friends from school. The PAC was impressed with her openness and willingness to learn about LGBT issues and to set policy at the Board level to support LGBT youth. The other endorsed candidate was Jackie Thu-Huong Wong. She has over 20 years of experience as a teacher, school social worker, district administrator, senior policy advisor and children’s advocate. Jackie spent six years at the California Department of Education developing and implementing policies to improve the education of students. Both her young children attend schools in the district. The PAC thought her professional work experience would be a good match for the district. Jackie was pleased with the endorsement and shared with me, “Being a Southeast Asian refugee child, it means a lot to me that Stonewall supports the cultivation of more women with my background in public office.” This race also included another LGBT candidate of note named Danny Thirakul, a 19 year old, who has just graduated from the school district. Danny said he was running because there is a lack of youth and minority representation on the school board. While the PAC didn’t endorse Danny because his campaign needed more development, this is a young man who the PAC hopes will continue to build his knowledge of campaigns and run again. Solano Community College Board If you get a chance to meet Quinten Voyce, you will find him refreshing. This is his first run for public office, and he is quickly and ardently learning how to put together a strong campaign. He is a high school science teacher in Solano County, with a Master’s Degree in Education who just happens to be gay. In his Stonewall Questionnaire, Quinten shared with us the joy of seeing his gay brother marry his partner of 10 years last year. Quinten is a strong voice for LGBT rights, and said, “I believe our community college programs would benefit from a safe-spaces campaign, especially in our vocation training programs, to make sure that there is a welcoming and safe environment for LGBT students and staff.”
STONEWALL PAC REACHES OVER THE RIVER TO ENDORSE CANDIDATES IN WEST SACRAMENTO, ROSEVILLE AND SOLANO COUNTY PAGE 17 Mayor of Elk Grove In this race, we interviewed Vice Mayor Steve Ly and Marketing/PR Consultant Tracie Stafford. Steve has served on both the School Board and City Council, while working as a Juvenile Hall Counselor. He is endorsed by the current Mayor Gary Davis, has a long list of notable endorsements, is a rigorous fundraiser, and has demonstrated support for LGBT issues. Tracie is an experienced business and marketing professional, who is running for public office for the first time. She has two teenage gay sons, who have experienced bullying, and this has made Tracie a fierce advocate for LGBT issues. She shared the story about when her 13 year old son came out at school and was publically ridiculed by a fellow student who told him, “God hates fags! You are going to hell.” Tracie was disappointed with the way the school handled the altercation. When she decided to run for Mayor, she warned the boys that they might face ridicule. She reported, “In the past, the boys asked that I not take on LGBT issues as a platform because they didn’t want the added attention. They now understand the importance of having loving, open minded parents. I hope I can spread that acceptance beyond our home.” While the PAC was very impressed with Tracie, we endorsed Steve Ly because of his record of service, the strength of his campaign organization, and his willingness to embrace LGBT issues. The PAC shared with Steve the Municipal Equality Index Score the Human Rights Campaign uses to rank 408 cities across the nation, including 55 cities in California, on how “gay-friendly” they are. Last year, Sacramento got the disappointing score of 75 out of 100. In response, Councilman Steve Hansen took the lead to work with the Human Rights Campaign to make changes within the city to improve Sacramento’s score, which will be released later this year. The City of Elk Grove’s score was a bit higher at 77 out of 100. If elected, Steve committed to work with the Human Rights Campaign to improve Elk Grove’s score. The PAC is excited about working with Steve on this index to improve the quality of life for LGBT people in Elk Grove. Elk Grove City Council, District 3 The incumbent in this seat is Republican Steven Detrick. Two democrats stepped forward to run against him, Maureen Craft who is a Human Resources Consultant, and Vincent Neuburger, who didn’t respond to our emails. The PAC was excited to meet Maureen because she is an ardent supporter of equal rights for everyone. This is her first political race, and she has worked hard to raise money and build a structure for her campaign. She recently won the endorsement of Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg and the PAC was pleased to endorse her as well. She told us, “I stand firm on marriage equality and nondiscrimination for the LGBT community in all aspects of their lives. The need for effective solutions and resources that support the acceptance and visibility of the LGBT community is important to me. Specifically, I’m working to ensure that the LGBT youth in the Elk Grove community do not have to live in the shadows.” If elected, Maureen also agreed to work to improve the Municipal Equality Index Score for Elk Grove (77) through the Human Rights Campaign. Elk Grove Unified School District, Area 6 Nancy Chaires Espinoza is the incumbent in this race, who was appointed to this seat when Steve Ly left the school board to serve on the Elk Grove City Council. She is a long-time community advocate who was endorsed by Stonewall when she ran against Steve Ly for the City Council seat. Her main democratic opponent is Marlon Hill, who is a parent, coach, and volunteer mentor in the community. He also serves on the Boards of the Sacramento Theater Company and the Nehemiah Emerging Leadership Alumni Association. While the PAC was impressed with Marlon’s credentials and endorsements, the PAC decided to endorse Nancy. She was just appointed to the School Board almost a year ago and has served with distinction. She has advocated for policies and practices in the school district that not only advance equity, but also provide the additional support needed for LGBT students. For example, she supported the creation of designated LGBT safe spaces on primary school campuses, defended the right of high school students to create LGBT clubs and held principals accountable for setting standards for how youth will be treated on their campuses. She said, “It is critical that educators share the history of LGBT leaders. Both LGBT and non-LGBT students need to have a more accurate and complete understanding of our nation’s history.”
Rancho Cordova City Council Long time Stonewall Club member and Rancho Cordova City Council member Donald Terry was one of two candidates we interviewed for the three seats on the Rancho Cordova City Council. Donald is running for reelection, along with Republican Councilmember David Sander, Councilmember Robert McGarvey and a new candidate named Kevin Johnson. (No, not that Kevin Johnson!) While McGarvey is a democrat, he didn’t respond to our emails, so we interviewed Donald and Kevin. The PAC had an engaging conversation with Kevin, but found him lacking in knowledge of how to run a winning campaign, and encouraged him to learn more about LGBT issues. The PAC heartily endorsed Donald. Many Stonewall members remember that Donald was a charter member of Stonewall. He has always supported LGBT rights and told us that he was “sickened by the treatment of Stonewall Club member Evan Minton, who was refused gender reassignment surgery at Mercy San Juan in Carmichael. “This disgusting episode illustrates that we have far to go before the LGBT community is treated fairly. If I am elected, there will continue to be a strong voice for equity and equality for all of Rancho Cordova residents and staff.” Donald also committed to working with the PAC to see how Rancho Cordova would score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index. Natomas Unified School District In this race, the General membership voted for an early “friendly” endorsement to both Susan Heredia and Scott Dosick. That left one seat open on the school board for the remaining candidates. The PAC interviewed Reichel Everhart, a Legislative Consultant and David DeLuz, an Education Non-profit Executive. David is a longtime community activist who serves on the Democratic Central Committee, and is well known for his work with the NAACP and Urban League. Reichel has been involved with the school district for the past 11 years. She is involved with the PTA, her husband is a teacher in the district and their child attends school in Natomas. While both were strong candidates, the PAC gave Reichel the endorsement because of her efforts to increase communication between the PTA and the board.
STONEWALL PAC REACHES OVER THE RIVER TO ENDORSE CANDIDATES IN WEST SACRAMENTO, ROSEVILLE AND SOLANO COUNTY PAGE 19 Los Rios Community College Board, Area 7 With the retirement of Kay Albiani, this became an open seat up for grabs. The PAC interviewed both the democrats, Valarie Jean Martin, a retired teacher and Tami Nelson, a middle school teacher in Elk Grove. Both women are running for public office for the first time, and will have a difficult time winning against the Republican realtor who was endorsed by Albiani. Still, it’s very important to support democrats for open seats. In this race, the PAC thought both candidates were strong supporters for LGBT issues, but the edge went to Valarie who shared this touching story with us in her Questionnaire. “I was the home tutor to a young student from Folsom, who was the epitome of love, creativity, drama, talent, friendship, and curiosity. He had been a clothing designer from age 5 and his grandfather had bought him a clothing mannequin to encourage his natural talents. This boy was being home-schooled due to the incessant, cruel bullying that hounded him from preschool. He begged his parents to go to Folsom Middle School, where he was a Boy Scout, active in clubs and athletics, and tried out for, and won a position on the Cheer Squad, where he was accepted and loved by all who really knew him. The bullying, however, continued, and over winter break, the pain it caused became too great for such a pure spirit to bear. He took his life. I will always stand as witness to the necessity to love, honor, and celebrate the inclusion of ALL people and the rights that they deserve.” Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), Ward 1 SMUD is a Board that has been very strong for LGBT rights. In August, the PAC endorsed both Nancy Bui-Thompson and Rob Kerth who have served with distinction and faced no opposition for re-election. But this year, the big news was that incumbent Republican Renee Taylor decided not to run for the SMUD Board, creating an open seat in a Ward that is almost evenly split between democrats and republicans. It’s no secret that Taylor waited until the last minute to announce she wasn’t running, in the hopes it would help elect Christina “Tina” Polley, the Republican woman she recruited to run. You can’t blame Taylor for recruiting a Republican to replace her, even though this is a nonpartisan race. Still, you also can’t blame Stonewall for looking at the opportunity to turn this seat from Republican to Democrat. Fortunately, the democratic candidate who emerged in this race is Brandon Rose, and he is uniquely qualified for this job. Brandon is currently a Director on the Fair Oaks Recreation & Parks District, Chair of the Sacramento Treasury Oversight Committee, and an Air Pollution and Energy Specialist in his day job. Brandon is also an active member of the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS.) He shared with the PAC, “I will be a strong advocate for the LGBT community to make sure there is no gender bias or discrimination at SMUD, including SMUD contractors.” That’s the long summary of the PAC interviews. In the end, the PAC held three endorsement meetings, interviewed and/or reviewed 33 candidates and the Stonewall General Membership approved spending $12,050 on local races. Not bad for three months work! Thank you to
TOP WEALTH RHETORIC VERSUS REAL NUMBERS By: Jonathan Taylor, Contributor Many candidates use rhetorical speech about the top 1% or 5% of wealthy Americans in campaigns as a form of pseudo- economic policy or campaign promise. What are the real facts about the wealthiest people in our country? America is founded on capitalism, free markets, individual rights, and the possibility that you can accomplish great things in life. There are also real issues of income inequality, wealth inequality, unequal opportunities, and discrimination. Economically, all policy must be based on a real economy and real supply and demand. The issues of inequality often do have a real basis in supply and demand, incentive, necessary profit, and scarcity. Starvation, poverty, and inequality are unacceptable; but what are the most effective, constitutional, and fair policy remedies? Targeting certain economic groups is a form of discrimination. Capitalism focuses on economic development, innovation, convincing the wealthy to spend their money, education, wages, benefits, minimum wage increases, supporting unions and lobbying, professional development, education financial information services, college recruitment and support in low income areas. The economy is not improved by policy. Policy creates regulation, rules, and standards. The keys to improvement are economic development through equal opportunities, education, work training, internships, and fellowships. Redistributing wealth leads to economic stagnation, economic flea, and overbearing government. The â€œWealthy Classâ€? is overstated because the people with the most personal wealth are not all the same people with the highest income. The top 10% make a little over $100,000, the top 5% $144,000. These are based households; most of the top 10% and above have two or more incomes. increasing the numbers to a range around the top 30 to 40% between top wealth and income. In addition, because most of the wealthiest and top earning households have multiple incomes, the individual income between members of the household does not vary significantly from the average income of a single household. Many of the top earners today will not have comparable salaries in 5 to 10 years, meaning the people in the top income level rotate and overall a higher number of people will at some point be in higher income brackets..
The average individual income of $32,000 is not as significantly below a top 10% percent income of a household divided between two earners of $50,000 each. Most of the top earners and highest wealth households are larger family units with multiple earners .A significant consideration in policy and taxation is that people and businesses with money do have the resources to relocate and outsource jobs. The wealthy also invest; philanthropy, grants, and partnerships. They also hire; accountants, CPAs, financial advisors, designers, construction, architects. Corporations like Johnson and Johnson offer partnerships, facilities, and lab use that help smaller companies develop their medical devices and pharmaceuticals, providing funding and resources otherwise unavailable. Income is regional. In cities like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and many other major U.S. cities it is necessary to make a higher income level for the standard of living that Americans fight and work for; a comfortable home, car, medical treatment, and savings for retirement. Many of the incomes of CEOs are overstated. CEOs at BP often have a base salary of one million dollars and offered bonuses, benefits, and stock options only if they are able to reach the organizational goals the company has set. This incorporates decades of experience, living in a major city, intercontinental travel, and the most expensive education in the world. Some tax loopholes are legal deductions and transfers. The issue is often more about wealth than the ethics. If a person gives a family member $200 it is not a significant tax issue but if a person gives a family member $200,000 for college, there is greater possibility for tax revenue so the transfer is under scrutiny. Capital gains taxes start at rates lower than income taxes which benefits smaller investors; as the gains increase the rate moves closer to 30%. Tax regulation avoids taxing assets because eventually the value of the assets will be totally transferred to the government. By the time a mortgage is paid a significant amount of the equity will be transferred to the government and if the estate is left to heirs they will be less likely to manage the wealth tax in addition to property taxes. In addition, it is a bias to create tax laws that only apply to wealth asset holders.The amount in tax due increases with the value of assets. People with more assets pay increased taxes through property taxes, business property taxes, business taxes, permits, fees, vehicle registrations, and sales tax because of increased consumer and business spending. Renters and students often receive tax credits rather than fees. Taxes already increase with earners grossing less than $10,000 per year have paying a 10% tax rate, and earners with incomes over $400,000 pay nearly 40% in taxes. The United States has never had a wealth tax; tax codes focus on income rather than assets. In addition, a wealth tax is associated with removing assets from the economy, rather than taxing economic activity. It has disproportionate effect on seniors and non-wage earners (retirement plans, and life insurance plans might be additionally taxed.) Increased taxation takes money out of the economy and provides no economic activity while wage, minimum wage, and benefit increases stimulate consumer spending, put more money into the economy from savings and investment often transferring money from asset wealth to available increases in income and moving money from M4, M3, M2 to active M money in the economy. Who are the 1%, people we know; Donald Trump, Beyonce, Arnold Schwarzenegger? There will always be a top 1, 5, or 10%. It is part of the incentive that keeps all Americans working; today it is even more difficult to compete because of the increasing need for money, fame, education, and opportunity to earn that amount of wealth and income. Because economics is based on real supply and demand the focus needs to be about equal opportunities in education and local business development, and how to compete, creating personal wealth in a competitive market.
LGBT HISTORY QUIZ! When it comes to LGBT history, are you fabulous, fine, fair, or failing? Answers to follow on next Weekly. 1. The word “homosexual” was coined in which year? a) 545 B.C.E b) 300 C.E. c) 1745 C.E. d)1869 C.E. e) 1938 C.E. f) 1959 C.E. 2. Which of the following empires was ruled for over two centuries by openly gay or bisexual emperors? a) China b) Rome c) Greece d) All of the above e) None of the above f) a and b only
10. In what year was the first American soldier dismissed from the armed forces for being gay? a) 1621 b) 1778 c) 1865 d) 1969 11. When was America’s first gay rights group founded? a) 1869 b) 1924 c) 1951 d) 1969 12. Which president made it illegal for the American government to employ homosexuals? a) Washington b) Lincoln c) Eisenhower d) Reagan e) Clinton
3. True or False: Often regarded as the greatest of the early Greek lyric poets, Sappho wrote many of her poems about her relationships with other women. 4. In what century did homosexual acts become illegal in Western Europe? a) First century B.C.E. b) First century C.E. c) Thirteenth century d) Nineteenth century 5. In what nation did the first large-scale gay rights movement begin? a) England b) France c) Germany d) United States e) None of the above 6. In what year was the first public speech asking for gay rights made? By whom? 7. True or False: Gay concentration camp survivors were often reimprisoned by German authorities after being “liberated” by Allied forces after World War II. 8. True or False: American Indians discriminated against people whom they perceived to be gay 9. In what year was the first person executed for being gay in North America? a) 1492 b) 1566 c) 1778 d)1869
13. Name America’s first lesbian rights organization. 14. Name the gay African-American man who organized the 1963 March on Washington where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech. 15. When was the first gay rights protest in Washington, D.C.? a) 1924 b) 1953 c) 1965 d) 1979 16. Who was the first openly gay or lesbian American elected to political office in the United States? a) Roberta Achtenberg b) Barney Frank c) Harvey Milk d) Elaine Noble 17. What state was the first to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation? In what year? 18. Name the 1986 Supreme Court decision which upheld the right of the government to invade the homes of gay people and arrest them for engaging in consensual adult homosexual sexual relations. What 2003 Supreme Court decision overruled the 1986 decision? 19. Name the direct-action group whose civil disobedience demonstrations are credited with pressuring the U.S. government to take action on the AIDS epidemic.
THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER FOR SACRAMENTO STONEWALL
OCTOBER 2016 ISSUE
QUARTERLY Paid for by the Stonewall Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento FPPC #1247892 and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. © Sacramento Stonewall Democrats The mission of the Stonewall Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento is to advance equal rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We will support public policies that advance that mission in the United States, the State of California, and the greater Sacramento area. We help elect to public office qualified Democratic Party candidates who are openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, as well as allies who support equal rights for the LGBT community. \We will work to sensitize and educate all Democratic candidates and office holders, the Democratic Party in general, and the community at large, to the issues and concerns of the LGBT community. Conversely, within the LGBT community we will promote the Democratic Party’s broad message of economic justice and social equality. To achieve this mission, the Stonewall Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento will work: To lead our party to improve its record and speak out on issues of importance to the LGBT communities, and to work for the nomination and election of Democratic candidates, including qualified openly LGBT candidates; To achieve diversity in our membership and our governing bodies; To elect openly LGBT people to local office and to achieve appointments of openly LGBT people to city and county boards and commissions in the greater Sacramento area who will be fully supportive of our fight for equality and against bigotry and intolerance; To take a position on candidates and ballot measures; To register voters who support the Club’s mission and encourage their participation in the electoral process; To educate LGBT communities and supporters about the equal rights issues we face, as well as assist them with those struggles; To collaborate with other LGBT groups and individuals to promote our mission of equality; and to aid other local grassroots Democratic Clubs in the greater Sacramento Area, and our non-gay allies, in order to advance the prominence of openly LGBT people within the Democratic Party. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
P.O. BOX 161623 | FPPC# 2478892 SACRAMENTO, CA 95816L WWW.SACSTONEWALL.ORG