Fifty people are dead following the country’s bloodiest shooting. On Sunday, San Franciscans gathered to grieve.
Amidst the stirring speeches delivered to thousands at Castro and Market streets, I noticed a curious protest by an openly gay Latino speaker, Lito Sandoval.
The very first thing he told the crowd of mourners was that LGBT Latinos who spoke on stage had to “ask” to address them. They weren’t invited.
That struck me as more than odd, considering the 49 folks shot and killed at Pulse were not only in a gay club, but were mostly Latino.
Following up, openly gay Latino community leader Erick Arguello (who was on stage) told me, “Well, you know, it’s kind of historic” for gay Latinos to be ignored, citing a whitewashing of the Stonewall riots in New York City.
And so it was with Sunday’s vigil, he said. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence spoke. White LGBT leaders like Scott Wiener, Tom Ammiano and Mark Leno spoke. But with the exception of Supervisor David Campos, there weren’t too many Latinos — except the group that pushed to be there.
“We had to make phone calls to be included,” Arguello told me.
Supervisor Wiener defended the vigil he helped organized by saying, “We had 12 hours to plan that vigil … this goes into the ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ category.”
In that “tiny amount of time,” Wiener and the organizers did “agree we needed to have Latino leadership on stage,” he said.
Perhaps he was harried from his last minute flight back from Puerto Vallarta.
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Speaking of our ever-endangered Latino community, a health and wellness center in the Mission is moving part of its program to the Excelsior — because its Latino population is moving, too.
Instituto Familiar De La Raza is relocating its early intervention kids program and at-risk youth programs to the Excelsior as a “satellite location,” according to a May 31 San Francisco Department of Public Health memorandum.
The memorandum’s findings are written matter-of-factly but showcase the shifting sands of Mission culture.
“While the Mission district has seen a 27 percent decrease in the Latino population from 2000 to 2013,” the memorandum reads, “the Latino population in the Bayview, Mission Terrace, Excelsior and Lakeshore has increased by 38 percent in the same period.”
German Walteros, associate director of De La Raza, told On Guard the Latino community “still sees the Mission as the center of Latino life, but they don’t live here.”
Another “fun” fact: About 9 years ago, three quarters of De La Raza’s 100 staffers lived in San Francisco, Walteros said. Now? Only about a quarter of the center’s staff lives here.
“Our staff can’t afford to live in The City,” Walteros said. “In the long run, that’s going to be a public health issue” for San Francisco.
Of course, we’re seeing that across the board. Teachers, health care providers, even — gulp — journalists are being priced out of The City. But hey, at least the unemployment rate is down, right?
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Dear god, can someone stop me from writing about the Democratic County Central Committee again? I feel like I’m trapped in Bill Murray’s “Groundhog Day.” Another morning and — boom! — there’s another sneaky move by moderate Democrats to secure power.
This time, DCCC member Alix Rosenthal and chair Mary Jung slapped a last-minute measure on the Dee-triple-Cee agenda to yank all the elected officials off of the committee.
Yes, this came up before the election, and I wrote it. But it was voted down in a sea of acrimony.
So why is it back? Because in the latest results of last Tuesday’s elections, all the sitting supervisors who ran for the DCCC on the progressive side — Supervisor Jane Kim, for instance — are kicking the moderates’ tucheses clear across San Francisco.
After the election, the balance of power may shift towards the progressives. If the Rosenthal/Jung resolution passes, however, it’ll slip back to the moderates.
“Good God, we voted. It’s astoundingly undemocratic,” said Buck Bagot, of the Bernal Heights Democratic Club.
“I just spent a lot of time fuckin’ knockin’ on all these doors,” he said, “convincing people to pay attention, and to care.” This move however, makes all his words worth dung.
Interestingly, the move would automatically place Mayor Ed Lee on the DCCC as an ex-officio member. That means he’d potentially be on the record, voting to approve Democratic Party stances on police reform, housing and all the controversial topics of the day.
If the Jung/Rosenthal measure succeeds, at the very least, San Francisco could put Mayor Lee on the hot seat once a month. Gotta admit, it does sound like fun.
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Ace Washington, known around City Hall as “Ace on the Case,” has been evicted.
On Guard got the phone call a few weeks ago from one of his neighbors, who said Ace was shouting about the eviction through his bullhorn from a local single-room occupancy hotel.
His stuff, the tipster told us, was piled in the hallway outside his apartment.
A well-known gadfly in city government, Ace has his fond fans, but also many who think he definitely, definitely needs help. We confirmed his eviction through another source, and from what little we know, we hope someone reaches out to aid Ace in this tough time.
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Supervisor Kim’s “Bernie Bump” in the state Senate primary election may be oversold, says one local political analyst.
That theory, the Bernie Bump, is one moderates are peddling as the reason why Supervisor Wiener’s oh-so-slim primary win (of only 0.54 percent) over Kim is so thin — because Sen. Bernie Sanders’ alliance with Kim gave her some of that ol’ progressive shine.
Jim Stearns, the longtime progressive candidate consultant (who also worked on Proposition C with Supervisor Aaron Peskin), broke down the votes so far in the Wiener vs. Kim race, side by side with the Sanders vs. Hillary Clinton race.
“If you look at the results clearly, Jane Kim did significantly better than Sanders in this city,” Stearns said. And Kim won over neighborhoods where Bernie struggled.
Stearns said if there was a Bernie Bump, it was more nuanced.
“Jane was very adroit in working with Sanders to get a platform,” he said. “But it was what she said when she was on that platform, versus the platform itself.”
Kim talked about affordable college, income inequality and affordable public schools, Stearns said — issues that resonated with voters once the cameras pointed her way.
On Guard prints the news and raises hell each Tuesday. Email him at email@example.com.