Democrats for Equality,
As we push further into the holidays and spend time with our friends, family, and loved ones, it’s important to reflect on the memories of those whose presence is remembered.
Yesterday was World AIDS Day which, since 1988, was designated to raise awareness around the world of the AIDS pandemic and the millions of lives that have been lost.
Locally, this culminates into the lighting of the Tree of Life and candlelight vigil in Hillcrest, as the community gathers to commemorate and honor those who have been affected.
While medical advancements, science, and awareness have largely brought about a mitigating response to the disease, there are still over 37 million around the world living with HIV/AIDS, according to a United Nations program.
Our Democratic club is no stranger to the devastating effects and personal pain AIDS has wrought among us. A number of our club members, founders, and past leaders have fallen victim during the worst of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.
Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assemblymember Todd Gloria were among the many last night who lit candles in memory of those who are no longer with us.
Sadly, from one tragedy to another, County Party Chair Will Rodriguez-Kennedy and I paid our respects on Thanksgiving Day to those who were senselessly murdered at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.
49 were gunned down and 53 others were wounded in one of the deadliest massacres in our nation’s history.
I can’t put into words how emotional of an experience this was. Will grew up in Orlando and was friends with some of the victims.
So many beautiful people lost.
So many families irreparably damaged.
These tragedies have affected so many around the world and here at home. It’s a painful reminder of heartbreak and loss, but also a reflection and resolve of what must come next.
We will continue to strive against the continuing threat from AIDS.
We will not let hate win.
While we spend the next few weeks with friends, with family, and with loved ones, let us remember those we have lost, cherish their memories — and, in their honor — work towards a better, brighter future.
During this season of giving, we are also in the season of hope. Sometimes, hope is the best thing we can give to each other.
I love you all,
San Diego Democrats for Equality