The Old Order Changes

San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Will Rodriguez-Kennedy (left) swears-in the new executive board of San Diego Democrats for Equality

Democrats for Equality,

The old order changeth” — quoted from a dark and dreary Tennyson poem, of which I find most British poetry to be.

Either way, our new executive board has been sworn-in, and we are excited to continue moving our club forward.

At last week’s meeting, our club voted to formally call on Kevin Beiser to resign. This decision comes in the aftermath of four accusers — three of them members of our club — who stepped forward with accusations of sexual assault and harassment.

As I mentioned last week: when there’s four, there’s likely more.

Sexual assault and harassment will not be accepted or tolerated by the San Diego Democrats for Equality.

The San Diego County Democratic Party’s Central Committee, all of our LGBT elected officials, as well as every member of the San Diego Unified School Board have publicly asked for Mr. Beiser to step down.

As President of San Diego Democrats for Equality, I do want to commend the bravery of those victims for stepping forward and telling their story. None of us can likely imagine the pain, suffering, and trauma those victims suffered — only to have to relive the nightmare in a very public way all over again. Coming forward is not easy, and it’s unfortunately, one of the reasons why so many cases of sexual assault or harassment are never reported.

Today, we all know the name Harvey Weinstein. If you recall, much of that abuse reportedly happened over the better part of two decades, and it was less than 18 months ago that a number of victims felt empowered to step forward to tell their story.

Last year, the world watched Dr. Ford tell her story of abuse from a less-than-qualified frat bro who now serves on the U.S. Supreme Court because… reasons.

After the November 2018 elections, I took a phone call and listened to a deeply personal story from a victim of our former state party chair. Around the same time, I found out that my best friend was also a victim from that same individual. Through Facebook, I discovered another friend of mine was a victim. I know three of the victims in this new case, and again — they are members of this club, and I can’t seem to stress that enough.

It is a reasonable expectation that if any of us are going to be activists, employed, or otherwise involved within the Democratic Party, that we not be sexually assaulted or harassed while doing so.

Our culture has to change. Society has to change. The conversations we need to have on this issue have to change.

For all that needing to change, I believe the old order is changing, however slowly.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, please know that LGBTQ competent survivor support is available to you via the San Diego LGBT Community Center. If you’re in need of help, please call 619.692.2077 ext.208 to speak to an on-duty counselor.

The North County LGBT Resource Center can also offer assistance at 760.994.1690.

Also, if you are interested, the San Diego LGBT Community Center will host a #MeToo LGBTQ Conference on Saturday, April 27 from 9am to 5:30pm.

On a much less serious note… NBC News reported that a number of U.S. House members and Senators hosted the transgender pride flag outside their offices ahead of International Transgender Day of Visibility on Sunday.
At last week’s club meeting, we voted to add some additional questions to our 2020 Candidate Questionnaire as we prepare to head into our first round of endorsements beginning with next month’s meeting. Our endorsement calendar for the 2020 Primary Election can be found here.

(Ryan!? Why so early though!? WTF is wrong with you!?)

Well, I’m glad you asked! As I mentioned at the meeting, our executive board thought it would be wise to get through a number of our endorsements — especially those seats that have historically been connected to our club — before Pride in July, largely so we can use that opportunity to highlight our endorsed candidates in the Pride Parade and at the club’s booth during the Pride festival.

Also, I’d like to remind everyone that the March 3rd Primary Election is less than a year away. The first ballots drop in January to overseas and military voters. Although it might seem early, let’s remember that our whole election calendar has been moved up and the clock is ticking. We are in an election year whether we want to admit that or not!

(That makes sense! Surely, you know what you’re doing!)

You’re very welcome. Also, don’t call me Shirley 🙂

So… I’ve included an Airplane! reference in my first communication as club president. Score one for movie trivia! Bonus points for anyone who can tell me the year it was released.

Also, Jean Huy-Tran, the newly elected President of the AAPI Democratic Club presented to our club members on some legislative bills regarding criminal justice reform, including:

  • AB 392, This bill is to raise the minimum standard requirement that allows police officer to use deadly force on civilian from “reasonable” to “necessary”. This law has not changed since 1872. If passed, the police officer will be required to exhaust all alternative tactics including de-escalation first.
  • SB 230, This bill requires POST to develop training. However, this training only includes “adequate consideration” of a list of subjects but without any specificity as to how that training should look like. In addition, this bill does not require that any officer actually go through the training.
  • ACA 6, This bill is to restore the voting right of felons who have completed their sentence & are currently on the parole.
  • AB 1076, This bill is to eliminate the complicate court process of expunging arrest & conviction records & change it to automatic. This law will only apply to cases that are already eligible for expunge.

As a result, San Diego Democrats for Equality is officially in support of AB 392ACA 6, and AB 1076, while we are officially opposed to SB 230.

This Thursday, our Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, SenatorBen Hueso, and Assemblymembers Dr. Shirley Weber and Lorena Gonzalez are hosting an informational community forum on the state budget, and how it affects the San Diego region.

The forum will be held on Thursday, March 28 at the Educational Cultural Complex (4343 Ocean View Blvd. in San Diego) from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. If you’re interested in attending, please RSVP at this link.

Finally, save the date for Saturday, May 4th from 10am to noon. We will be hosting a brunch fundraiser for the club, and a host of our amazing LGBT elected officials will be there. Full details to follow next week!

Looking for a good complimentary close to these communications,

Ryan Trabuco
Club President
San Diego Democrats for Equality