Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Blueprints to Freedom:
An Ode to Bayard Rustin

Join Dems for Equality at La Jolla Playhouse

The La Jolla Playhose is presenting the world premiere play Blueprints to Freedom: An Ode to Bayard Rustin.

In the sweltering political and racial heat of 1963, Bayard Rustin - the brilliant, openly gay proponent of non-violent civil disobedience - is assigned to orchestrate an unprecedented march for jobs and freedom. Exiled from the Civil Rights Movement by both internal and external forces, Rustin grapples with his last chance for professional restoration and spiritual redemption.

Dems for Equality is attending the play on Friday, October 2nd at 8:00 PM as a group. If we have 10 or more people, we can get tickets at a discounted price of $40 each - a thrid off the normal $60 rate. If you are interested, please contact Doug Case by September 15th so we can determine if there is enough interest to make a group reservation.


AIDS Walk San Diego

Saturday, September 26th

Those who know me, know I don't like to share. I'm a very private person and I sort of enjoy the international man of mystery vibe. Sometimes, there are more important things than personal privacy though. I'm hoping this is one of those times.

First, I'll start out with the fact that I'm probably immune to HIV. Turns out that there is usually a percentage of the population that has a genetic disposition to resistance to any given viral disease. I say probably, because I was told by NIH (US National Institutes of Health) that if one of my  parents had the gene that provides resistance to HIV I was resistant. If both had it, I was immune. (They were never tested before their death).

My belief that I'm immune stems from the parameters of the study I took part in - men who had a large number of sexual partners who were HIV positive but still remained HIV negative. To quote a Meryl Streep character, "Turns out I'm a bit of a slut".

 The picture to the right not only shows me in my '80s glory, but it shows my friend John, on the left; and my lover, Gary on the right who are both dead. If you add in the fact that the pic was taken at the wake for another friend who died from AIDS, you can see why I say that most of the gay men I met in the decade of the '80s were dead by the mid-90s.

Gary and I were very involved in the Names Project (the AIDS quilt). We opened our home once a week as a workshop for people who had lost someone to create a panel for the Quilt in their loved-one's name. I found out four people I had cared about had died when someone dropped off their panel at our workshop. I was in charge of logistics for a showing of the Quilt in Los Angeles when I came across the panel created by Jeri Dilno for my friend and our former Club president Doug Scott. It was how I found out Doug was gone.

An actor friend of ours who liked to throw dinner parties, came up with a wonderful idea many years ago to whitewash his dining room walls and give dinner guests a pen to write on/sign the walls. He confided in me not long before his own death that the cute bon mots gathered over many years had become epitaphs or tombstones.

Gary and I were invited to dinner by another friend one evening. When we got there, his lover who was very sick, came out and started giving us little gifts and reminiscing about the good times. It quickly became obvious that this wasn't just supper. Our friend didn't have heart to tell us it was to be the last supper. His lover had made plans to check in to the hospital the following morning, be put on a morphine drip, and "accidentally" overdose on the drip. He decided that he had done all that he could do in life and it was time to die with dignity.

Clearly, AIDS has effected my life. The reason I bring it up though is not for sympathy but to explain my exasperation and hurt, when friends, fellow Club and Party members, frenemies and just plain political contacts don't take the continuing threat of AIDS seriously. Drugs have been found that have drastically reduced the death toll but it's still no picnic to live with HIV/AIDS and there's no reason to assume that drug resistance or virus mutation can't bring back the bad old days.

In addition to research/services to people with HIV/AIDS and prevention education, we now have a new tool - PREP. The Center is in the midst of an awareness/education campaign that aims to end transmission of HIV/AIDS now. The "Be The Generation" (#BeTheGeneration) program is spreading the word that if you're on PREP, and take other common sense precautions, the risk of transmission, even among serodiscordant partners, is minimal.

The beauty of #BeTheGeneration is that regardless of the generation you are a part of, you can be the generation that stops the spread of this horrible disease. AIDS Walk helps to fund all of these programs and you can be part of the generation just by taking part.

Please join the Dems for Equality team for AIDS Walk HERE. The walk will be Saturday, September 26th. It would make me very happy to have a large contingent under our "shoe" this year. Even if you can't walk you can still be the generation. In addition to making a team donation HERE, this year, they've even added another option to participate. Can't walk that far? Become a virtual walker - and walk with us in spirit.

I believe in universal healthcare because I've seen people die because of a lack of resources in "charity" care. I believe in the right to die with dignity because I've seen people die horribly without dignity. I believe in AIDS Walk because it's time to make this horrible disease go away.

Please make an old guy happy and sign-up.

David Warmoth
President, San Diego Democrats for Equality


U.S. Senate Endorsement Vote

Club Meeting, Thursday September 24th 

As you may remember, at our last meeting, we voted to ask Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez and SDUSD Board President Marne Foster to address the Club prior to considering an endorsement in their races. Both incumbents have been invited to attend the September 24th meeting and as of today, Board President Foster has accepted. 

In addition to plans to hear from Assembly Member Gonzalez and Board member Foster, our September 24th Club meeting will consider endorsement in the US Senate race to replace Senator Barbara Boxer. (Please note that the Club's By-laws do not require candidates for Statewide office or higher to complete a candidate questionnaire or speak with the Club.)

The meeting will be held at Joyce Beers Uptown Community Center, 3900 Vermont Street in Hillcrest. (Please use the underground parking structure behind Trader Joe's to avoid ticketing).

          Social Half-Hour          6:30 PM
          Business Meeting       7:00 PM

September 19th
Save The Date

We're Still working on a time and place, but the Club's annual picnic will be Saturday, September 19th. The picnic is a fun opportunity to share food, drink and conversation with fellow Club members and friends and play games without being called on it. As always, the Club will provide ice, sodas and utensils. We need you to provide a dish to share and bring chairs and suncreen.  Plan on being there!


 Celebrate 40 Years of Activism by Joining the Club

Democrats for Equality had a very successful June and we're well on our way to our goal of 400 members to celebrate our 40th Anniversary. Much of the progressive change in San Diego and in our community can be traced directly or indirectly through the work of our members.

We're not finished and we need you to get the job done. If you've let your membership lapse, NOW would be a good time to renew. If you want to be a part of the change, join NOW. Our members make history. Join us.

The Club depends on membership dues to keep the lights on and promote our candidates and issues to the community. A large number of community members depend on our Voters Guide to help them make an intelligent choice when marking their ballots so your membership renewal is critical to ensure those Guides get into those hands. At the risk of sounding like a Public Television pledge drive, if you depend on our endorsements, Voters Guide, newsletters, social media posts and programs, you should be a member! 
If your membership has lapsed or if you know your membership is soon to expire, please re-up now. You might also consider upgrading your membership to a higher level.

You can find out more about the Club's membership levels and benefits online HERE. You can also join/renew with a credit card there. If you would prefer to use a check, send the check, made out to Democrats for Equality to:
San Diego Democrats for Equality
PO Box 33050
San Diego CA 92163
Note that in order to comply with Federal and State election laws, please include your full address where you are registered to vote and your job title/employer with your check. Telephone number and email address would be nice too!
Like Us, Really Like Us
San Diego Democrats for Equality's Facebook page has been number 1 among County Democratic Clubs for a while now. Even so, we've got quite a few new members so we're putting this out again. Please Like Us! Facebook includes the number of likes on a page as part of their complex algorithm to decide if our posts should be widely distributed or not. If you like us now, more people will see our Voter's Guide in their timeline next year. Twitter has different rules, but the effect is the same. The more people who follow us on Twitter means more people seeing our Tweets.

If you are on Facebook or Twitter and you haven't already liked/followed us, please do it now.




Dems for Equality Endorsed Candidates 2016

                                   Hillary Clinton

                      CA-53     Susan Davis
                      CA-52     Scott Peters

            California Assembly
                      AD-78     Todd Gloria
                      AD-79     Shirley Weber

            Board of Supervisors
                      Dist 3    Dave Roberts

            San Diego City Council
                      Dist 3    Chris Ward
                      Dist 9    Georgette Gomez     

                      Sub-Dist D    Richard Barrera
                      Sub-Dist A    John Lee Evans


Join the San Diego Democrats for Equality
and Friends
for an evening reception to support
Chris Ward
for San Diego City Council, District 3
Home of Susan Guinn and Denice Feldhaus

Friday, Sept 25th 5:30-7:30 pm

Co-Sponsor $550,Co-Host $250, Attend $75

More Information/RSVP info@voteforward.com or (619) 432-5828


As we work toward a better future for our community and Country, take a couple minutes to remember what we've already done with a short history of the our accomplishments.

Ashish T. Agrawal & Bryan H. Wildenthal 
Assembly SpeakerToni Atkins 
Laurie Black 
Susan Guinn & Denice Feldhaus
Eric Isaacson & Susan Weaver 
Chris Kehoe & Julie Warren
John McConnell & James Kinney 
Don Mullen
Dr. Bob Pedrick & Josť Guzman 
Craig Roberts 
Stephanie J. Swift


Thank you for your continuing support of San Diego Democrats for Equality.

Self Evident Truths
David Warmoth, President 
San Diego Democrats for Equality 
Defending LGBT Equality since 1975
Email: info@democratsforequality.org