Letters to the Editor

  • Wednesday August 23, 2006
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Where's Rosenthal's platform?

If Alix Rosenthal wants to take on Bevan Dufty in the District 8 election she and her campaign had better come up with a platform. After reading the rather extensive article in last week's B.A.R. ["The race is on in District 8," August 17], the only thing I learned about her was: She's wants to keep the Castro queer (but she's straight), she's on the side of renters (but she's a homeowner), she has friends that are "poor," she's a lawyer but doesn't work in San Francisco, she is critical of the incumbent on several issues but doesn't offer any alternative ideas to solve problems. There also wasn't any mention of her experience with city, local, or state politics. What is her background? Has she worked on any housing issues, LGBT issues, healthcare, quality of life issues, the homeless? What are her ideas for fixing the disaster we've been calling "Halloween in the Castro," because you would have to have been living under a rock for 10 years not to understand that it is a huge problem. I can't speak for everyone, but I think a lot of voters are sick and tired of campaigns where the tone is negative and all the candidates can do is criticize the other candidate(s). Let's talk about real issues and specific ideas for problem solving and leave the bullshit somewhere else.

Joe Mac

San Francisco

Quality of life issues important

I read with great interest your recent piece on the District 8 supervisor race. Past the glowing praise [by a supporter] for Alix Rosenthal and buried deep within the story are two salient details about Ms. Rosenthal: She spends her days working outside of District 8, in Oakland, and her live-in boyfriend is the city editor for the Bay Guardian. Let's read between the lines. Do we really want a party hack that spends her days working outside of the district (and the city) to be our representative at City Hall?

I am a Realtor and do not always agree with Bevan's stand on various issues. However, I will say that Bevan has done a superb job of addressing the quality of life issues that so often plague our neighborhood. It's wonderful that he supports our mayor and because of that support can get things done for our neighborhoods.

He deserves to be re-elected and enjoys my full support.

Charles Mader

San Francisco

Dufty's kept feet on the ground

Does supervisorial candidate Alix Rosenthal look down her nose at fixing potholes and tending to practical neighborhood needs? That's my impression, after reading the recent article about her candidacy against incumbent Bevan Dufty:

"It is Dufty's reputation as a 'pothole fixer' that Rosenthal, 33, and her supporters have zeroed in on in opposing his re-election." ["The race is on in District 8," August 17) .

I, for one, would hope that any candidate for public office would show concern for the conditions of life in our neighborhoods. Too often, though, the politicians get carried away with rhetoric and ideology once they get to City Hall. They forget about the mundane neighborhood needs of the folks who elected them.

Dufty, however, has kept his feet on the ground and looked after the Castro. I find it hard to believe that Rosenthal would criticize him for doing that.

Perhaps her views aren't as stark as they appeared in the article. Hopefully, she will clarify them in the course of the campaign.

Arthur Evans

San Francisco

Wide support for Dufty

I read with some amusement your article on Supervisor Bevan Dufty's record that characterized him as only concerned with potholes. Nonetheless, I am concerned that readers might not see the breadth of work by Supervisor Dufty over the last four years.

Dufty has been a consistent and strong supporter of issues important to the labor community. When Gays and Lesbians Against Defamation planned on having an event at a boycotted hotel, Supervisor Dufty worked with Local 2 to move the event. When SEIU members were on strike against CPMC, Supervisor Dufty walked the picket lines. That's why Unite Here Local 2 and SEIU have endorsed Supervisor Dufty.

Dufty has been a consistent supporter of transgender rights. He marched and spoke at the Trans March for the last two years. He is one of two supervisors that has done so, the other being Supervisor Chris Daly. He attended the recent Compton's Cafeteria riot memorial and helped raise money for the memorial. Finally, he co-sponsored with Daly the groundbreaking Transgender Economic Development Initiative that will help transgender folks find jobs. Given the incredibly high unemployment rate in the transgender community, this legislation is much-needed and historic. That's why transgender leader Cecilia Chung has endorsed Supervisor Dufty.

Dufty strongly supported Supervisor Tom Ammiano's groundbreaking legislation that provides universal healthcare for San Francisco residents and has consistently supported healthcare for low-income residents.

More recently Dufty voted to support tenants in backing Supervisor Aaron Peskin's Ellis Act legislation and is supporting the tenant initiative on this November's ballot that will raise the amount that tenants receive when they are evicted. Dufty has earned the support of numerous progressive leaders like Ammiano and Public Defender Jeff Adachi. He has also earned my support.

Robert Haaland

Democratic County Central Committee

LGBT curriculum bill a step forward

I am a fourth grade teacher and member of both the California Teachers Association and the California Safe Schools Coalition. I share your disappointment at having SB1437 amended ["Wasted opportunity," Editorial, August 10]. However, I take exception to the notion that SB1437 in its amended state is a wasted opportunity. A true waste would have been to push the whole bill through, only to have it vetoed by the governor.

Instead, even as amended, the bill will make a real difference in young people's lives, improving school climate where bias-motivated bullying, harassment, and name-calling run rampant. SB1437 would send a powerful message that homophobia and antigay rhetoric will not be tolerated.

It is a win – not a waste – to deliver a bill to the governor that he may actually sign, and one on which we can build future efforts to achieve inclusive curriculum. Even if the bill was passed this year, the changes would not take effect for six years, which is the next time the state will revise social science curriculum. So nothing is wasted by passing an amended bill this year and a more comprehensive bill later. In the meantime, we can take an important step forward by adding LGBT people to a law that covers virtually every other group.

I believe that LGBT people have enough reasons not to re-elect this governor in November. We don't need to play politics with our students.

Eric Heins

San Francisco

Tearing down community

Your criticism of Senator Kuehl and Equality California for changing the anti-bias curriculum bill rather than having the bill fail entirely once again shows the B.A.R.'s penchant for tearing down our community leaders rather than praising all the good work they do.

Senator Kuehl has been a champion of LGBT equality and progressive social values her entire life and Equality California had been fighting hard for our community and has been extremely successful in passing legislation. While the bill no longer requires textbooks to include the contributions of LGBT people, it still prohibits negative portrayals of LGBT people in school curriculum and programs. Your suggestion that the bill is now meaningless and that they should have sent it to the governor in its original form despite his promised veto would have resulted in no new protections for youth. As someone who works with youth I can attest that in other parts of the state these protections are desperately needed. I applaud Senator Kuehl and Equality California for being pragmatic and putting the interests of protecting youth ahead of partisan politics and working to get a bill to the governor that he might sign.

Far from being a waste, this is an important step forward in protecting youth in our schools. The B.A.R. wasted an opportunity to write a balanced and thoughtful opinion. Instead, it chose to minimize the efforts of our champions.

Jim Nickoff

Woodside, California

Congregation chose minister

The article on Reverend Greg Stewart's family was a wonderful introduction to him and to his views on liberal spirituality ["Gay minister for SF Unitarian Church," August 17]. One clarification I would like to offer: the members of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco voted with a 95 percent majority to call Stewart to be the senior minister.

Unitarian Universalist congregations choose their own ministers, and our diverse membership wanted him to take our pulpit. The B.A.R . article said that Stewart was "appointed" our minister, and that word doesn't express the whole community's enthusiasm for him and his ministry.

Linda Enger, Moderator, Board of Trustees

First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco

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