Kevin And Don Respond To Being Self Loathing

Looking back at their journey from the Stonewall Democratic Club to Log Cabin Republicans, they claim it was one that was actually started by the democrats. After being told that marriage as not a priority on the agenda in 1995, they became disillusioned with the DEMS. For a decade they felt like they did not belong until they met the republicans of the Log Cabin Republican Club and discovered they too shared a dream of marriage equality. This blog is now a digital time capsule of their time as Republicans and moderated by a friend and supporter.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

GRUEL Spurns Gay Activist's Request For Documents on Hollywood's Community of Interest

Dear Ms. Greuel:

This is to inquire why a Public Records Act request by attorney Kevin Norte was spurned by your office.

The state Legislature in 2006 determined that Hollywood “has turned a corner from the crime and dilapidation that plagued the area for decades and today has attracted billions of dollars in new development.” To promote that revitalization, lawmakers found, potential investors had to be provided with “specific data on Hollywood's population, median income, employment, housing stock, general land use, tourism, and infrastructure”—but it wasn’t available. So, the Legislature mandated, in Government Code §11093.4(a)(1):

“The State Board of Equalization, Employment Development Department, Department of Industrial Relations, Department of Finance, and the Department of Transportation, shall, in the preparation and maintenance of any statistical analyses and data, by city, either by population, fiscal, or other bases, make a separate breakdown of the community of Hollywood, and shall require the City of Los Angeles to provide all necessary data at the sole expense of the City of Los Angeles.”

Mr. Norte asked to take a look at the statistics the city has provided to the state. This response came from Donna Williams of your staff:

“We appreciate your interest in receiving public records, however the office of the Controller does not have records responsive to your request.  We can only respond to requests for documents in our possession. If you would like documents from another City department, please submit your request to that department directly.  The City of Los Angeles website, www.lacity.org, has a list of City departments.”


The response is puzzling. That’s because under the Charter, you would have ready access to the data requested. Sec. 260 says:

“The Controller shall be the auditor and general accountant of the City and shall exercise a general supervision over the accounts of all offices, departments, boards and employees of the City charged in any manner with the receipt, collection or disbursement of the money of the City.”

Why was the information not provided or, at the least, why was Mr. Norte not told specifically where to go to get the information?

With thanks for your kind attention to this request,

Yours truly,

Roger M. Grace

--

Roger M. Grace Editor/Co-Publisher

210 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 346-0033  •  Fax: (213) 687-3886
MetNews Website    Perspectives Columns
History of DA's Office   Reminiscing

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

GovC 11093.4 #Redistricting We Will Be Seeking The Census And Save It For 2020

Dear Mr. Norte:
This letter is in response to your California Public Records Act request dated February 22, 2012, wherein you requested documents relating to the community of Hollywood.
We appreciate your interest in receiving public records, however the office of the Controller does not have records responsive to your request.  We can only respond to requests for documents in our possession. If you would like documents from another City department, please submit your request to that department directly.  The City of Los Angeles website, www.lacity.org, has a list of City departments.
If you have any questions, please contact me. 

--
Donna Williams
Executive Administrative Assistant
Office of the Los Angeles City Controller
200 N. Main Street, Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 978-7243 ph.
(213) 978-7211 fx.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Political Exiles In Hollywood: LGBT Community Does Not Want To Be Treated Like The Native American Community That Lived In Bunker Hill

Log Cabin Republicans filed a protest of the boundaries of the districts based upon the denial of representation as a legitimate community of interest in Hollywood.
Further facts have been submitted because the recent map changes fail to reflect the concerns of the failure to recognize the lgbt community of inter in the City of Los Angeles. One would believe that Hollywood actually has no lgbt people.
Additional facts have been submitted on line to the commission.
Further discovery of the economic data for Hollywood under the Freedom of Information Act is needed. All the data compiled by the Controller Wendy Greuel under the requirements of Gov. Code 11093.4 is necessary.
It is amazing that this important data cannot be located on line. One has to actually wonder if the City is in compliance with state law.
In the In Re Maggiage Case, the California Supreme Court in a broad stroke, granted the same protected status as any other minority in California. "All" in this case means equal representation.
In reviewing the actual census data that is available, the census data for Hollywood shows the lgbt community of interest in what happens to be the legal definition of Hollywood under state law in Gov. Code 11093.4.
Hollywood has the only lgbt senior housing in Los Angeles. It is the home our our community center too (on two streets no less). The state of California actually defined the boundaries of Hollywood thanks to then-Assembly Members Paul Koretz and Jackie Goldberg's bill, AB 588 (2006).
The fact that the census data, the senior housing, the lgbt Center, and the legal boundaries of the community of Hollywood all happen to strongly suggest that Hollywood is the best example of a community of interest under California law and City Council mandates.
Some Governors of Log Cabin Republicans of Los Angeles are looking into the possibility of legal action. The point is that the city failed to even address lgbt issues in redistricting.
All current and past Council Members who are openly gay or lesbian started their careers and built reputations as closeted gay persons.
Hollywood today is a place where people relocate to escape the high cost of housing in West Hollywood. Young lgbt people live their lives openly in Hollywood.
As this community of interest gets older, because many couples have no children (a disproportionate number of lgbt people as compared to the general population) the concern grows with the aging baby boomers for elderly care. This presents unique needs (for examples, please use common sense) as the populaion of openly lgbt persons ages. Consequantly, we are a community of interest in Hollywood and need representation at a municipal level.
We know from the data we have seen that there is a vibrant but unrecognized lgbt community of interest in Hollywood.
Accordingly, the full discolsure by the City of Los Angeles of the data the controller has from 2007 to the present concerning Hollywood is required to convince the Los Angeles City Council as further proof of the existence of the lgbt community in Hollywood.

Friday, February 17, 2012

LGBT Equality in Voting Rights Mix 1 Part #Prop8 w/ 1 Part #AB588 & 1 Part #LAgov



This is how the collective thought process works.
I could not have done this alone and sincerly thank my friend Scott for steering me in the RIGHT direction.
I am having a good time merging the Prop 8 case awarding equality (except for the word marriage) along with AB 588 from the 2006 legislative session (defining Hollywood because it is unique) and the City Council instructions to the redistricting committee. When all three are merged the intellectual mosaic becomes cohesive life of its own.
Play Intellectual Bartender and try the following:

AB 588

PLUS

Here are the direction from the City Council.

PLUS
Prop 8 (In Re Marriage)
EQUALS

EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW
Hopefully the CD 13 will reflect that the State Recognized Hollywood District for its uniqueness along with recognition of the important role the LGBT Community has played in not only West Hollywood History but Los Angeles History.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Judge Should Not Reject Potential LGBT Suit Aimed At Redistricting Maps #LAgov


NOTE PROPOSITION 8 WAS NOT ONLY ABOUT MARRIAGE BUT ABOUT FULL EQUALITY UNDER CALIFORNIA LAW. IF REDISTRICTING IS TO MEAN ANYTHING, THEN THE LGBT COMMUNITY MUST BE TREATED EQUALLY.
There is a divide in the LGBT community--and some groups resent that Log Cabin Republicans were the only voice on the matter in favor of equality. Our Constitution Does Not Permit Government To Split Communities Along Party Lines. How else can you interpret Prop 8?


KCET Has Raised The Issue-- SEE BELOW

Lawsuit Looms Over Alleged Backroom Deals
by Karen Foshay

10:50 a.m. - At least one council member is now considering a lawsuit over the city’s redistricting process, pointing to possible backroom dealing and violations of the Voting Rights Act after the release of new district maps that have prompted widespread confusion and backlash.

When the draft redistricting maps for Los Angeles were released in January, it was clear there would be some winners and some losers. (more on that here and here). Councilman Bernard Parks, for his part, lost the affluent Baldwin Hills and historic Leimert Park neighborhoods when they were moved into the adjacent Council District 10, which is represented by Council President Herb Wesson.

Among the rumors floating around at City Hall right now – that Parks lost these areas because he didn’t vote for Wesson for president. While he would not call it anything other than a rumor, Parks said he has retained a consultant who has advised him to keep track of any potential violations of the law in case they decide to sue the city of Los Angeles.

“If this is going as we contemplate the way it is going, [then] the only response and the only way you can rectify it is go and have a lawsuit to have this turned around,” Parks said.


Click to view proposed map.
The transfer of Leimert Park and most of Baldwin Hills from CD8 to CD10 was troublesome for at least one member of the Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission, too.

In a series of confidential emails obtained by SoCal Connected, this commissioner complained that the goal of the transfer was to increase the number of black registered voters to more than 50 percent in Wesson’s district, even though the current percentage is much lower.

“Race was the sole factor in determining the boundaries of CD10, in possible violation of the Voting Rights Act,” the commissioner wrote.

Parks could not confirm the allegations, but he did share the commissioner’s view.

“To have CD10 decide by their commissioner’s statement that they want to take Baldwin Hills, Baldwin Vista, Village Green and Leimert Park into the 10th district for one sole purpose - they want the black vote – well, that’s illegal to redistrict on the basis of race.”

In another confidential email exchange, one commissioner claimed redistricting chair Arturo Vargas’ pledge for an open and transparent process was “anything but open and transparent.” Chairman Vargas, the commissioner wrote, split the 21-person commission into three committees “specifically to avoid triggering the Brown Act. Thus, all discussions regarding the regional line drawing were held behind closed doors.”

The Brown Act is a state law holding that whenever a majority of members of a legislative body meet to take action on public business, public notice is required. By imposing a rule that prohibited the three committees from communicating with each other during the map-making process, the commissioner wrote, Vargas in effect avoided triggering the Brown Act, since a majority of commissioners would never be present.

Without talking to each other, the commissioner claimed, “there were important decisions made and driven by one Regional Line Drawing Committee that then tied the hands of another Regional Line Drawing Committee.”

Meanwhile, the same commissioner who claimed that CD10’s goal was simply to increase the black vote also raised concerns about splitting Koreatown into two districts, arguing the new map is a gerrymander (more on the nuances of THAT process here). The proposed map has part of Koreatown linked with South Los Angeles, something the commissioner called a “con” because the two communities have little in common.

Some community members in Koreatown are fighting the plan to split their community in two. Discussions of the redistricting maps have even led to accusations that members of Wesson’s staff bribed and threatened Korean business owners. The allegations have repeatedly surfaced at public hearings and most recently in an article in the Korean Daily News.

“If the allegations are true, then I would think people in the community would be willing to come forward,” Parks said.

So far no one has. But last week a community activist has set up a “tip line” for Korean residents to report their concerns. The call center says they’ve gotten nearly two dozen calls so far. (See reactions at commission hearing. Concerned citizens can call the tip line at 213-444-1452.)

A staffer with Herb Wesson’s office claimed all of these allegations are totally false. When asked on Tuesday, Councilman Wesson refused to speak with SoCal Connected about this story. Calls to Redistricting Chair Arturo Vargas have not been returned.

“Now we are down to the last two weeks of the process and most people who have attended the meetings have no faith in what the outcome is going to be,” Parks said.

Lata Pandya and Brian Frank contributed reporting to this story.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Feeling The Future :Gay rights groups lose a round (but NOT the war)

Gay rights groups lose a round
State Supreme Court rejects bid to keep a ban on same-sex marriage off the November ballot.
July 17, 2008|Maura Dolan | Times Staff Writer
SAN FRANCISCO — A voter initiative to reinstate a ban on same-sex marriage will remain on the November ballot, the California Supreme Court decided unanimously Wednesday.

The court issued a brief order rejecting arguments that the initiative, Proposition 8, was an illegal constitutional revision and that voters had been misled when they signed petitions to put it on the ballot. The decision, reached in closed session during the court's weekly conference, cleared the way for what some observers expect to be a close vote on the marriage measure.


The signatures for the initiative had already been gathered when the California Supreme Court decided 4 to 3 in May to strike down a state ban on same-sex marriage. Same sex couples began marrying in California last month.

Gay rights groups issued a statement Wednesday expressing disappointment with the court's decision.

"Californians do not want their Constitution to single out people to be treated differently," said the statement from Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Marriage Equality and the American Civil Liberties Union. "We are confident they will vote no in November to make sure everyone is treated equally under the law."

Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law, said he was confident that the measure would pass.

"If the people have an opportunity to participate in the democratic process, they will vote for marriage as one man and one woman," said Staver, whose group litigates on behalf of Christian causes.

"Those who push for same-sex marriage are willing to destroy both marriage and democracy to achieve a selfish result," he said.

Another Christian group, the Alliance Defense Fund, called the court's decision "appropriate."

Supporters of same-sex marriage "were desperate to evade the democratic process," said Brian Raum, senior legal counsel for the fund. "We're pleased the court did not allow them to silence the people's voice this November."

If approved by voters, Proposition 8, called the "California Marriage Protection Act," would add a provision to the state Constitution that says, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

The Campaign for Children and Families, which opposes same-sex marriage, said it was celebrating the court's decision.

"This is great news, and not unexpected in light of the homosexual activists' undemocratic, intolerant and extraordinary attack upon the voters' right to vote," said Randy Thomasson, the group's president. "Fortunately, activist judges are more used to inventing new 'laws' out of thin air than striking voter-qualified initiatives from the ballot."

After Wednesday's decision, Kevin Norte, a lawyer who helped inspire one of the legal arguments for removing the ballot initiative, sent friends a note asking that in lieu of a wedding gift they donate to a campaign to defeat the initiative.

Kevin and his longtime partner, Don Norte, went to Tiffany's for wedding rings on the day the court overturned the marriage ban. They plan to exchange vows this week.

"I am getting personal because I will do almost anything to save my marriage," wrote Norte, a Republican. "Wouldn't you?

--

maura.dolan@latimes.com

Friday, February 03, 2012

Tracey Cooper-Harris, et al. v. United States of America, et al. | Southern Poverty Law Center

Tracey Cooper-Harris, et al. v. United States of America, et al. | Southern Poverty Law Center

Tracey Cooper-Harris, et al. v. United States of America, et al.

Popular Name: 
 Cooper-Harris v. United States
Date Filed 
02/01/2012
Plaintiffs 
Tracey Cooper-Harris
Defendants 
The United States of America Department of Veterans Affairs
Case Related Items 
Tracey Cooper-Harris served her country for 12 years in the U.S. Army. She received more than two dozen medals and commendations. She was honorably discharged in 2003.
In 2010, Cooper-Harris was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a disabling disease that attacks the brain and central nervous system. The Department of Veterans Affairs denied Cooper-Harris’ request for benefits for her partner, even though their same-sex marriage was recognized by California.
The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of Cooper-Harris and her partner, charging that the Department of Veterans Affairs discriminated against them by denying these benefits but granting them to spouses in heterosexual marriages. It also charges the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional because it bans federal agencies from recognizing such same-sex marriages, denying these couples benefits available to couples in heterosexual marriages
Co-Counsel: 
Randall R. Lee, Matthew Benedetto