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OC Republican candidate Young Kim’s anti-LGBT record

Democrat Gil Cisneros vindicated from false claim

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Republican Rep. Ed Royce and candidate Young Kim
(Photo Courtesy Facebook)

Republican Rep. Ed Royce wholeheartedly endorsed former Assemblymember Young Kim to take his 39th Congressional District seat when he retires at the end of this year. Royce has represented sections of northern Orange, eastern Los Angeles and southwestern San Bernardino counties since 1992, receiving a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign on LGBT equality. For 20 years, Kim worked for Royce and according to her subsequent record in the Assembly, espoused many of the same anti- LGBT positions. But Kim, who is in a tight “toss-up” race with pro-equality Democrat Gil Cisneros, is apparently now trying to hide her anti-LGBT voting record.

Asked about her commitment to protecting healthcare access for LGBT folks and people of color during a meeting at Temple Beth Tikvah in Fullerton on Oct. 3, Kim cited her Assembly vote to “recognize individuals that are making contributions to our community [including] the LGBTQ community.”

She was apparently referring to a 2015 resolution that established June as Pride Month—a resolution that sailed through the Assembly with a vote of 65-0. Kim failed, however, to recognize Pride Month on social media, through a statement, or by participating in any district celebrations. In 2016, Kim also supported Democrat Assemblymember Phil Ting’s bill, AB 1732, that passed 55-19, requiring single-user restrooms to be gender-neutral.

That 2016 vote was ironic since a cornerstone of Kim’s 2013 campaign for the 65th Assembly seat was her promise to overturn out Assemblymember Tom Ammiano’s AB 1266—a bill Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Aug. 12, 2013 that allows public school students to use restrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identities. “That doesn’t represent the values of this community,” she told the Orange County Register in 2014.

Kim’s campaign ads were condemned by The LGBT Center of Orange County. “Young Kim should be ashamed of the campaign ads. They are bigoted and will encourage discrimination and increased violence against an already vulnerable group of children,” Center Executive Director Kevin O’Grady said in a statement. Local school districts, meanwhile, contested the candidate’s claims that the measure would lead to harassment of women and girls, asserting its passage was positive for students.

Once elected, Kim voted against a series of ultimately-successful bills in the state legislature that: required the California Energy Commission to implement outreach programs that included LGBT businesses; banned government travel to states that passed laws discriminating against LGBT residents; required the State Department of Education to assess information on resources provided to LGBT students; urged U.S. Congress to enact the Equality Act of 2015, which would extend protections of the Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity; and prohibited state agencies from entering into contracts valued over $100,000 with businesses that discriminate against employees or dependents based on their actual or perceived gender identities.

Kim, who also opposes same-sex marriage, told the Orange County Register that she believes sexual orientation and gender identity are not immutable characteristics, but rather products of “the environment one grows up in.”

“Young Kim has disrespected and actively voted against the LGBTQ community and for her to suggest otherwise is crass and shameless,” Gil Cisneros’s Campaign Manager Nic Jordan told the Los Angeles Blade. “At a time when LGBTQ rights are under constant attack by President Trump and his administration, Young Kim refuses to call out hate, stand up to bullying, and do what’s right. Gil Cisneros has served alongside LGBTQ servicemembers, has met with LGBTQ leaders of the 39th, and is ready to stand with the LGBTQ community and fight for equality, respect, and inclusion for all.”

An Oct. 9 Politico poll has the 39th CD race as a “toss-up,” with Kim hoping to become the first Korean American woman elected to Congress in a district that is 25.8 percent Asian voters and 32.6 percent Hispanic.

Until recently, Kim was leading Cisneros, thanks in large part to an ugly ad attack and campaign mailers from Speaker Paul Ryan’s Congressional Leadership Fund in which a Democratic woman claimed Cisneros sexually harassed her. Cisneros fought back and eventually met with the accuser, Melissa Fazli, who recanted her accusation. “I misunderstood the conversations that I had with Gil Cisneros at the Democratic convention and after. I don’t believe that Gil sexually harassed me,” Fazli said in a statement, the OC Weekly reported Oct. 3.

She also complained that the Republican PAC had used her image and name “without her permission” and accused them of “weaponizing my story for their own political gain. I denounce their ads,” she said. “I believe Mr. Cisneros has a good heart and is truly sorry for the handling of my accusations.”

The Congressional Leadership Fund was forced to pull the ads. Cisneros put out an ad to correct the record and scold Kim for cowardice in failing to “denounce the blatantly false ads while they were airing.”

“Kim can try to wipe her hands of these attacks, but her refusal to call out her dark money allies speaks to her real character,” Jordan said in a press release. “Ultimately, it’s not surprising that Kim continues to demonstrate a complete lack of political courage considering she gladly and willingly has thrown her support behind President Trump.” The Kim campaign did not comment to OC Weekly.

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West Hollywood

West Hollywood approves hotel worker protection ordinance

According to the West Hollywood Travel + Tourism Board, 25 percent of the City’s labor force works in hospitality and food services.

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Graphic via the City of West Hollywood

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City Council of the City of West Hollywood, at its regular meeting on Monday, August 2, 2021, approved on second reading a Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance, which establishes certain additional protections for hotel workers in the City of West Hollywood.

According to the West Hollywood Travel + Tourism Board, 25 percent of the City’s labor force works in hospitality and food services. Currently, there are 18 hotels open in West Hollywood, ranging from 14 rooms to 285 rooms, totaling 2,566 rooms in the City.

The cities of Santa Monica, Long Beach, Emeryville, Oakland, and Seattle have also adopted Ordinances that include some or all of the provisions of West Hollywood’s Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance.

The approved Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance will add Chapter 5.128 to the West Hollywood Municipal Code regarding hotel worker protection.

The Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance includes four key elements:

  1. A requirement, beginning September 1, 2021, that hotels provide the “right to recall” to employees laid-off due to catastrophic events (such as COVID-19) and offer those laid-off employees all positions that become available for which the laid-off employees are qualified, and also provide worker retention protections to employees, requiring that a hotel retains its workforce for 90 days if the hotel is sold or a change in control occurs;
  2. A requirement, beginning January 1, 2022, that hotels provide personal security devices (sometimes known as panic buttons) to employees that are required to work in guest rooms or restrooms by themselves;
  3. A provision, beginning January 1, 2022, regarding workload and compensation, as follows: “For hotels with fewer than 40 guest rooms, a hotel employer shall not require a room attendant to clean rooms amounting to a total of more than 4,000 square feet of floor space in any eight-hour workday, unless the hotel employer pays the room attendant twice the room attendant’s regular rate of pay for each and every hour worked during the workday. For hotels with 40 or more guest rooms, a hotel employer shall not require a room attendant to clean rooms amounting to a total of more than 3,500 square feet of floor space in any eight-hour workday, unless the hotel employer pays the room attendant twice the room attendant’s regular rate of pay for each and every hour worked during the workday. If a room attendant is assigned to clean seven or more checkout rooms or additional bed rooms during any eight-hour workday, each such checkout room or additional bed room shall for purposes of this subsection count as 500 square feet, regardless of the actual square footage of each room. The limitations contained herein apply to any combination of spaces, including guest rooms, meeting rooms, and other rooms within the hotel, and apply regardless of the furniture, equipment, or amenities in such rooms.”; and
  4. A requirement, beginning July 1, 2022, that hotels provide public housekeeping training by contracting with a certified third-party entity to provide annual six-hour training to staff on a variety of topics included in the Ordinance including workers’ rights and responsibilities under the proposed ordinance, best practices for identifying and responding to suspected instances of human trafficking, domestic violence, or violent/threatening conduct, best practices for effective cleaning techniques, best practices for identifying and avoiding insect/vermin infestation, and best practices for identifying and responding to other potential criminal activity.
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Los Angeles

Fed up, LA moves to require proof of vax for indoor dining, bars, gyms

“Enough is enough already. Hospital workers are exhausted, moms are tired, and our kids cannot afford the loss of another school year”

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez and Councilman Mitch O’Farrell (D-13) on Wednesday introduced a motion to the council that will require vaccine proof indoors at restaurants, bars, gyms, stores, spas, movie theaters, concert venues and sporting events.

“Enough is enough already,” Martinez said in a statement. “Hospital workers are exhausted, moms who have put aside their careers are tired, and our kids cannot afford the loss of another school year. We have three vaccines that work and are readily available, so what’s it going to take?”

There has already been over a dozen LA eateries that have enacted Vax-Proof required for entry including several in West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Downtown, and across the city.

The motion calls for the L.A. City Attorney to prepare and present an ordinance and to report back on how businesses can comply with the measure.

City Attorney Mike Feuer, a mayoral candidate, on Tuesday also sent a letter urging the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to require proof of vaccination for certain indoor activities, including those listed by the LA City Council members in Wednesday’s motion.

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Los Angeles

Delivering justice and equity, Jasmyne Cannick has ‘the receipts’

This fight is about getting justice for Ed Buck’s victims & also calling out all of the people along the way who failed them & enabled him

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Jasmyne Cannick (Photo Credit: JayBeez)

LOS ANGELES – In the world of popular culture the use of the slang phrase ‘has the receipts‘ translates to bringing proof that someone was/is lying. Conversely it also is used to define that a person is being genuine.

Over the past several years as the crimes committed by West Hollywood resident and political activist Ed Buck, as he preyed on Black men were made public, the person holding the receipts was journalist turned advocate Jasmyne Cannick.

Frustrated and angered by what she perceived as lack of serious engagement by local law enforcement in the initial stages of the investigation into the death of  26-year-old Gemmel Moore, Cannick rallied the community and publicly called out law enforcement to take more aggressive action.

She orchestrated and led a grass-roots effort to get the criminal justice system of Los Angeles to listen to Gemmel’s mother LaTisha Nixon’s plea for justice. She used Gemmel’s own words, written in his journal to alert authorities to the depths of the debauchery occurring inside that second floor flat in West Hollywood. She pleaded with law enforcement including the District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles Jackie Lacey to take action.

Her activism and fueling the rage of the greater community finally received the attention of Federal law enforcement and action that culminated in Buck’s arrest and the trial.

She stood by the families even as to the horror of many, another Black man died nearly two years after Gemmel (2017) in January of 2019 and like that young life snuffed out too early, Timothy Dean, 55, was found deceased on the trash strewn floor of Buck’s flat.

“The lives of Black gay men matter — no matter if they’re homeless, survival sex workers or escorts — this is a case that transcends race, class, wealth. Our lives matter, our community matters, and just because someone is unhoused, an addict, may be a survival sex worker, or an escort, or HIV positive does not mean their lives don’t matter and we should look the other way when they show up dead in a white Democratic donor’s home.” ~ Jasmyne Cannick.

In her owns words Cannick writes after the jury delivered guilty verdicts on nine separate federal counts; “It’s been a long four years on this road for justice–justice that a guilty verdict would be but one small part off.  Real justice is making sure that this never ever happens again.  We can’t do that with the enabling parties still acting like Ed Buck didn’t happen”

She adds, “Ed Buck only got away with it for so long because he was white and because we still don’t believe Black victims–even when they tell us what happened to them.

Gemmel Moore told us in his diary, “Ed Buck is the one to thank, he gave me my first injection of chrystal [sic] meth. It was very painful.”

Buck was not all that he was portrayed as in the media, but he parlayed his influence, funneled through donations from others, and did ingratiate himself into the Democratic party in California over the years. There is plenty of photographic evidence to substantiate those claims to fame showing Buck rubbing elbows with politicians from all quarters.

Worse though was that rumours of Buck’s fetishes were well known and yet even after the death of Gemmel Moore there seemed to be a collective shrugging of shoulders and zero calls for accountability. Cannick however, wasn’t having it.

“Former district attorney Jackie Lacey was sitting on a mountain of evidence and still did nothing to prosecute Ed Buck for the deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean,” she said.

Appearing on BNC’s Black News Tonight anchored by journalist Marc Lamont Hill last week,  Cannick told Hill that the case intersected race and sexual orientation.

“As much as this case is about Ed Buck, it’s also about our housing crisis, and what it makes people feel they have to do — play Russian roulette with their lives just to have a roof over their heads,” she stressed.

Cannick is not just a gadfly community activist, in fact far from it. She is a powerful voice for those who have had no voice reminding people that Buck happened because the community allowed him to happen.

In her own words she points out, “Paul Koretz, a candidate for Controller in 2022, who is backed by the Black Democratic establishment and has taken thousands from Ed Buck, told a group that Buck’s victims were all “disadvantaged Black hustlers.”

“So while this fight is as much about getting justice for Ed Buck’s victims it’s also about calling out all of the people and entities along the way who failed them and enabled Ed Buck. Not doing so ensures a repeat of this situation because Ed Buck isn’t the only Ed Buck,” she pointed out. “Entities like the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department who many of Ed Buck’s victims said didn’t take their complaints about Ed Buck seriously.”

“But even though Ed Buck’s crimes have been made public throughout his trial, not much has changed.  The silence in Los Angeles’ is deafening.  If I wasn’t sitting in the courtroom myself, I probably wouldn’t know the trial was happening.  

There’s been no mention of the trial or justice for Ed Buck’s victims from the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, California Democratic Party, Stonewall Democratic Club, or any of the dozens of elected officials he gave his money to,” she noted.

In a conversation with the Blade on Monday Cannick said that the next phase for her advocacy is to seek financial compensation for Buck’s victims. But beyond that is challenging community leaders and elected officials to address the very causes of what gave Buck ready access to the disadvantaged Black men in the first place; homelessness and helping the unhoused is her top priority.

She also serves now as an elected “At-Large” member of the leadership team of the Stonewall Democratic Club, the very place where Buck donated sums of money and rubbed elbows with Democratic Party leadership who gave Buck credibility and status.

For now there are some community leaders who are stepping up to acknowledge Cannick’s holding the receipts including the City Council and Mayor of West Hollywood who honoured her community work during a regularly scheduled Council meeting Monday.

West Hollywood Mayor Linsey Horvath tweeted afterwards, “Thank YOU for your fearless leadership in pursuit of truth and justice, @Jasmyne Our community is safer, and survivors have more confidence that they will be heard & believed, because of you.”

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