Connect with us

Editor's Letter

Primary elections June 7: The Los Angeles Blade’s endorsements

The Los Angeles Blade is listing its first round of endorsements in local, state-wide races & key races here in Southern California

Published

on

Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – These are uncertain times that demand greater voter engagement and participation in the process to elect officials at all levels even more this election cycle as Angelenos and their fellow Southern Californians head to the polls.

Recent polling has shown that the primary issues of homelessness, rising costs in mortgages, rent, food, gasoline and inflationary effects post-pandemic are driving voter’s focus.

Voters also are very focused on rising crime rates across the Southland, especially violent crime. The Public Policy Institute of California, from a study executed last year by the non-profit, showed that data from four of California’s major cities—Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, and San Francisco—show increases in property and violent crime numbers in 2021.

More disturbing was a trend of a troubling increases in homicides in these cities were up by about 17% in 2021.

In the greater Los Angeles County area, retail smash and grab gangs struck the business community repeatedly with what one source at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce described as “seemingly brazen impunity unhindered by response from either the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department or the Los Angeles Police Department.”

Voters are demanding action and are dissatisfied with what they view as a lack of responsiveness and are holding both parties accountable.

This election cycle, for the first time with the exception of this paper’s endorsement of Governor Gavin Newsom during the recall drive effort last September, the Los Angeles Blade is listing its first round of endorsements in races for offices and in particular key races here in Southern California.

The election cycle this year nationwide takes on graver meaning for the LGBTQ+ community as trans rights are under attack, numerous jurisdictions are attempting to ban LGBTQ+ themed books and in classrooms several states have passed ‘Don’t Say Gay’ laws with other states considering following that path. LGBTQ+ Californians need to be on guard against political encroachment that would potentially remove protections against loss of those hard fought rights.

(In recent weeks the Los Angeles Blade has been publishing a series of ‘Viewpoints’ from candidates who have been endorsed by the paper.)

Some housekeeping:

  • All California active registered voters will receive a vote-by-mail ballot for the June 7, 2022, Primary Election.
  • Return your vote-by-mail ballot by mail with prepaid postage as long as it’s postmarked on or before Election day and received by June 14, 2022, or in-person to a secure ballot drop box, to a voting location or your county elections office by 8:00 p.m. on June 7, 2022.
  • In-person voting locations will offer voter registration, replacement ballots, accessible voting machines, and language assistance to those who need it.
  • Vote centers open in all Voter’s Choice Act counties on May 28, 2022.
  • Your primary Election ballot will include candidates for U.S. Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General,  Insurance Commissioner, Member of State Board of Equalization, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, U.S. Representative in Congress, State Senator, State Assembly Member, as well as other local candidates.
  • There are two contests for U.S. Senate on this ballot. You can vote for both contests.
    • One for a 6-year term ending January 3, 2029; and
    • One for the remainder of the current term ending January 3, 2023

The Los Angeles Blade’s picks

In the race for Los Angeles County Sheriff the Los Angele Blade endorses Eric Strong.

In the race for Mayor of the City of Los Angeles the Los Angele Blade endorses Rep. Karen Bass

In the following local races the Los Angele Blade endorses:

  • Los Angeles County Assessor: Jeffrey Prang
  • Los Angeles City Attorney: Kevin James
  • Los Angeles City Controller: Rob Wilcox
  • Los Angeles City Council, District 3: Bob Blumenfield
  • Los Angeles City Council, District 5: Jimmy Biblarz
  • Los Angeles City Council, District 7: Monica Rodriguez
  • Los Angeles City Council, District 9: Curren Price
  • Los Angeles City Council, District 11: No Consensus
  • Los Angeles City Council, District 13: Mitch O’Farrell
  • Los Angeles City Council, District 15: Tim McOsker
  • Los Angeles County Supervisor 1 – Hilda Solis
  • Los Angeles County Supervisor 3 – Lindsey Horvath
LA County Superior Court Judge
Seat 3: Tim Reuben
Seat 60 – Sharon Ransom
Seat 67 – Elizabeth Lashley-Haynes
Seat 70 – Holly Hancock
Seat 90 – Melissa Lyons
Seat 118 – Klint McKay
Seat 151 – Patrick Hare
Seat 156 – Carol Elswick
LA Unified School District 2 – Dr. Rocío Rivas
LA Unified School District 4 – Nick Melvoin
LA Unified School District 6 – Kelly Gonez
Long Beach MayorRex Richardson
Long Beach City Council 1
Long Beach City Council 5Megan Kerr
Long Beach City Council 9Dr. Joni Ricks-Oddie
Long Beach Prosecutor
Beverly Hills City Council
Glendale City CouncilDan Brotman and Elen Asatryan
Glendale USB BIngrid Gunnell
Pasadena City Council 7Jason Lyon
Pasadena City College Board of Trustees, AreaAlton Wang
William S. Hart Union School BoardAndrew Taban
Orange County AssessorRick Foster
Orange County District AttorneyPete Hardin
State Senate District 20 – Caroline Menjivar
State Senate District 22 – Susan Rubio
State Senate District 24 – Ben Allen
State Senate District 26 – Maria Elena Durazo
State Senate District 28 – Lola Smallwood-Cuevas
State Senate District 30 – Henry Bouchot
Assembly District 20 – Jennifer Esteen, RN
Assembly District 21 – James H Coleman
Assembly District 28 – Joe Thompson
Assembly District 30 – John Drake
Assembly District 39 – Andrea Rosenthal
Assembly District 40 – Pilar Schiavo
Assembly District 43 – Luz Rivas
Assembly District 44 – Laura Friedman
Assembly District 46 – Jesse Gabriel
Assembly District 48 – Blanca Rubio
Assembly District 49 – Mike Fong
Assembly District 51 – Rick Chavez Zbur
Assembly District 52 –
Assembly District 53 – Freddie Rodriguez
Assembly District 54 – Miguel Santiago
Assembly District 55 – Isaac Bryan
Assembly District 56 – Lisa Calderon
Assembly District 57 – Reggie Jones Sawyer
Assembly District 62 – Anthony Rendon
Assembly District 64 – Elizabeth Alcantar
Assembly District 65 –
Assembly District 66 – Al Muratsuchi

Statewide Constitutional Offices:

  • Governor: Gavin Newsom
  • Lieutenant Governor: Eleni Kounalakis
  • Attorney General: Rob Bonta
  • Insurance Commissioner: Ricardo Lara
  • Secretary of State: Shirley Weber
  • Controller: Ron Galperin
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tony Thurmond
  • Treasurer: Fiona Ma
  • Board of Equalization, District 1: Braden Murphy
  • Board of Equalization, District 2: Sally Lieber

U.S. Senate:

  • Full Term: Alex Padilla
  • Short Term (ending January 3, 2023): Alex Padilla

U.S. House of Representatives:

  • Congressional District 2: Jared Huffman
  • Congressional District 3: Dr. Kermit Jones
  • Congressional District 4: Mike Thompson
  • Congressional District 6: Ami Bera
  • Congressional District 7: Doris Matsui
  • Congressional District 8: John Garamendi
  • Congressional District 9: Josh Harder
  • Congressional District 10: Mark DeSaulnier
  • Congressional District 11: Nancy Pelosi
  • Congressional District 12: Barbara Lee
  • Congressional District 14: Eric Swalwell
  • Congressional District 15: Kevin Mullin
  • Congressional District 16: Anna Eshoo
  • Congressional District 17: Ro Khanna
  • Congressional District 18: Zoe Lofgren
  • Congressional District 19: Jimmy Panetta
  • Congressional District 21: Jim Costa
  • Congressional District 23: Derek Marshall
  • Congressional District 24: Salud Carbajal
  • Congressional District 25: Raul Ruiz
  • Congressional District 26: Julia Brownley
  • Congressional District 27: Christy Smith
  • Congressional District 28: Judy Chu
  • Congressional District 29: Tony Cárdenas
  • Congressional District 30: Adam Schiff
  • Congressional District 31: Grace Napolitano
  • Congressional District 32: Brad Sherman
  • Congressional District 33: Pete Aguilar
  • Congressional District 34: Jimmy Gomez
  • Congressional District 35: Norma Torres
  • Congressional District 36: Ted Lieu
  • Congressional District 37: Sydney Kamlager
  • Congressional District 38: Linda Sánchez
  • Congressional District 39: Mark Takano
  • Congressional District 40: Dr. Asif Mahmood
  • Congressional District 41: Will Rollins
  • Congressional District 42: Robert Garcia
  • Congressional District 43: Maxine Waters
  • Congressional District 44: Nanette Barragán
  • Congressional District 45: Jay Chen
  • Congressional District 46: Lou Correa
  • Congressional District 47: Katie Porter
  • Congressional District 49: Mike Levin
  • Congressional District 50: Scott Peters
  • Congressional District 51: Sara Jacobs
  • Congressional District 52: Juan Vargas

California Senate:

  • Senate District 2: Mike McGuire
  • Senate District 6: Paula Villescaz
  • Senate District 8: Dave Jones
  • Senate District 10: Aisha Wahab
  • Senate District 14: Anna Caballero
  • Senate District 18: Steve Padilla
  • Senate District 20: Daniel Hertzberg
  • Senate District 24: Ben Allen
  • Senate District 26: María Elena Durazo
  • Senate District 28: Lola Smallwood-Cuevas
  • Senate District 34: Tom Umberg
  • Senate District 36: Kim Carr
  • Senate District 38: Catherine Blakespear
  • Senate District 40: Joseph C. Rocha

California Assembly:

  • Assembly District 2: Jim Wood
  • Assembly District 4: Cecilia Aguiar-Curry
  • Assembly District 6: Kevin McCarty
  • Assembly District 10: Eric Guerra 
  • Assembly District 11: Lori Wilson
  • Assembly District 12: Sara Aminzadeh 
  • Assembly District 14: Buffy Wicks
  • Assembly District 16: Rebecca Bauer-Kahan
  • Assembly District 17: Matt Haney
  • Assembly District 18: Mia Bonta
  • Assembly District 19: Phil Ting
  • Assembly District 20: Shawn Kumagai
  • Assembly District 21: James Coleman
  • Assembly District 22: Jessica Self
  • Assembly District 23: Marc Berman
  • Assembly District 24: Alex Lee
  • Assembly District 25: Ash Kalra
  • Assembly District 26: Evan Low
  • Assembly District 27: Esmeralda Soria
  • Assembly District 28: Gail Pellerin
  • Assembly District 29: Robert Rivas
  • Assembly District 30: Dawn Addis
  • Assembly District 35: Leticia Perez
  • Assembly District 37: Gregg Hart
  • Assembly District 38: Steve Bennett
  • Assembly District 39: Andrea Rosenthal
  • Assembly District 41: Chris Holden
  • Assembly District 42: Jacqui Irwin
  • Assembly District 43: Luz Rivas
  • Assembly District 44: Laura Friedman
  • Assembly District 46: Jesse Gabriel
  • Assembly District 47: Christy Holstege
  • Assembly District 49: Mike Fong
  • Assembly District 50: Eloise Gómez Reyes
  • Assembly District 51: Rick Chavez Zbur
  • Assembly District 52: Wendy Carrillo
  • Assembly District 54: Miguel Santiago
  • Assembly District 55: Isaac Bryan
  • Assembly District 56: Lisa Calderon
  • Assembly District 57: Reggie Jones-Sawyer
  • Assembly District 58: Sabrina Cervantes
  • Assembly District 60: Corey Jackson
  • Assembly District 61: Tina McKinnor
  • *SPECIAL ELECTION* Assembly District 62: Tina McKinnor
  • Assembly District 62: Anthony Rendon
  • Assembly District 63: Fauzia Rizvi
  • Assembly District 64: Elizabeth Alcantar
  • Assembly District 65: Mike Gipson
  • Assembly District 66: Al Muratsuchi
  • Assembly District 69: Josh Lowenthal
  • Assembly District 70: Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen
  • Assembly District 74: Chris Duncan
  • Assembly District 76: Brian Maienschein
  • Assembly District 78: Chris Ward
  • Assembly District 79: Akilah Weber
  • Assembly District 80: Georgette Gómez
  • *SPECIAL ELECTION* Assembly District 80: Georgette Gómez

LGBTQ+ candidates in other local election races:

  • Alameda County Board of Supervisors, District 3 : Rebecca Kaplan
  • Anaheim Union High School District, TA 1: Billie Joe Wright
  • Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, District 4: Ken Carlson
  • Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder: Devin Murphy
  • Covina City Clerk: Drew Aleman
  • El Cerrito City Council: Carolyn Wysinger
  • Fresno City Council, District 1: Annalisa Perea
  • Hart Union High School District, TA 2: Andrew Taban
  • Monrovia City Council: Sashary Zaroyan 
  • Monterey City Council, District 1: Thomas Wong
  • Palm Springs City Council, District 3: Ron deHarte
  • Pasadena City Council, District 7: Jason Lyon
  • Pasadena Community College Board of Trustees, District 7: Alton Wang
  • Riverside County Board of Education, TA 2: Dr. Eric J. Mooney
  • Sacramento City Council, District 1: Nate Pelczar 
  • San Diego City Council, District 2: Dr. Jen Campbell
  • San Dimas City Council, District 2: Eric Nakano
  • San Francisco County Board of Supervisors, District 8: Rafael Mandelman
  • San Jose City Council, District 3: Omar Torres
  • San Leandro City Council, District 1: Celina Reynes
  • San Leandro Unified School District Board of Trustees, Area 2: James Aguilar
  • San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, District 3: Laura Parmer-Lohan
  • Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, District 4: Jimmy Dutra
  • Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools: Dr. Amie Carter
  • Sunnyvale City Council, District 5: Richard Mehlinger
  • Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education: John Fox
  • West Basin Municipal Water District Director, Division IV: Scott Houston
Continue Reading
Advertisement
FUND LGBTQ JOURNALISM
SIGN UP FOR E-BLAST

Editor's Letter

Supporting the community, Transgender Awareness Week 2022

This week, let us rededicate ourselves to committing to supporting our trans siblings making sure their voices are heard & shared

Published

on

Underlying images of Trans activists Landon Richie and Rosalynn Montoya courtesy of Richie/Montoya

LOS ANGELES – Transgender Awareness Week, observed November 13 to November 19, is a one-week celebration leading up to the annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), November 20, which memorializes victims of transphobic violence.

It must, however, represent more than just a journalistic or even an activist/advocacy organization’s effort to support and sustain the trans, queer, gender non-binary or gender non-conforming global community. This week needs to be so much more than perfunctory acknowledgement of this misaligned and persecuted segment of humanity.

This week, this publication and others in queer and mainstream media must tell the stories outlining the very humanity of trans people and urge others to celebrate the diversity and the impact of the significant contributions that trans people make for the betterment of all globally.

Trans people are human- period, or “full stop.” Look at the incredible contributions that trans people make to enhance the lives of humanity on this planet that we all share. Just a short list of a few examples:

Dr. Rachel Levine, Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service and the 17th Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Levin has spent her entire career as a physician focused on the opioid crisis, adolescent medicine, eating disorders, and LGBTQ medicine.

Laverne Cox, actress, model, and LGBTQ+ equality rights activist. One of the most well-known trans actors and Black transgender celebrities, Cox has ‘kept it real’ as demonstrated by her words and public advocacy serving as a role model for youth.

Patricio Manuel, boxer and champion athlete. Manuel long struggled with his gender identity, rejecting the many ways society and his family forced him to live as a girl and in the end he overcame his gender dysphoria.

Elle Hearns, a transgender rights activist and the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement. Elle serves as a visible reminder of the power of advocacy at a grass-roots level.

Abel Liu, an accomplished student at the University of Virginia who is an Echols Scholar as well as a Truman Scholar. Abel is the first openly transgender and first Chinese-American student to be elected as Student Council president at a major institution of higher education.

Sarah McBride, Sarah was just reelected as Delaware’s Senator from the First State Senate District. She’s spent her life fighting for dignity, equality, and a level playing field for everyone as human beings.

These are just but a few limited choices of the literal tens of thousands of noteworthy Trans people whose lives and talents enrich this nation and globally making a difference every single day. Trans people are sheriffs, EMTs, firefighters, pilots, teachers, comedians; they are parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, sons and daughters. Every single one a vital part of the whole.

Here on the staff of the Los Angeles Blade, journalist Dawn Ennis and LA Blade columnist and political analyst Brynn Tannehill lend their voices reporting and commenting on issues that impact all of us.

The bottom line is that without the contributions of transgender people, there would be a gap, a virtual emptiness in the rich diversity of humanity if you will. This week we need to celebrate, uplift, and yes, also mourn the lives of trans people lost to murder or suicide because of the promise that might have been.

We must fight against those who work to strip trans people of their dignity and their very right to exist. These last few years has seen a litany, a plethora of legislative efforts to erase trans rights from healthcare, sports, and even banning books that dare to mention trans people.

This week, let us rededicate ourselves to committing to supporting our trans siblings, making sure their voices are heard and shared. Trans rights ARE human rights.

*********************

Troy Masters is publisher and Brody Levesque is editor of the Los Angeles Blade

Continue Reading

Editor's Letter

The Los Angeles Blade welcomes diversity reporter Simha Haddad

Haddad joins the Blade as a Diversity Reporter under the State of California Ethnic Media Outreach Grant for queer AAPI writers

Published

on

Courtesy of Simha Haddad

LOS ANGELES – The publisher, editor and staff of the Los Angeles Blade welcomes author and journalist, Simha Haddad, to the Blade as its new Diversity Reporter.

Haddad, an Out pansexual writer of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) heritage has deep roots in the LGBTQIA+ community. She currently writes for several blogs and publications and contributes to various podcasts, all centered around queer and feminist topics. She is also the author of a YA queer fiction novel called, Somewhere on This Rainbow.

Haddad joins the Blade staff as a Diversity Reporter under the State of California Ethnic Media Outreach Grant for queer AAPI writers. The grant supports public awareness of the efforts of the California state Stop the Hate Program administered by the Calif. Dept. of Social Services (CDSS), which provides support and services to victims and survivors of hate incidents and hate crimes and facilitates hate incidents or hate crime prevention measures.

Haddad’s reporting will include coverage of the following issues and areas:

  • LGBTQIA Arts and cultural work
  • LGBTQIA Youth development
  • LGBTQIA Senior safety programs,
  • Safety planning training; and cross-racial alliance work
  • Stories on outreach, activism, education and training
  • Coverage of restorative justice
  • Spotlights on local government and community non-profit Stop the Hate programming
  • History of the Asian community in Los Angeles and California
  • Politics
  • HIV/STD Prevention efforts, programs and activities

Haddad, under the guidance of the Blade’s editorial team, will research and write long-form articles on compelling stories centered around queer AAPI subjects. The goal of these articles is to culturally educate, increase exposure, and create empathy around queer AAPI struggles, including prejudice, disease, and hate crimes. 

Haddad will also be working closely with the Blade’s publisher to create diverse and inclusive events to continue to spread the message and accomplish the goal of the Stop the Hate Initiative. 

Once a week Haddad will be also produce a video roundup of each week’s top headlines to be shared on various social media pages and platforms. This roundup will include all news from the Blade and will help spread its outreach even further. 

************************

Author and journalist, Simha Haddad, links:

Website

Instagram

LinkedIn

************************

Troy Masters is the publisher of the Los Angeles Blade and Brody Levesque is editor.

Continue Reading

Editor's Letter

Hate on full display in Los Angeles. This is NOT acceptable period!

The ‘Goyim Defense League’ headed by Minadeo dropped vile banners over the busy 405 freeway in Los Angeles Saturday

Published

on

Hate group displays vile messaging over the 405 freeway Saturday, Oct 22, 2022 (Photo Credit: StopAntisemitism/Twitter)

LOS ANGELES – Yesterday a group of white neo-Nazi white supremacists led by the hate speech purveyor Jon Minadeo II, a person who was arrested for vile displays of antisemitism at the Auschwitz concentration camp museum memorial in Oświęcim, Poland just this past summer, has now brought his hate and racism to LA.

The ‘Goyim Defense League’ headed by Minadeo dropped vile banners over the busy 405 freeway in Los Angeles Saturday.

Minadeo and his band of hate mongers were acting in “support” of Rapper Kanye West, also known as Ye.

West has engaged in several hateful intolerant rants on podcasts and social media posts in which he has made comments about supposed Jewish people’s collective power and control.

In West’s recent appearance on the Drink Champs Podcast, he blamed “Jewish Zionists” for the reports that his ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her then-boyfriend Pete Davidson had sexual intercourse next to a fireplace, claimed that “Jewish people have owned the black voice,” and described Disney as a Jewish platform.

In the same Drink Champs podcast, which was removed from Youtube, West also claimed that Jewish people “came into money through the lawyers” divorcing Christians because Catholics refused to do so.

This newspaper strongly condemns Minadeo’s actions along with members of his white supremacist group ‘Goyim Defense League.’ As is with transphobia, homophobia and xenophobia, racist hate has no place in a civil society and most assuredly cannot be tolerated. Angelenos and their elected officials must work harder to stop this incessant flow of absolute garbage that infects out Southern California home.

Like the most recent examples of West’s remarks coupled with the horrible racism and scandal on the City Council of Los Angeles, which this newspaper has also strongly condemned, this yet another reason this type of hate must be condemned, countered, and answered with messages of tolerance and acceptance celebrating the diversity among the human species- not attacking the differences.

The Los Angeles Times on Sunday published: More antisemitic hate seen in L.A. after Kanye West’s remarks– Fears that antisemitic remarks by Kanye West would spur additional bigotry came to fruition in Los Angeles on Saturday when a well-known hate group held a demonstration in support of the rapper on a 405 Freeway overpass.

Demonstrators gave Nazi salutes as they stood behind a large banner that read, “Kanye is right about the Jews,” according to images collected by antidiscrimination organizations and Jewish residents appalled by the group’s message.

The following thread documents this display of ignorance and depravity:

*********************

Troy Masters is publisher and Brody Levesque is editor of the Los Angeles Blade

Continue Reading

Editor's Letter

The Washington Blade names its new White House correspondent

Kane, an experienced Capitol Hill reporter has freelanced for the Los Angeles Blade and the Washington Blade since 2018

Published

on

Chris Kane chats with Vice President Kamala Harris at a recent reception. (Courtesy of Chris Kane)

WASHINGTON – The Washington Blade this week announced it has hired a new White House reporter, following the resignation of longtime staffer Chris Johnson.

Christopher Kane, an experienced Capitol Hill reporter who has freelanced for the Los Angeles Blade and the Washington Blade since 2018, has been named the new White House correspondent for the D.C. Blade.

“We thank Chris Johnson for his nearly 15 years of service in the White House briefing room,” said Blade editor Kevin Naff. “And we’re thrilled to announce our new staff member, Chris Kane, who will ably fill those shoes and take our important coverage to the next level.”

In addition to covering the White House and attending the press briefings, the Blade reporter has served in the president’s pool rotation and as the Blade’s representative to the White House Correspondents’ Association. The Blade is the only LGBTQ media outlet in those roles.

“Our coverage of presidential administrations — friendly and otherwise — is a critical and unique tool in holding our elected officials accountable to their LGBTQ constituents,” Naff added.

Kane expressed enthusiasm for his new role.

“It is an honor and a privilege to represent the Washington Blade in this role covering the White House and Congress,” Kane said. “I look forward to serving our readers with hard-hitting, responsible, and impactful stories about what’s happening here in Washington and beyond.” 

Kane graduated from the University of North Carolina, Asheville, with a degree in communications. He has worked as a reporter for Modern Healthcare covering the Hill and issues of health equity and at Acuris covering the Justice Department and FTC. As a Blade freelancer for four years, Kane covered national elections and policy issues related to immigration, education, housing, and criminal justice.

He starts his new position on Nov. 7.  

Follow Chris Kane on Twitter: @chris_kane_

Continue Reading

Editor's Letter

Editorial: Nury Martinez, Kevin de León, & Gil Cedillo need to resign

This has damaged the very dignity of serving the public by cheapening it to a hypocritical and frankly jaded political ploy

Published

on

LOS ANGELES – Although Nury Martinez has resigned as the president of the Los Angeles City Council and councilmembers de León and Cedillo have expressed regret and apologized for the vulgar, crass, and frankly racist-tinged homophobic comments made last year, in the audio reported on Sunday by the Los Angeles Times, the reality is that all three of them need to resign and leave city government completely.

In this era of hyper-charged often hate filled political rhetoric, notably by many associated with former President Donald Trump and his followers, the last thing that a progressive city like Los Angeles needs is that type of backbiting-stabbing snark from alleged progressive leadership.

This is about more than just shared values- no, it is also about trust and commitment to constituents that crosses party and ideological lines. Attacking a child is simply unacceptable and inexcusable period but, when you couple that with implied homophobic slurring of that Black child’s parents, questioning their ability to be parents because their child is simply being a child?

Beyond the racist defining of that child, which in and of itself is inexcusable, how can these so called elected officials expect to engender the trust of their constituents going forward? There will always remain the looming “elephant-in-the-room” as to whether there are elements of insincerity that will always be present in everyone’s mind when dealing with these officials or taking any of their statements on face value in the future.

This has damaged the very dignity of serving the public by cheapening it to a hypocritical and frankly jaded political ploy in their naked self-interests and maintaining their political power and base.

On this day, Indigenous Peoples Day in California, it is especially shocking to be forced to call for this action. However, it is the opinion of this newspaper that to best serve the interests of the diversity of the communities of Angelenos who call this city home, especially the Black community and the LGBTQ+ community who are also parents, that these three politicos depart immediately.

Continue Reading

Editor's Letter

Emergency without Urgency, the Monkeypox outbreak fiasco

We need Monkeypox vaccine TODAY, not next week. We need our community clinics to be covered fully and IMMEDIATELY be reimbursed by Medi-Cal

Published

on

DHCS Director Michelle Baass (Photo Credit: State of California)

LOS ANGELES – One of the most significant legacies of the HIV and AIDS crisis is the establishment of robust LGBTQ+ community based health organizations that not only advocate for our community but which also provide care.

These clinics are indeed the legacy of generations of community members lost to AIDS and have become the healthcare backbone of our LGBTQ+ community. They play a substantial role in promoting successful HIV and STD prevention and during the vaccination efforts against Covid played a crucial role in ensuring our community was safer. 

Los Angeles is particularly blessed with a large number of them.  Between the LA LGBT Center, APLA, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, St. John’s Wellness and other AIDS healthcare service providers, there are literally dozens of clinics throughout the County. As the AIDS pandemic evolved, these clinics repurposed, maintaining their role in providing both basic and specialty healthcare for the LGBTQ community. They are comparable in quality to more mainstream community healthcare providers.

For a new scourge faced by our community, Monkeypox, one would think the expertise of these clinics would be immediately called upon and activated as an inoculation center for the vaccine. However, the fact they weren’t being engaged was evident early on. 

The LA County Department of Public Health, (LACDPH) rightly or wrongly, responded as soon as vaccine was made available to them by opening its own clinics to the community and putting shots into arms.  Demand was strong.

It seemed reasonable at first that their locations, though remote from the traditional centers of our community, should begin immediately but, it was hoped, with a plan to engage more partners.  That did not happen quickly enough for a variety of reasons and concerns immediately emerged.

On July 27, as publisher of this newspaper, alarmed by a then seemingly nascent health crisis on the precipice of exploding virally in the MSM community, I hosted a Town Hall bringing together the LA County Department of Public Health, representatives of the three largest networks of LGBTQ+ healthcare providers, a former Monkeypox patient, researchers and advocates. 

One of the objectives of that town hall was to highlight to our government’s healthcare leadership the importance of involving the world’s most robust networks of LGBTQ+ clinics in the dispensing of monkeypox vaccines.

Cases since that Town Hall have more than doubled in Los Angeles and also nationally.

And frustration has grown exponentially, largely due to the supply’s rapid depletion..

While many excellent strategies were deployed by LACDPH to engage other partners, precious little vaccines were ever provided to the community clinics represented at the Town Hall. The LA LGBT Center’s clinic received less than 2000 doses; AIDS Health Foundation received approximately 1000 doses and others like APLA also received similar scant inventory.

While the outrage can be answered in part by a lack of available vaccines, it’s an issue that can be squarely blamed on President Biden’s CDC and FDA-  it’s simply outrageous that the vaccine rollout has been so badly handled by the Federal government. But on a local level there are indications that even if federal distribution and supply chain issues got fixed, our community clinics would still be underutilized or perhaps unable to be utilized at all.

Michelle Baass, Director of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to oversee the health of about 14 million Californians on Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, has decided that the LGBTQ+ Clinics do not qualify for reimbursement if they administer Monkeypox vaccine without pass-through funding from the federal government which potentially could take many months to even occur.

You heard that right.

The institutions we built, the conveniently located clinics we are familiar with are being defunded.

You might ask, “how is that defunding?”

Without Medi Cal reimbursement, the financial strain on our clinics is enormous- the Los Angeles LGBT Center has already warned they are experiencing significant financial stress as a and have turned to the community for donations so they can continue inoculations when vaccines become available again.

It’s not clear when that will be.

Aaron Fox at the LA LGBT Center put it best when he told the Blade’s Brody Levesque “Our community cannot wait for DHCS and CMS to continue talking. We must take action on this yesterday and we are in a Public Health crisis and government bureaucracy and inaction is unacceptable and will only result in increased suffering in our community.” 

Fox added that his perception of the government response is that while the Biden-Administration and California have declared a Public Health Emergency, in terms of immediate action taken thus far it is little more than saying, “oh look there’s a house on fire,” but neglecting to dial 911 and get the fire dept rolling.

It’s a sleight we do not deserve, particularly not from administrations like Gavin Newsom and Joe Biden whom we view as reliable allies.

On behalf of the Blade and our LGBTQ+ community,  I call on all involved parties to correct this situation immediately.

Major East Coast cities such as New York have had robust and successful vaccination efforts that have reached many times more arms than in Los Angeles. Why should a city the size of Boston or Washington DC have been prioritized over Los Angeles or California? 

We need a supply of Monkeypox vaccine TODAY, not next week. We need our community clinics to be covered fully and IMMEDIATELY be reimbursed by Medi-Cal.

Most of our community clinics are also still hyper-stressed financially because the State of California has failed to reimburse them for their work inoculating people against Covid.

Our community needs our allies to prove again why we can trust them:  it’s very disconcerting to be treated so shodily after 40 years of AIDS and 3 years of Covid. 

It’s also extremely disconcerting that after our leaders and this newspaper fought so hard to get California’s Department of Health to include LGBTQ+ data in healthcare collection around Covid-19 that it came to nothing when a new epidemic emerged.

Get it together, Michelle Baass, or leave.

Monkeypox must be treated as an emergency that DOES requires a great deal of urgency

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Advertisement

Follow Us @LosAngelesBlade

Advertisement

Popular