Monday, March 31, 2014

never about grapes or lettuce

Diego Luna did a marvelous job directing a just released film about the life of American labor leader César Chávez, who cofounded the United Farm Workers. You may have already seen the movie - if not, I urge you to. I also urge you to learn more about this man whom many will be honoring today.

Cesar Chavez's birthday (today), is a state holiday here in California, and also in Colorado and Texas. Even thought it is not a federal holiday, President Barack Obama proclaimed today as Cesar Chavez Day in the United States, urging us to "observe this day with appropriate service, community, and educational programs to honor César Chávez's enduring legacy."

Chavez was one of those people I write about here every day - he was someone who made a difference - he was someone who gave back! He used nonviolent means to bring attention to the plight of farm workers, leading marches, calling for boycotts and going on a number of hunger strikes. Chavez also brought awareness to the dangers of pesticides to the health of farm workers. He is quoted as saying "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
 
Making the difference in the lives of so many people, it is fitting and proper that we honor him today.  What an excellent time also to find out more about him and to build on his leadership and make a difference ourselves.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Preference?

Do you like each of these ice-cream flavors equally?  Most, I suspect, will enjoy the one in the center back more and any other, while for me it's the one in the center front: strawberry.  Yum!  Why am I talking about ice-cream though?  Well it's to say the same thing I have said many times here (even using ice-cream once before to help explain).  Being gay or bisexual is NOT a matter of preference.  A very nice gentleman was talking yesterday and kept saying  "your sexual preference."
 
I would suspect that while you might enjoy chocolate more, an occasional vanilla or strawberry, or even a nice mint ice-cream would still make you smile.  Now, for those of you who are gay and reading this, do you find yourself frequently attracted to the opposite gender?  Do you act on that attraction?  Well, if the answer is yes, than you likely aren't really gay.  Our sexual orientation is a bit more complicated than a casual "shall I be with a man today, or with a woman?"
 
Now, in this very blog I once wrote when it comes to dating men or dating women, this is NOT a preference matter.  I do not simply like one better than the other.  Oh no!  I am ONLY attracted in a sexual and in a romantic way to men.  I am gay.  It is my orientation, NOT my preference.  It's also not a lifestyle choice.  You don't wake up one morning and say "I'm going to wear the gay outfit today."  I stand by my earlier words!
 
He seemed like a nice guy and I don't think he meant anything bad at all, but people have to start learning that being gay is not a lifestyle choice and it isn't a preference.  I wish I had corrected him at the time.  Please help me spread the word!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Who inspires you?

Just a few months before she died, I was helping my mother setup a new password for her television and telephone service and the service agent wanted as a hint (in case the password was forgotten), the name of Mom's hero.  Without hesitation Mom said "Dad."  Yes, my grandfather inspired me in many ways, but it was so nice to hear Mom call him her hero.
 
What about you though - do you have a hero?  Is there someone in your life who inspires you?  When I think of people who inspire me personally, they are not always people I have actually met.  Yes, it can be a relative or friend or co-worker, but we can be inspired by strangers too.  A guy I have written about many times here is one person who inspires me.  There are celebrities too and people long gone.
 
It is such a blessing to have people who inspire you.  The number isn't important.  It might be one person or it could be several.  The significance is that they inspire you.  Do you have such a person in your life?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

We've come a long way

If you are over the age of thirteen, you can remember the days when marriage equality did not exist anywhere in the world.  We've come a long way since then.  It has been a slow process but minds are changing and more and more people are realizing that all people should have the same fair and equal treatment.

In 2001, The Netherlands became the first country in the world to allow for same-sex couples to legally wed. Two years later, Belgium and two Canadian provinces (Ontario and British Columbia)joined them. It wasn't until 2004 that gay couples could marry in the United States. San Francisco go the ball rolling with the winter of love. Massachusetts had already passed a law and it was just a matter of months before same-sex marriages began there.
 
Across the United States, seventeen states and the District of Columbia have marriage equality now.  Only positive results have come from these new laws - 38 percent of Americans will live in states where same-sex marriage is legal and the world continues to spin.  Yes, equality actually makes people happier.  Only 17 of 50 still is a very low number. 
 
When will everyone see equal treatment under the law?  What do YOU think?  Get involved!  You really can make a difference.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mom's year's mind

It's been a year since Mom died and I miss her as much today as I did that night.  Later on today I will be going to visit her final resting place, which I don't get to as often as I would like.  It's a beautiful area which Mom always enjoyed seeing in the months before her death.  Of course I can think of her and feel close to her, not only there, but everywhere I go - especially when there is someone around that she knew, or if there is a teddy bear.
 
My role model for making a difference in the world, for giving back to community, was Mom.  She did it in the way she raised my sister and I and the way she cared for the sick in her work as a nurse and in her volunteer time at her church and at school and then many things she did.  She gave back too by always being pleasant and smiling.  I still see her smile in my mind every day.
 
A few years ago Mom did something that I think is pretty incredible.  She gave me an envelope with a small attached package.  "Don't open this until after I am gone" it said on the envelope.  I followed her instructions and kept it hidden away until a few days after she passed away.  My sister had gotten a similar package and envelope.  We both remembered the packages and (separately) opened them up a night or two after Mom died.  Wrapped in white tissue paper was a book titled "This Too Shall Pass" about dealing with death and other difficult moments in life.  The attached note said I had been the best son a mother could have.  It said she hoped the book would help and then wished me a good life.  "We'll be together again someday" was how she closed.
 
On Mom's year's mind, I think back to that night at Seton Coastside and thank God for the best sister a guy could possible have, who was there with me that difficult night, and thanks too for the wonderful friends who offered comfort and support and who continue to.  I think too of Mom of course, who gave me life and taught me how to live.  Mom made a huge difference.  Thanks be to God!

Monday, March 24, 2014

the beauty of fog

Almost every morning, I start the day by taking a walk.  It is so refreshing to begin with exercise and to see the city as it wakes up.  Of course San Francisco takes longer in some neighborhoods to wake up than in others.  It's the fog that seems to make a difference - that lovely fog.
 
Now I know there are those who curse the fog.  I can make things a bit chilly and it certainly obscures your view.  I might even agree that it is a nuisance if it is delaying my plane from takeoff or landing or if it is blocking my view of a fireworks display.
 
San Francisco has many charms.  I happen to think fog is one of them.  Of course some folks say I can find beauty anywhere.  Why not?  The more wonder we see, the more enjoyment we have!  Give that fog another chance.  It really can be beautiful!

Friday, March 21, 2014

how we paint it is up to us

For a number of years now I have profiled people and organizations who give back and really make a difference in our world and, when not doing that, have made suggestions about other ways we ALL can give back.  Occasionally I get a bit ahead of myself and start doing multiple things at the same time.  (Currently I am involved in several fundraisers for example, and might not be giving fair attention to them all).  It is easy to spread yourself too thin.  It is also easy for some folks to sit and do nothing.  There is a halfway point though!
 
What we do in life is up to us.  We are given this broad canvas on which to paint, but the picture isn't known right away.  Some of us might paint many pictures during our lifetime.  We might get involved in many different things.  Some of us will do less.  Sadly, there will be some who do virtually nothing at all.  The significant thing here is that how we paint, is up to us. 
 
So, take that canvas, and make something really beautiful!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring has sprung!

Growing up back east where winter was sometimes severe and it seemed like the snow was going to last forever, I always looked forward to springtime.  I can remember going to church on Easter Day and seeing beautiful potted hyacinths lining the walkway to the church.  If the weather had been nice and the snow was gone, there might even be some flowers growing in the garden and the grass might be green and pretty.  Some years it would still be cold on Easter and there might even still be snow, but the hyacinths would still be there to herald spring.
 
Living in San Francisco I don't see large changes in the weather and so the fact that today is the first day of spring might now seem like a big deal, but it is.  Spring is newness.  Spring is rebirth.  Spring always offers hope.  Looking at beautiful flowers today will most certainly remind me of all the good there is and all the good that is yet to come and that is always a big deal.  For my friends back east who have endured a pretty harsh winter, it might even be a bigger deal!
 
Yes, spring is here.  Let us be happy.  Let us go forward making each day a little better than the one before, both for ourselves and for all those around us.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Who else inspires you?

I'd love to see some of you respond to yesterday's post.  I made a few statements here, but I certainly don't have all the answers!  If you were to make that list, who would you put on it?  Seriously.  Give it some thought and then share with us in the comments section below.
 
It might be easy to say that your fifth grade teacher or someone you work with inspires you.  Perhaps you are inspired by a famous athlete or entertainer or politician.   Someone in your family might inspire you, like Mom or Dad or that special aunt.  Who else inspires you though?  Maybe just the little things that someone does can inspire others.  It doesn't always have to be huge. 
 
Okay, so we are finding people who inspire us.  Do we ever inspire others though?  Should we?  Do you want to live a life that others will find inspiring?  I'd love to hear your comments on that too!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

This precious earth

I can remember a public service announcement when I was young that showed people driving around littering the highways. Meanwhile a Native American is seen paddling ashore and walking through the trash. As more garbage is thrown at his feet, he turns his head in the direction of the camera and you see a tear coming down his cheek. People caused pollution then and they still do today.

It isn’t just littering and polluting that I am talking about. There seems to be a lack of care about this planet of ours by many. I am not a native of San Francisco, but I have lived here much of my life and I really care about the quality of live here. There is much history that has come before me and it seems only right to respect that history. I do not have the right to desecrate the parks, streets, hills, streams, neighborhoods, and the land that others have called home. It is not just a hunk of land – there are memories that are precious to others, even if not to me. We all need to be stewards of this planet – of our neighborhoods and all the areas that connect them.

The words below are from a very wise man. They are part of Chief Seattle’s response to the Government’s offer to purchase the remaining Seattle Land. The chief began by saying they would ponder the proposition and let the government know. Then he went on to say “Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch. Our departed braves, fond mothers, glad, happy hearted maidens, and even the little children who lived here and rejoiced here for a brief season, will love these somber solitudes and at eventide they greet shadowy returning spirits.”

Let’s all renew our care for this fragile planet we call home. If we start thinking of how precious this earth is to others, hopefully it will become more precious to each of us.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Just a cashier

If someone says "she is just a cashier," that's insulting.  (I used to hear "just a secretary" a lot, but the term "assistant" now usually takes the place of secretary).  Every single honest endeavor is important and there is no "just" about it.  Some folks try to make themselves more important but putting others down, but that is just plain wrong.

Lately I have noticed the cashiers in supermarkets and drugstores becoming the victims of this sort of bashing.  It doesn't stop there either.  Often customers treat these service employees so badly that you would think manners had been thrown out the window.

Consider this:  the cashier generally counts your change into your hand, but how many of you hand that cash payment directly to him or her?  All too often the money is just tossed on the counter often with many coins included.  The transaction would be so much faster (and more courtesy would be shown toward the cashier) it that same money had been placed in the cashier's hand.

If the cashier smiles at you and says hello, don't assume they have some hidden motive.  Perhaps they are just being polite.  Oh and when the cashier asks if you want a bag, it is because we are trying to save the earth and not use bags as much as we did.  Instead of immediately placing every purchase in a bag, it is hoped that many customers will bring their own reusable bag or will simply carry their purchase in their hands.

Cashiers are people doing a job.  Treat them in the same manner you would like them to treat you.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The purpose of life

What is the purpose of life? Why are we here?  How should we act?  Should we be ruthless and dishonest and claw our way past others to get the biggest piece of the pie?  What are we expected to do during our lifetime?

You probably already know my answer to the above questions.   I think we are all here to each make a difference for the better. We all should contribute to the common good, but that's just my opinion. 

It would seem that the great essayist, lecturer, and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson agreed. It was he who said “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
 
What do YOU think is the purpose of life?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Toan has another story to tell

Go Inspire Go is such a wonderful organization that I have written about it often here.  Last year their Chief Inspirator Toan Lam had this crazy idea of spotlighting 50 heroes in 50 states, and after a successful fundraising, they set off to do just that.  I have told you here about the results too and I am happily watching for each new development, which I hope you will enjoy and get something from. 
 
Their first hero in the 50 stories in 50 states campaign was 16-year-old  Matthew Kaplan, founder of The Be O.N.E. Project, a life-changing program he started for middle school students in Arizona to stop bullying behavior before it even begins.  Next came a truly incredible story as Tony Tolbert, a UCLA lecturer and attorney loaned his house out to a homeless family of five for a year.  A twelve-year-old, Thomas Ponce, is an animal rights activist in Florida with a special gift of inspiring people, and he became the third 50-50 profile. 
 
If you haven't seen these first three stories yet, or this is the first time you are hearing about Go Inspire Go, I urge you to head to their website where you can not only find links to all the videos, but also find out more about them.  You can get involved too.  At the end of each video you will find ways to do something.  There is also the very easy option of spreading the word and letting others know about them.  Of course you can also donate money.  There website is at http://www.goinspirego.com/
 
Toan has another story to tell of course.  Many more!  Just recently posted though is the latest 50-50 tale and this one will change the way you think about hip-hop. Toan and crew traveled to New York City for an inspiring story of how hip-hop is saving lives and creating humanitarians.  I know you are going to be moved by this one!  Click HERE to view 50-50 story number five.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Too Big

The whole task - the "making change in the world" idea - some may just shrug their shoulders and say "It's too big"! How often have we heard that? There is so much to do. How can one person make a difference? With that "it's too big" attitude, we are counting ourselves out even before we begin. It's the little things though that really can make a difference. Certainly we can all do some little thing! 

It was Mother Teresa who said "If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." She certainly got that one right!

Don't worry if you don't have tons of time or tons of money. Give what you are able to give. That's the key.  If we each give back something - anything, it really will make a difference! Give a few minutes of your time. Put a sign up in your window. Donate cash or clothing.

In the familiar Bible story of the loaves and fishes feeding the five thousand, we always assume that Jesus created more food. What if it was a different kind of miracle? What if Jesus made us do the work that he knew were capable of doing? If some of the people had brought food with them, even if just a tiny snack, then they could have combined that and everyone could have been fed. Now I know some of you might not like me suggesting that a popular Scripture happened a little differently than we have always thought, but consider it for a moment. The crowd was too big to be fed by the small amount of food they knew they had. Jesus was not worried at all though. Very much the same as now. We ask God for more food or more money or a better job. Perhaps when we achieve these things it is because he led us to our own accomplishment.

If we all do a little - if we all do what we can, it will make a difference. Nothing is too big when everyone pitches in!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Theodor Seuss Geisel left a huge mark on this world of ours and I could easily write here about the 46 children's books he penned as Dr Seuss, but today's post actually only references one of his books, which was given to a very loved daughter.  I just heard the story of a girl who was given a priceless gift at her high school graduation.
 
Imagine being a teenager and having your father give you a copy of the Seuss book Oh, the Places You'll Go!  That is exactly what happened to this lucky young lady who smiled open receiving it, but soon had tears in her eyes.  When she opened the book she found something unique.  There was a note from her kindergarten teacher.  That's not all though.  The book was filled with notes!
 
It seems this father had planned this for a long time and every year he got the teachers and coaches and principals to write a little something in the book he would be giving to his daughter.  A thirteen year labor of love that really made an impact!  It's like reading an old yearbook, but better.  Thoughts from all of your past teachers - imagine that. 
 
When I heard about this I had tears in my eyes.  What a lucky girl to have such a loving father.  What a wonderful way to make a difference in someone's life too!


Monday, March 10, 2014

About Stephen

Let me tell you today about an inspiring British teenager.  His name is Stephen Sutton and he has cancer that doctors say is incurable.  Stephen didn't retreat to his bedroom and throw himself a pity-party though.  He decided to raise money to fight the disease so that even if he lost his life, eventually others might be saved.  Along the way Stephen has decided to enjoy life as much as possible.
 
Last year he started a facebook page where 16,000 people follow him.  Pretty incredible, huh?  He decided to share his story there with the whole world.  His story is a sad one to be sure.  One of the things he wrote early on though is that "this is not a sob story, this is Stephen’s Story."
 
His birth and early years were very much the same as any other British male these days.  Stephen had friends and had fun.  He went to school and studied hard and had a goal of becoming a physician.  It wasn't until he was fifteen that his world changed so dramatically.  Cancer was diagnosed, but not to worry.  It's treatable.  A few years later, he found out that he still had it and it was not going away.  That's a very simplified version and I apologize for not going in to greater detail.  There simply isn't space here.
 
I mentioned that Stephen is on facebook, well he is also on twitter and youtube and he has a website and he is very connected.  He tells his story well and as he enjoys whatever time he has left, he encourages others in a way I have never before seen.  Click HERE to watch him tell his entire story.  I have to warn you - have a box of tissues ready!
 
How wonderful it would be if the whole world had a spirit like Stephen's!  To find out more about this remarkable young man, I invite you to visit his website at http://stephensstory.co.uk/

Friday, March 7, 2014

what goes on here

If you just stumbled across It's NOT about me for the first time, let me take a moment to explain.  This blog is about making a difference in the world and it contains stories of hometown heroes who give back and do good things and also has suggestions and ideas for how we ALL can make a difference.  This is a positive energy place and I continue to be excited day after day and year after year. 
 
To say that it is NOT about me might be a little misleading - possibly suggesting that I don't need to one of those giving back.  The title came about to make it clear that I wouldn't be telling stories about my vacation or sharing recipes or bringing you news about how may day went at work.  In that sense, this blog is not about me.  Because we all should be part of the goodness of our world, it of course IS about me, and in fact is about ALL of us!  (Perhaps I should have called it It's not ONLY about me).
 
Anyway, I hope you will read what I write here regularly and I hope you will join in the conversation.  There was a time when many folks were leaving comments here, but that seems to have stopped.  Please feel free to add your own thoughts and suggestions.
 
What can we ALL do to make this a better world?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Classic Herb Caen

Herb who? That's what many of you are probably saying. The late newspaper columnist (who wrote for The San Francisco Chronicle and earlier for The San Francisco Examiner) was one of those folks who made a difference in this world. Herb Caen did a lot of that through his writing. Recently I  came across a column of his from April of 1991. It is just as timely as when originally written, and so I offer it to you today:

Scene: The Heavenly Real Estate Office. The Landlord is cheerily rounding up a covey of blazing comets that have skittered under Queen Casseopera's Chair. His business agent, Gabriel, enters, his Golden Trumpet in one hand and more reports from the tiny planet Earth in the other.


Landlord: (to the Comets) Come out from under there, you little scamps, before you set the whole galaxy on fire.

Gabriel: Excuse me sir. Another batch of prayergrams from your most devout Christians.

Landlord: (waving a hand) Whatever they want, Gabriel. Now where did those freaky devils get to?

Gabriel: Yes sir, they want you to evict ten percent of your tenants down there. (Raising his Golden Trumpet) I've never attempted a partial eviction. Shall I try?

Landlord: (looking up) What ten percent, Gabriel?

Gabriel: The gays, sir. Your devout Christians say they've done their utmost to keep them out of their schools, their offices, their churches, and their lives, but with little success. So their prayergrams ask you to remove them from the face of your Earth.

Landlord: To me Gabriel, that doesn't sound very Christian. I thought they were supposed to love their neighbors.

Gabriel: Oh they do sir, if their neighbors are of the same color, economic bracket, and sexual orientation.

Landlord: But what harm do these gay people do?

Gabriel: I'm afraid you're not seeing the big picture, sir. Gays simply don't fit into your grand design. You know, two by two, male and female? Generation after generation? The fact of the matter is that gays simply don't procreate.

Landlord: I thought there was enough procreation down there already.
Gabriel: And they commit unspeakable acts.

Landlord: Murder? Torture? Paving over my mountain meadows?

Gabriel: Unspeakable sexual acts, sir.

Landlord: Ah, you mean they express their love for each other in different ways.

Gabriel: (annoyed) Really sir! If these people were automobiles, they'd be recalled in a nonce. They're clearly defective.

Landlord: (frowning) Defective, Gabriel?

Gabriel: Exactly sir. Some essential part if missing; some vital drive is malfunctioning. Bungled wiring – a loose screw...who knows?
Landlord: But clearly they're examples of shoddy workmanship?

Gabriel: Oh definitely sir. And they certainly don't deserve to clutter up your little blue-green jewel of a planet a minute longer. (Raising his Golden Trumpet again) Shall I evict them now?

Landlord: (slowly) And who made these imperfect products, Gabriel?

Gabriel: Why you did of course, but. . .(he lowers his trumpet in sudden consternation) Good You sir. I didn't mean to blaspheme. You will forgive them then?

Landlord: (smiling) A wise philosopher said long ago Gabriel that if I made sinners, it is not I who should forgive them, but they who should forgive me.

Gabriel: Well, I'm sure the gays will be glad to hear of your tolerance and generosity, sir.

Landlord: The gays? I was talking about my most devout Christians.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

holding up half the sky

Chairman Mao Tse-tung once said "Women hold up half the sky."  Why then are women still underpaid, underemployed, underappreciated, and treated as second class citizens in so many places under this sky?  Why could the Equal Rights Amendment not be passed here in the United States?  Why do historical retrospectives pay more attention to the men of the past than the women? This is Women's History Month in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia and this Saturday is International Women's Day. 




Have you even heard of Harriet Tubman, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Lady Bird Johnson, Jeannette Rankin, Alice Paul, or Rebecca Latimer Felton? Do you know who Valentina Tereshkova, Sally Ride, Jeanne Marjorie Holm, or Amelia Earhart were? Do the names Sheila Kuehl, Annise Parker, Christine Kehoe, Tammy Baldwin or Cathy Connolly ring a bell? These women all made a difference by doing something well and by being among the first. History has indeed recorded them, but how many of us have taken the time to get to know them?
 
Authors, actors, singers - we tend to know them more, but even in fields that are front and center most of the time, how many wonderful women have come our way but been forgotten?  Using your computer, look up a few of the names I just mentioned or look for information on some of the entertainment greats like Lucille Ball, Alice Walker, Agatha Christie, Donna Reed, Phyllis Diller, and Irene Ryan.  The list really goes on and on.  Women's history is world history.  We can look all the way back to Eve.





This month, get to know the women of our past and get to know the issues too.  The discrimination that went on here in the United States used to be perfectly legal.  Women could not even vote in elections.  There are still parts of the world where outright discrimination of women in any form is legal.  Even here in the US it's a tough fight and, as I mentioned, the Equal Rights Amendment (a proposed amendment to the US Constitution, originally written by Alice Paul and designed to guarantee equal rights for women) was never ratified.





Equality has been a long fight for people of color, for gays and lesbians, for the transgender community, and most certainly for women.  During this Women's History Month, spend some time talking about this and do share your comments.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Let's eat Daddy

George Takei would say "Oh my!"  "Let's eat Daddy!"  Of course nobody has any interest in chowing down on their father.  There is a missing coma which changes the whole meaning.  We are actually suggesting to our father that it is time for a meal.  "Let's eat, Daddy!"

Right about now you are probably thinking that I have lost my mind, but hold tight dear readers.  I do have a point coming up.  Mom used to always refer to today as a command.  When you pronounce it, there is no difference of course.  The difference comes in the spelling.  We can all march forth on March Fourth.  The point of all of this my friends is that today is also National Grammar Day. Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar and the author of Things That Make Us [Sic], established National Grammar Day back in 2008, deciding that a date and an imperative was the perfect time for such an observance.
 
Good grammar is not just about proper placement of commas of course.  Good grammar can help us to be better understood.  That can be a key to our communication.
 
There is a historical connection to March 4th too.  That is the date on which our federal government used to begin and in fact our earlier presidents were inaugurated on March 4th. Today is also National Pancake Day!  So march forth on this March Fourth and improve your grammar, while eating pancakes, and then march on and change the world!

Monday, March 3, 2014

A politician making a difference

People in political life we may hope will do great things and bring about positive changes, but the reality is that few elected officials ever measure up to what we generally hope for. Yes there are the Kennedy brothers and Lech Waselsa, and Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill but it would be rather difficult to come up with another six names. That's why I have such strong feelings about the President of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors, David Chiu. 


David has passed more legislation than anyone serving on today’s Board of Supervisors and there is a good reason for that. David is fair and honest and has worked tirelessly to build consensus and to look at things from all points of view. He has been a hard worker for San Francisco and I am excited that he may be soon representing us in the state legislature. I know it may seem odd to be writing about someone in elected office, after all what I write about here each day is making a difference in our world. THAT'S why I am writing about David Chiu. He makes a difference every single day.
 
Representing one of San Francisco's eleven districts, David has been chosen by them to be their president an unprecedented three times. Turning around our city's economy and creating more jobs has been David’s top priority as President of the Board of Supervisors. As someone who doesn’t even own a car, he has been able to champion a number transit successes. He has worked to clean up our environment, always stands up for our neighborhoods, and continues to work hard and to standing up for tenants and for affordable housing.
 
Back in 2005, David worked alongside San Francisco LGBT leaders on a successful effort to adopt marriage equality in the official platform of the California Democratic Party. In fact The Bay Area Reporter observed that he “championed the cause with gusto." Indeed. I have seen firsthand David's commitment to the LGBT community from his regular participation in local LGBT events like the annual Pride Celebration to his advocating for the reunification of LGBT immigrant families and his support for increased funding for HIV/AIDS programs.
 
David Chiu makes a difference as a political leader here in San Francisco and I am excited that he is running for the District 17 Assembly seat. At noon today he will officially open his campaign office at 549 Castro Street here in San Francisco and I hope many of you will come by. Take a closer look and I am confident you will agree that David Chiu is a political leader that can inspire us all.