Tuesday, June 15
by Sue on Tue 15 Jun 2010 07:06 PM EDT
Random things you might find interesting ...
From Change.org, Gay-Friendly Google and Political Ambiguity.
Chris Potter has some shaming words for the local media about Big Ben.
Monday, June 14
by Sue on Mon 14 Jun 2010 04:59 PM EDT
And here's a chance to learn the "how to's"
Sunday, June 13
by Sue on Sun 13 Jun 2010 11:48 AM EDT
The rumor is true. A Pleasant Present, the wonderful gift and pride shop in Squirrel Hill, is closing its doors after 16 years in business.
I stopped by yesterday to chat with owner Michael Ferraro. He explained they will continue the close out sale (40% off!) through mid-July and close their doors forever. Ferraro is very matter of fact about his decision, but has many fond memories of his 16 years.
A Pleasant Present has been a real community hub. From Pride merchandise to LGBT flyers, Michael has been a part of almost every single LGBT group, event and activity in the past decade. He sold tickets to events, distributed flyers and has been a true champion of progressive political values in his own kitschy way with all sorts of delightful bumper stickers, magnets and paraphenalia. He always had a smile, a bit of news and something new to show me.
I've purchased dozens of gift baskets, lots of presents for children, scores of cards and all sorts of unique items I'll never find agan. I'll miss that, but ... most of all, I will miss Michael. His joy, his service to the community and his kind heart are the real presents.
Rest assured, he will remain in Pittsburgh and will be making his signature gourmet gift baskets. I asked about the rainbow flag that flies proudly on Murray Avenue. It would be a great item to display in the GLCC, perhaps framed and labeled. That flag has been a beacon for many an lgbt person in the region.
by Sue on Sun 13 Jun 2010 10:47 AM EDT
What a tough year for Joe Sestak and Dan Onorato. Philly and Pittsburgh Pride are on the same days. Onorato made the good call to attend Pittsburgh's event, but Sestak is in Philly.
Sestak is sending a surrogate to Pgh, but I think it might speak volumes as to whom he sends. As I said earlier in the year, I truly think his failure to attend the Steel City Stonewall endorsement event cost him the endorsement. Of course, it could be the decision to endorse Specter that impelled him to stick with Philly. Who knows?
I spoke with Bill Peduto last night and he confirmed he's attending (he was out of the country last year). I think there were years when Bill was the only politician who attended. How far we've come ...
Saturday, June 12
by Sue on Sat 12 Jun 2010 10:57 AM EDT
You know I love the man called Potter. His awesomeness is exceeded only by his 27 Facebook fans. ;-)
Still, he recently gave some pinkwashing props to the Onorato campaign that made me sigh.
This is simply not true. Whomever is sharing this "word" is grossly misleading the masses ... Onorato spoke at Pride LAST YEAR. Not a decade ago. Here's the photo:
Why is it news that he's coming AGAIN to his hometown Pridefest?
Could it be that his campaign might want him at this event to get the very critical support of Philly progressives?
The problem is the pinkwashers aren't content to just put him out there as the best choice. They have to build this entire fairyland where he's the great hope for homosexuals, when we all know the best we can hope for is that he won't do anything too awful. It makes me want to vomit that he gets credit for a commission saying domestic partner benefits are a good thing. It really makes me want to vomit that good journalists like Chris Potter rarely if ever mention the fact that Onorato's failure to act on this for six+ years caused City employees of the 911 Center to lose benefits. To be fair, that falls on the shoulders of Mayor Murphy and City Council, too.
But for crying out loud ... we are supposed to turn cartwheels and clap our hands with glee because our Chief Executive comes to Pridefest again? Girl, please.
Speaking of which, Luke didn't show last year and sent the City HRC Chair in his stead. Anyone taking bets that he'll blow it off again until he's up for election?
Yes, my standards for progress are higher than Chris Potter's, but it isn't his family's health insurance in the balance, is it?
by Sue on Sat 12 Jun 2010 10:10 AM EDT
Oh, for God's sake ...
My employer won't let me hire my brother to work for me or have any role in the organization over which I have influence. This just ILLUSTRATES the very influence Peduto and Shields are worried about Lukey having over the ALCOSAN board.
by Sue on Sat 12 Jun 2010 10:04 AM EDT
OK, folks, so finally we see some payoff from the Allegheny County Anti-Discrimination ordinance in practical terms.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued new rules requiring grant recipients to comply with local anti-discrimination laws.
This means all local HUD grant recipients will be forced to comply with the City and County ordinances that protect these classes. I once sat on a HUD revew committee and several of the applicants were faith based organizatons so it will be fascinating to watch the various loopholes shake themselves out in light of this far-reaching federal mandate.
It also adds some teeth to local Section 8 voucher recipients who might encounter, shall we say, resistance, from landlords who don't want to move a gay family into their property (they aren't supposed to have a choice to reject applicants, but let's be serious).
This is like a federal matching grant in its awesome implications. None of these grant recipients can sidestep the local law by playing the federal Fair Housing Act card. Inspiring news for local fair housing advocates who have worked tirelessly to build these (and other protections) into local ordinances, place by place while the Fair Housing Act itself is what needs to change. HUD can't change legislation, but this powerful move sends positive signs about future directions when the Act comes up for reauthorization.
My hat is off once again to Allegheny County Council for paving the way to ensure fair housing for economically vulnerable folks in the County.
One last fact. Some HUD grant recipients play ball in multiple counties. The easiest thing to implement will be program wide non-discrimination rather than cherry picking locations that don't have these expansive protections. We'll see what happens ...
by Sue on Sat 12 Jun 2010 09:29 AM EDT
... and not in a good way.
We've all heard about the ridiculous/offensive/hateful decision of BP to spend millions ($50 I believe) on a PR campaign, $50 million that would clean up a lot of dying birds and sealife. Or lost compensate people for lost income. You get the point.
Here in Pittsburgh, we have a mini-version of corporate bullshit that values public relations over the welfare of human beings, namely their employees. American Eagle, thy name is corporate meanie.
AE was the corporate sponsor for a childcare center on the Southside to the tune of $200 K. Imagine how wonderful it would be for a corporation with lots of below-living-wage employees to have access to quality childcare!
Then imagine a 90 day notice saying it is closing! My friends on Facebook have been frantic to find a substitute. But still, this cost cutting move saves jobs, right?
What a slap in the face this little tidbit must be ...
So naming rights = good PR. Closure of daycare = unessential PR? Even if enrollment of AE employees has been declining, how does that justify 90 days notice? Clearly, some AE bureacrat didn't even have the compassion to allow the parents enough time to find decent substitutes.
Or they just don't care. Screw working class parents and their Target outfits. There's money to be made from folks who have disposable income for concerts, not diapers. Imagine when they roll out the Black and Gold bedazzled AE baseball caps?
I wonder if the "state taxpayers" realize the costs of daycare closures. Inevitably, people are going to leave the workforce because they can't find childcare. I'm sure productivity is almost zero for the harried parents. And what about the actual AE employees who have just been completely bitch slapped by heartless overlords that were lured to the Southside Works with public money in the first place?
Maybe they'll get to stand outside the new concert venue and listen to the music?
I wonder if this new "NorthShore" complex is going to employ Northside residents?
Major suckitude failure, American Eagle. You are the worst company in Pittsburgh right now.