Tuesday, August 18
by Sue on Tue 18 Aug 2009 08:18 PM EDT
I'm getting tired of learning how the privileged and elite and laptop fortified employees of Downtown are preparing for a few days without their Starbucks fix.
What about the rest of City employees? The ones making $24,000/year who need to conserve their PTO for their kids sicks days? What about the non-unionized service employees? What about the people who live Downtown (and not just in the penthouses)?
Yes, yes, I know. The City has little information. I saw a press conference snippet of Joanna Doven practically shaking her finger admonishing people to reschedule their medical appointments. She fails to explain how the small business optometrist is going to weather the enforced closure of his practice for a few days. Who pays the "inconvenienced" staff salaries?
by Sue on Tue 18 Aug 2009 04:43 PM EDT
Protests on the Northside between the stadiums makes a weird sort of sense, even though I know there is no way on earth on I will be able to leave my home tucked a mile away from that locale. I've been told from friends that they were able to listen to the entire Stones concert at the stadium from outside the Convention Center.
What are your thoughts?
Monday, August 17
by Sue on Mon 17 Aug 2009 04:38 PM EDT
Received this via email:
According to KDKA's 4 PM broadcast, the City plans to house 1800 police officers in Point Park (not to worry -- they are using air conditioned tents -- go Green Pittsburgh) so there just plum ain't room for any civil liberties to squeeze in there. Well, I paraphrased. In the same report, State Senator Jim Ferlo indicated he is meeting with civil rights attornies, including the ACLU, to discuss his options and might be in federal court by Friday.
It is the responsibility of the City to figure this out. Sure, they need to house the police officers, but they also need to ensure that the civil liberties of City residents are not trampled. This is the hard work of governing that Luke Ravenstahl avoids at all cost (like leveraging public money for the benefit of the public). Get the brain trust out and figure it out, folks. Stop the hysteria and lead the City effectively. Take responsibility for your actions instead of screeching about the possible actions of other people.
Saturday, August 15
by Sue on Sat 15 Aug 2009 05:37 PM EDT
Uploaded the photos from today's Kiss In at the Westin Hotel in Pittsburgh. About a dozen folks shows up, but unfortunately, I was the only local attendee. I kissed Jeff from Harrisburg! :-) He was drawn to my Steel City Stonewall shirt ...
Here's the link to the photos ... http://www.pghlesbian.com/blog/PghKissIn
by Sue on Sat 15 Aug 2009 09:55 AM EDT
Is the Post-Gazette going to shut down during the G-20?
Anyway, the State can commit $6.3 million to a two day summit in Pittsburgh and not a penny of it extends to protecting civil liberties. No wonder your elected officials don't care that your programs and services are about to run out of the money ...
I am appalled that the City is denying all these permits for peaceful demonstrations. Jim Ferlo, Code Pink and others planning PEACEFUL expressions of their positions? Before the Summit! Well, they have to do so somewhere near McKeesport.
Two things afoot from the lesbians' perspectives.
First, defacto Free Speech Zone. That just feels so right with Southwestern PA democracy. We like unions that rehire thugs, drug addicts and defend the 2nd Amendment, but disparage living wages and health insurance. Herding people who disagree with us behind a fence faraway to create illusion that everyone loves Luke? That's our kind of progressive democracy. Give us Wal-Marts that don't slide down hills and we are relatively satisfied.
Second, this is a great way to turn the baby-eating-anarchist hysteria into a self-fulfilling prophecy .... Deny folks lawful expressions of dissent, deny safe opportunities for peaceful expression and you throw fuel on a fire called anarchy. Or just pissed off citizens who won't kowtow to the Ravenstahl Administration dismissal of the First Amendment and decide to express themselves lawfully.
Best of all, the media continues to deftly evade discussing actual G-20 dissent issues by lasering in on the tactics of expression. It is pretty darn close to a perfect storm that guarantees sexy headlines without worrying about that pesky analysis. Sigh.
I am looking for the PG to do a thoughtful story on the people who don't have a choice about going Downtown. The folks without cushy work from home options or extra PTO to use or PTO at all. The working class folks. The service industry folks who need to turn down those beds and empty the trash at the hotels for the 2,000 guest journalists, but aren't allowed to speak out for fair wages and the right to unionize for their sisters and brothers around the world.
I don't want to see someone's business vandalized by any means, but I also have genuine fear that this approach to the G-20 guarantees that outcome. Why can't the City work with a reputable person like Jim Ferlo to find a solution so a respected progressive leader can organize a peaceful outlet for people who have real issues?
Did the Post-Gazette ask if anyone received a permit?
To be fair, the G-20 Resistance isn't the easiest alliance from which to get information. The website is http://resistg20.org/# I've tried contacting them to get more details to no avail. The website isn't updated regularly. I am planning to sit down with Code Pink and get some insight into their plans.
So who is really being served by all these protective measures? $6.8 million could keep a lot of kids in state subsidized daycare so their parents can keep working.
Friday, August 14
by Sue on Fri 14 Aug 2009 02:55 PM EDT
You know I've been helping with this little shindig at the Warhol, known as the "Unofficial" Official After Party for NetRoots which I in turn dubbed the "Gay Immaculate Reception" when I learned Mr. Franco Harris was planning to attend.
The party began at 9:30. We arrived about 9:45 and the place was holdin 150 or so folks. I was asked to drive someone back over to the Convention Center who was able to get the "Voice of God" to announce that the party was extended to 1 AM at the end of the Clinton speech. By the time I was parked back at the Warhol and had reclaimed my drink from Ledcat, the hordes descended. Orange lanyards could have stretched for miles as hundreds of people showed up over the ensuing few hours. They estimated 650-700 people (or 18,000) showed up.
It was packed. You couldn't move. I had lanyard envy. I also learned that I am even more horrible with the name/face recognition skill that I previously believed. Michelangelo Signorile was introduced to me and I acted like a doofus welcoming him Pittsburgh as if I had no clue who he was. I also ran up to Pam Spaulding and asked her if she got my tweet as if my tweet would stand out to her. She was very gracious. I can only chalk it up to post-visitation/hours with my extended family stress.
Do you have intrafamily politics about funeral flowers? I mean is that normal?
Anyway, I had a great time at the party. Ledcat hung out with Miranda from Dykes on Bikes for awhile and I ran around to see who I could spot among the guests. Mitch from the Pittsburgh Gay & Lesbian Film Society was there. Gary McKillop from the GLCC was there. Several board members from Steel City Stonewall Democrats came. Local blogger Kira was there. Maria from 2 Political Junkies stopped by and had a chance to go on camera with Pridecast.
Another ally stopped by and chatted with the cameras.
I did make a new friend. Gave me a good ice breaker with the family. Plus, everyone loved the pink shirt.
ps: any excess NetRoots tote bags? We can use them to help local families at their food banks.
Wednesday, August 12
by Sue on Wed 12 Aug 2009 07:36 PM EDT
She was not pleased when I came out as a lesbian, until she realized I was getting an award (40 Under 40) and would be wearing a skirt to receive it. She came around and embraced Ledcat like another one of her grandkids. Same gifts every holiday. She even remembered her as her dementia increased, a sure sign of a bond.
Not many people reach 38 and still have a living grandparent (my oldest cousin is 52). I was pretty darn lucky. I was also lucky that a lot of her personality shone through even into her last year. She still smiled and enjoyed retro television. And ice cream. Ah, how she loved her ice cream.
There's some strange little "coincidences" popping up here. She died the same month as her husband, albeit 8 years later. The night of my grandfather's funeral, I went to an Indigo Girls concert (where I finally cried). The night of her funeral, I'll be at the Decembrists. Same funeral home, same arrangements. New sense of finality. All four of my grandparents have passed which leaves me feeling somewhat adrift from my past. She's left me hundreds of photos to sort through and almost every letter she's received, including all of my grandfather's letters from WWII.
She took care of me when my mother was hospitalized while I was a child. She sent me Calvin & Hobbes comic strips every week for the 4 years of college and 2 years of grad school. She baked a date and nut pudding every holiday. She took me to Kaufmann's. She was annoyed with me when I discovered that our family was not Irish Catholic, but in fact German Catholic and Irish Protestant. But she still trusted me with her final wishes which made yesterday's visit to the funeral home relatively painless. I just had to pick out a prayer card and a guest book. She took care of everything else including her obituary.
I was pretty good until I went to Macy's to purchase her funeral outfit. She's been wearing casual clothing for two years so there was nothing dressy enough for her final outfit. I found this awesome print jacket combo and began to sob in the middle of the store when I realized it was the last outfit I would buy for her. I've been shopping for her over the past 6 years. I know she would like it, but it was really tough when the sales clerk told me I'd get a lifetime of use out of it.
I certainly had a lifetime of love from my Grandma. She was a fierce little woman who made some very human choices over her lifetime and leaves behind a lot of stories and memories.
This is a sad time, but not tragic. A 93 year old woman being able to stay at home (thanks PDA Waiver program) her final year and passing in her sleep just an hour after a tender exchange with her daughter in law is pretty much a good way to pass.
God Speed, Grandma.
by Sue on Wed 12 Aug 2009 07:13 PM EDT
This afternoon I was a guest on the local podcast, PRIDEcast, sponsored by OUTonline. It was a lot of fun even though I was struggling with a cold. I had a brief flirtation with a radio career so I was fine with the banter although anxious about the camera. We chatted about a wide range of topics -- the homophobia of Julia Child, the latest video of Shakira, LGBT v GLBT, lesbian bars, sexism, my blog, etc. I'll post a link when its up online.
I've never seen a Shakira video. I made allusions to Duran Duran and talked about the symbolism of her being caged. I'm not sure if that was he was looking for, but I had fun. Plus, Ledcat swung by to pick me up just before the skies opened up for our daily shower.
NetRoots Nation is here which means the LGBT Blogging Initiative is in town. Tonight was a casual Happy Hour. Tomorrow will be the "unofficial" official welcome reception at the Andy Warhol, sponsored by the Lambda Foundation and the Initiative. Due to the last minute scheduling of President Clinton to speak that same evening, our party has been pushed back to 9:30 PM. Come on down and be part of the big queer hello to the NetRoots Bloggers and check out the latest Warhol exhibits.
Saturday is the National Kiss In.
Meanwhile on the local front, no word from Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's office on the LGBT Advisory Committee he announced in December 2008.
by Sue on Wed 12 Aug 2009 11:11 AM EDT
A Kiss In here in Pittsburgh?
Recently, a few folks have not perceived a kiss as just a kiss when it comes to same-sex couples. So, here's what is going on ...
Here's the link to the map of the location. http://tinyurl.com/pghkissin
It is kind of a neat idea and I have a romantic side that finds this very appealing.
Would you feel comfortable being part of a public kiss event?
Tuesday, August 11
by Sue on Tue 11 Aug 2009 09:54 AM EDT
Talk about delayed reactions. On July 1, Allegheny County Council passed the Countywide Non-Discrimination Ordinance. On August 11, the American Family Association of PA prez Diane Gramley's ridiculous screech was printed in the Post-Gazette.
Not even worth quoting. She's completely on to our hidden agenda to forcibly convert the Boy Scouts and send men in dresses into ladies' restrooms across the County. Damn. I thought all the talk about not being fired and finding decent housing would distract her. Ah well ... she's too canny for the likes of us.
How about sending your own letter to the PG, thanking the County Council?