Sunday, December 28
by Sue on Sun 28 Dec 2008 01:23 PM EST
I received word that three members of Allegheny County Council have withdrawn their support of the legislation that would extend anti-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender presentation.
You can bet the rightwing and the AFA of PA are getting people to make calls and had something to do with this change in support of the legislation.
If you, your parents, siblings, friends or family live in these neighborhoods, please take a moment to send an email or pick up the phone and urge these three individuals to vote in favor of this legislation. Remind them that is it not fair or just for someone to lose their job or be denied a place to live because they are gay. It really is that simple and it shouldn't be controversial. Be polite and ask them to vote for the legislation.
If you need any motivation to make the call, check out what the AFA of PA is saying about all of this ...they are spreading lies and misinformation about the impact of this legislation. Go read the distortions for yourself.
More on this later after I attend the Steel City meeting this afternoon.
District 1 includes:
District 4 includes:
District 12 includes:
Friday, December 26
by Sue on Fri 26 Dec 2008 10:51 PM EST
You can read it here: http://mackenziecarpenter.blogspot.com/
MacKenzie, as you know, is a professional journalist, but does add another woman's voice to the Burghosphere.
by Sue on Fri 26 Dec 2008 10:28 PM EST
Last week, I wrote about the potential emergence of the Burghosphere 2.0 with the recent demise of several anonymous bloggers and others. New voices are breaking through and it is a very exciting time to be a blogger, perhaps, if you have the luxury/willingness to blog in your real identity. I'm not sure what exactly is going on, but there's a shift as some bloggers turn off the comments function and others pick up the keyboard for the first time. It is all good.
There's a parallel post over at Wockner about Stonewall 2.0, focusing on the 11 days between November 5 and November 15 which culminated in the anti-prop 8 protests (h/t Pam's House Blend).
Steel City Stonewall is leading the planning efforts for the January 10 "Join the Impact" event. It would be interesting to get their take on this. That last sentence is pretty telling. When I think of true leaders in the local LGBTQ community, I'm thinking of folks like Lance Friedman and Eli Kuti neither of whom would be confused with a snappily dressed fortysomthing and fiftysomething. However, when I think of those who seem to have the power and the political sway, well it looks a little different.
Remember, the Mayor's office has NOT yet answered the question about releasing campaign contributions for individuals nominated to the Advisory Committee. No answer. There is no dialogue.
Have you had enough of this crap, yet?
Thursday, December 25
by Sue on Thu 25 Dec 2008 10:55 AM EST
by Sue on Thu 25 Dec 2008 08:48 AM EST
The Planning Meeting will be held on Sunday, December 28th from 5 to 7 in the glassed in private room at Panera Bread at 3401 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
The only thing missing from the agenda is weaving the Mayor's LGBT Advisory Council into the larger event ... after all the protest takes place five full days before the deadline to submit nominations. What a great opportunity to capture some last minute interest. (And somewhat ironic since the Mayor is on the record as opposing gay marriage and civil unions).
Still, the location is easy to find, accessible, plenty of parking, coffee at hand, and everything else folks have mentioned. It is close the holidays, but here's your opportuniy to "Join the Impact" of the LGBTQ Community in Pittsburgh. Marriage doesn't have to be your issue to motivate you to participate.
Tuesday, December 23
by Sue on Tue 23 Dec 2008 10:31 PM EST
by Sue on Tue 23 Dec 2008 06:56 PM EST
Harrisburgians may soon be on their way to another notch in the belt of pointless LGBT legislative efforts.
You might recall that Pittsburgh passed similar legislation, signed amidst much fanfare when Luke Ravenstahl came to PrideFest. Fast forward six months. Exactly six couples have registered. There has been no promotion of this resource, either to City employees (60 registered domestic partners in Personnel) or the general public. There has been no publicized effort to increase the number of employers offering domestic partner benefits.
With all due respect to Jake Kaskey, this legislation hasn't done one single "concrete" thing for Pittsburgh except reinforce the misperception that Luke Ravenstahl supports gay rights. I have been informed that this is what actually propelled County Councilwoman Amanda Greene to go underground with the gay advocates and come up with the anti-discrimination legislation on the County level. Certainly, that's a win for County residents. But what about us here in Pittsburgh who are going to be saddled once again with a Mayor who publicly opposes civil unions, but is willing to allow people to think otherwise so he can court the "pink" voters and donors? Too bad for us? Screw us?
I am poking around for information on how this registry is working in Philadelphia. Perhaps there is something to be learned from how this rolled out in the Liberty City and I would be ecstatic if this could be salvaged to make a meaningful difference, especially for low and moderate income families who can really utilize the benefits. And maybe the folks in H-burg have an actual implementation plan to make this a useful resource.
But I'm not exactly "consoled" by the fact that the County Council stepped on my back to achieve equality for gay people. No one asked me to make that tradeoff and I'd like a recount if they did. Especially since Amanda Greene is my County Councilwoman and I haven't seen her in Manchester at all (but she's in good company in that regard). You can bet I'll be contacting her for more discussion on that tradeoff.
Sunday, December 21
by Sue on Sun 21 Dec 2008 04:30 PM EST
What's going on? The Burgh Report closed up shop this week, joining the ranks of many (many anonymous) bloggers who are gone. Dayvoe shut off comments on his blog posts at 2 Political Junkies. John McIntire never allowed them in the first place, preferring to post things people email him. Nothing wrong with that, but change is unsettling (and, apparently, fodder for PG writers).
Personally, I believe change is inevitable. Blogging is mostly a leisure time activity and when life happens, it falls to the wayside along with many other non-essential parts of our lives. Or blogging consumers one's life and exhaustion and/or disillusionment inevitably set it. Or life circumstances change and access to the topical information is inevitably altered such as a loss or change in employment. (The loss of so many PG staffers coincides weirdly with the demise of the Burgh Report).
Discourse is changing. There's a shift. Maybe we are entering The Burgh 2.0 or the second/third wave (depending on how you count 'em). Perhaps we could reframe the change in discourse to new opportunities for fresh, diverse voices to enter the dialogue on a more level playing field. In the queerosphere, we have a new player in the form of What Comes after 8, Pgh? We also have a new email group for queer bloggers in Pennsylvania and a soon to be scheduled pow-wow on new social media and gay advocacy to be held here in Pittsburgh. There's buzz and energy and potential. It is all good.
We need to ferret out the openly queer people who are blogging about food, books, poetry, sports, exercise, their family life, Amazonian reptiles and whatever else motivates us to start typing. This is an opportunity for us to propel our entire community to the forefront of the Burghosphere and let people know who we are.
I'm not happy that things are changing. I was sad to read Joe Grata's final column in the Post-Gazette as much as the final post on the Burgh Report. But a new voice will have a chance to speak up, speak out and be heard. That's a change I can embrace.
by Sue on Sun 21 Dec 2008 12:22 PM EST
I can't find your email! I am very sorry for not responding, but I have been pouring through my inbox searching for it. So I thought I'd try to reach you in hopes that you might still be reading. Please email me sue @ sitnscoop.com.
With deep apologies,