Thursday, March 5, 2009

State Supreme Court Takes up Prop. 8

California’s Supreme Court is hearing arguments on Proposition 8, in San Francisco this week, in the Earl Warren Building courtroom on McAllister Street. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was a prominent and vocal opponent the 2008 ballot initiative to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. Seating in the court is limited to 20, but you can watch the proceedings online here.

Barack Obama is rumored to have declined a photo op with Newsom during his visit to SF, not wanting to be seen posing with the same-sex-marriage-friendly mayor.

But Prop. 8 hearings aren’t the only reason Newsom is back in the family values spotlight. Criticism of Newsom reached a new height recently as the mayor and wife Jennifer Seible announced that they will be having a child.

San Francisco Chronicle writer, Erin Allday wrote Thursday, February 19, “City Hall chitchat has turned to how this might play in Newsom's run for governor. Analysts say that starting a family can only help the campaign -- and maybe reverse Newsom's long-standing playboy image.”

The baby announcement prompted Guardian Editor Tim Redmond to offer family advice too. “If the mayor, or the president, or the school superintendent, or the school board members, or the supervisors choose private schools, then they're saying that public education is good enough for the poor kids, but not for their own.”

Facing a tumultuous economic climate and a massive city deficit, Mayor Newsom has tough decisions to make in 2009. In his quest to keep San Francisco a thriving center for commerce and a livable city, Newsom’s had trouble meeting some campaign promises, and he is moving forward with staff cuts, opting for 1100 layoffs in the last 7 months (300 last week).

With a potential 2010 run for governor in his future, Newsom is also on the hook for stewarding some of his favorite issues -- homelessness, universal health care, and MUNI reform -- through the current recession and state budget mess.

Dispelling myths behind celebrity politicians can be a real challenge. Try your hand, and listen to Newsom’s recent appearance on KQED Radio. Or better yet, hear from the mayor directly here at The Club. Newsom will sit down for a frank and candid discussion about the issues facing the city, with Scott Shafer, host of KQED’s California Report, 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 11th.


A. Shaw said...

The Club is also hosting a program on Wed., April 15th – focusing on Media Coverage of Proposition 8 and its Aftermath.

Hear from gay journalist/blogger Rex Wockner, Cynthia Laird from the Bay Area Reporter, Equity Camp organizer Cathy Brooks, and Sandip Roy, from New America Now (KALW).

This program is part of The Club's Member-led Forum on LGBT community issues.

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