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Friday, May 13, 2011

Why I didn't co-sponsor naming a plaza after Harvey Milk

At the risk of losing my "gay card," I will explain why I turned down the offer to co-sponsor a council item to name Third and Promenade in honor of "Harvey Milk" the first out elected official from San Francisco who was killed along with George Moscone by Dan White.

First District Councilman Robert Garcia's staff asked my staff if I would co-sponsor the naming and I responded with: "I would prefer that we name the area 'Unity Plaza' or 'Human Rights Plaza' so that it could be more inclusive of all those who have fought for civil and human rights." My suggestion was rebuffed.

I know the Gay Pride Festival is coming in a week and that Harvey Milk's birthday is May 22, but for those folks out there,  you youngin's -- Harvey wasn't the first out elected official -- it was Elaine Noble who in 1975 was out and elected to the Massachusetts State Legislature. I know because I was 25 at the time and was amazed that anyone who was gay could get elected to office.

More importantly, why not honor a Long Beach person who worked so very hard to get the Gay Pride Festival and Parade in Long Beach. Judith Doyle and two others were the founders and had to fight the City of Long Beach every step of the way to get the parade. As a result, the event is the City's number two event in terms of sales tax and visitors! (Actually the Chamber of Commerce should honor all three!)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Another Effort I Have Working on -- TEDx-SOCAL to Happen in Long Beach

Press Release

For immediate release
Contact Name: Tiffany Andrews, Chief of Staff, Office of Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske
Contact Number: 562-570-6932
Your Ticket to “Thrive”
TEDxSoCal Tickets on Sale Friday, May 13 at 10am

Long Beach, CA  -- TEDxSoCal, an independently organized TED event, comes to the Center Theatre in Long Beach this July. The day-long conference and interactive experience features short talks and performances from inspiring and innovative people with big ideas. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 13, 2011 at 10am at event  – organized along the theme of “Thriving” – looks at the way communities, organizations and individuals are flourishing and prospering through the lenses of well-being, creative cultures, sustainability and lifelong learning.
At the May 10th Long Beach City Council meeting, Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske revealed a short video introducing the event and highlighting the TEDxSoCal speakers. The video can be seen at
The TEDxSoCal Planning Committee continues to add groundbreaking speakers and performers from around Southern California. Confirmed participants include:
    · Dr. Sylvia Earle – American oceanographer, explorer and 2009 TED Prize Winner· Chip Conley – Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Joie de Vivre, author · Dr. Judy B. Rosener – Author, researcher and Professor Emerita at UC Irvine Paul Merage School of Business · Paul Dateh – Singer and violinist, known as the “Hip-Hop Violinist” · Josh Tickell – Environmentalist and director of the 2008 Sundance Audience Award winning documentary FUEL · Lalo Alcaraz – Satirist, writer and creator of the nationally syndicated comic strip “La Cucaracha” · Tim Carpenter – Founder and Executive Director of EngAGE · Elizabeth Amini – Social entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Anti-Aging Games, LLC · Charles Gandy – Cycling, pedestrian and livable communities expert · TAIKOPROJECT – Award winning American Taiko group · Rebecca Harrell Tickell – Author, producer and activist · Rosie Romo – Chef and Director of Culinary Operations at SMG · Nick Pugh – Artist, designer and educator – known for his work in digital fine art · Darren Saravis – Engineer, designer, musician and founder and president of Nectar Design

What: TEDxSoCal, where x = independently organized TED event
Theme: Thriving! Well-Being, Creative Cultures, Sustainability, Lifelong Learning
Where: The Center Theatre at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center
When: Saturday, July 16, 2011; 9am – 4:30pm (followed by an evening reception)
Ticket Information: Tickets on sale Friday, May 13 at 10am at
    $40 General$20 Students

About TEDx

In the spirit of "ideas worth spreading," TED has created TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxSoCal, where x = independently organized TED event. At TEDxSoCal, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.

About TED                                                                                          

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK. TED's media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to organize local, independent TED-like events around the world; and the TEDFellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

TEDGlobal 2011, "The Stuff of Life," will be held July 11-15, 2011, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Follow TED on Twitter at, or on Facebook at

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