Monday, March 2, 2009

For March Meeting - Supervisor David Chiu

Board of Supervisors President DAVID CHIU is set to visit the City Democratic Club this month on Thursday, March 19. Watch this space for more info!!

Please join City Democratic Club in welcoming

* SF Board of Supervisors’ President Supervisor David Chiu
* Mar. 19, 2009
* 7:30 pm
* 312 Sutter, 5th Flr.

Board of Supervisors’ President Chiu was elected in November 2008 to represent San Francisco’s District 3, which includes North Beach, Chinatown, Telegraph Hill, Russian Hill, Polk Street, Nob Hill, Union Square, Financial District, and Northern Waterfront.

Before joining the Board, David was a founder and Chief Operating Officer of Grassroots Enterprise, an online communications technology company. Prior to Grassroots, he worked as a criminal prosecutor at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and as a civil rights attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. In the mid-1990s, David served as Democratic Counsel to the U.S. Senate Constitution Subcommittee and as Senator Paul Simon’s aide to the Senate Budget Committee. The eldest child of immigrant parents, David Chiu grew up in Boston and received his undergraduate degree, law degree, and master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University.

David Chiu has lived in District 3 for over a dozen years, in the Russian Hill and Polk Street neighborhoods. Before taking office, David was a hands-on leader in San Francisco and in District 3, as a Small Business Commissioner, chair of Lower Polk Neighbors, board president of the Youth Leadership Institute, board chair of the Chinatown Community Development Center, judge-arbitrator for the Polk Street Community Court, and president of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area. David was previously elected to the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee and chaired California’s 13th Assembly Dist Democratic Committee.

The Attorney General and Same-Sex Marriage

The biggest disappointment for many of us last year was Proposition 8, a ballot measure deliberately designed to discriminate against certain people based simply upon the nature of their consensual realtionships and sexual identity. Prop 8, which flies in the face of an earlier ruling by the California Supreme Court, passed by roughly the same slim margin that Prop 4, a measure that would have infringed on the reproductive privacy rights of young women, lost. That illustrates how the use of the initiative process as an arbiter over civil rights can become a capricious injustice. Most informed observers agree that the loss was due to the failure on the part of Prop 8’s political opponents to frame the issue as one of individual civil rights, in the face of rhetoric by proponents depicting it as a minority entitlement.

With the issue suffering defeat in the political arena, where it should never have been put in the first place, the battle now moves back to the Judiciary. As Americans, we are all guaranteed the freedoms of expression and association. As Californians, we also enjoy a basic right to privacy. All of these are exemplified in the institution of marriage, particularly where it intersects with the civil obligations of those who decide to start a family.

By framing the appeal against Prop 8 along these issues, AG Jerry Brown deserves our gratitude for a frank and honest move not only to protect established rights, but to also ensure that the oft-maligned and hyper-political initiative process is no longer used to infringe on individual rights guaranteed by law.