Friday, April 15, 2011

Gov Brown's Town Hall;
Mark Leno Parties at Toad Hall

There is no evidence I can locate on the web proving Democratic gay leader and state senator Mark Leno has ever held a town hall meeting in his long political career with grassroots gays and other constituents.

When I asked his staff last month about his lack of town halls, they invoked the always-present budget crisis for evading my questions. The staffers essentially said he was just so very busy with solving the fiscal woes of California he and his staff simply couldn't expend time and energy on public forums.

There is one Democratic leader, Jerry Brown, wisely holding talking sessions out among voters, and one such meeting was reported in a story by Marisa Lagos and Wyatt Buchanan in this morning's SF Chronicle, bolding mine:

Van Buren Elementary School Principal Ione Ringen has 30 teachers at her Stockton school, but more than two-thirds of them - 21 teachers - received layoff notices in March.

They are among the more than 19,000 instructors across California whose jobs are in limbo.

Gov. Jerry Brown held a town hall meeting at the school Thursday ... At the town hall meeting, Brown heard from teachers, students and school staff members about the uncertainty, and continued to push for his budget plan and a vote on taxes. Republican lawmakers have refused to support putting tax increases and extensions before voters.

Brown told the crowd Thursday that he supports the repeal of a corporate tax break worth $1 billion and thinks more criminal justice services should be moved to the local level. ...

Thank you, Jerry, for getting out of Sacramento and bringing yourself to listen to what ordinary citizens and voters have to say about the budget, and for speaking directly to the people.

On the flip side of Jerry's excellent grassroots speaking and listen tour, we have Mark Leno who is legendary for making drop-by appearances and scoring a bounty of photo-ops at every reception and opening imaginable, including the opening of a window.

The latest example of Mark's prowess of getting his mug shot in the papers happened in this week's Bay Area Reporter when he showed up at last Thursday's invitation-only party at the gay history group's storefront:

The photo shows Mark on the right, with drag artiste and socialite Donna Sachet at a recent party at the GLBT Historical Society's museum storefront on 18th Street a week ago Thursday. The pic credit goes to Steven Underhill. Donna wrote in her BAR gossip column about the soiree and that Mark was there:

Last Thursday's private celebration of this publication's 40th anniversary for staff and invited guests packed the GLBT Historical Society's Museum in the Castro with nearly enough elected officials to take care of civic business! State Senators Mark Leno and Leland Yee, [were among the attendees] ...

Donna also wrote about last Saturday's free and public party at the Toad Hall bar on 18th Street, but she doesn't mention if Mark was there or not, which is why I used a question mark in my headline. Regardless of his appearance or absence at Toad Hall, Mark was able to tear himself away from his budget crisis duties for historical society celebration.

Now, if only he'd finally find the time to also hold regular town halls in his San Francisco district and listen to average gays outside the dine of bar and cocktail parties, I'd be impressed. Mark could learn a lot from Jerry's town hall experience this week.

[Correction: No question mark needed in the headline. Mark was at the Saturday party for the BAR at Toad Hall.]

1 comment:

Spezialed said...

Town Halls!!