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Policy Talks@Google: Gavin Newsom

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco, visits Google's Mountain View, CA headquarters to discuss his views on marriage equality and California Proposition 8. This event took place on October 29, 2008, as part of the Policy Talks@Google series.

The youngest San Francisco mayor in over a hundred years, Newsom was elected in 2003. In 2004, the Mayor captured nationwide interest when he granted marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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Carter, Annan, Others Refused Entry to Zimbabwe

For the first time, former President Jimmy Carter has been denied entry into a country. Zimbabwe is refusing to give visas to Carter, former U.N. Secretary-general Kofi Annan and rights advocate Graca Machel.


Your Weekly Address from the President-elect

President-elect Barack Obama announces he has directed his economic team to assemble an Economic Recovery Plan that will save or create 2.5 million more jobs by January of 2011. For more information, visit


Don't Give African-Americans a Pass for Homophobia

My great-great-grandmother was born a slave in Virginia. Should I not have the right to marry, just like my grandmother, simply because I am gay?

By Clay Cane
The Advocate

The injection of race into the analysis of Proposition 8's passage is extremely disappointing. A battle for equal rights has now turned into an issue of whites versus blacks. It's sad to see the smoke screen of racism when rights are being denied from Americans who pay taxes and have served their country.

In the beginning, I wanted to stay out of this racialized debate on Proposition 8. However, after I read Jasmyne Cannick's opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times, "No-on-8's White Bias," I felt compelled to speak up. Cannick is someone I deeply admire and highly respect, and she is black and gay like me; however, there is another side of this debate from the black gay community.

In her piece she states, "I don't see why the right to marry should be a priority for me or other black people. Gay marriage? Please." Cannick adds, "Some people seem to think that homophobia trumps racism." She explains, "There are still too many inequalities that exist as it relates to my race." Cannick lists important issues in the black community such as dropout rates, poverty, and incarceration.

As a black gay man, incarceration rates are as important to me as gay marriage. Dropout rates are as important to me as the fact that, according to the CDC, 46% of black men who have sex with men are HIV-positive. Poverty is as important to me as the fact that there are 30 states where gays and lesbians can be fired from their job with no protection from their government. As a black gay man who has endured the words "n****r" and "f****t", who lives in this duality of gayness and blackness, I have a vested interest in both inequalities....(Click for remainder).


Dingell Loses to Waxman, and Auto Stocks Dive -- Call it What It Is: Corruption

When the Big Three's best Rep. lost a key committee spot, their share prices dropped. That's not just business as usual, it's a sign of corruption.

By Joshua Holland

In a functional democracy -- one where lawmakers pursue the public interest -- the stock prices of politically connected companies or industries shouldn't be impacted by the changing fortunes of politicans with whom they're cozy.

But yesterday, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., wrested control of the influential House Energy and Commerce Committee from fellow Democrat John Dingell (MI), and auto stocks tanked on the news. It's an aspect of the story that will likely get little attention -- taken, with some justification, as just so much business as usual in Washington.

Dingell, who is quite progressive in some areas, is also firmly in Big Auto's pockets, and has clashed with Waxman on a number of issues over the years -- issues like beefing up regulation of vehicle emission standards. Over the course of his career, three of Dingell's top four contributors were GM, Ford and Daimler-Chrysler; his wife, Debbie, was an industry lobbyist until their marriage in the early 1980s and continues to work for GM today. According to disclosure forms, the couple owned more than a million bucks' worth of Big Auto stocks and options as of 2006. After the last election, Dingell hired a Daimler-Chrysler lobbyist whose previous job had been keeping Congress from increasing vehicle efficiency standards to serve as the committee's chief of staff.

Waxman is one of the most liberal lawmakers on the Hill and has fought tenaciously against the Corporate Right on issues ranging from oversight of the "security contractors" that have run amok in Iraq to stronger environmental standards....(Click for remainder).


New Ad from IAVA and the Ad Council: Alone

Watch the new PSA from IAVA and the Ad Council, announcing - the first online social network exclusively for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.



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