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SDLA Alumni Cheer Marriage Equality

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  Rebekah Hook and Shawna Held after receiving their marriage license

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  Spouses Jessica Page and Crystal Page

  Davin Widgerow

The U.S. Supreme Court made history today with its Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, which guarantees same-sex couples a right to marry in all U.S. states. The ruling hits home for many in the San Diego Leadership Alliance (SDLA) community.

“Today's Supreme Court decision is the best early wedding gift we could have received! (3 weeks until we're married),” say Rebekah Hook and Shawna Held, alumnae/Board Members of the San Diego Leadership Alliance. “We are overjoyed that our family's right to equal dignity under the law is finally validated. While national marriage equality is an amazing milestone, there is more work to be done for true equality and safety for all; especially for our LGBTQ youth and trans* community. Today we celebrate and continue the fight for justice for all.”

SDLA Alumna and Board Member Crystal Page adds, “It's a great day for families. My spouse and I got married two years ago after SCOTUS' ruling that lifted the ban on marriage equality in California. For us, this meant we could only live, feel safe, and have access to the same rights as our heterosexual counterparts in certain places. Now, our family and many others will no longer need to limit where we can and cannot go based on our sexual orientation. #LoveWins.”

The SDLA aims to bring a diverse cross-section of San Diego, including the LGBT community, into its fold. A few of these alumni were kind enough to share their thoughts here today.

Alumnus Davin Widgerow writes, “The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once noted that ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ Today, finally, one of the many long arcs of the moral universe for gay rights and equality has culminated in justice. In my own life, I coursed through the varying stages of struggle and despair on this issue, in living a secret life; in being by consumed by self-denial, self-hatred, shame, and crushing loneliness. But I survived those dark times. I have grown to be at peace with who I am. And today, the supreme law of the land reaffirmed my basic human dignity.

"Many gay people, whether in the United States or elsewhere in the world, are still the victims of dark, abiding, and often fatal hatreds. We must not forget their suffering on this day of great joy. After the rapturous joy has quieted, and the brightness of this historic day has given way to a most-contented night, I will be grateful to live in a country whose continuing mission is the expansion of democracy, equality, and dignity for all people. And I will be grateful that I can now find love and honor that love by choosing to consummate it in marriage. The arc for all of us is indeed long, but today, for me and for countless others, it finally bent toward justice.”

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Generations of Support

Thank you to all who supported the San Diego Leadership Alliance by attending or donating to the 2015 Fellows Fundraiser! Our venue was packed to the brim with incredible progressives who made this a very special celebration.

Fantastic news: thanks to all of the generous attendees, donors, and sponsors, Generations of Progress was the most successful Fellows Fundraiser to date!


 

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Celebrate Generations of Progress

We have six more fantastic inspirational leaders we’d like to introduce you to in this final post counting down to SDLA’s Fellows Fundraiser Generations of Progress on Tuesday, May 19th! We hope reading about the people and the work that fuels our 2015 SDLA Fellows class has given you opportunities to think about all the multigenerational leaders in your life who are worthy of celebration.

Tickets are still available! After reading about these invigorating folks, we encourage you to purchase your tickets (or donate) today. Proceeds from this event benefit future classes of SDLA Fellows, including ensuring that the program remains free to participants.

We can’t wait to spend time with you next Tuesday evening at Modern Times Beer: Point Loma and honor decades of progressive work in San Diego!

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Our Progressive Future

Seeing the work of young people in our community is such a thrill! Here are some examples of rising leaders in the next generation who have influenced 2015 SDLA Fellows. Join us for a celebration of progressive work in San Diego on May 19th at Generations of Progress - an event for the ages!

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SDLA Alumna Speaks to KPBS About Food Insecurity in the Region

In San Diego County, 1 in 7 adults (14%) and 1 in 5 children (22.3%) are struggling with food insecurity. Feeding America publishes an annual Map the Meal Gap report that uses USDA data to measure food insecurity levels and the amount of meals needed at a local level to serve families, children, military households and seniors facing hunger. San Diego County would have to provide 77 million meals annually to ensure adequate access to nutritious food for San Diegan residents. The situation in Imperial Valley, our close neighbor to the East, is even more dire, with 17% of adults and 35% of children facing hunger. It would take 5.3 million meals to meet the need in that region.

Jenny Seneor, Director of Programs for Feeding America San Diego and 2014 SDLA Institute alumna, spoke to KPBS Midday Edition on April 16th about food insecurity in the region. Jenny spoke to the reasons why families in the region face hunger; the lack of sufficient wages for the working poor in the region to make ends meet, the high cost of housing, and the high cost of food locally. The high rate of chronic illnesses such as obesity and type II diabetes amongst low-income families was addressed and the on-going need to provide low-income families in the region access to healthy, nutritious food.

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MEET OUR ALUMNI

Tammy Lin
Immigration Attorney, Prins Asylum Attorney, Jewish Family Service of San Diego

Tammy Lin is the immigration attorney for Jewish Family Service of San Diego’s Prins Asylum Program providing pro bono representation to scientists, musicians, artists, scholars, and professionals seeking...