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Vice president elect, Kamala Harris, embodies the best of San Francisco Values as she has shown throughout her public service career. An example is easy to observe through the eyes of all who know her.

President elect Joe Biden selected Harris as his running mate after a summer of frustrations over the coronavirus pandemic and protests for racial equity. Harris had been a leader on both fronts, helping draft Democrats’ legislation on police reform and focusing the party on the disproportionate effect of the pandemic on Black and Brown people.

· Harris was elected to the Senate the same night Donald Trump unexpectedly won the presidency in 2016, prompting her to throw out her planned speech and speak about progressives’ need to fight for their values. She became on of the fiercest opponents of Trump’s administration in the Senate, voting against most of his nominees and…


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Nathan Lemon for Unsplash

The U.S. refugee and asylee population paid $63 billion more in taxes than they received in benefits to all levels of government from 2005 to 2014.

— U.S Department of Health and Human Services

The overriding impact of immigrants is to strengthen and enrich American culture, increase the total output of the economy, and raise the standard of living of American citizens.

— David Bier and Alex Nowrasteh, Cato Institute

Embracing cultural distance, cultural-distance nationalism, means, in effect, taking the position that our country will be better off with more whites and fewer non-whites.

— Amy Wax, University of Penn Law School Professor; Graduate of Yale, Harvard Medical School, and Columbia Law…


Growing Up Gay

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Nick Karvounis for Unsplash

How San Francisco Celebrates Love and Families in All Their Diversity- Part 2 — Growing Up Gay

Studies show that most people who identify as gay and lesbian know this at an early age. Our own research supports this: everyone we interviewed said they had feelings of being different or having attraction to the same gender before the age of ten.

Those same-sex couples interviewed for this book grew up in a wide range of rural, suburban, and urban communities with straight parents. Some families were understanding and supportive, but most were not. We look at four people who found their way to acceptance in the San Francisco Bay area LGBT community.

Marvin Burrows and William…


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Nick Karvounis for Unsplash

Studies show that most people who identify as gay and lesbian know this at an early age. Our own research supports this: everyone we interviewed said they had feelings of being different or having attraction to the same gender before the age of ten.

Those same-sex couples interviewed for this book grew up in a wide range of rural, suburban, and urban communities with straight parents. Some families were understanding and supportive, but most were not. We look at four people who found their way to acceptance in the San Francisco Bay area LGBT community.

Marvin Burrows and William Sweenor

Marvin Burrows has known that he was gay since he was eight years old. He grew up in a rural community outside of Flint, Michigan. …


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Ian Taylor for Unsplash

How San Francisco Celebrates Love and Families in All Their Diversity- Part 1

Sexuality is an issue that touches every person alive. Our conception is a sexual act, and most societies have rules or norms that set boundaries on sexual behavior. The linking of two people together through marriage is found in societies across the globe. Incest is a common taboo. Human bodies mature to enable sexual relations, and our hormones drive the desire for sexuality — more or less strongly — in most all of us. …


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Dainis Graveris for Unsplash

Sexuality and sex education have long been an issue that many people find difficulty in talking about and talking to their children. Studies have found that youths who do not learn about sexuality have the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy.

In addition, sexual issues for women are part of healthcare, issues that most men don’t need.

People should have the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions about their own health.

Legislation that prevents the sharing of scientifically-based information, or, worse, that requires teaching false information, does not serve our people well.

One approach that successfully reduces abortions is the reduction of unwanted pregnancies, and young men and women who are educated about safe sex have fewer teen pregnancies. …


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Always a welcoming city, San Francisco hosted the emergence of many colorful characters over the years. One whose history illustrates San Francisco’s tolerance and embrace of the different, the quirky, and the eccentric was English-born Joshua Abraham Norton.

Norton journeyed to San Francisco via South Africa in the mid-1850s. He arrived with some wealth, but lost it in a financial deal gone sour. Shortly thereafter, in 1859, he proclaimed himself Emperor Norton

Always a welcoming city, San Francisco hosted the emergence of many colorful characters over the years. …


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Slava for Unsplash

In the jungle of offices at Rackspace on the South of Market tech hub, Shahin Shadfar sits at a desk cluttered with tech parts and points to his latest creation, an app called Zurf which is the latest in a string of successes for the San Francisco transplant. While Shadfar has gained a reputation for an innovative entrepreneur in Houston and Boston as well as San Francisco, he’s not from the US. …


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Photo by Mickeile Hendersson for Unsplash

Race and Equality In the United States

The Declaration of Independence of the United States was ratified on July 4, 1776. It begins with this phrase: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Many of the men who signed that statement were themselves slave owners. This contradiction between actuality and aspirations may be ascribed to hypocrisy, to a societally ingrained belief that dark-skinned Africans were less human, or to a simple reflection of the reality of that era. …


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Museum Victorias for Unsplash

During the “dot-com boom” years between 1995 and 2000, it was not uncommon for Silicon Valley investors to hear venture capital proposals for funding include a statement such as, “Two principals in the new company have each had two previous failures in new ventures, and they’ve really learned from that.”

Ben and Mena Trott had lost their jobs in start-up tech companies in 2003, when they were 24 years old. Without money, but with their faith in their own hands, Mena, who was a graphic artist, journaled her feelings, and she began to toy around with design concepts for her journalizing. …

About

Geri Spieler

Master researcher, journalist and non-fiction author. My new book, San Francisco Values will be out in June 2020. Connect with me at gerispieler.com

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