In recognition of National Coming Out Day the board thought it would be fun to have, as our guest speaker, Jesse Villalobos, more commonly known as Empress Jesse I & IV, or Queen Mother II, by members of the Imperial Dove Court of Fresno (IDC Fresno).
This month we had more attendees than last month for our meeting at Los Amigos Mexican Restaurant and one member attended the Zoom portion of the meeting. Three of the attendees were there for the first time and we hope to see all three again at next months meeting on November 14!
The Agenda and Minutes for August and September were approved and the Treasurer’s Report was given by Monte who reported our balance at $2,994.59 based on a report that Terry assisted with. The detailed report can be found in our online documents at https://bit.ly/fsd-mtgdocs.
Terry did not give a President’s Report in the interest of time and instead announced a “Prayers for Peace” gathering at Temple Beth Israel following our meeting at 7:30 pm. Terry noted the horrific attack on Israel by Hamas on Saturday morning and encouraged meeting attendees to attend the gathering. He stated we would try to get through our agenda swiftly so those interested would be able to attend.
In Marsha’s Vice President’s Report she noted the increase in events going on in the community compared to years ago and how it’s been hard to keep up with everything. She announced that we are sponsors of the Rainbow Wonderland Garden Party, which is a fundraising event for Fresno State’s LGBTQ2+ Endowed Scholarship Fund. The event is to be held this Sunday evening at 6:00 pm at Gazebo Gardens and general admission tickets are $30. Four members of the Stonewall club will attend to represent our organization at the event.
Marsha also spoke about the life and career of Dianne Feinstein and her inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community in her efforts. Senator Feinstein died on September 29 and Marsha hoped “everyone would remember her with fondness and respect, and understand the impact she had on the world and how she represented all of us throughout her entire career.”
One of my favorite political photos. I am so blessed to have met these two Inspirational icons and sheroes! Dianne Feinstein and Dolores Huerta have made the world a better place! #Rest in Power, #Si se Puede
Terry called for nominations again for club Treasurer and explained the basic responsibilities of that position. The club’s current Treasurer, Monte, wishes to transition to the Director of Outreach position and allow someone else more experienced to take over the Treasury duties. Until the position is filled he has agreed to continue with those duties while also doing the outreach for our club. Anyone interested in the Treasurer position should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact one of the board members directly.
Volunteers are still needed at the information and voter registration booth at the Fresno Fair. Myra noted they have NO volunteers scheduled for this Friday night between 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm. Volunteers receive a ticket to enter the fair on the day of their shift so they can enjoy the fair before or after the shift they’ve signed up for. Sign up on the mobilize link or call Headquarters at 559-495-0606. https://www.mobilize.us/fresnocountydemocraticparty/event/579710/
Fresno County Democratic Women’s Club participates in the Central Valley Veterans Day Parade every year and is inviting all other Democrats and clubs to walk with them. Also, there is usually a vehicle leading the group in the parade, in which some members ride, but this year the club is in need of a vehicle. Anyone interested in walking and/or helping with the vehicle please contact Carole Laval. The parade is on Saturday, November 11th at 11:11 am. Opening Ceremony at Fresno City Hall is at 9:45 am.
Fresno Stonewall Democrats is a sponsor this year of the Fresno County Democratic Women’s Club annual Eleanor Roosevelt Luncheon & Silent Auction at Manhattan Steakhouse. Our own VP Marsha Conant, also President of NWPC, will be honored at this event along with Hon. Dezie Woods-Jones, BWOPA Founder & State President; Hon. Cynthia A. Sterling, BWOPA Fresno/SJV President; and M.C. Sandra Garcia, Sr. District Representative for Congressman Jim Costa. The keynote speaker will be Susannah Delano, Executive Director of Close the Gap. Tickets are $75 or you can be a sponsor of the event: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/fcdwc-er-luncheon-2023
Terry introduced Jesse Villalobos, founder of the Imperial Dove Court in Fresno and the first and fourth elected Empress of that organization. Jesse spoke about the early days of drag, when he was approached by talent agent Sterling Holloway and asked to sign on with him as an entertainer. Jesse talked about his early days of entertaining in Fresno and San Francisco and about the formation of the IDC, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that raises money throughout the year to donate back to local community organizations.
This Saturday night is the Ducal Ball, IDC’s annual event when candidates compete for the titles of Duke and Duchess, but also at this event they announce the grant recipients and amounts awarded.
Terry announced The Sacred Act of Coming Out, “An interfaith gathering to hear and honor stories and to collectively affirm everyone’s inherent value, beauty, and divinity.” In recognition of National Coming Out Day, this event takes place at 6:30 pm at the Smittcamp Alumni House at Fresno State (click here for flyer).
Friday mornings at Fresno County Democratic Party Headquarters volunteers are writing postcards encouraging women in Fresno County to register to vote. The focus is on unregistered women, south of Shaw and west of Hwy 99. More volunteers are needed to help with this effort: https://www.mobilize.us/mobilize/event/578368/
One of our new members, Rosio, who helped champion Assembly Bill 994, announced that it has been voted in and archived as AB 994. Rosio gave a presentation on this bill several months ago and asked club members to write letters in the support of the bill. She has been giving regular updates at meetings and joined the club membership in September!
The meeting adjourned early enough so that members could attend the gathering at Temple Beth Israel.
A list of upcoming events was also distributed at the meeting and can be viewed or downloaded here.
The next meeting will be November 14 and our guest speaker will be D’Aungillique Jackson, Fresno State’s first openly LGBTQ+ Student Body President. D’Aungillique also led the Black Lives Matter Protest in 2020, one of the city’s largest and most peaceful demonstrations, was the youngest member of Fresno’s Commission on Police Reform, and was President of the Fresno State chapter of the NAACP.
“NCOD [National Coming Out Day] was started in 1988 by lesbian Jean O’Leary and gay man Robert Eichberg, on the theory that LGBTQ+ people were so ostracized from society — and AIDS was not a priority — partly because most people didn’t realize their own brothers, friends, uncles and colleagues were gay.”The Washington Post (click for full article)