GLBT group endorses Bernal in District
QSanAntonio.com, March 1, 2011
A group of GLBT and allied activists will announce today that they are
forming a coalition to elect attorney Diego Bernal to the San Antonio
City Council District 1. The press release, which follows below, was released
early to gay media outlets.
The group which includes Darrell Parsons, Eric Alva, Luis Carlos Freay,
Ana Perez-Ingram and Joe Arriola say that one of their goals is "to
raise awareness that we have a very qualified, articulate, and sincere
LGBT ally, running for City Council."
The District 1 race is a five-way contest and will most likely go into
a runoff election. Besides Bernal the other contenders are Carolyn Kelley,
Ralph Medina, Lauro Bustamante and Chris Forbrich, a gay man who in the
last District 1 election garnered nearly 40 percent of the vote against
incumbent Mary Alice Cisneros.
Following is the press release issued by the Bernal coalition:
It is an honor for me to be supporting Diego Bernal for City Council,
District One, and to announce a coalition of LGBT/Allied supporters of
Diego Bernal. I became aware of Diego's candidacy through a story in the
Express News and from what I read, I knew immediately that this was a
candidate that I was eager to learn more about. I reached out to Diego
and questioned him on his views of social justice, human rights, LGBT
equality and how he would incorporate equality and fairness into our city
government. I was not disappointed.
I recently arranged for a small group of activists in the LGBT-Allied
community to meet with Diego and they too walked away from that meeting
with the feeling that this man has the knowledge, the depth, and the ability
to be an articulate voice and strong advocate for LGBT equality and fairness
in San Antonio. The impression was so great, that the group has committed
to hosting a fundraiser for Diego on March 23rd. Those supporters and
hosts of the upcoming fundraiser for Diego include; Joe Arriola and Kris
Sumantri, Eric Alva, Luis Carlos Freay, Ana Perez-Ingram, and myself.
During this meeting, Diego committed to supporting two important and very
symbolic issues for our community.
1. As a City Councilman, Diego will support and advocate for the idea
of a LGBT Community Center as a necessary resource for our community.
To have a voice on the City Council advocating for something our community
has struggled to create, will give us an important and credible ally in
2. As a City Councilman, Diego has committed to participate in our Annual
Pride Parade. While this is not a policy issue; the symbolism of city
council participation is enormous. For years, our community has invited
the San Antonio City Council members to participate in our Pride Parade
and those invitations have been consistently ignored. Diego will be the
first straight/allied City Councilman to recognize and respect our community
through his participation.
I believe that Diego will follow through on theses pledges and is not
your typical "election year supporter". I believe this to be
true, based on the work he has done in his two professions as a social
worker and attorney. Diego and I both earned our Master of Social Work
Degrees from The University of Michigan. I can tell you firsthand that
this university teaches and instills social justice and advocacy; and
to have their graduates fight against social injustice, wherever it occurs.
As an attorney, Diego specializes in civil rights and has worked as an
attorney for MALDEF; need I say more. He believes that civil rights are
human rights for everyone. These are the values that are instilled in
Please know that this is not about supporting one candidate over another;
as there are other qualified candidates in this race. Our support for
Diego Bernal is about supporting the best qualified candidate to represent
an area of our city that is important to the LGBT community. It is about
supporting an advocate with the depth, knowledge, and the know-how to
be an articulate voice for equality and fairness. It is about supporting
the candidate who who truly wants to give back to his home city and work
toward making our city a better place for all its citizens. These are
the reasons we are supporting Diego Bernal for City Council.
Please join us on March 23rd from 6-8 at the Skyroom of the Vidorra Condominiums
for a fundraiser for Diego. Even if you are not ready to commit your support
to Diego, we would like to encourage you to attend and have the opportunity
to meet this amazing candidate. He is an ally and we believe that he will
have a bright future in elective office and he is someone that our community
needs to know. You can give what you can afford or give nothing at all,
if you just want the opportunity to meet with Diego. We hope you will
Darrell Parsons, Joe Arriola, Kris Sumantri, Eric Alva, Luis Carlos Freay,
and Ana Perez-Ingram
responds to formation of Bernal coalition
QSanAntonio.com, March 1, 2011
District 1 City Council candidate Chris Forbrich says that a GLBT coalition
formed to support one of his opponents, attorney Diego Bernal, will only
serve to divide the gay community at a time when unity is desperately