Randy introduced Max Disposti the executive director of the North County LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) Resource Center which is located in Oceanside. Max was born in Rome, Italy and after college he pursued his volunteer aspirations by working with different human rights and non-profit organizations. After moving to southern California in 2001, he began volunteering his time with local agencies. During this time he noticed the need for a stronger North San Diego LGBT community. In 2008 he founded the North County LGBT Coalition, a non-profit organization. With the help of a dedicated board the North County LGBTQ Resource Center was opened in 2011, where Max now operates as the Executive Director. The Mission Statement of the center is; To foster and empower the North County LGBTQ community by providing a safe space, advancing awareness and visibility and sustaining equality and inclusiveness. Max said that 40% of the homeless populations between the ages of 16-24 is LGBT and many are a result of their families rejecting them because of their lifestyle. The center provides group meetings along with professional counseling for family, youth and adults. They also operate Safe Space meeting places for youth and adults throughout the North County at schools and libraries. Free HIV testing is also provided. Max has worked with the FBI and local police in regards to hate crimes perpetrated against the LGBT community. As always there was not enough time to say it all; more info can be obtained at http://www.ncresourcecenter.org/.
Monthly Archives: June 2017
Michelle introduced Oceanside Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery. He’s standing in for Mayor Wood who has served the city for 40 years. 30 of those as a police officer! Four weeks ago he was hospitalized due to heart, blood and diabetes conditions. He’s doing fine, but Oceanside’s most popular elected official will be out until August. We wish him well! Chuck Lowery was born and raised in Oceanside. He attended Ditmar School, St. Mary Star of the Sea, Oceanside High, Mira Costa College and San Diego State University. He founded his own wholesale business, Pacific Bakery, and grew it into a company with national regional distribution. Chuck eventually sold his successful 22 year old bakery to allow more time to serve the community. Looking ahead, Chuck is interested in guiding the direction of the City of Oceanside. As a member of the City Council he was elected to represent the needs of all residents and must consider that above all other interests. Today, the City of Oceanside has 3 big issues: 1. Homelessness 2. Voting districts – dividing into 4 districts 3. Medical Marijuana distribution – in the last election recreational marijuana use was legalized with 57% voting in favor His presentation today was focused on Medical Marijuana Distribution.
Chuck is a member of a Medical Marijuana Ad Hoc committee which has been formed. There are 5 council members plus 2 staff on committee as well as an MS patient and a Pharmacologist(who informs of studies conducted). The committee has been tasked with coming up with guidelines and regulations to present to the city council for approval. They only have 5 to 6 months to accomplish this. The Federal government won’t allow it to be legal in the U.S. This makes it especially difficult for states who have voted to legalize it for medical and/or recreational use. There is a huge need for Marijuana medically. The local farmers are lobbying the city to grow it. They can make 20 to 30 times what they currently make for growing Avocados ($2000/acre/year) and Strawberries ($4000/acre/year). Marijuana is currently selling for $3500 for 1 pound. It would have to be grown in secure areas. The Marijuana business is currently all cash. One business delivered $450,000 in cash to the city for taxes. This poses security risks that must be handled. 80-90% is not leaves(buds) but packaged items such as edibles and vapor pens. Regulating the contents of the edibles is an issue that must be figured out as well. They are creating guidelines for what will be accepted in Oceanside.
Weed Maps is an app people use to locate marijuana dispensaries as well as order for delivery. It shows locations of deliveries happening as well. The city has used it to track down locations and serve legal notices. There’s a hemp cream for pets that’s rubbed inside their ears to calm them down for a short period of time. Chuck uses it on his dog that’s freaked out by the fireworks that go off in his neighborhood every night. The committee members are going on a tour of a medical marijuana facility in Temecula soon for ideas on what’s out there now. A Los Angeles company has already made an offer to the City for $1.5 million/year for 5 years to be the only 6 stores in Oceanside able to sell marijuana. Chuck said that many people are still very closed minded about the use of marijuana for medical reasons. They say things like “it’s always been bad”, “we’ve got to save the kids”and “no one in my family will ever use marijuana”. It’s important that people are educated on the benefits of CBD’s for individuals with many conditions such as MS, epilepsy, and joint pains to name a few
Past President Knox Williams introduced two dynamic women whom have changed the lives of more than 1,000 women in San Diego County since the inception of“Leap for Success” in 2013 as an independent non-profit organization. Earlier in 2008, Dana Bristol-Smith began a volunteer project for domestic violence survivors to regain their voice, build confidence and leadership skills by empowering women in building their public speaking skills. Dana then introduced Lakesha Sexton, one of her successful graduates and an employee of the amazing organization, as she described what was involved in empowering women who had their “Life Interrupted” (as her mentor Dana best described it) by; Domestic Violence, Divorce, Homelessness, Unemployment, or other difficulties. Lakesha is one of three “contracted speakers” on staff with “Leap to Success”. Ms. Sexton has two lovely daughters and in 2006 the family hit “rock bottom” followed in 2008 by her “Life Interrupted” by domestic violence. That depleted whom she was and she sought help from the Family Justice Center. She truly trusted their word with her heart, when they asked “what could they do to help her family?” Dana stepped into the picture and taught her; to regain strength, to regain Life, and most importantly, to serve as a role-model for her two daughters. Lakesha then shared whom she is! She then had the heart to encourage others whom she would speak before. She chose to be assertive and that was a challenge. She learned that Yes means Yes and that No means No. Furthermore, she changed her thinking from “I have to” to “I choose to” and that made her feel more empowering. But most of all, she began to have that heart to encourage others. Thank you Lakesha for your heart warming and compelling message that you shared with each and every one of us. Rotary thanks you and we each personally thank you, for you are truly awe inspiring and may God continue to bless you, your family and your colleagues. Dana Bristol-Smith then shared with us that all programs are made available for free. The program lasts for seven weeks with a several weeks of follow-up, a total of ten weeks. Leap to Success has partnered with over 50 community based service referral agencies. Thank you Dana for your mission to empower women and increase self confidence amongst domestic violence victims.