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Political Update: Grassroots efforts and the first-ever Presidential Twitter Town Hall

SAN DIEGO -- Several local candidates will spend the 4th of July holiday with friends and family, and a few will attend Independence Day festivities around the city to meet and greet with as many constituents as possible.

On the national scene, two events that are worth mentioning are prime examples of how political parties are embracing diversity and technology.

It is no secret that many Republicans have stood against laws and policies that promote equality for LGBT Americans, but a younger generation of Republican candidates and supporters have been insisting that the GOP's core is starting to change.

An example of such change is the Republican National Committee and its recent decision to reach out to its LGBT supporters.

R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, was recently named to the RNC Finance Committee. On this panel, he will be playing a critical role in raising money for the party's efforts to elect Republicans across the country.

"I am honored to be a part of the Republican National Committee’s effort to advance a pro-growth, pro-free-enterprise agenda, especially while working to elect and reelect pro-equality Republicans to office all across the country,” Cooper said. "Chairman Priebus has demonstrated that he believes inclusion wins and that our party is strongest when we reach every community. I look forward to working within the party to help ensure we are victorious next November."

The Democrats, on the other hand, continue to use the power of the Internet. Unlike his Republican predecessor George W. Bush, President Obama has made a major effort to address the American public on a regular basis and he is about make history on Wednesday, July 6, with the first ever Twitter Town Hall.

You can participate by tweeting your questions using the hashtag #AskObama and then follow @townhall for the latest updates. Tune in at 2 pm EDT/11 am PDT on Wednesday and watch the President respond to your questions during a live event moderated by Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder and executive chairman.

San Diego politics

City Councilman Carl DeMaio, himself a Republican and one of the LGBT candidates hoping to make mayoral history in San Diego, held a reception in the heart of Hillcrest on Monday, June 27, at the popular nightclub Eden.

According to sources in attendance, about 100 people attended the event, some holding signs that read "Democrats for DeMaio."

However, just like a recent fundraiser for District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, DeMaio's event was targeted by protesters. A group of about 13 people stood outside of Eden at the start of the event, including some members of the San Diego Democratic Club (SDDC).

DeMaio and Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher will attend three 4th of July parades - the Scripps Ranch Parade at 10 am, the Mira Mesa Parade at 1 pm, and the Rancho Bernardo Parade at 3 pm.

Additionally, Fletcher took part in the University City 5k and Pancake Breakfast early Sunday morning, July 3.

City Council candidate Mark Kersey, the Republican businessman hoping to take DeMaio's seat, announced the support of Council President Pro Tem Kevin Faulconer and Councilmember Lorie Zapf.

"I support Mark because he has a firm understanding of the important issues facing our city. Mark supports many of the same fiscal reforms that are important to me, such as comprehensive pension reform, and I trust him to work with me on the council to safeguard San Diego’s tax dollars,” Faulconer said.

"Kevin and I need Mark on the city council to help us fight to implement much needed fiscal reforms," Zapf said. "I know he’ll bring a thoughtful and principled approach to the critical issues impacting our city."

To submit questions you would like to see the candidates answer, request coverage of a campaign event, or for any inquires regarding campaign coverage in the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, please email Staff Writer Esther Rubio-Sheffrey at esther@sdgln.com or call toll-free to (877) 727-5446 x711.

As a matter of full disclosure, SDGLN Publisher Johnathan Hale has a personal relationship with Carl DeMaio. Their relationship in no way impacts the editorial decisions made by Ken Williams, SDGLN Editor in Chief, and does not influence our political coverage. All candidates are allowed to submit two pieces per month for our Commentary page. Williams can be reached at (877) 727-5446, x713.