Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Fundraising Party for Assemblyman Tom Ammiano: Great Fun and Food at a Political Party

California State Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, who served with distinction and humor on the San Francisco School Board and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, was the center of attention at a fundraising party in North Beach on June 17. Ammiano was one of first teachers to come out in San Francisco, and he and other out teachers became an activist core for future progressive change.

His other career as a comic—from the days of the Valencia Rose Nightclub in San Francisco, around the Bay Area, and across the U.S—comes through when least expected, and it is appreciated in the legislatures where he has served.

The event’s big draw was the hors d’oeuvres by gourmet chef Esther Marks, an Ammiano campaign operative and co-host of the event. There were suspected Republicans at the event, and donor Hank Donat said that “when  Esther Marks is catering, even Republicans will turn out for Tom Ammiano.”

It was also Democratic Party Chair Aaron Peskin’s birthday, and there was a large, heavily-scented dome of a cake being hungrily eyed by guests. Neighborhood women at the party spoke in reverential tones that it was from Stella Bakery, and even in the North Beach area of excellent bakeries, it stands out. The Sacripantina birthday cake is a fine, vanilla rum, sponge treasure, inducing a couple guests to ask for a second slice of the award-winning specialty of dessert pleasure.

Ammiano spoke about the Governor’s lack of communication before his budget veto, and co-host Dick Grosboll drew laughs when he said that the money raised may be needed for food and transportation for Anmiano, since the budget battle may lead to legislators being cut off from their paychecks. And a week later Ammiano was in fact cut off financially by the State of California.

Most of the guests were from the North Beach area, and others included Women’s Building founder Roma Guy, former Democratic Party Chair Jane Morrison, attorney Paul Melbostad, Sparc Club’s Erich Pearson and David Owen, Maurice Belote, and Joe Grubb.

Ammiano acknowledged that he can be seen in the online and TV video showing a near-fist fight in the California  State Assembly chambers, and he said he yelled out “Now girls!” to cool them off. Openly-gay Assembly Speaker John Perez is also shown on the video doing much of the persuading for the men to cool off and sit down.

There was a thrilling view of Alcatraz and Marin from the condo windows at the party and Ammiano welcomed guests, going from room to room at his happy fundraiser.

No comments: