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OP Ed: A Statement from Alexander Grimaldi on Tate Hill

Update 9-24-18 4:45 PM: We added Mr. Grimaldi and Hill's picture, a request made by a reader who needed a direct reference.

Update 9-28-18 4:32 PM: There was a request for a change of photo by request of Mr. Grimaldi.

ONME News Disclaimer:

Alexander Grimaldi requested to furnish a public statement due to the comments, allegations or assumptions people made about him and/or the interview he did with ONME News.

Below is his authentic statement in its entirety; we did not change or edit the document. We took a snap shot of each page and cut and pasted it into this page.

If you cannot see it above, please read original document here.

Update: 9-24-18 4:42 PM: Due to a direct request via email this afternoon from a person who is visually impaired, we have pasted the actual text unedited.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Statement from Alexander Grimaldi on Tate Hill

I would like to clarify some things about my interview that I did with ONME News a few weeks ago. Mr. Hill made statements that I was hoodwinked in some way by his opponent to do that interview, and that I support his opponent. I would like to make clear that I have never met, nor have I ever had any contact with his opponent or his campaign. I find it very exasperating that Mr. Hill feels that he must suggest that I am lying about how we know each other, or that I had to have been paid by his opponent or ONME News. I don’t need nor; do I want anyone’s money. The point of my doing the interview I will address in this statement.

Mr. Hill and I met on a dating app some time in 2015, however, we only met in person one time for a date at Vini Vidi Vici in March 2017. We had a couple of drinks, and mostly spoke about my 2010 campaign against Henry T. Perea for State Assembly. It was a date; however, I wasn’t his “lover” that’s an outdated and very strong word, nor was I his “one-night stand” that’s just terrible. Whatever terms one would like to use. It’s not really that important to warrant a term.

On May 31, 2018 I read an article from the Fresno Bee about a local LGBT advocate speaking out against Mr. Hill and his acceptance of money from FUSD school board member Ashjian who is anti-LGBT. In that article the reporter asked Mr. Hill very simple yes and no questions about his support of LGBT right, Mr. Hill refused to answer. That bothered me because of how we know each other, and he gave me no indication that he was on the DL (Down Low), considering his frequenting of gay dating apps, and bars so I need not ask.

I’m not for outing people and that is not my thing here, you can’t really out someone who is so openly in the public about it. I’m not the only one who knows. Some people that have worked with Mr. Hill have told me of his dating interns while at the commerce. (This however is heresy for I haven’t spoken with any of those interns I’m just relaying information from people who should know having worked with him.) There was a documentary in 2008 called “Outrage” about an organization that exposed politicians who were voting against LGBT rights such as basic healthcare etc., while having same-sex relations (some of which were married to women). In Mr. Hill’s case, if it wasn’t me who spoke out then eventually in time someone else will and by then it would be a much bigger issue because he could have his hand in destroying what our community has been working so hard for well before the Stonewall riots of June 1969.

We have a government that wants to take rights away from our community, so every politician that can’t answer the simple yes or no question “Do you support LGBT rights?” or any similar question, should have their moral compass checked. It may not seem that important for a city council race, but it is. If Mr. Hill gets elected this could lead to a state office, and eventually a Federal office. Where will he stand when it comes to your personal rights, with or against you? Speaking truth to power is more important now than ever.

In a yet to be published statement to the Fresno Bee about my interview with ONME, Mr. Hill said “It’s unfortunate that in 2018 we still have people that utilize bigotry in order to get elected. I had hoped that local politics were above these divisive tactics. Clearly, my opponent and his allies have chosen a campaign of hate a division…” I take issue with that statement. Yes, it is unfortunate in 2018 that people will utilize bigotry in order to get elected, that’s a shame. Also, that is why I spoke out. Mr. Hill’s financial backer Mr. Ashjian said “"My biggest fear in teaching this – which we’re going to do it because it’s the law – but you have kids who are extremely moldable at this stage, and if you start telling them that LGBT is OK and that it’s a way of life, well maybe you just swayed the kid to go that way," Ashjian said. "It’s so important for parents to teach these Judeo-Christian philosophies." Referring to the California's Healthy Youth Act, which requires schools to teach unbiased and medically accurate sex education, including lessons on birth control, abortion and LGBT relationships. That to me sounds like hate, decisiveness and bigotry which Mr. Hill clearly is ok with considering his acceptance of money from Mr. Ashjian and his refusal to return that money.

I’ve attended school in the Fresno Unified School District from the early 90s until the late 2000s. In elementary school I was called a “Faggot”, I’ve had my head slammed into a tree root with my entire 4th grade class witnessing, and not a one spoke up for me when I returned to class late and was berated by the teacher for being tardy. I didn’t speak up for myself either. I had no help from the adults at the school or the district when my mother complained. I was scared of going to school, I dreaded getting on that bus, many times I thought about suicide. That started around the time of the Matthew Shepard murder. I heard how the adults spoke about Matthew, and I knew that I was gay. How could you feel safe at school, when the adults who should be protecting you speak of someone who was murdered for being gay as if he deserved it?

I remember and still live with those feelings about going to school in Fresno. Now a man sits on the school board who I’m sure wouldn’t care about homophobia in schools, when he is so bluntly homophobic himself. That’s when and why I question Mr. Hills stance with members of the LGBT community, a community that is heavily inside of his district. Mr. Hill may not ever vote on an issue that will affect the LGBT community, but one day he might in the State Assembly, Senate, or Governor, or as a member of the U.S. Congress. Those questions must be asked today, and they must be answered truthfully.

I have also heard from another community to which Mr. Hill and I belong, the black community. I have heard that I am “some white man trying to put down a black man.” I understand the confusion, and that mistake is something that has been irritating me since I was very young. I am black, my Father is black, I am proud of who I am. I’m not just some from a terrible family either, which I have heard from some members of the black community. My Aunt is the first and only black woman to have a school named after her in Fresno. I come from a respectable family, I was raised in the church, and I know Mr. Hill was as well that added to the toughness of speaking out because I know how that portion of the black community can be about LGBT people especially gay men.

Finally, I don’t think that either candidate is great for District 3 but that is not a choice I am going to be making considering that I do not live in that area. I do feel that the voters in that district should have all the information they need to make what they feel is a good choice. The voters are smart and can determine who that is, but please vote for that is where we the people hold great power.

Alexander Grimaldi

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