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Supporting Our Former Treasurer Sevi Alvarez

Late last year our former SPCDP treasurer and community advocate Sevi Alvarez was diagnosed with stage three cancer. He has completed 28 rounds of chemo and is now moving on to aggressive radiation followed by extensive surgery.


He and his family are asking for the community's support during this time. Their needs are outlined on the Caring Bridge website at https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/sevialvarez.


You can also contribute to their Hub City Delivery Account by calling the office at 864-542-0230 and adding money to account number ending in 2569.


Sevi continues to advocate for our community despite undergoing treatment. Below are his remarks during County Council meeting February 6th.


Public Comments


Spartanburg County Council Meeting

Monday, February 6, 2023

Sevi Alvarez


First I want to apologize for how I look and sound today. I’m currently battling cancer, and I had my 28th and final radiation treatment only three days ago.


I didn’t want to be here today. I’m tired and I don’t feel good. I’m supposed to have surgery on Friday. Unfortunately, some members of this delegation have made it impossible for me to pass up the opportunity, and the responsibility, to speak.


At the last delegation meeting, Josiah Magnuson said, and I’m paraphrasing, that we need to do something about childrens’ access to pornography. What he really meant is that he wants to remove books that tell LGBTQ stories from our schools and libraries.


Since then, Josh Kimbrell sponsored a bill to prohibit doctors from giving gender affirming care to trans youth. He wants you to think this would only ban surgeries and other irreversible procedures, but this bill would do much more than that. It would also prohibit counseling services for trans children – at least, the kind of counseling that would actually help them.

Elsewhere in our state we have folks who want to classify drag shows as “adult entertainment,” regardless of their actual content. Next thing you know, they’ll try to ban dancing, and we’ll have to call in Kevin Bacon to save us.


What this all comes down to is a concerted effort by fringe extremist legislators, to demonize LGBTQ folks. They do this because of some misguided version of morality in their own heads that they’re trying to shove down everyone else’s throats, and it’s wrong. I don’t see anything immoral about a person wearing a dress, and I see even less wrong with teaching our children to be true to themselves and that they are free to love whomever they like.


I want to draw attention to a group of House members who call themselves the “Freedom Caucus.” I find that name ironic, because everything they try to do ends up taking freedoms away from innocent people, not preserving them.


The “Freedom Caucus” has about a dozen members in our State House. Three of them are here with us today: Josiah Magnuson, Bill Chumley, and Steven Long. These folks want to ban award winning books from our schools and libraries, they want to outlaw legitimate medical procedures that are approved by the American Medical Association, and they want to overburden our teachers with pointless, intrusive restrictions on what they can and can’t teach in the name of “oversight.”


Since there’s been so much talk of children’s books lately, I decided to bring one with me today. It’s called Cancer Party, by Sara Olsher. Now I know there’s a rainbow pattern on the front, but don’t panic guys, I don’t think our county libraries are carrying it, so you don’t have to ban this one just yet.


I have a two and a half year old son named Ben, and my wife found this book online. It’s a child-friendly way for kids to learn what cancer is and how it affects the people they love.

The book explains that sometimes, in an otherwise healthy body, a cell might forget what it’s supposed to be doing. So instead of doing its job, it decides to start having a party. And it convinces other cells nearby to stop doing their jobs.


This Cancer Party eventually gets big enough that it starts disrupting the functions of the body, and soon the legislators – excuse me, the cells – that are trying to do their jobs, can’t, because the cancer party is too big and getting in the way. If the cancer party isn’t stopped, the body might just stop functioning completely.


I hope you can see where I’m going with this. The “Freedom Caucus” is a Cancer Party in the South Carolina government, and should be treated as such. I don’t care what political party you’re in – Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Constitution, Green. The Cancer Party, aka the “Freedom Caucus,” must be stopped. It’s going to take courage from the folks already in office to get us through these next two years, and then a concerted effort by voters in our state to expel this cancer from our legislature in 2024.


Run against these people. Whether it’s in a primary or in a general election, we can’t let these folks run unopposed any longer.


And if you can’t run, vote. Get your friends and family registered to vote. It doesn’t take that long.


You can’t fight cancer alone. Everyone has to work together to get rid of it. Remember that, as 2024 inches closer, and do your part to take down the Cancer Party.


Thank you.


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