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Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee

Minutes of the January 16, 2007 Meeting



Committee Members Present: Commissioner Cecilia Chung, Commissioner Mark Dunlop, Whitney Bagby, Dora Balcazar, Blue Buddha, Billy Curtis, Calvin Gipson, Ted Guggenheim, Ren Phoenix, Aleem Raja, Martin Rawlings-Fein, Jason Riggs, Stephen Schwichow, Morningstar Vancil.


Committee Members Absent:Commissioner Yoel Kahn (excused), Jane Aceituno, David Cameron (excused), Christopher Gomora, Roberto Ordeñana (excused).


Staff Present: Larry Brinkin, Domenic Viterbo.


Guests Present: Ernie Fausto, Becky Freund, Ryan Fuimaono, Kath Lambert, Anthony Philip, Miko Thomas, Lance Toma.


1.      Call to Order and Roll Call:


Commissioner Chung called the meeting to order at 5:35 p.m. Mr. Brinkin called the roll.


2.      Public Comment For Items Not On The Agenda:


No public comments were made.


3.      Approval of November 21, 2006 Minutes (action item):


Mr. Buddha moved to approve the November 21, 2006 minutes as written. Mr. Guggenheim seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


4.      Presentation by Lance Toma, Executive Director,A&PI Wellness Center:


Commissioner Chung introduced Lance Toma, the new Executive Director of the Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center (“the Center”). He introduced Ryan Fuimaono, the Center’s Executive Associate. Mr. Toma has been with the Center for seven years and was its Deputy Director prior to becoming Executive Director. The Center will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in May. The Center has existed to ensure that members of Asian and Pacific Islander (“A&PI”) communities have access to the health system and resources in their communities.

The Center originally was two organizations - The Living Well Project and the Asian AIDS Project – then they later merged to become the Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center. For the past 20 years they have served not only San Francisco and other Bay Area communities, but also in countries of the Pacific Island jurisdiction. The Center provides services focusing on empowering, advocating, educating, and supporting A&PIs at risk for HIV and AIDS and their families through support networks presented in twenty A&PI languages. The Center strives to raise the bar around the quality of competency in providing a holistic model of services, not only for clients, but also for themselves as well. There are about 50 staff members at the Center and have locations in San Francisco , Oakland , and San Mateo . Mr. Toma described several of the Center’s many client services including case management for people living with HIV; on site HIV and STD testing; psychiatric services; immigration and legal advocacy; housing; interpretation services; outreach; education; and individual and group level support aimed primarily towards gay and bisexual men, queer youth, and transgender individuals. Medical services are provided in conjunction with the Tom Waddell Medical Clinic, and massage, acupuncture, and other Eastern medical services are provided in conjunction with Kwan Yin Healing Arts Center .


In addition to direct services, they provide capacity building services taking their geographic scope beyond the Bay Area. For the past 15 years, the Center has had a national capacity building assistance program run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Center has worked with other organizations and community groups throughout the U.S. and in the Pacific Island jurisdictions to help ensure they have access to resources and funding and to help small organizations build infrastructure for the HIV programs. The Center has helped form the Pacific Island Jurisdiction AIDS Action Group (PIJAAG) to help advocate for resources and to bring their providers together.


The Center has also led The Banyan Tree Project, (“the Project”) a national social marketing campaign that brings together organizations and individuals from all over the country to find ways in bringing an end to HIV/AIDS-related stigma in A&PI communities and to improve the health of all A&PIs by increasing their use of HIV prevention and treatment services. One of the goals set by the Project was to develop a national HIV/AIDS awareness day and campaign and thus, May 19 was recognized as National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.


Mr. Toma entertained questions from the Committee members.


5.      7X7: Morningstar Vancil:


Ms. Vancil, who was recently elected Secretary of the Pride Board, talked about her involvement on S.F. Pride and Interpride. She was going to show a DVD of Moscow’s gay parade, but asked to present the video at next month’s meeting. She said that this year’s Pride will be held on June 23-24, with the theme being “Pride Without Prejudice.”


6.      Outreach Work Group Report:


Mr. Bagby asked Committee members to share their recruitment efforts; what works, what doesn’t, or just to ask questions. Mr. Brinkin said that so far, he’s received six applications. Though this may seem low, he reminded the Committee that we’ve just started receiving applications. Mr. Bagby said that the work group members extend their support to any Committee members in their recruitment efforts. He added that the work group’s next phase is looking at the support and retention of current members. He asked members to think of how they could offer support as well as being supported on the Committee. Mr. Schwichow encouraged Committee members to look for applicants with emotion, caring, and compassion for their community, not simply those who are vociferous. Mr. Gipson feels that the Committee ought to recruit leaders and workers committed to getting work done. Mr. Brinkin encouraged the Committee to consider approaching applicants who are youth as well as elders in the community. As an interviewer, he often looks for applicants who are thoughtful and compassionate and are aware of issues affecting the LGBT communities. Mr. Raja asked the Committee to think of ways of helping new members feel safe and supported for the long-term. Mr. Brinkin said that everyone on the Committee has indicated that they’ll continue serving for another year except for Mr. Cameron and Mr. Schwichow who will be stepping down at the end of February. He added that Cynthia Goldstein still hasn’t received everyone’s photo and bio and asked that those who hadn’t submitted theirs to do so right away. The photos and bios will be downloaded onto the Committee’s webpage in the next few days. Their next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 7, at 5:30 p.m.


7.      Anti-Racism Work Group Report:


Mr. Gipson reported that four community rap sessions on race were held since October in the Tenderloin, Bayview-Hunters Point, Western Addition, and the Mission District. Also two more additional rap sessions have been scheduled: 1) a Spanish rap session will be held in early February at Instituto Familiar de la Raza (Mr. Ordeñana will facilitate and will need a co-facilitator), and 2) a rap session aimed towards the Native American community will be held on Wednesday, February 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the Native American Health Center, 160 Capp Street (Ms. Vancil will facilitate and her co-facilitator will be selected by the Native American Health Center). The Native American rap session will be an all-inclusive session where people of all races are welcome to attend. Because of the overwhelming amount of information from all the rap sessions, the public forum, which was scheduled for March, will be pushed back to May in order to have more discussions on planning, outreach, and to ensure that it will be reflective of the work group’s goals. This Committee-sponsored City-wide community forum will be held at the LGBT Community Center (the date of the forum is yet to be determined). The primary feature of the forum should be a discussion between community and business owners, directors, and CBOs. Their next meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 12, to discuss a draft community forum program and will be finalized in March.


8.      Native American Public Hearing Task Force Report:


Mr. Brinkin reported that Marcus Arana and Erin McGonigle, an intern from New College, have been working on the production of the first draft of the report which is nearing completion. The report will be distributed to members of the Native American community and others who participated at the public hearing for feedback. The plan is to email copies of the draft report to the Committee to discuss at next month’s meeting. If the Committee approves it, it will be presented to the Commission at its March 8th meeting.


9.      Commissioners Report:


Commissioner Chung reported that the Commission is working on dates for hosting meetings in various communities around the City including Chinatown, the Castro, Mission, Bayview-Hunters Point, (at the beginning of next year), Western Addition, Sunset, Richmond, and the Tenderloin. In addition, the Commission’s Annual Planning Meeting will be held on Thursday, February 22, and is a public meeting. She reported that several commissioners have been reappointed. She reported that aside from the LGBT Advisory Committee, the other three committees of the HRC – Issues, Employment, and Local Business Enterprise Committees - are looking for new members as well and for the Committee members to help recruit for them as well. Members of the other three committees can have members who do not reside in San Francisco ; only the LGBT Advisory Committee is chartered for its members to reside in San Francisco . A resolution that was written and adopted to acknowledge and honor the work that Claire Skiffington has done for the transgender community will be presented to her brother. The Committee will be notified as to when the resolution will be presented. She announced that the California Transgender Leadership Summit will take place on March 23-25 at USC and is the first time the Commission voted to sponsor the summit. The event is free and registration is available through the Transgender Law Center ’s website,


10.  Staff Report:


Mr. Brinkin reported that the Mayor’s Office has asked the HRC to cut 3% of its general fund budget, or $35-40 thousand, and staff is trying to find ways of saving money without having layoffs. At the same time, there are four job openings: a Representative for the Housing/Employment/Public Accommodations Division, Contract Compliance Officer and a Senior Contract Compliance Officer for the Local Business Enterprise Program, and an office administrator to manage the HRC’s budget, act as personnel officer, and to manage the Administrative Support Division. He reported that Hadas Rivera-Weiss is feeling much better and may be back to work in 2-3 weeks. Members of staff will be attending Public Interest Law Day in early February to interview and recruit interns for the summer. Lastly, staff hosted Cristina Diaz, a Contract Compliance Specialist with the City of Miami Beach’s Procurement Department, to learn about San Francisco’s Equal Benefits Ordinance in order to help strengthen theirs.


11.  Old/New Business:


No Old/New Business was discussed.


12.  Announcements:


Mr. Rawlings-Fein announced that had just finished his first feature-length documentary film entitled “Clocked”, a personal narrative of the transgender community through the eyes of six people, which was submitted to be considered for presentation at this year’s LGBT Film Festival. He has also volunteered for next month’s “7X7” presentation.


13.  Adjournment:


The meeting was adjourned at 5:25 p.m.