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Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee

Minutes of the October 18, 2005 Meeting

Committee Members Present: Commissioner Cecilia Chung, Whitney Bagby, Dora Balcazar, Sally Buchmann, David Cameron, Aidan Dunn, Ted Guggenheim, Danny Kirchoff, Nancy Lawlor, Ren Phoenix, Jorge Romero-Lozano, Stephen Schwichow, Jason Stein, Morningstar Vancil, Meredith Wood.

Committee Members Absent: Commissioner Mark Dunlop (excused), Commissioner Pat Norman, Julie Frank (excused), Ellise Nicholson.

Staff Present: Marcus Arana, Larry Brinkin, Domenic Viterbo.

Guests Present: Daisy Anarchy, Jerry A. Deal, Maxine Dougan, Kim Low, Alexandra Lutnick, Svetlana Pizchik, Lucinda Rambera.

  1. Call to Order and Roll Call:

    Commissioner Chung called the meeting to order at 7:38 p.m. Mr. Brinkin called the roll.

  2. Approval of Minutes of September 20, 2005:

    Mr. Schwichow moved to approve the minutes as written. Mr. Cameron seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

  3. Public Comments for Items Not on the Agenda:

    No public comments were made.

  4. Presentation by Jerry Deal, Human Rights Campaign, about new SF Office:

    Jerry Deal, manager of the Human Rights Campaign’s new action center, announced that they’ve just opened a new store on Castro Street at 19th Street. The action center sells its own brand of merchandise and acts as an information clearinghouse by providing space for community organizations to display their information. Mr. Deal would like the action center can work in coalition with the HRC, noting that the two organizations share the same acronym. He ended his presentation by saying that the center is currently hiring part-time staff.

  5. Panel: Sex Workers – How They’re Impacted By City Government:

    Mr. Stein introduced the panel presenters: Alix Lutnick with St. James Infirmary ("SJI"), Svetlana Pizchik with SAGE, and Maxine Dougan, with the Erotic Service Providers Union.

    Ms. Lutnick showed a PowerPoint presentation that she referred to in describing the history of SJI and the many client services they provide. (An email of the PowerPoint slides was sent to the Committee members prior to the meeting to preview.) Some of the many services SJI provide include: 1) free primary care for adults and adolescents, 2) peer counseling, 3) legal and social service referrals, 4) support groups, 5) an outreach program that informs the public of their services, 6) career counseling and training, 7) a syringe exchange program. She provided copies of SJI’s Occupational Safety Guidebook that provides a list of different health services that are known to be sex worker-friendly. As she was going over the demographic charts in her presentation, she noted that a lot of the data is missing because some sex workers don’t want to label themselves in terms of gender, race, sexual identity, etc. Some of the reasons why there’s missing data are: 1) SJI’s limited hours, 2) the limited number of volunteer health providers, 3) the term "sex worker" being problematic, 4) the SOMA location of SJI being inconvenient, 5) and word of mouth of SJI’s services that can be limiting depending on where the information is coming from.

    She referred to a research project the UCSF is doing in conjunction with SJI called the St. SWEAT (Sex Worker Environmental Assessment Team) Project. This is a qualitative and quantitative study exploring whether diminished social capital ends up resulting in an increased rate of HIV, STD, and hepatitis rates. The overall goal is to create culturally appropriate community-driven prevention for sex workers. She presented statistical information as well as the numerous recommendations derived from the study.

    Ms. Pizchik is from SAGE (Standing Against Global Exploitation), a peer-based organization that provides counseling, drug treatment, and recovery services for sex workers. She described the numerous services SAGE provides including several components: 1) substance abuse and trauma, 2) mental health, 3) services to men (this is a new component), 4) the Early Intervention Prostitution Program which works in collaboration with the City Attorney’s Office. The City Attorney’s Office determines which arestees are qualified to participate in this particular component. She described the process of what happens when SAGE receives clients into the Early Intervention Prostitution Program. SAGE’s case management is very client-sensitive and client-centered and their goal is to support them. She said that since they do not provide vocational training, they may need to collaborate with other agencies to refer their clients to them.

    Kim Low, also with SAGE, added there is a human trafficking component, which was created to help people who were trafficked into the U.S. from other countries and forced into prostitution. Through this component, they work in collaboration with several law enforcement agencies to address the problem of trafficking.

    Maxine Dougan, with the Erotic Service Providers Union, provided the Committee members handouts and referred to them when expressing her concerns over labor law violations - specifically regarding the pay to work program in which erotic dancers are forced to pay for the right to work. She also expressed concern that SJI, SAGE, and other organizations, receive funding from the dance club owners who exploit erotic dancers and sex workers.

    The panel entertained questions from the Committee

    Daisy Anarchy provided public comment on this item. She provided handouts to the Committee members and described each of them. Having worked as an exotic dancer, she spoke on the coerced prostitution, the fact that dancers are being charged illegal stage fees, and other human rights violations occurring in strip clubs. She said that she’s concerned about the SFPD, St. James Infirmary, and SAGE are benefiting from the class action money given to them by the strip clubs. She asked that the Committee not be used by the dance club owners and their friends to further their agenda.

  6. Report on the Recruitment and the Racism/Communication Work Groups:

    Mr. Brinkin reported that the Recruitment work group, staffed by Hadas Rivera-Weiss, hasn’t met since the last Committee meeting and needs to schedule another meeting date. From their last meeting, he provided a partial list of organizations that serve LGBT people of color, and asked the Committee members to review the list and contact either him or Ms. Rivera-Weiss if there are any other groups that should be added to the list. With the added suggestions, the work group will come up with a doable list of organizations to contact. Committee members will be asked to contact the organizations to get our recruiting announcement to them so that they can get it out to their members. If possible, members should find out when there will be a meeting of the organization and if we can be added to their agenda to make a short presentation on what the Committee is, what it does, etc. Ms. Rivera-Weiss will send the Recruitment workgroup a message tomorrow on their availability to schedule another meeting.

  7. Commissioner Report:

    Commissioner Chung reported on a few activities: the Commissioners took a tour of the International Hotel ("I-Hotel"), a senior housing facility in Chinatown which is almost ready to open its doors. She said that it was emotionally moving to tour the I-Hotel because of its history. She said to contact Mr. Brinkin or Emil DeGuzman of staff to get information on the history of the I-Hotel. She reported that she had been doing a lot of outreach for recruitment by contacting several organizations to identify individuals to recommend for the Committee. She added that Mr. Brinkin will email a message from her to the Committee members assessing their service on the Committee and that Committee members are to submit a memorandum or letter to her, either written or as an email, describing why they’d like to end/continue their service on the Committee for another term. Letters can be mailed or dropped off at the HRC. She announced that AB 1400 (redefine the State definition of sex to include ‘gender identity’) and 1586 (bill prohibiting public access discrimination based on gender) were passed and signed into law in January.

  8. Staff Report:

    Mr. Brinkin reported that he’s attending a CAHRO meeting in Burbank, CA this Friday to discuss putting on their annual conference which will take place in Sacramento in January. Mr. Brinkin is currently putting together an LGBT-related panel. He reported that Mr. Arana has joined Sgt. Stephan Thorne, of SFPD, to give four trainings at every police station in the city in order to train all police officers on transgender sensitivity and protocols. He reported that the Rules Committee will hear on the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program in early November and make a decision to keep the program at the HRC. He will email the date of the meeting to the Committee. He announced that Creating Change will take place in Oakland in November and he will be participating on a panel on aging in the LGBT community. He reported that both Becky Freund and Rebecca Rolf’s Committee memberships have been cancelled.

  9. Old/New Business:

    Ms. Buchmann said that she has been doing outreach to the leather community for BDSM information and had a number of websites emailed to her and would like to introduce this information to the Committee at next month’s meeting. Commissioner Chung announced that she would like to introduce the "7 by 7" (seven minutes of presentation followed by seven minutes of Q&A) in upcoming meetings and she would like to meet with all Committee members to use this time to advocate and educate each other on certain issues. She said that David Cameron will be scheduled at next month’s meeting to present a follow-up on the intersex report. She proposed to have Ms. Buchmann present her information at January’s meeting. Mr. Brinkin said that he spoke to Jeff Sheehy today who said that he’s not sure that Dr. Klausner will pursue his request to the FDA to reclassify Viagra as a dangerous drug. Mr. Sheehy will inform Mr. Brinkin on any updates.

  10. Announcements:

    Mr. Kirchoff reminded the Committee to vote at the November 8 special election. Ms. Buchmann announced that Pride At Work will be tabling in the Castro this weekend to register voters.

  11. Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.