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Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee

Minutes of the November 18, 2003 Meeting

Committee Members Present: Commissioner Martha Knutzen, Commissioner Theresa Sparks, Jason Alley, Sally Buchmann, Melchor Bustamante, Chris Caldeira, Scott Campbell, Jay Dwyer, Julie Frank, Ted Guggenheim, Danny Kirchoff, Bill Kirkpatrick, Nancy Lawlor, Aleem Raja, Jorge Romero-Lozano, Lisa Scheff, Stephen Schwichow, Morningstar Vancil, Lauren Williams.

Committee Members Absent: Johnnie Pratt (excused)

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

Guests Present: Jamie Armstrong, Jan Blouen, Dottie Bradley, Barbara Brenner, Jody Marksamer, Ren Phoenix, Dylan Vade, Hank Wilson

  1. Call to Order and Roll Call:

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

  2. Approval of Minutes of October 21, 2003:

    Mr. Romero-Lozano moved to approve the minutes as written. Mr. Kirkpatrick seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

  3. Public Comments for Items Not on the Agenda:

    Hank Wilson, a member of the Local Homeless Coordinating Board, shared that they approved a shelter services committee which will create a body to perform quality assessments of all City shelters, however the specifics on their processes haven’t yet been specified and would like feedback from the Committee to spotlight problems.

  4. Breast Cancer Panel:

    Jan Blouen is the official spokesperson for the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund (BCEF). She is also a peer support leader at UCSF-Mt. Zion and has been newly appointed to the Susan T. Coleman advisory council board. She shared her personal history as a 32-month breast cancer survivor, the support of the BCEF, and general information on staying healthy. The BCEF provides $600 annually for rent, utilities, medical insurance premiums and expenses that aren’t covered by insurance, and hospice expenses to patients suffering from breast cancer or HIV/AIDS. Patients who live in San Francisco and who are diagnosed with a disabling cancer or HIV/AIDS diagnosis, and whose total monthly income equals $1,960 or less, qualify for these benefits. She then shared information on other organizations that provide services to cancer patients. She’d like to see the Committee provide more media involvement, request speakers to give presentations on breast cancer to special interest groups, sponsor fundraisers for service organizations, spread the word to all communities by word of mouth, and lastly, lobby for a cure.

    Barbara Brenner of Breast Cancer Action shared her personal history with breast cancer then reported that a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. every 2 ½ minutes. Breast Cancer Action was formed in 1990 by women diagnosed with metastatic cancer, or cancer that extends past the breast. Their mission is to be the voice of those affected by breast cancer and to inspire and compel change by providing information to anyone who needs it, organizing people to take action rather than worrying, providing policy work on breast cancer by finding and making sure less toxic treatments are available, and finding the envirornmental links to breast cancer. The "known risk" factors leading to breast cancer include one’s age (breast cancer’s the leading cause of death for women 35 – 50 years of age), having had a previous history of breast cancer, a family history of breast cancer, the country where one is born (persons born in industrialized countries have a higher risk), if a mammogram shows dense tissue, the age when menstruation begins (the younger, the higher the risk) and ends (the older, the higher the risk), the amount of alcohol consumed (the more consumed, the higher the risk), age when a woman has given birth (the older, the higher the risk) or not having given birth, a history of fibrosistic breast disease, taking oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, and ionized radiation. Statistics of lesbians having a higher rate of breast cancer than straight women are still unknown because data on sexual orientation haven’t been collected. Two primary "known risk" factors that affect lesbians more than straight women: lesbians are less likely to have children and they are more likely to consume more alcohol. It is also true that lesbians are less likely to seek health care because they feel that they aren’t treated respectfully by medical care providers. Ms. Brenner feels that it is important for the Committee to advocate for better treatment of lgbt patients to the medical community. She then described the work of Breast Cancer Action: it was formed in 1990 by women diagnosed with breast cancer. Their mission is to carry voices of those affected by breast cancer, to inspire and compel change by 1) providing information to anyone who needs it, 2) organizing people to take action rather worrying, 3) providing policy work on breast cancer – finding and making sure less toxic treatments are available and finding what the environmental links are to breast cancer.

    Ms. Bluen and Ms. Brenner then answered questions by the Committee.

  5. Gender Identity Task Force Report: Approval of Gender Identity Guidelines Revisions (Action Item):

    Mr. Kirchoff presented the draft guidelines to the Committee and reported that it will be presented at the Thursday, January 8, 2004 Commission meeting. Mr. Arana reported the process had taken about 2 years and said that there were over twenty who helped work on the guidelines. Mr. Arana described the major changes that were made to the guideline definitions. Commissioner Knutzen moved to request the Commission to approve the guidelines. Ms. Buchmann seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Commissioner Sparks officially terminated the task force and thanked Mr. Arana for all his hard work.

  6. Intersex Task Force Report:

    Commissioner Sparks suggested to address this item at the next Committee meeting in order so that input from others to get different points of view are represented. Mr. Brinkin said that the task force needs to be member-driven and that Committee members who are involved need to participate. A draft resolution will be presented at the next Commission meeting. The next task force meeting will be held Tuesday, December 16, at 5:30 p.m.

  7. Activism Task Force Report:

    Mr. Alley reported that the task force did not meet due to the Veterans Day holiday. The next meeting will be Tuesday, December 9, at 5:30 p.m., and will discuss the task force’s viability with Ms. Nicholson.

  8. Marriage and Family Issues Task Force:

    Commissioner Knutzen reported that the Task Force discussed the makeup of the panel and to present to the Commission sponsor the panel at their Wednesday, December 10 meeting. The panel will speak in the Ceremonial Room at the LGBT Community Center on Thursday, February 12, 2004, at 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. She reported that the panel would cover new rights for domestic partners. Commission Sparks motioned to approve this as a guideline to present to the Commission. Mr. Romero-Lozano moved to have it approved. Mr. Guggenheim seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

  9. Homeless Queer Youth Task Force Report: Approval of Position Paper with Recommendations on LGBTQQ Homeless Youth (Action Item):

Mr. Brinkin explained that Mr. Schwichow, Mr. Romero-Lozano, and Patrick Mulcahey provided feedback on the paper and recommended some changes. Copies of the responses were given to the Committee. Mr. Schwichow and Mr. Romero-Lozano explained the changes they made. The Committee discussed other suggestions for changes to the paper. Commissioner Sparks suggested that any recommended changes be sent to Mr. Brinkin to incorporate into the final draft. Mr. Brinkin said that the final draft copy would be taken to a meeting before a dinner for homeless youth at the Most Holy Redeemer Church and present it to the youth in attendance for their input.

10. New Member Recruitment:

Mr. Brinkin reported that recruitment efforts will start in December. He pointed out the timeline that was included in each AC member’s packet that is similar to last year’s. Each AC member is let staff know if they are interested in continuing to serve the Committee by Wednesday, December 10. A press release will be sent out on December 24. The deadline for new Committee member applications is Thursday, January 15, 2004. Mr. Brinkin stressed for the Committee to inform possible AC members to apply. The press release will be emailed to Committee members. Hard copies will be provided upon request. Because there are currently 20 members on the Committee, Mr. Brinkin suggested to keep the number of members to 25. Depending on how many applications are received, the recruitment committee will determine who to interview. The Chair will decide on the following membership of the recruitment committee. The following members volunteered: Mr. Bustamante, Mr. Kirchoff, Ms. Lawlor, Mr. Romero-Lozano, Ms. Williams, and Ms. Vancil. Interviews will we conducted on Tuesday, February 3, 2004.

  1. Commissioners’ Report:

    Commissioner Sparks reported that she, Commissioner Knutzen, Mr. Arana, Mr. Bustamante, Dennis Herrera, Jennifer Rakawski, and other community members testified at the Police Commission meeting on the transgender standards and protocols. The standards were unanimously approved. Commissioner Sparks announced that the Fifth Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance memorial service and march will be held on Thursday, November 20, at 6:00 p.m. at Castro and Market Streets.

  2. Staff Report:

    Mr. Brinkin reported that the HRC had co-sponsored a 4-day conference to share information with delegates from Germany on the prevention of hate crimes. He reported that they are working on anti discrimination programs targeting extreme right wing groups who target immigrants. He mentioned that the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that bans on same-sex marriages are unconstitutional. He reported that Mr. Arana will meet with the Chancellor at City College to address violence against transgender people at City College. He reported that the HRC is looking into whether Cirque du Soleil discriminated against employees or potential employees in San Francisco based on HIV status.

  3. Old/New Business:

    Ms. Buchmann distributed cards on a performance festival along with a candlelight march commemorating the 25th anniversary of the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.

  4. Announcements:

    Mr. Campbell mentioned that New Leaf Services and their unions have come to an agreement. Mr. Brinkin reminded the Committee that the December meeting has been cancelled. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, January 20, 2004.

  5. Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at 7:52 p.m.