City and County of San FranciscoHuman Rights Commission

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Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee

Minutes of the November 21, 2006 Meeting



Committee Members Present: Whitney Bagby, Blue Buddha, Billy Curtis, Calvin Gipson, Christopher Gomora, Ted Guggenheim, Roberto Ordeñana, Aleem Raja, Stephen Schwichow, Morningstar Vancil.


Committee Members Absent: Commissioner Cecilia Chung (excused), Commissioner Mark Dunlop (excused), Jane Aceituno (excused), Dora Balcazar, David Cameron (excused), Anthony Philip (excused), Ren Phoenix, Martin Rawlings-Fein, Jason Riggs.


Staff Present: Larry Brinkin, Cynthia Goldstein, Domenic Viterbo.


Guests Present: Kurt Cooper, Jovida Guevarra-Ross,Carlton Paul.


1.      Call to Order and Roll Call:


Mr. Buddha 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 September 19 and October 17, 2006 Minutes (action item):


Mr. Schwichow moved to approve the September 19, 2006 minutes as written. Mr. Raja seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.


Ms. Vancil moved to approve the October 17, 2006 minutes as written. Mr. Schwichow seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


4.      Discussion Regarding the Increased Incidents of Violence in the Castro:


Mr. Brinkin said that this item is being presented per the Committee’s request. He introduced Carlton Paul, the Chairperson of Castro On Patrol (COP), and Jovida Guevarra-Ross, the new Executive Director of Community United Against Violence (CUAV). Mr. Paul introduced Kurt Cooper of COP’s board of directors who’s in charge of their Security and Training. Mr. Paul said that because the Castro has been viewed as a safe space for LGBT people, people have felt safe; however, over the past four to five months, the number of violent incidences against LGBT people in the Castro has increased. Specifically, the incident that prompted concern as well as the creation of COP was the rape and robbery of a local Castro merchant and member of the leather community. From this incident, the general feeling was that it was time to do something proactive. After some investigation, they found that there have been incidents involving armed weapons in the Castro since January. Part of what COP does is to help educate the community on being good witnesses. Things to be aware of on a person that would be difficult for them to change quickly are: shoes, pants, hair, eye color, visible piercings, and tattoos. COP’s curriculum was reviewed and approved by numerous organizations including CUAV, SF SAFE, and SFPD. Also because of recent race issues in the Castro, they’re very careful about the verbiage used in order to not perpetuate racism. Currently COP is looking for more volunteers to cover the streets and would like to broaden the organization’s diversity to reflect the community at large. He added that the police are looking 2-4 guys who may be involved or have committed these crimes and are operating in the Castro. In addition, Detective Lenny Broberg, who’s in charge of the Gang Task Force with SFPD, suggested that there is probably a gang operating off Dolores Street and using the Castro as part of their territory to make money and to victimize the residents. The main message COP is sending is that we can protect ourselves; we won’t just take these abuses. COP has been organizing street patrols consisting of three groups of three volunteers including an embedded SFPD officer in each group walking the streets of the Castro District from 9:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. every Friday night. Mr. Cooper described the areas that the street patrols cover and the kinds of information provided to the public. He added that the SFPD will work with COP for the next few weekends training them on areas to patrol then they’ll step down and allow the patrols to go off on their own. Mr. Paul added that their program isn’t just providing foot patrols; COP would provide first responders in a natural disaster since 80% of SFPD and SFFD personnel live outside of San Francisco . The patrols would be the first responders until help arrives. He added that training volunteers is time consuming and expensive and they are looking for funds and volunteers to help create t-shirts. So far their funding has come from corporate donors and various organizations have offered grants. So far the program is receiving much support and seeing success. COP’s next volunteer training session will be on Tuesday, November 28 and another in December. To get more information, their email address is


Ms. Guevarra-Ross said that CUAV is fully supporting COP’s effort to the extent that they’re able. She said that the media has made this story into a Castro-only problem and that incidents that occur in the Mission or elsewhere in the city are never mentioned. She said that CUAV is working with the Lexington Club on providing safety information to its mostly lesbian clientele.



5.      Recruitment of New Members:


Mr. Brinkin announced that a recruitment timeline was sent via email to the Committee members detailing the recruitment process. An item that wasn’t included on the timeline is hearing from the current Committee membership by Wednesday, December 13, if they intend to continue serving on the Committee for another term or not. The current Committee’s term is over at the end of February then renewed in March for those who wish to continue serving. This helps staff and the recruitment committee target communities that may be missing or underrepresented on the Committee. A recruitment committee needs to be formed; the recruitment committee is made up of Commissioners, staff, and a member of the Committee, perhaps someone from the Outreach Workgroup. If interested, they should contact Mr. Brinkin.


6.      Outreach Workgroup (Standing Sub-Committee) Training on Recruitment:


Mr. Bagby announced that Committee members would engage in role play to help them rehearse approaching a potential Committee member in applying to the Committee. Committee members and staff would split up into groups of three; each person would play one of the following roles in three different scenarios: 1) a potential applicant, 2) the Committee member to solicit them into applying, and 3) an observer observing the scenario and taking notes. There would be a debriefing afterwards.  


Mr. Raja led the debriefing session; he requested that each Committee members write down and submit the names of five possible candidates that they would solicit to apply. The members of each group were then asked to share their observations. Mr. Brinkin asked that Committee members also be recruiters for the other committees (Issues, DBE, and Employment) if they’re unable to commit to the LGBTAC schedule. Mr. Raja announced that the Outreach Worgroup’s next fun meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 29 at 5:30 p.m.


7.      Anti-Racism Work Group Report:


Mr. Buddha reported that all the rap sessions have concluded and that staff has collected all the notes taken from each of the four sessions and will be typed up. He said that the two he attended were great and that the bigger turnout had 15 attendees. He said that people talked about issues that needed looking at; he said that communication within the queer black community and different groups collaborating together were the two biggest issues discussed. He said that their next meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 11 at 5:30 p.m. At the next meeting they will discuss the Public Forum in March. Mr. Gipson added that though the flyers advertising the rap sessions were produced late, each session saw decent turnouts, but there would’ve been better turnout if the flyers were sent out sooner. He also felt comfortable about the racial mix, gender mix, and people offering their opinions. He said that one of the rap sessions was featured in the most recent issue of the Bay Area Reporter (BAR) and felt that even though there was media involvement, the description and reasons why the rap sessions were being held could’ve been more complete. He said that a rap session for monolingual Spanish speakers would be held in the spring. Mr. Ordeñana asked that the work group talk about having another rap session in English and to perhaps have one specifically for the Native American community. In total there were approximately 50-60 people who’ve attended the rap sessions.


8.      Commissioners Report:


No report was made.


9.      Staff Report:


Mr. Brinkin announced that a get well card for Hadas Rivera-Weiss was being circulated. He reported that Ms. Rivera-Weiss was injured on the job and will know in a few weeks whether or not she’ll need to have foot surgery. He reported that a preliminary draft of the Native American Public Hearing Report is currently being worked on by Mr. Arana along with Erin McGonigle, an intern from New College. He said that the Native American Public Hearing Work Group will meeting in January to finalize the draft report. Once finalized, the draft report will be presented to the Committee prior to the February 20th meeting for discussion and vote. If approved, the draft report will be taken to the Commissioners for possible adoption at their first meeting in March. Notice of the Commissioners’ meeting will go out to the community. He reported that Mr. Arana will be providing transgender sensitivity trainings to all the staff at the Sheriff’s department beginning in January and had completed training of all the security personnel at USF and at CCSF.


Ken Harper inquired about the different kinds of recommendations that are included in reports produced by the HRC, particularly those made for the Native American Public Hearing Report. Since there were many recommendations asked at the Public Hearing, he asked that the Committee consider recommendations that are practical. He inquired about the different recommendations that have been highlighted by other communities for other previously published reports. Mr. Brinkin recommended that he visit the HRC’s website ( to view previous public hearing reports and said that he’ll prepare a list of impacts made from those reports.


10.  Old/New Business:


Mr. Gomora said that he had been approached by CCSF’s associate student president to have the Committee bring forth a draft letter citing human rights abuses at CCSF to their associate student council.  Mr. Brinkin asked that the letter be given to him to see what the Committee can do. Mr. Brinkin asked that the panel on sex offenders and the expungement of records be put on hold due to staff changes. This subject will be discussed at next year’s retreat.


11.  Announcements:


Mr. Gipson, who works at the GLIDE Foundation, announced that there will be a screening of a new movie entitled “The Pursuit of Happyness” tomorrow, November 22, at 4:00 p.m. at Glide Memorial Church. The San Francisco premiere is also a benefit for Glide and will take place on December 8 at the Metreon followed by a VIP dinner and reception at the Marriott Hotel. He added that Glide will be serving Thanksgiving dinners to the City’s homeless and asked that Committee members volunteer if they’re able.


12.  Adjournment:


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