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Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee

Minutes of the September 20, 2005 Meeting


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

Committee Members Absent: Commissioner Pat Norman, Aidan Dunn (excused), Becky Freund (excused), Rebecca Rolfe.

Staff Present: Marcus Arana, Larry Brinkin, Susan Gonzalez (intern), Domenic Viterbo.

Guests Present: Aaron Brace, Xavier Caylor

  1. Call to Order and Roll Call:

    Commissioner Chung called the meeting to order at 5:32 p.m. Mr. Brinkin called the roll. Mr. Brinkin noted that Cindy Dubuque and Aleem Raja are no longer part of the Committee; however, Mr. Raja wishes to continue attending meetings as a member of the public.

    Mr. Brinkin introduced Susan Gonzalez who is interning with the LGBTH Division for the Fall. Ms. Gonzalez is a third-year law student at New College and is working on complaint cases with staff as well as working on disability access issues, specifically with the HRC website. She is working with the Deaf Lesbian and Gay Center to include a link for the HRC’s website in order to make the deaf community aware of its services.

    In response to an inquiry, Mr. Brinkin said he would contact Commissioner Norman to inquire as to her continued participation with the Committee.

    Commissioner Chung introduced Commissioner Mark Dunlop who was recently appointed to the Commission. He’s been involved in housing and homelessness issues. He was also the Chair for the Committee on Community Development under Mayor Art Agnos. He served for eight years on the Redevelopment Commission. Commissioner Chung said that she served with him on the Ryan White Council and that he is a strong advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS and housing issues.

  2. Approval of Minutes of August 16, 2005:

    Commissioner Chung moved to approve the minutes as written. The motion passed unanimously.

  3. Public Comments for Items Not on the Agenda:

    No public comments were raised.

  4. Report of the Internal Communication and Racism Work Group:

    Mr. Bagby reported that at the work group’s request, they met with Commissioners Chung and Dunlop and Mr. Brinkin to brainstorm ways to handle this issue. They discussed how the Committee dealt with educating themselves on transgender issues in the past by hosting a series of panels on the issue. They propose having panels next year with each one dealing with race. Mr. Brinkin said that they’d like to continue this discussion because it would be something they hadn’t done since the transgender hearing. He added that members from various communities of color would be invited to Committee meetings to talk about issues affecting their communities. We also would let potential applicants from those communities know that this would be happening in order to help with our recruitment efforts. By next month, at least one or two ideas for panels should be identified for the March meeting then we could plan panels for the rest of the year at retreat. Committee members need to buy into the idea so that it can be discussed at next year’s retreat. He added that panels on racism don’t have to be scheduled for every month; also, if we take on this project, this doesn’t mean that the Committee can’t work on other issues. Commissioner Chung moved to accept this project. The motion passed unanimously. Mr. Bagby will take this information back to workgroup as well as invite others to the workgroup to get more specific recommendations to bring back to the Committee.

  5. Report of the Recruitment Work Group:

    Ms. Lawlor reported that the work group met last Thursday, September 15, and came up with four recommendations: 1) to occasionally have meetings in various communities to discuss topics that are relevant to that particular community; 2) to conduct recruitment efforts throughout the year; 3) to have follow up interviews every two years with Committee members to talk about how they’re doing as committee members; and to 4) establish a committee to propose any changes. Committee members were asked to fill out an anonymous questionnaire and place it in a box provided outside the meeting room. Mr. Schwichow urged the Committee members to participate in order to determine the demographics within the Committee. Committee members not present would be asked to fill out the questionnaire in an email message. Ms. Lawlor said that the only person who would have access to the questionnaires would be Mr. Schwichow who will add the information to a matrix. Commissioner Chung said that one of the reasons why we’re doing this is to discover how each of us identify other than our ethnicity; there needs to be a three-dimentional picture in which all aspects of how Committee members identify are taken into consideration. She added that the questionnaire is modeled after one that’s used at the Asian/Pacific Islander Wellness Center and they had simplified the form so as to not to make it extensive. She added that since it’s already September, the work group needs to try to implement some of its strategies before December. Also the questionnaire is not an official document, but a living document that can be changed as seen fit, and Committee members can voluntarily accept or decline to fill it out. Once the information is added to the matrix, the forms will be destroyed. Members mentioned other forms of identity that should be included, such as parenthood and religion. Commissioner Chung noted that the final question allowed for additional identities to be named and that Mr. Schwichow will count them. Commissioner Chung moved that the Committee adopt this process to help identify areas of the Committee. Concensus on the recommendations was reached. A standing committee will be formed to continue addressing this issue. If this process works out in a year’s time, other standing committees may be formed.

  6. Discussion of Committee processes (speaking, listening, voting, etc.):

    Mr. Brinkin said that when it comes to communication issues within the Committee, we’re not always successful. Committee members need to remember during meetings: 1) to raise their hands up high when wanting to speak so that the Chairs can see them; 2) do not repeat ideas that have been shared; 3) try to stick to the topic being discussed; 4) don’t interrupt when someone is speaking; 5) keep remarks brief; and 6) avoid sidebar conversations during the meeting because they are especially distracting during panel presentations. He added that for those who are hearing impaired, these only add noise. He said that when there’s a vote, all Committee members present must vote unless there’s a conflict of interest. If there’s a motion on the floor, all Committee members should remain present in the room and be part of the discussion. He added that in the interest of the Sunshine Ordinance, these rules must be followed. He added that the Recruitment Committee will be discussing the late arrivals to and early departures from Committee meetings for the next recruitment period.

  7. Commissioners’ Report:

    Commissioner Chung reported that several members of the public testified on possible discrimination against formerly incarcerated felons when trying to secure employment with the City. She said that the Employment Committee is looking closely at this issue. Mr. Brinkin said that the testimony that was presented by several formerly incarcerated individuals was very powerful; people are simply trying to move on with their lives by being productive members of society. He added that the Issues Committee is looking at the same issue regarding housing and that an organization called All Of Us Or None made a presentation on this issue.

  8. Staff Report:

Mr. Brinkin said that the sex workers panel will be presented at next month’s meeting. He said that Jeff Sheehy wrote a letter to the Commission regarding Dr. Klausner’s petitioning the FDA to make Viagra a controlled substance because of its connection with unsafe sex practices and that discriminatory against gay men and gay men with HIV. If it’s appropriate, this item will be agendized for the November meeting. The schedule for the panels on Transgender Health Issues and Women’s Health Issues has been changed: the Transgender Health Issues panel will be presented in January 2006 and the Women’s Health Issues panel will be presented in February 2006.

Mr. Brinkin reported that the Rules Committee will vote tomorrow on whether or not to approve Supervisor Ma’s legislation to create a permanent Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. The meeting will be at 10:00 a.m. at City Hall.

Mr. Brinkin reported that Cynthia Goldstein, of staff, is in Denver attending the Out & Equal conference. She is presenting on panels, and is coordinating other panels.

Mr. Brinkin reported that he is part of a panel presentation on Same-Sex Families, Domestic Partners, Equal Benefits, and Marriage with Dennis Aftergut and Theresa Stewart before the Armenian Bar Association on Saturday, September 24, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

9. Old/New Business:

Commissioner Chung would like to use this agenda item to hear more from Committee about community issues they feel are important.

10. Announcements:

Ms. Phoenix announced that the Folsom Street Fair is this coming Sunday, September 25. Mr. Cameron announced that an antiwar march is scheduled for Saturday, September 24, and will meet at 11:00 a.m. in Dolores Park. The Love Parade will take place on Saturday, September. Commissioner Chung announced that the Transgender Law Center is having a fundraiser/award ceremony on Wednesday, September 21, at the Bambuddah Lounge, 601 Eddy Street from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Mr. Arana is one of the award recipients.

  1. Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at 7:15 p.m.