City and County of San FranciscoHuman Rights Commission

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Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee

Minutes of the February 20, 2007 Meeting



Committee Members Present: Commissioner Cecilia Chung, Commissioner Mark Dunlop, Dora Balcazar, Blue Buddha, David Cameron, Calvin Gipson, Christopher Gomora, Ted Guggenheim, Roberto Ordeñana, Ren Phoenix, Aleem Raja, Martin Rawlings-Fein, Jason Riggs, Stephen Schwichow, Morningstar Vancil.


Committee Members Absent:Commissioner Yoel Kahn (excused), Whitney Bagby (excused),Billy Curtis (excused).


Staff Present: Larry Brinkin, Hadas Rivera-Weiss, Domenic Viterbo.


Guests Present: Jane Aceituno, Randy Burns, Rebecca Freund, Anthony Philip, Ken Stram, Miko Thomas.


1.      Call to Order and Roll Call:


Commissioner Dunlop called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. Mr. Brinkin called the roll.


Mr. Cameron and Mr. Schwichow, whose last meeting is tonight, shared some parting words. Mr. Cameron asked that the Committee continue thinking ‘outside the box’ as well as following up with Dr. Diana Farmer of UCSF on how they’re progressing with the medical recommendations mentioned in the Intersex Report.  Mr. Schwichow will continue serving on the Outreach Work Group.


2.      Public Comment For Items Not On The Agenda:


Michael Petrelis alleged that Jeffrey Klausner, MD, Director of the STD Prevention and Control Unit of DPH has been stigmatizing gay men and people with AIDS due to their use of the drug Viagra and would like the Committee to examine this issue at next month’s meeting. He will provide staff with literature for distribution to the Committee.


Randy Burns said that the celebration of life for the Native American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day will be held on March 21, 2007.


Rebecca Freund asked that the Committee reconsider her application for membership on the Committee.


3.      Approval of January 16, 2007 Minutes (Action Item):


Mr. Ordeñana and Ms. Aceituno pointed out that they were both listed as in attendance and absent when they both were absent.


Mr. Schwichow moved to approve the January 16, 2007 minutes as amended. Mr. Raja seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.


4.      Presentation by Ken Stram onLGBT Community Center Activities:


Mr. Stram spoke about the Center’s Economic Development program that he currently heads; this program resulted from an HRC recommendation following a public hearing in 2000. He said that one of the main efforts of the hearing was to demystify the idea that the LGBT community is wealthy with expendable incomes. The resulting report from the public hearing was instrumental in helping him learn about the economic condition of the LGBT community when he was hired by the Center to head this program in 2004. Sup. Bevan Dufty and Kevin Sanders, former director of the Mayor’s Office on Community Devlopment (MOCD), arranged for $75,000 from the MOCD to support a program called a Neighborhood Economic Development Organization (NEDO) at the Center. NEDO’s purpose was to help individuals start up their own business. Though there are many pieces to the program - workforce development, economic business development, first-time home buying programs, and financial growth and development -  and though they had funding for only one piece of it, they decided to try to accomplish all these goals. Then he described the different aspects of the program.


The Center’s newest program is the Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative. The Center was approached by SFTEAM to have a job fair specifically for the transgender community which proved very successful. From their success, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to provide funding for a transgender employment program. The contract provides $300,000 ($200,000 from the Human Services Agency; $50,000 from the San Francisco International Airport ; and $50,000 from the Public Utilities Commission) since these agencies do a lot of hiring. The Center will be hosting a mentoring program with mentors provided by SFTEAM. Individuals taking part of the program will later work with Jewish Vocational Services for up to 15 months to help prepare them for the work force. The Center will work with employers to ensure that jobs are provided.


Mr. Stram entertained questions by the Committee members.


5.      Video: Pride Day in Moscow presented by Morningstar Vancil:


Due to technical difficulties, the video couldn’t be shown.


6.      7X7 Presentation: Martin Rawlings-Fein:


Mr. Rawlings-Fein talked about volunteering at Access SF, the City’s cable access Channel 29, which has been in existence for 40 years. He prepares public service announcement (PSA) slides that show the logo or design of the host organization. His PSAs are shown on Access SF’s Community Bulletin Board from 3:30-4:00 p.m. every weekday and from 10:00-10:30 p.m. on Saturdays. Access SF’s mission is “to strengthen the fabric of community life by enabling open communications to public access television and other electronic media.” Access SF provides 24/7, 365 days a year, playback of 4,800 cable access programs and gives the public an opportunity to have access to media. Access SF has produced such shows as Mosaic, a Middle Eastern news show; Tranny Talk, a show for and about transsexuals; and Youthline Live, a live call-in show. Individuals can pay a fee of $29-$36, depending on income, for membership. Equipment usage is free with this one-time payment. Access SF also provides workshops on various subjects; he recently took a workshop on video blogging that shows how to put video online. Workshop costs are from $65-95 and can be waived for low-income individuals. To use the equipment, a three-day training course is required for three hours each day. The only requirement to be a producer/director or to get on Access SF is to live, work, or play in San Francisco . Their offices are located at 1720 Market Street at Valencia . ACCESS SF’s website is


Mr. Rawlings-Fein entertained questions from the Committee.


7.      Approval of Recruitment Committee’s Recommendations for New Members (Action Item):


Commissioner Dunlop reported that out of 20 applications received, 18 were considered (2 were received after the due date); 13 were interviewed and nine are being recommended to the Committee for membership: Rene Astudillo, Ryan Fuimaono, Rahman Haq, Robert Hill, Allison Laureano, Christina Martinez, Greg Shaw, Miko Thomas, and Lindasusan Ulrich. Jane Aceituno and Anthony Philip are being considered for reinstatement.


Mr. Schwichow moved to accept the nine recommended applicants for new members. Mr. Rawlings-Fein seconded. The motion passed except Mr. Gomora abstained due to a personal conflict with one of the applicants.


Ms. Phoenix moved that the Committee accept Rebecca Freund’s letter of reconsideration for membership to the Committee and to be added to the nine recommended applicants.  Mr. Cameron seconded.


In favor: Mr. Cameron, Ms. Phoenix and Ms. Vancil. Not in favor: Commissioner Chung, Commissioner Dunlop, Ms. Balcazar, Mr. Buddha, Mr. Gipson, Mr. Gomora, Mr. Guggenheim, Mr. Ordeñana, Mr. Rawlings-Fein, Mr. Riggs, Mr. Raja, and Mr. Schwichow. The motion failed.


Ms. Vancil expressed that Ms. Freund’s disability was not accommodated in the interview.


Mr. Raja moved that the Recruitment Committee reconsider Rebecca Freund’s application for membership and to use an assisted listening device for a second interview. Mr. Riggs seconded.


In favor: Ms. Balcazar, Mr. Cameron, Mr. Gomora, Mr. Guggenheim, Mr. Ordeñana, Mr. Raja, Mr. Rawlings-Fein, Mr. Riggs, and Ms. Vancil. Not in favor: Mr. Buddha, Mr. Gipson, and Mr. Schwichow. Ms. Phoenix abstained due to objections to the process. The motion passed.


8.      Outreach Work Group Report:


Mr. Raja reported that they came up with ideas on mentoring; for continuing Committee members who’ve enjoyed the process to sign up to become mentors again and to check with the new members if they’d like to be mentees. This idea will be brought up during retreat.


9.      Anti-Racism Task Force Report:


Mr. Gipson reported that the Native American rap session, led by Ms. Vancil, has been completed. He said that the dialog raised at the rap session was so important that three more meetings have been scheduled. The work group now is moving towards planning a city-wide community forum. They have also delegated the draft forum design to a few Committee members who drafted a proposal entitled “We Agree: A Commitment to Diversity, Culture, and Quality Customer Care”, a merchant/community dialog on race and the benefits of inclusive customer care and a statement of promise to provide care and excellence. Veronica Neal will be asked to lead the forum.


10.  Commissioners Report:


Commissioner Chung reported that the Commission will have its annual retreat on Thursday, February 22, in the HRC’s main conference room to discuss projects to work on for the coming year. The public is invited to attend.


11.  Staff Report:


Mr. Brinkin reported that there is a job opening on staff for a 2991 - Coordinator, Office Administrator. A copy of the job announcement was emailed to the Committee members for them to pass on to qualified applicants. Preston Tom has been appointed to a Senior Contract Compliance Officer position in the Local Business Enterprise program at the S.F. International Airport. Also staff members Hadas Rivera-Weiss and Tamra Winchester are back to work after being on leave. He reported that in a victory for the HRC, the charges brought by Les Natali, the owner of Badlands, to sue the HRC have been dismissed by a Superior Court judge.


12.  Old/New Business:


No Old/New Business was reported.


13.  Announcements:


Mr. Raja announced that he and Mr. Bagby will not be continuing to serve on the Committee and that tonight is his last meeting. Commissioner Chung announced that the LGBT Community Center will celebrate its 5th year anniversary on March 10. Lambda Legal is organizing a day of action March 15 Also the third Transgender Job Fair will be held on Wednesday, March 21, in the Ceremonial Room. Ms. Vancil announced that S.F. Pride is sponsoring a discussion on being queer in the Middle East on Tuesday, March 27, 6:00 p.m., at the S.F. Public Library. Mr. Brinkin thanked Mr. Bagby, Mr. Cameron, Mr. Raja, and Mr. Schwichow for their great service to the Committee.


14.  Adjournment:


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