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Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee

Minutes of the May 20, 2003 Meeting

Adopted June 17, 2003


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

Committee Members Absent: Kirsten Boyd (excused), Chris Carnes (excused), Jordy Jones (excused), Melchor Bustamante aka Mara Montenegro (excused).

Staff Present: Larry Brinkin, Ellise Nicholson, Domenic Viterbo.

Guests Present: Ren Phoenix, David Strachen.

Call to Order and Roll Call:

Commissioner Sparks called the meeting to order at 5:36p.m. Mr. Brinkin called the roll.

Approval of Minutes of April 15, 2003:

Stephen Schwichow moved to approve the minutes as written. Julie Frank seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Public Comments for Items Not on the Agenda:


Retreat Follow-Up: Adoption of Action Plan for Current Term (Action Item):

Commissioner Sparks reported that the retreat was a fun day and the Committee accomplished a great deal. She referred members to the table included in their packets detailing the 2003-2004 issues that the Committee will take on as decided at the retreat. A report of these issues will be submitted to the Commission Chair. Commissioner Sparks stated that we should discuss the issues one by one to further develop them and to get a sense of which members are interested in which issues.



1) Activism in the LGBT Communities.

Jason Alley stated that the idea behind this issue is to form an initial steering committee to look at the possibility of putting on a town hall or conference on issues around activism in LGBT communities, with a local focus. The goal is to bring folks together to share knowledge, ideas, and advocacy efforts. Aleem Raja stated that such an event could be a good opportunity for LGBT folks to share opportunities as well as to discuss barriers to activism, and to create a platform for coalition building. Mr. Raja further stated his hope that findings and recommendations could come out of the event. Commissioner Sparks stated that the plan is that the steering committee would frame the event and then bring their ideas to the full Committee for discussion and approval. Yoseñio Lewis, Aleem Raja, Jason Alley, Kirsten Boyd, and Scott Campbell all expressed interest in this task force. Larry Brinkin pointed out that the task force will need to be staffed, and asked members to keep in mind that there is no money to put on a conference, so if that is the desired goal, we would have to partner with another organization.

2) Intersex Issues

Danny Kirchoff stated that his understanding of this task force is that we would partner with people already doing work around Intersex issues, and in particular investigate what is happening in San Francisco with infant surgeries. Commissioner Sparks stated that the focus would be to work with the Intersex Society of North America (ISNA). Our model would be to bring in members of the Intersex community working on the issue and help facilitate moving that issue along. One of our interns will be working on this issue, doing research, and will work with the task force. Sally Buchmann, Nancy Lawlor, Danny Kirchoff, and Chris Caldeira all expressed interest in being part of this task force.

  1. Health Issues: Breast Cancer

    Julie Frank stated that we would put on a panel about the impact of breast cancer on the lesbian community. The purpose of the panel will be to discuss this issue and educate ourselves. Kirsten Boyd and Julie Frank both expressed interest in putting this panel together. Commissioner Sparks would like to be involved as well as she is doing work in the Bayview on this issue and may be able to connect with some of the experts.

  2. Tracking Budget Cuts

    Sally Buchmann reported that the purpose of this work group would be to monitor and watchdog potential cuts to LGBT services, report back to the full Committee, and to try to support alternatives to replace cut services. Bill Kirkpatrick added that the purpose would also be to monitor the socio-impact of the cuts. Scott Campbell added that the group would look at the impact on various non-profits, especially those that don’t duplicate services and whose loss would leave a void of major concern to our community. Sally Buchmann, Bill Kirkpatrick, and Commissioners Knutzen and Sparks all expressed interest in participating in this work group.


  3. Homeless Queer Youth

    Stephen Schwichow explained that many children are empowered to come out and as a consequence end up on the street in San Francisco. He stated that we have a responsibility to these kids to ascertain the scope of the problem, to begin. The intent of the panel will be to recognize and frame the issue of homelessness among LGBT youth in the city. In addition to Mr. Schwichow, Scott Campbell, James DeVinney, Jay Dwyer, and Nancy Lawlor are interested in putting together this panel.

  4. Transgender Task Force

    Commissioner Sparks reported that at the retreat, members discussed the idea of continuing the Gender Identity Guidelines Revision Task Force beyond the completion of the Guidelines, but letting the task force itself decide whether and in what capacity to do so. At that point, the task force will make recommendations to the full Committee regarding what issues that it wants to take up. Mr. Brinkin expressed some concern about resources and staffing given the large number of task forces this year. Danny Kirchoff, Nancy Lawlor, Lauren Williams, and Sally Buchmann are interested in this task force.

  5. Marriage, Family, and Property

    Ted Guggenheim stated that members are interested in putting together a community forum to discuss the laws currently in place and how LGBT people can take advantage of these laws. Commissioner Knutzen stated that she chairs the Equal Assessment Task Force sponsored by Assessor Teng, and that we might consider joining forces to put together an event at the LGBT Community Center. Commissioner Knutzen would like this event to help people understand the importance of registering as domestic partners. Commissioner Knutzen will work together with members Ted Guggenheim, James DeVinney, and Kirsten Boyd.

  6. LGBT Workplace Issues

This issue would include a panel. Larry Brinkin suggested that Out and Equal could speak. Commissioner Knutzen expressed her desire that it not be a panel of experts, but rather a discussion of everyday work issues for LGBT people. Jorge Romero-Lozano stated that he envisions the panel as looking into legal aspects as well. Julie Frank stated that it would be helpful to incorporate HIV issues into this panel. Members expressing interest included Commissioner Knutzen, Jorge Romero-Lozano, Lauren Williams, Sally Buchmann, and Chris Caldeira.

It was decided that the three panels would be scheduled as follows: 1) Homeless Youth in August; 2) Breast Cancer in November; and 3) Workplace Issues in February.

Report from Senior Issues Task Force: Implementation Plan for Public Hearing Recommendations:

Larry Brinkin stated that the Report is completed and approved, but not yet printed because we are working on getting photographs. Bill Kirkpatrick is assisting in coming up with photographs from New Leaf programs. The report should be printed within the next two to three weeks and will be on the website. Once the report is printed, we will send out a press release to announce it. Larry Brinkin pointed members to the chart in their packets detailing what actions we can take to implement the report recommendations. This mostly involves letting various organizations know about the recommendations, and may entail inviting some agencies to come and talk to us about them. If the Committee approves, Mr. Brinkin will start generating letters to bring to the Committee. Mr. Brinkin suggested that the task force need not meet any longer, but that he can generate letters and bring them to the full Committee for approval. Johnnie Pratt suggested inviting the residential facilities to talk to the committee about what, if anything, they are doing regarding serving LGBT clients.

2003 Pride Day Planning and Booth Shift Sign-Up:

Larry Brinkin reported that Friends of the HRC is paying the $260 for our booth. Mr. Brinkin passed around a sign-up sheet for booth times. Next month we’ll talk about how to staff the booth. The general plan is to hand out literature, talk to the public about our services, and circulate petitions or letters. If anyone has ideas about petitions or other things that we can do, bring those in June.

Commissioners’ Report:

Commissioner Knutzen reported on the April 24, 2003 meeting of the Commission. She stated that the LGBTH division gave a good report on the status of pending LGBT state legislation. Commissioner Knutzen passed around the report, produced by staff member Tamra Winchester, which will be sent to members in next month’s packet. Commissioner Knutzen also reported on letters that the Commission wrote to support Carol Migden’s bill for equal assessments in property taxes. Board of Equalization Chair Carol Migden is trying to provide statewide rights to domestic partners regarding property reassessments when a domestic partner dies. On a City level, Assessor Teng is saying that the San Francisco Assessor will treat domestic partners exactly as spouses. She’ll be the only assessor in the state doing that, and there is controversy around it. Commissioner Knutzen reported that the first HRC workshop on environmental racism happened and was very successful. Commissioner Sparks reported on the May 8, 2003 Commission meeting, stating that it was largely about the City budget cuts and their impact on the HRC. Unfortunately these cuts will have a pretty significant impact on the HRC.

Staff Report:

Larry Brinkin reported on the Police/Transgender Task Force, which completed its work and came up with a report that will be sent to the Police Commission. This report includes protocols for officer behavior, training recommendations, and recruitment recommendations. Commissioner Knutzen, Larry Brinkin and Marcus Arana met with San Francisco Police Chief Alex Fagan and Deputy Chief Heather Fong. This Thursday, the task force will ask the Commissioners to send a letter to the Police Commission recommending that they adopt and implement this report. Commissioner Sparks stated that most significantly, these protocols have disciplinary procedures for officers who violate the protocols. City Attorney Dennis Herrera has been a big proponent of these protocols. Once we have date for the Police Commission meeting, Larry Brinkin will notify committee members so they can attend if interested and can speak in support of the report. Mr. Brinkin credited the Office of Citizen Complaints, and Mary Dunlap in particular, with initiating this process. Sheriff’s Department protocols also have been adopted. Staff member Marcus Arana has been going to the jails with Chris Daley from the Transgender Law Center (TLC) and speaking with transgender inmates there. Regarding the City budget situation, Larry Brinkin reported that it is bad. We lost two positions at the Commission, fortunately not in the LGBT unit. We also had to eliminate contracting dollars. Intergroup Clearinghouse lost HRC funding, and the bonding program has been significantly streamlined. It is expected that around August when the State budget comes out, we will suffer further reductions. Commissioner Sparks stated that there is a ripple effect that is starting to domino through our community and non-profits, especially relating to Department of Public Health (DPH) cuts. Larry Brinkin reported that the division is working on upgrading our training program. Staff members Ellise Nicholson, Cynthia Goldstein, Larry Brinkin, and Marcus Arana have formed a committee to work on developing more and better training programs, including LGBT sensitivity, know your rights, equal benefits trainings for City government and vendors, and HIV technical assistance program trainings. Commissioner Knutzen asked if it would make sense to test those trainings in front of the Committee. Mr. Brinkin stated that we could consider presenting the curriculum and models to the Committee. Mr. Brinkin reported that the LGBTH division has two summer interns starting June 2, 2003, Chelsea HaleyNelson from USF and Rebecca Lunine from New College.

Old/New Business:



Sally Buchmann announced that she is now co-chair of Pride at Work, which is part of the AFL-CIO, and that they are on a membership drive and she encourages people to join. Scott Campbell stated that while listening to Savage Nation on the radio, he was disturbed by the railing on sensitivity training and how it is part of the growing liberal homosexual agenda. Johnnie Pratt stated that the trial for the hate crime at the drag king contest is coming up this August. He also stated that in New Jersey, a 15-year-old African-American butch lesbian was stabbed to death by two men while with her girlfriend. It appears that this crime will be charged as a hate crime. Julie Frank requested that members receive a copy of the LGBT legislation report in the next packet.

13. Adjournment:

Sally Buchmann requested a moment of silence for the African-American fifteen-year-old who was murdered in New Jersey. The meeting was adjourned at 7:35p.m.