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Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee
Minutes of the November 18, 2008 Meeting

Committee Members Present: Jane Aceituno, Rene Astudillo, Saurabh Bajaj, Dora Balcazar, Samer Danfoura, Bill Doggett, Winston Dong, Jr., Allison Laureano, Mark Murphy, Yvette Pannell, Poonam, Martin Rawlings-Fein, Greg Shaw, Lindasusan Ulrich, Brad Vanderbilt.

Committee Members Absent: Commissioner Cecilia Chung (excused), Alex Baty (excused), Ted Guggenheim (excused), Justin Jones (excused).

Staff Present: Nadia Babella, Hadas Rivera-Weiss, Domenic Viterbo.

Guests Present: No guests were present.

1. Call to Order and Roll Call:

Mr. Danfoura acting as meeting Chair, called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. Ms. Babella called the roll.

2. Approval of October 21, 2008 minutes (Action Item):

Mr. Rawlings-Fein moved to approve the minutes as written. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

3. Public Comment for Items Not on the Agenda:

No public comments were made.

4. Discussion on the Passage of Proposition 8 (Discussion Item):

Committee members shared their views, feelings, and ideas on next steps. Members felt that the No on 8 campaign was not culturally competent which could've helped them do better outreach statewide as well as to the diverse communities within the City. The campaign lacked focus on many districts within the City as well as other Bay Area counties; there was too much emphasis place on and in the Castro District. 'No on 8' ads were not visible nor available those districts nor printed in other languages. Also the language used in ads is bi- and trans-exclusive. The members were unsure of what they can do as a Committee; however, because this is a human rights issue, but they felt they can support the HRC efforts by helping write an op ed piece, join an amicus brief, and being ambassadors to the community. They're hopeful that changes will soon be made on the Federal level. They also hopeful that the lessons learned from this loss will help make the next campaign even stronger.

5. Discussion of LGBTAC Recruitment:

Poonam produced several handouts and said that the Outreach Committee had discussed new member recruitment. They've put together a handout with help from Hadas Rivera-Weiss for the members to review. The members then broke into small groups to engage in a role playing exercise to help them recruit new members. The recruitment process will start at the end of the month with a deadline of Thursday, January 22 for applications to be received. An interview process will follow during the first week of February. Members were reminded to indicate to their contacts that the Committee is looking for qualified applicants and that submitting an application does not guarantee membership. Applicants can either fill out an online application found on the Committee's web page,, send an email to or letter detailing their experience, community interests, and skills they can bring to the Committee. Emails/letters may be sent with or without an attached resume.

The URLs to the PSAs produced by Mr. Rawlings-Fein were suggested to be included on any communiqué.

NB: think about whether or not they'd like to continue serving on the committee.

6. Work Group Reports:

Anti-Racism: Mr. Danfoura reported that they're still waiting to hear from Steve Adams of MUMC. Their next meeting is scheduled for December 9 at 5:30 p.m.

Youth: Ms. Babella reported that members will be attending the GSA Network Youth Empowerment Summit conference at Everett Middle School on Saturday, November 23, to discuss same-sex child abuse.

Outreach: Poonam reported that the group discussed reorganizing the Commission's website based on suggestions by Committee members. Mr. Rawlings-Fein offered to videotape panel presentations then have them posted on the website. A monthly Committee calendar of events will be produced highlighting events going on in various communities around the city. 

Bisexual Invisibility: Ms. Ulrich reported that they met last night and discussed the basic structure of the report and to put out a message calling for personal stories to include in the report. She encouraged Committee members to attend their January meeting.

Lesbian Community/Urban Planning: Ms. Aceituno reported that they met last week and discussed the narrowing down the panel subjects to cover 8-10 different categories and the individual speakers to talk for 5 minutes on each subject. The panel presentation will take place at the Women's Building on Tuesday, January 27 date, but that hasn't yet been confirmed.

Familiar Relationships: Mr. Danfoura said that the work group hasn't met yet, but invited members to stay after tonight's meeting to discuss a meeting date/time.

7. Commissoner Report:

This item was deferred to the January meeting.

8. Staff Report:

Ms. Babella reported that Commissioner Chung was elected as the new Commission Chair with Commissioner Michael Sweet as the Commission Vice-Chair. She along with Commissioner August Longo will co-chair the Committee. Ms. Babella suggested that members attend a Commission meeting which are held on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at City Hall in Room 416.

Ms. Babella said that City Hall is not signing any open job requisitions to backfill open staff positions because of the City's budget crisis. There have also been a few staffing changes: Cynthia Goldstein and Ellise Nicholson have both left staff, but they were able to have the requisition for Ms. Nicholson's position signed. When an announcement becomes available, Committee members will have it emailed to them.  Also long-time staff member, David Treanor, will be retiring after 32 years of service.

These staffing changes have left the LGBT and HIV Division short staffed, but they're hopeful that those positions left open will be filled soon.

9. Old/New Business:

Mr. Bajaj said that because of the City's 28 million dollar budget cut to the Department of Public Health, A&PI Wellness Center was informed that their prevention contracts may be cut starting January 1, 2009. This would mean that there wouldn't be any targeted services for A&PIs in the City.

Mr. Vanderbilt also reported the same cuts to services provided by St. James Infirmary who stands to lose half their operational budget and entire prevention grant that would help provide prevention outreach services to sex workers.

Ms. Babella said that the Committee can discuss the impact on an issue because of these cuts at a later meeting.

10. Announcements:

Poonam said that she was asked to be interviewed in Spain on the subject of same-gender marriage and wondered if she could speak on behalf of the Committee due to its support on the City's stance against Proposition 8. Ms. Babella said that she can identify herself as a Committee member, but she would need to speak on her own behalf as an individual. Anything that is on behalf of the Committee would need to be approved beforehand.

Mr. Rawlings-Fein said that he had been interviewed by a Portugese radio station, TSF Radio Noticias, regarding the 'No on 8' campaign.

Poonam announced that Trikone and A&PI Wellness Center are co-sponsoring a monthly discussion/social event called 'Chit, Chat and Chai' on Saturday, November 22, from 12:00-2:00 p.m. The focus topic will be on Proposition 8.

11. Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at 7:28 p.m. in memory of activist, Hank Wilson, who had served on the San Francisco Human Rights Commissions Youth and Education Committee.