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    City College Update, Board of Education LGBT Candidates, Hope for Tenderloin’s Gangway

    By Tom Temprano

    Hello, San Francisco Bay Times readers! It’s an honor to be welcomed into your day as you flip through the pages, sit at your desk or thumb through this column on your phone. I’m excited to follow in the footsteps of my City College Board colleagues Rafael Mandelman and Alex Randolph, and come to you each month in a Bay Times column with my thoughts on politics, community news and maybe even a little pop culture just for fun.

    City College Is Back and So Are Our Students

    There’s plenty to be excited about at City College as the 2017–2018 school year gets underway. Thanks to the voters of San Francisco, this fall is the first semester of the Free City College program. When Prop W passed last November, many of us hoped that the promise of free tuition would help to turn around the college’s downward enrollment spiral.

    Turns out, we were right! After years of declining enrollment, City College is back, and so are our students! Nearly 43,000 students have enrolled in classes this fall, 5,000 more than we had this time last year. I can’t tell you the number of students I’ve had come up to me and let me know that Free City was the inspiration that they needed to come back to school after a long break.

    New LGBT Leadership on the Board of Education?

    The next election for the San Francisco Board of Education may be over a year away, but that hasn’t slowed down rumors that lots of LGBT candidates could be in the running. Prior to current commissioner Mark Sanchez’s victory last November, San Francisco hadn’t had any out representation on our school board in nearly eight years … and that last commissioner was Mark Sanchez during his first tenure on the board.

    It looks like he could have some company come 2018, as the list of potential LGBT candidates like trans activist Mia Satya, Cal student leader Paul Monge, UCSF employee Martin Rawlings-Fein, and 2016 school board candidate Phil Kim grows longer and longer every day.

    Another Day for the Gangway?

    These days, it seems like we hear about a legacy gay bar closing nearly every other month. The latest casualty appeared to be the Tenderloin’s Gangway, but I hear there might be good news for the bar yet. The team that saved the Stud from closure last year, and turned it into the country’s first worker-owned night club, has been meeting with Gangway owners and city officials to move a plan forward to save San Francisco’s oldest gay bar.

    Historic Preservationist Nate Allbee and activist/performer Honey Mahogany are working on the project. Hopefully they will be able to save this important historic bar too. Cheers to that!

    Tom Temprano was elected to the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees in 2016, making him the city’s youngest elected official. He also owns Virgil’s Sea Room, a small business in the Mission District, and is a member of the San Francisco LGBT Community Center Board of Directors. Follow him on social media at twitter.com/tomtemprano & facebook.com/tomtempranoSF