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    In the News

    By Dennis McMillan

    Protections for Transgende Foster Youth Signed into Law

    Legislation authored by Senator Mark Leno (and co-sponsored by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Equality California and Transgen­der Law Center) that provides new protections for transgender foster youth in California was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Sen­ate Bill 731 ensures that all foster youth, including those who identify as transgender, are placed in appro­priate homes where they feel safe and accepted. It requires caregivers tasked with placing foster youth in homes to take a young person’s gen­der identity into consideration when making this critical decision. When a child enters California’s foster care system, welfare workers and caregiv­ers consider a host of factors when choosing an appropriate placement. The Foster Care Bill of Rights gives all foster youth the right to fair and equal access to services and the right to be free from discrimination based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity. State law, however, does not provide spe­cific guidance on placing youth who are transgender. SB 731 provides that direction.

    Nanette Lee Miller Elected Pres­ident of International Women’s Forum Northern California Chapter

    Nanette Lee Miller, CPA—Finan­cial Advisor to the San Francisco Bay Times, Partner-in-Charge of West Coast Assurance Services for Marcum LLP and Co-leader of the national accounting firm’s Modern Family & LGBT Services Practice group—has been elected 2016 President of the International Women’s Forum North­ern California chapter.

    “It is especially important at this time globally that women leaders be heard,” Ms. Miller said. “It is a time for action, not re-action, with creative solutions to our world problems.” The International Women’s Forum builds better global leadership across careers, con­tinents and cultures by connecting the world’s most preeminent women of significant and diverse achieve­ment. The organization is comprised of more than 6,000 dynamic women leaders in 33 countries and 74 forums around the world.

    Sam Dodge to Replace Bevan Dufty as Interim Director of HOPE

    Mayor Ed Lee has appointed Sam Dodge as the Mayor’s Interim Direc­tor of Housing Opportunity, Part­nerships and Engagement (HOPE), addressing homeless services and better outcomes for individuals who are homeless or live in supportive housing. Dodge served as the May­or’s Deputy Director of HOPE and replaces openly gay former Supervi­sor Bevan Dufty as Director. “You have to give residents hope, and I look forward to working with Sam in his new capacity to champion our City’s efforts to combat homelessness,” said Mayor Lee. “I thank Bevan for his commitment to making a real dif­ference in people’s lives and tackling the challenges of homelessness in our City, and for implementing this new Navigation Center model of care and compassion for residents on our streets. I also thank Bevan for his more than 30 years of public service and for mentoring and preparing Sam for this new challenge.” Dodge is a critical leader in the City’s new first- of-its-kind Navigation Center pilot program and expanding the model. The Navigation Center provides 24/7 counselors to intake new clients, offers meals and safe shelter and connects homeless people with critical social services.

    Entertainment Commissioners Bryant Tan and Audrey Joseph Sworn in by Mayor

    Congratulations to openly, proudly queer Entertainment Commission­ers Bryant Tan and Audrey Joseph for being sworn in by Mayor Edwin M. Lee. The San Francisco Entertain­ment Commission regulates, promotes and enhances entertainment and nightlife in the City of San Francisco. The Entertainment Visit for news about events and pro­grams to support the growth of the nightlife industry.

    Cycle For a Cause Fundraiser Benefits Castro Cares Program

    The public is urged to sign up for the fundraising SoulCycle session on October 17 at 1:30pm, 400 Cas­tro Street. All proceeds go to Castro Cares and are tax deductible. Cas­tro Cares is addressing quality of life issues with both compassion and added enforcement. Castro Cares funds additional dedicated homeless outreach workers and police officers walking a foot patrol in the Castro/Upper Market. A Castro Cares case manager was recently able to get a homeless person with cancer into sta­ble housing, case manage this person through surgery, chemotherapy and arrange for care of their pet during this time. This person is now in per­manent housing and has written a let­ter to the case manager thanking him for his life saving support.

    Focus Group Survey Offered for Transgender Veterans

    By answering questions at surveymon­ regarding one’s military service and transition back to civilian life, those responses will help to streamline the discussion when you meet in person, and thus identify gaps in services, develop policy, raise public awareness and advocate for improved veterans’ services. All responses are confidential, and no personal infor­mation will be shared with anyone outside of the Swords to Plowshares Policy Department. Information from the survey will be compiled with the focus group results in a report of rec­ommendations for services and sup­port for transgender veterans. Swords to Plowshares phone:(415) 252-4787, ext. 350.

    Awards to be Given Celebrating Exceptional LGBTQ Entrepre­neurs and Business Leaders

    StartOut, a leading organization inspiring, educating and supporting LGBTQ entrepreneurs across the US, is pleased to announce the 2015 Star­tOut Award Honorees, selected by the Board of StartOut based on their business success and contributions to the queer community: Kara Swisher, executive editor of Re/code, host of the Re/code Decode podcast and co-executive producer of the Code Con­ference; Andrew Tobias, author of The Best Little Boy In the World and The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need; Patrick Chung, founding partner of Xfund, the early-stage venture capital firm; and Serafina Palandech, Presi­dent and Co-Founder of Hip Chick Farms, a groundbreaking frozen food com. The event is Thursday, Novem­ber 5, at Hotel Kabuki San Francisco. More info is available at

    Immigration Equality Cele­brates Ex. Dir. First Anniversary

    Immigration Equality, a leading orga­nization advocating for and repre­senting LGBTQ and HIV-affected immigrants, honored its Executive Director Caroline Dessert on her one-year anniversary leading the organi­zation. Over the course of the past year, Immigration Equality has won 112 cases for queer and HIV-affected immigrants; advised over 1,500 fami­lies seeking to be reunited; supported 91 law firms providing pro bono legal services; responded to over 4,500 calls and emails from people seek­ing legal help; all while maintaining a 99% success rate. The organization also welcomed a new Communica­tions Director, Jackie Yodashkin, who previously served as Communications Director for Freedom to Marry, the successful campaign to win marriage nationwide, and Project Director for the United Nations’ first-ever global campaign for LGBTQ rights, Free & Equal.