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    In the News——July 7, 2016

    Compiled by Dennis McMillan

    Lawmakers Seek Emergency
    Declaration to Rally State Around Homeless Solutions

    Assemblymember and San Francisco Bay Times columnist Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), along with Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) recently announced a legislative resolution requesting that the Governor declare a state of emergency on homelessness and urge statewide coordination and leadership from all parts of government to confront the related challenges. “San Francisco has invested billions serving our homeless population at the same time federal funding has been cut,” said Ting, who serves as Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. “Homelessness has become a regional and statewide issue and, with other cities not stepping up to the plate, San Francisco has had to shoulder a huge burden. We need a statewide solution to help people get into housing and services rather than have each city go it alone.” There are over 115,000 homeless in California, by far the most of any state. There are nearly 47,000 homeless in Los Angeles and over 7,500 homeless in San Francisco. For updates on this resolution, HR56, as well as other state and assembly bills, visit

    Community Co-Op Hopes to Buy The Stud to Prevent Legendary Club’s Closure

    One of San Francisco’s oldest gay bars, The Stud, has gone through a rollercoaster few weeks given that the recent selling of the building housing the club will lead to a tripling of its rent as of this September. Owner Michael McElhaney, holding back tears, held an emergency community meeting to announce his concerns. Only recently had the club celebrated its 50th anniversary. There have been fears that it would go the way of Beatbox, which shut down on July 3. 48hills reports that entertainer Mica Sigourney (VivvyAnne ForeverMore!) is forming a community co-op to purchase The Stud. If you would like to join the effort, please contact Sigourney at and join the Facebook group:

    SF Gay Men’s Chorus Appoints New Executive

    SFGMC has appointed Christopher Verdugo as their new Executive Director. Verdugo joins SFGMC in anticipation of their 39th Season, and together with their Artistic Director Dr. Timothy Seelig, will lead the organization to new levels of growth, financial sustainability and artistic excellence. Verdugo brings over 15 years of experience leading nonprofit organizations, and comes to SFGMC after five successful years as Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA).

    Supervisor Wiener Obtains HIV Funds to End New Infections in SF

    Supervisor Scott Wiener, in partnership with the Getting to Zero Consortium (of which Supervisor Wiener is a member) and the HIV/AIDS Providers Network (HAPN), announced that they successfully obtained funding to implement San Francisco’s historic Getting to Zero (GTZ) effort as part of the City’s two-year budget. Supervisor Wiener led the effort on the Board of Supervisors Budget Committee to secure the $2.5 million needed to fund a full complement of prioritized services for the upcoming fiscal year. With this funding, San Francisco will finally be able to move forward comprehensively to implement GTZ and move toward an end to new HIV infections in the City.

    ISIS Video Specifically
    Threatens SF

    A terrifying video was released by ISIS specifically calling out San Francisco as the location of an upcoming attack. The video shows San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, focusing on the supports of the suspension bridge before panning to the cars driving past. It also shows news footage of Pulse, the club that was the location of the recent attack in Orlando, while praising the attacker. It should be noted that the video was released the same day as San Francisco’s Gay Pride Parade, possibly speaking toward the anti-LGBT agenda that the Orlando incident suggested.

    Hackers Add Rainbows, Gay Pride Slogans to Islamic State Accounts

    The Anonymous hacker collective, the WauchulaGhost Twitter account, has launched a campaign to add rainbow flags and gay pride slogans to Islamic State Twitter accounts in response to the Orlando gay dance club attack that left 49 dead. The hackers took over Twitter accounts of those espousing support for the Islamic State, then added rainbow flags, signs proclaiming “I’m Gay and I’m Proud” and other gay-positive imagery. One of the hackers behind the effort says he’s been getting both death threats and kudos since the campaign began.

    President Obama Establishes First National Monument to LGBT Activism

    President Barack Obama designated a new national monument at the historic site of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City to honor the movement for LGBT equality. This is the first national monument to honor the struggle for LGBT rights. The Stonewall National Monument will protect the area where, on June 28, 1969, a community uprising sparked the modern LGBT civil rights movement in the United States. Under Obama’s leadership, a number of LGBT sites have been designated as national historic landmarks or listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    National Report on Hate Violence Against LGBTQ and HIV-Affected Communities

    The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) released its annual report, “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Hate Violence in 2015.” For this report—the most comprehensive of its kind—NCAVP collected data on 1,253 incidents of hate violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected people from 13 local NCAVP member organizations in 11 states. States reporting were: Texas, Colorado, Vermont, Minnesota, Missouri, Massachusetts, Michigan, California, New York, Ohio, and Arizona. The NCAVP report is being released at a time when sweeping anti-LGBTQ legislation is advancing in the United States and existing protections are being rolled back, leaving already vulnerable communities even more susceptible to violence. The year 2015 was once again a deadly year for LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities. There were 24 reported hate violence homicides of LGBTQ people, a 20% increase from the 20 reported anti-LGBTQ homicides in 2014.

    San Francisco and Oakland Mayors Hold Bay Area Women’s Summit

    Mayor Ed Lee and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf convened the first ever Bay Area Women’s Summit in Moscone Center North, 747 Howard Street. Special guests included Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama Valerie Jarrett and Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios. Keynote speakers included New America President and CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter, National Domestic Workers Alliance Director Ai-jen Poo and PolicyLink President & CEO Angela Glover Blackwell.

    Castro Patrol Training to be Offered on July 19

    Castro Community on Patrol will again be training new volunteers on July 19 to continue 10 years of looking out for one another. Trained volunteers patrol in teams of three or more, walking in brightly colored orange safety vests throughout the neighborhood. They act as the “eyes and ears” of the neighborhood, providing safety information, distributing free safety whistles, checking in with merchants and chatting with visitors, and, if needed, calling on professional emergency responders as necessary. Activists are urged to reserve a seat for the free training. More volunteers mean more walking patrols, which mean improved safety for everybody in the Castro and Duboce Triangle neighborhoods.

    CDPH Issues Health Advisory for Meningococcal Disease

    California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith issued a health advisory related to an outbreak of invasive meningococcal disease occurring in Southern California, primarily among adult gay and bisexual men. Meningococcal disease is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis and can cause meningitis and bloodstream infections (sepsis). Although rare, meningococcal disease is serious and potentially fatal. Since the beginning of May, nine meningococcal disease cases have been identified in men living in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, most of whom were gay or bisexual men. One patient has died. HIV-infected people are at increased risk of contracting meningococcal disease. Because of this increased risk, the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommend that all HIV-infected persons aged 2 months and older be routinely vaccinated with the meningococcal vaccine.