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    New Leadership Elected for Influential SF Political Organizations

    By Tom Temprano–

    Congratulations, dear reader, we made it through 2017! There were times when, I’m sure, you felt certain that a Twitter-induced nuclear war was right around the corner. But we beat the odds and arrived at 2018 largely intact.

    This year we Democrats have our work cut out for us at the federal level as we do everything we can to restore checks and balances in our government and win back the house. The good news is that Republicans are running scared or not running at all. Prominent California House Republicans like Darrell Issa and Ed Royce have decided to ride off into the sunset rather than face the difficult road to reelection. Make no mistake—California is the place where we stand the best chance to pick up many of the seats needed to win back the house, so plan to pack a bag and spend some weekends in the swing district nearest you.

    Locally, 2018 will be one of the most important election years in decades, with the majority of our Board of Supervisors and the Mayor’s Office up for grabs. Despite being less than a month old, the race to replace the late Mayor Ed Lee is in full swing. Just this week I saw no less than five mayoral candidates—former State Senator Mark Leno, Supervisor Jane Kim, Acting Mayor London Breed, former Supervisor Angela Alioto and community organizer Amy Farah Weiss—politicking before most of us even had our coffee at early morning events held by the San Francisco Labor Council and the San Francisco Democratic Party.

    With all of this important electoral work ahead, our city’s most influential political organizations elected new leadership during the past couple weeks.

    The Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, of which former San Francisco Bay Times columnist Rafael Mandelman and I are past-presidents, voted in a new board helmed by Carolina Morales and Honey Mahogany. Carolina served as co-president last year along with Kimberly Alvarenga, and brings back strong personal and professional experience as an immigrant and legislative aide to Supervisor Hillary Ronen. Honey, a drag performer who competed in Ru Paul’s Drag Race and who co-owns the Stud bar in SoMA, is next in a long tradition of queer nightlife activists to lead the club and is also the District Manager of the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District.

    San Francisco’s other queer Democratic Club, the Alice B. Toklas Club, also elected new leaders in January with Gina Simi, a San Francisco planner, succeeding San Francisco Bay Times columnist Lou Fischer as the organization’s female Co-chair. She’ll join last year’s Co-chair Eric Lukoff to form a great young leadership team for the club.

    I’m especially proud of the newly elected Co-president of the San Francisco Young Democrats, Erin Mundy. Back in 2015, I was a first-time candidate and Erin was my first-time campaign manager. Since then, she’s gone on to lead Hillary Ronen’s successful supervisor campaign and is now the campaign manager for Mark Leno’s mayoral bid. At 25, she’s done more in her political career than lots of people twice her age and is one of many young queer women of color across the country stepping up and leading the resistance. Her Co-president, Courtney McDonald, is another impressive and accomplished organizer who will also be busy as the campaign manager for Matt Haney’s District 6 Supervisor Campaign.

    The endorsements and organizing of these political clubs will be critical to winning over voters, and with less than five months until the June election, these folks will need to hit the ground running. I know that all of them are up to the task and are ready to get down to the business of shaping the future of our city and country.

    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