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    In the News

    By Dennis McMillan

    Political Arm of the Statewide Tenant Movement Launched

    2015 marks the launch of the Tenants Together Action Fund. TT Action Fund will work to hold legislators accountable, promote tenant-friendly candidates, and pass legislation. TT Action Fund is the first group of its kind for tenants at the state level in California.

    Welcoming a New Generation of Leadership to Transgender Law Center

    The Transgender Law Center Board of Directors announced Kris Hayashi as the next executive director of TLC. He brings more than twenty years of experience as a leader in movements for social justice and LGBTQ rights, and more than thirteen years as an executive director. Prior to joining TLC as Deputy Director in June 2013, he served for nine years as co-executive director at Audre Lorde Project (ALP), a New York City-based center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirit, trans and gender non-conforming people of color.

    Senator Dianne Feinstein Leads Fight to Repeal Anti-Gay Defense of Marriage Act

    The US Supreme Court may have gutted the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, but they didn’t kill it. California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is leading an effort to completely repeal the anti-gay law, which was enacted in 1996. Feinstein has introduced the Respect For Marriage Act that would ensure all legally-married, same-sex couples are treated equally under federal law.

    news2Senator Barbara Boxer to Retire Next Year

    California Senator Barbara Boxer announced she will retire after finishing her current term in Congress, saying she wants to come home to this state that she loves so much. The senator’s decision to retire ends a three-decade congressional career and leaves the Senate without one of its strongest liberal voices on environmental issues. Her decision will also open up the top Democratic spot on the Environment and Public Works Committee, which she chaired last Congress. Kamala Harris, California attorney general and former two-term San Francisco district attorney, announced her run a day after California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom said he would not join the race.


    NCLR’s #BornPerfect Campaign Hosts Twitter Town Hall on Conversion Therapy

    The San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) hosted a Twitter town hall to discuss the dangers of conversion therapy, the efforts to stop these practices once and for all, and what the community can do. The town hall was organized days after the tragic death of Leelah Alcorn, who took her life after facing years of rejection and enduring conversion therapy. Earlier this year, NCLR launched its #BornPerfect campaign to stop conversion therapy across the country over the next five years by passing laws, fighting in courtrooms, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by attempts to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.


    Rebecca Kaplan’s Colleagues Have Elected Her as Vice Mayor of Oakland

    As vice mayor, Kaplan congratulates and looks forward to working with Mayor Schaaf and the new councilmembers: Abel Guillen, who represents District 2, and Anne Campbell-Washington, who represents District 4. Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney (District 3) was elected Council President, and Councilmember Larry Reid (District 7) will serve as President Pro Tempore. In addition to serving as vice mayor, Kaplan will also chair the Council’s Public Works Committee and joins the Council’s Community & Economic Development Committee.


    Assemblymember Tom Ammiano Joins Palm Center


    Former Assemblymember Tom Ammiano from San Francisco, a long-standing and nationally distinguished leader of the LGBTQ community and a graduate of San Francisco State University, has joined the Palm Center as a government relations consultant. Ammiano, who served as School Board President, San Francisco City Supervisor, and Assembly Member of the California State Assembly, has had a 25-year career in public service. He will assist the Palm Center in its relations with the administration of San Francisco State University, the Board of Trustees of the California State University, and the California State Assembly Committee on Higher Education.


    Housing Progress in Market & Octavia Neighborhood Strengthens Neighborhoods; Adds Permanently Affordable Housing

    Mayor Edwin M. Lee has highlighted progress in the Market and Octavia neighborhood, in Hayes Valley along the former Central Freeway right-of-way. In 2014, 30 housing development projects, totaling 1,300 units, were completed, generating nearly $12 million for infrastructure improvements that have, in turn, helped revitalize the neighborhood. When the Central Freeway was damaged by the 1989 earthquake and ultimately removed, the neighborhood worked with the City to design a reuse plan dedicating the newly available spaces to parks, pedestrian connections, and developable lots, including half of which developed as affordable housing. The Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors adopted the Market and Octavia Plan, the City’s first Better Neighborhoods Plan, in early 2008 at the beginning of the economic downturn, and little development occurred in the early years. Now, with many new projects being built or recently finished, its vision is becoming reality.


    President Obama Makes History with State of the Union Address

    For the first time in American history, a U.S. president used the terms “lesbian,” “bisexual” and “transgender” in a State of the Union address. On Tuesday evening, President Obama’s State of the Union address included the following: “That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. We do these things not only because they’re right, but because they make us safer.”


    PrEP Forum for Trans Folks to be Offered

    Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a way for people who do not have HIV, but who are at substantial risk of getting it, to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day. The pill (brand name Truvada) contains two medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine) that are used in combination with other medicines to treat HIV. When someone is exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, these medicines can work to keep the virus from establishing a permanent infection. When taken consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to 92%. David Evans, Jae Sevelius and Oliver Bacon MD will discuss the medical aspects, access and social implications of PrEP, with a Q&A and community sharing about personal experiences with PrEP. The hour and a half to two-hour forum will be held at Project Inform, 273 9th Street, on Wednesday, January 28, at 6pm.


    GGBA Board Replacement Elections Taking Place

    The GGBA (Golden Gate Business Association) Board of Directors invites you to consider submitting your nomination for one of four replacement Board of Directors positions they will elect at their “Make Contact” on Tuesday, March 10, at Recology. Deadline to declare candidacy: February 13. Declarations may be submitted via email: or mail: 584 Castro Street #528, SF, CA 94114. For any questions about the process, contact Nominating Committee Chair JP Leddy,

    Mayor Delivers Shared Prosperity Agenda in State of the City Address

    Mayor Edwin M. Lee delivered his 2015 State of the City address at the recently completed Phase One expansion site of the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market—the first new Production, Distribution, and Repair (PDR) space in San Francisco in more than a decade—in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood. Joined by civic, labor, business and community leaders, Mayor Lee outlined his goal of shared prosperity through his Affordability Directives with the City’s investments in housing, education, transportation, women’s empowerment and anti-poverty in what was his third State of the City address.


    EQCA to Host Town Hall Meeting

    On Thursday evening, January 22, 6:30pm, Equality California is hosting a very special Town Hall in the Castro at Most Holy Redeemer Church, 100 Diamond Street, where we can learn about EQCA’s expanded mission and new goals. These include advancing equality both in and outside our state, and improving the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ Californians. Under this umbrella, they have several trailblazing initiatives, which will address LGBTQ youth homelessness, bullying in our schools, the needs of LGBTQ seniors and people living with HIV, and the myriad hurdles faced by LGBTQ immigrants.


    Castro Patrol Volunteer Training Offered

    Castro Community on Patrol (CCOP) will hold its next free training event for new volunteers on Saturday, January 24. The link below will take you to some Q&A about patrol activity. Then reserve your spot for the training event. The training will give you great information about how to identify crime and how to work with the police when needed. This will help you with your day-to-day activities living in the City, and also gives you the opportunity to become a CCOP volunteer if you want to contribute to a safer neighborhood. Link for details on what CCOP volunteers do:


    Supervisor London Breed Announces Board Committee Assignments

    President of the Board of Supervisors London Breed has announced the Board’s committee assignments, providing a broad diversity of committee chairs, with Supervisors Cohen, Mar, Farrell, Kim, Avalos and Yee all in leadership positions. The 2015 committees are as follows. Budget & Finance: Mark Farrell, Chair; Katy Tang, Vice Chair; Eric Mar, Member; Norman Yee, Temporary Member; Scott Wiener, Temporary Member. City & School District Select: Jane Kim, Chair; Norman Yee, Vice Chair; David Campos, Member. Government Audit & Oversight: Norman Yee, Chair; Julie Christensen, Vice Chair; London Breed, Member. Public Safety & Neighborhood Services: Eric Mar, Chair; David Campos, Vice Chair; Julie Christensen, Member. Land Use & Transportation: Malia Cohen, Chair; Scott Wiener, Vice Chair; Jane Kim, Member. Rules: John Avalos, Chair; Katy Tang, Vice Chair; Malia Cohen, Member.