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    In the News——-May 19, 2016

    Compiled by Dennis McMillan


    Legislation Introduced to Extend Rent Control Protections for Individuals Living with HIV/AIDS

    This week Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced legislation to extend rent control to people living with HIV/AIDS who are part of a federal housing subsidy program known as HOPWA (Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS). Under the San Francisco Rent Ordinance, HOPWA recipients do not receive the same rent protections under rent control as someone living in the same building who does not receive a HOPWA subsidy. Specifically, HOPWA recipients have no protections against rent increases, which means that even if they live in a rent-controlled building, their rent can be increased to market rate at any time. If passed, the new legislation would end this exemption so that HOPWA recipients, many of whom are seniors and long-term HIV survivors, have the same rent control protections as anyone else.


    Alice to Hold Forum on Racism in Queer Community

    The Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club will present a discussion and testimonials on “Racism and White Privilege in the LGBT community.” The date has been rescheduled from April 18 to Monday, May 23, from 6:30 to 8 pm. The location is 518 Valencia at the Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics.


    Mayor Lee Announces City’s New Department of Homelessness & Supportive Housing, Appoints Director

    Mayor Ed Lee last week announced the Department of Homelessness & Supportive Housing that the City will launch on July 1. He has appointed Hamilton Family Center Executive Director Jeff Kositsky to lead the new Department that aims to facilitate homeless residents permanently exiting the streets and moving into housing and services. It is hoped that the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing will help achieve Mayor Lee’s goal of helping at least 8,000 people out of homelessness forever through strategies that stabilize people’s lives via the City’s housing and support services and building a system that ends a person’s homelessness before it becomes chronic.


    NCLR Applauds Federal Guidance on Title IX and Transgender Students

    The United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and the United States Department of Justice have issued guidance on Title IX and the right of transgender students to attend school free from discrimination based on sex. The guidance affirms that schools, colleges, and universities must, among other requirements, provide transgender students with a safe and supportive environment and must provide transgender students access to all of the school’s programs, activities, and facilities (i.e. restrooms, locker rooms, housing, and athletics) based on the student’s gender identity. “This is the boldest stance the federal government could take to support transgender students,” said San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights Transgender Youth Project Staff Attorney Asaf Orr. “This guidance could not be clearer: schools must treat transgender students with dignity and respect, providing them equal opportunities to succeed and thrive as they would any other student. We applaud this historic step, which sends the strongest possible message to transgender students and their families that they are valuable, equal and welcome members of our national community.”


    Coffee with Cops in the Castro

    Join Castro Community On Patrol, in association with the SFPD Chief’s LGBT Community Advisory Forum and illy Café, at 2349 Market Street on Tuesday, May 31, from 6 to 9 pm for a discussion with some of the city’s LGBT cops. The SFPD Chief’s LGBT Community Advisory Forum, established in 2010, is a voluntary forum comprised of unpaid community leaders, organizers and volunteers who provide a vital liaison between the citywide LGBT community and the Chief of the San Francisco Police Department.


    Sign Up for Updates on LGBT Senior Housing at 55 Laguna
    55 Laguna, San Francisco’s first affordable, LGBT-welcoming housing, will open its doors to residents in Fall 2016. Openhouse is partnering with Mercy Housing to create a community at 55 Laguna where the lives, history and relationships of LGBT residents and all residents will be affirmed and celebrated. From their new on-site service center at 55 Laguna, Openhouse will provide support for San Francisco’s community of LGBT seniors, and will offer resources, services and community building activities to help all residents live healthy and independent lives. To receive updates, please fill out the form at


    Harvey Milk Day Celebration Planned

    Join community leaders as they celebrate Harvey Milk Day and honor Milk’s legacy. People can attend the event in Harvey Milk Plaza, Castro and Market Streets, Sunday, May 22 at 1 pm. Harvey Milk Day is organized by the Harvey Milk Foundation and is celebrated each year in memory of Harvey Milk, the noted gay rights activist assassinated in 1978. In California, Harvey Milk Day is recognized by the state’s government as a day of special significance for public schools. The day was established by the California legislature and signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009 after a series of petitions led by gay rights activist Daren I. Ball and in the wake of the award-winning feature film Milk retracing Milk’s life. For more information, contact Adam Taylor at or 415-554-6968.


    AIDS Housing Alliance/SF Becomes Q Foundation

    AIDS Housing Alliance/SF recently announced that its new name is Q Foundation, in recognition of the multiple services that the alliance provides. They report that 29% of the City’s population of people experiencing homelessness come from the LGBTQ communities. According to the San Francisco Board of Supervisor’s Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Housing Plan, there are up to 2,500 homeless people with HIV/AIDS in San Francisco and 13,000 with an unmet housing need. That means 14% of people with HIV/AIDS are homeless at any given time. In addition to the name change, Q Foundation also has a new online tool for case managers called Q:FAB,


    Rotary International Gains Traction with New Castro/Noe Valley Club

    The Rotary Club of San Francisco is the second oldest Rotary chapter in the world, having been founded in November of 1908. But now the international service organization is launching a chapter in the Castro/Noe Valley. “We were looking at the City, and we were trying to think of other areas that we could support,” said Danielle Lallement, charter president of the Rotary Club of San Francisco. “We looked at the Castro and Noe Valley and thought, ‘Why is this not supported?’ We started doing a lot of work in the area, asking people if they thought it would be a benefit here. That’s why we started to get the club off the ground.” Currently, the Castro/Noe Valley club meets at a member’s home. The group, however, would like to expand to the point where it can have regular meetings at another location in the neighborhood. The last official meeting featured a speaker from the Trevor Project discussing teen bullying and the issues facing LGBT youth.


    Lambda Legal Announces Appointment of Rachel B. Tiven as CEO

    The Board of Directors of Lambda Legal—one of the nation’s oldest legal organizations fighting for equality on behalf of LGBT people and those living with HIV—announced that it has voted unanimously to appoint Rachel B. Tiven as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer. Tiven will succeed Kevin Cathcart, who led Lambda Legal as its Executive Director for 24 years. Under his leadership, the organization grew exponentially and won numerous civil rights victories in courtrooms and communities around the country. “Rachel’s track record of strengthening and growing mission-driven organizations into national forces for legal, political and social change made her the clear choice to lead Lambda Legal going forward,” said Tracey Wallace and Stephen Winters, co-chairs, Lambda Legal Board of Directors. “The list of victories yet to be won is long, and requires a leader who can ensure equality and dignity for our community, our families and all our loved ones. We’re confident Rachel is the leader to take us forward.”


    UC Launches First in Nation Research on HIV Prevention Pill for Transgenders

    The California HIV/AIDS Research Program of the University of California has awarded grants totaling $9.4 million to three teams of investigators to provide and evaluate PrEP, the HIV prevention pill, among transgender persons at risk for HIV acquisition in California. This is the first PrEP demonstration project in the U.S. to focus exclusively on transgender persons. Three research teams, one in San Diego and Los Angeles and two in the San Francisco Bay Area, will offer PrEP to an estimated 700 transgender women and men, with a special focus on transgender persons of color, over the next four years. Researchers will design and implement unique and targeted interventions to increase access, uptake and adherence in the transgender community. As part of this work, the research team will also investigate potential drug interactions between PrEP and hormone use.


    SF Pride Encourages Participants in Annual Carnaval San Francisco

    San Francisco Pride will premiere its 2016 Pride Parade float at Carnaval San Francisco on Sunday, May 29, 9:30 am, promoting their theme, “For Racial & Economic Justice.” People are invited to march with their 30-foot, beautifully designed float, a rotating rainbow wheel under a huge rainbow. Assemble near the parade start at 24th and Bryant streets. The Carnaval theme this year is “¡Viva La Madre Tierra!/Long Live Mother Earth!” so wear attire that fits the Mother Earth or Carnaval theme, or Rainbow LGBTQ Pride themed costumes/attire. More info about the Carnaval SF Parade:


    Travel Ban and All-Gender Restroom Bills Clear CA Assembly

    Two Equality California-sponsored bills advancing the civil rights of LGBT people in California and across the country were approved by the California Assembly. Assembly Bill (AB) 1887 was approved by a vote of 54–21 and AB 1732 passed by 55–19. AB 1887, authored by openly gay Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell), would prohibit state-funded or sponsored travel to a state that, after June 26, 2015, has enacted a law that voids or repeals existing state or local protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, or has enacted a law that authorizes or requires discrimination against same-sex couples or their families on those bases. AB 1887 is co-sponsored by Equality California and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. AB 1732, authored by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) would enact the most progressive statewide restroom access policy in the nation, requiring all single-occupancy restrooms in businesses, government buildings and places of public accommodation to be available to everyone. The bill is co-sponsored by Equality California, the Transgender Law Center and California NOW.