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    Memorial for Eileen Hansen, Community Activist and Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club Leader

    BT 5.5. 1-32_Page_08_Image_0004A memorial and gathering to honor Eileen Hansen took place this past weekend at Hibernia Beach in the Castro. Hansen, who remained politically active while bravely fighting cancer, was a long-time Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club member and leader. For decades she worked on a number of issues both here and in her place of birth, Salt Lake City, Utah.

    According to the League of Women Voters, Hansen organized against the war in Vietnam, advocated for women’s and LGBT rights, international peace, and on behalf of disenfranchised communities throughout the country. Working in Boston in the early 1980s, Hansen was the Planning and Development Director for the largest multi-service agency in Chinatown.

    In 1986, she turned her attention to HIV/AIDS and worked for 14 years to effect progressive public polices on behalf of people with HIV. Much of her work was focused on issues related to privacy and confidentiality, as well as the effect of federal policies on women and children. Her public policy work on health and HIV issues included the drafting of legislation and the training of women with HIV to become public policy advocates. She presented at the International AIDS Conference in South Africa in 2000.

    Working in electoral politics since moving to San Francisco in 1985, Hansen continued her community efforts. As a nonprofit organization consultant, she helped to build important coalitions. She held many positions in the city over the years, including Vice-President, Building Inspection Commission; Vice-Chair, Mayor and Board of Supervisors’ Joint Task Force on the HIV Epidemic; Public Policy Director, AIDS Legal Referral Panel; Community Mediator and Trainer, Community Boards of San Francisco; President, Board of Directors and Public Policy Director, Women’s AIDS Network; and numerous others.

    At Hansen’s Facebook page (, David Waggoner, Managing Attorney at Homeless Action Center, expressed the feelings of many when he wrote: “She was San Francisco’s own Supreme Court Chief Justice. A truly beautiful person in every respect. I am profoundly honored to have known her, even from afar. What a remarkable human being.”