Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 49 / 7 December 2017
 

SF Movie Bears to end boycott

Dave HThe nationwide boycott of theaters owned by Cinemark Holdings Inc. that began after the chain’s CEO donated $9,999 to the Yes on 8 campaign is ending.

Dave Hayes (pictured at left) and Drew Galleni of San Francisco Movie Bears announced today that they’ll be discontinuing their boycott on January 1.

Cinemark’s theaters include Century, Cine Arts, and Tinseltown.

The move is being made because Cinemark will be offering domestic partner benefits to all LGBT employees effective January 1.

“This is a step in the right direction” said Hayes in a statement. “We’re happy that Cinemark has made this decision, but we plan to keep a close eye on them and Mr. Stock.”

Alan Stock is Cinemark’s CEO.

A call to Cinemark to confirm the benefits information was not returned.
In November 2008, San Francisco Movie Bears learned that Stock had made the donation to Yes on 8 and announced the boycott of Cinemark.

The following day, the site www.nomilkforcinemark.com was launched in an effort to keep people away from going to Cinemark to see the highly anticipated film “Milk” about slain San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk.

Since the start of the boycott, Hayes estimates that his group alone has cost Cinemark over $20,000 in ticket sales. That doesn’t include revenue lost nationwide as a result of the www.nomilkforcinemark.com Web site, or other groups like San Francisco Movie Bears, or losses at concession stands, the group said in a statement.

San Francisco Movie Bears is hoping to use the Century Theatres for future fundraising events.

For more information, visit www.sfmoviebears.com

— Seth Hemmelgarn, November 25, 2009 @ 1:51 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Courage’s Jacobs criticizes Prop 8 repeal campaign’s leadership structure

02_09_Poll_Fresno_23_LRGThe chair of the statewide Courage Campaign told the Bay Area Reporter this week that he doesn’t see the governing structure and other necessary elements in place to win marriage equality.

The comment from Rick Jacobs (pictured at right), whose group has favored repealing Prop 8 in 2010, made his comment just over a week after other groups launched a signature gathering campaign to put a repeal measure on the ballot in November 2010.

As to whether his group’s stance on 2010 has changed, Jacobs said, “Courage Campaign has never changed our attitude or the basis on which we’re operating, which is that we have to have research that informs a path to victory, a governance structure that the progressive community and LGBT community respects, a campaign manager that is empowered to make decisions reporting to that structure, and funding, so we’ve been very, very consistent on that and remain so.”

Asked if he sees those elements in place at all, Jacobs said, “I don’t see them.”

He said that Courage Campaign has been having conversations to build a permanent infrastructure. Among other work, he said that the group has 44 equality teams in 23 counties working on “short term campaigns that are designed to build relationships to start to work on the project to change the way people think and feel about LGBT equality,” as well as other progressive issues.

“We are very much engaged right now in the process of building out the teams and relationships with other organizations and creating something that’s a permanent infrastructure. These are all volunteers,” said Jacobs.

He also said that Courage Campaign has had “multiple inquiries” to take its Camp Courage training sessions national.

Courage Campaign has been doing research on repealing Prop 8 for months.

Jacobs said that some summaries of the research will be available “I would think sometime in December.”

One project the group is launching just in time for the holidays, when people will be gathered with family and friends, is its “Courageous Conversations” campaign.

Courage Campaign is asking people to pledge to have a “Story-of-Self” conversation designed to change minds about marriage equality.

Jacobs said the campaign is geared more toward straight people than LGBTs.

Conversations about marriage equality are “more powerful, frankly, coming from straight people because it makes the point this is not just the issue of a certain group of people, it’s an American freedom and liberty issue,” he said.

Pledges can be made at www.couragecampaign.org/page/s/CourageousConvos

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 12:31 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Milk club changes bylaws to allow for co-chairs

The Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club voted to change its bylaws Tuesday night, and for the first time in its history, it will now allow for co-chairs to be elected rather than having one president.

The city’s more progressive queer political group has tried to dump its one-person-as-titular-head structure for several years. But the proposals never garnered the two-thirds vote needed to pass. This time the measure surpassed the 66 percent threshold, said club officials.

The Milk club did not, however, completely abandon having one president. The club could still choose to elect one person to oversee it, or it can decide to elect two co-chairs, so long as the duo is one man and one woman.

The more moderate Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club has long had a co-chair structure so that there is always a man and a woman leading the club. In alternating years it elects either the male co-chair or the female co-chair who then serve two-year terms.

The last time the Milk Club had a female president was in 2002, when Debra Walker held the presidency. The lack of gender parity in its top position led some club members to push for the change in its leadership structure.

It is unclear just what effect the new rules will have on whom the club elects to lead it in 2010. In January the current president, Rafael Mandelman, plans to step down after serving in the post the last two years, and as of now, no one person or team of two club members has mounted a campaign to oversee the club.

Next year is a crucial election year, as voters in San Francisco will elect a new Democratic County Central Committee in June and in November vote for supervisors in even numbered districts, including District 8 in the Castro and District 6 in the South of Market area, where queer candidates will likely be top vote-getters.

The June election is especially crucial, as the DCCC decides whom the local Democratic Party endorses in the November general election. In 2008 progressives claimed a majority of DCCC seats and helped to then elect a progressive majority on the Board of Supervisors.

The Milk Club played a key role in those elections, and progressive leaders will be looking for the club, and in large part its president (or co-chairs) to help achieve similar victories next year.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 11:18 am PST
Filed under: News,Politics


CA Senate vacancy likely; Laird could enter race

07_09_Laird_Senate_46_LRGFormer gay state Assemblyman John Laird (pictured at right) may be house hunting soon in the Santa Cruz area in order to resurrect his political career.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced late Monday, November 23 that he had picked state Senator Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Barbara) to fill the vacant lieutenant governor post. The pick was widely expected in Sacramento, and it opens the way for Laird to run for Maldonado’s 15th Senate District, which runs along the central coast covering parts of Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara counties.

Although he doesn’t live within the Senate district, Laird had told the Bay Area Reporter earlier this month that it would only require him moving a short distance in order to meet the residency requirement.

“It is something I would consider if there is a vacancy; so that’s the story,” he had said when asked about a possible run.

Laird saw his statehouse political career cut short last fall when he was termed out of the state Assembly and had no other political office to seek, as he did not want to run against a sitting Democratic senator in the district in which he does live. When he was elected to the state Assembly in 2002, he was one of the elected body’s first two openly gay members.

Since leaving public office the former Santa Cruz mayor had said he hoped to return to politics someday. He has been serving on the state’s waste board and is set to teach a course on environmental policy this January at University of California, Santa Cruz.

According to the Sacramento Bee, state lawmakers have 90 days to act on Maldonado’s appointment. If either the Assembly or the Senate rejects him on a majority vote, he will remain in the Senate and the governor would have the option of finding a new nominee or leaving the job vacant.

If the two houses approve Maldonado on a majority vote – or fail to act within 90 days – he would fulfill the final year of John Garamendi’s term.

The governor would then call for a special election to fill the vacant Senate seat, which is likely to be held sometime in late spring or early summer.

The lieutenant governor position came up for grabs after Garamendi, the Democrat who held the post, resigned after he won a special election for an East Bay congressional seat that became vacant this summer. In a release sent to reporters, the governor said he picked Maldonado, a fellow GOPer, for his ability to reach across the aisle.

“Senator Maldonado has proven he has the strength and courage it takes to reach across the partisan divide and put the interests of Californians first and he is absolutely the most qualified person to take on the role of lieutenant governor,” stated Schwarzenegger. “Senator Maldonado shares my commitment to creating a transparent, accountable government that works for the people. He will be a true partner in solving the critical issues facing our state and building a stronger future for California.”

Maldonado also broke party ranks to back budget bills, and his appointment is seen as payback by the governor for facing harsh criticism from his Republican colleagues and a failed recall threat against him.

“Like the governor, I learned the values of hard work, dedication, and personal responsibility at a young age and place a high priority on reforming California’s broken government so that it is more responsive to and reflective of California’s diverse population,” stated Maldonado. “I’m honored to take on the position of lieutenant governor and I look forward to working with the governor to tackle important issues facing California and to ensure all Californians have the opportunity to realize their own American Dream.”

Maldonado, 42, of Santa Maria, attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo where he completed coursework in crop science. The position requires Senate and Assembly confirmation and pays $159,134.

It is mostly a ceremonial post but does break tie votes in the state Senate. The lieutenant governor also sits on several state commissions, including the University of California board of regents.

— Matthew S. Bajko, November 23, 2009 @ 7:21 pm PST
Filed under: News


D8 candidate is Muni crime victim

“Who is this?” is a question Rafael Mandelman, a candidate running to be the next District 8 supervisor, has been asking lately. The reason: someone stole his cell phone last week while he was riding Muni.

Blog_Mandelman

“They just grabbed it out of my hands,” said Mandelman (at left), who had yet to report the crime when interviewed Friday by the Bay Area Reporter.

Yet the man his wants to succeed on the board, Bevan Dufty, is looking to hear from people who have been crime victims while riding the city’s mass transit system.

This morning Dufty is holding a hearing on the police’s bus inspection program, where officers ride various Muni lines on the lookout for criminal activity, and has asked people who have been victims of crimes to testify. [The hearing begins at 11 a.m. in Room 250 of City Hall.]

The hearing comes after the city has seen high-profile assaults of two young riders on bus lines in the Mission and a fight between an Asian and African American female riders on another bus line was captured on video and posted to YouTube by another rider.

In an e-mail Dufty sent out to constituents last week, he wrote that the purpose of the hearing is to determine which Muni routes the police should be focusing their resources and time patrolling.

“For two years, I have publicly called upon SFPD to honor its 2001 Memorandum of Agreement with Muni assuring that beat officers will ride the system 2-4 times per shift. Our new Chief, George Gascon, has been responsive to these concerns and urged that we more directly focus officer time on those lines that have reported crime,” wrote Dufty, who chairs the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. “It appears that Monday’s hearing prompted Muni and SFPD to renegotiate the MOU to agree to deploy resources based on crime analysis, community complaints and driver concerns. This approach is consistent with Chief Gascon’s commitment to COMPSTAT and other data-driven policing and problem solving. I’m pleased with any effort that is real and results in a safer Muni.”

COMPSTAT is a new computer system that the chief has implemented that can pinpoint crime hotspots in the city’s police districts using real-time data. Dufty praised Gascon’s recent promotion of John Murphy as Deputy Chief for Muni and the Municipal Transportation Authority, noting “John has a strong background in patrol.”

In his e-mailed newsletter, Dufty also commended Ingleside Captain David Lazar for piloting the effort for officers to use Translink in their inspection rides “so we generate data and accountability.”

According to Dufty, Lazar put the pilot project to the test November 4 by deploying more than 100 officers citywide in Operation Safe Muni. During the period from 1 to 8:30 p.m. officers issued 500 citations, primarily for fare evasion, and also arrested five individuals on serious warrant violations, according to the email.

“Hopefully SFPD and Muni are now establishing a program that provides effective police presence to support the Proof of Payment Officers and other initiatives to make our system safe and pleasant for riders,” wrote Dufty.

As for Mandelman, no word on whether he would testify before the City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee’s hearing today.

While he was able to transfer his phone number to a new phone, the theft is causing some hassles as he campaigns for District 8 supervisor. He lost countless contacts for people and has to rebuild his database of phone numbers.

So for those waiting to hear (back) from him, he may just not have your phone number.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 11:54 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Migden won’t seek return to politics in 2010

BLOG_MigdenIn a not-so-surprising turn of events, former out lesbian state Senator Carole Migden has finally put the kabash on rumors she had planned to make a return to public office next year by running for the Board of Supervisors, which she served on in the late 1990s.

Migden told the SF Weekly that she would not seek the District 10 seat next year. Current D10 Supervisor Sophie Maxwell is termed out of office come January 2011 and the race has drawn a long list of candidates already.

“I’m more in a position of wishing them well and allowing them to proceed,” Migden told the newsweekly.

Migden’s potential bid had been viewed as unlikely by those closest to her as it would have meant her having to move into the district – she lives in District 6 – and facing accusations not only of being a carpetbagger but also of running for a seat that has traditionally been held by an African American in the diverse district.

And she was easily trounced by fellow gay Dem Mark Leno in the June 2008 primary for her Senate seat, which covers the city’s District 10 areas. (Leno went on to easily win election to the Senate that November.)

While Migden had told the Bay Area Reporter this spring she would not rule out a potential run, she seemed happier being outside the public spotlight and traveling around the world.

She echoed those sentiments this week to the weekly alt paper:

“I don’t envision this as a fit for me in the New Year,” she said, adding, “I like where I live … I have a good life.”

— Matthew S. Bajko, November 19, 2009 @ 5:03 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


New LGBT paper in nation’s capital to be called DC Agenda

The nation’s capital will have a new LGBT paper and news Web site Friday under the name DC Agenda, the Bay Area Reporter has learned. The new online portal at DCAGENDA.com and weekly paper is the reincarnation of the Washington Blade, which folded earlier this week.

“That is the name,” said Lynne Brown, formerly the publisher of the Blade who is overseeing the launch of the new paper.

Brown, who registered the domain name Tuesday, November 17, said the staff landed on the name once it was determined there was no trademark issues with using it.

She also joked that, “There is a homosexual agenda, according to the right wing,” before adding that, “Our personal agenda is to delivery of quality news of the DC metro area serving the population formerly served by the former publication known as the Washington Blade.”

On Monday the Blade ceased publishing along with the other LGBT media holdings of Window Media. As the B.A.R. reported in its edition today (Thursday, November 19) the company’s majority stockholder, Avalon Equity Partners, has been under receivership with the U.S. Small Business Administration since 2008, and it declared bankruptcy earlier this week.

The staffs of the company’s papers in D.C., Atlanta and south Florida arrived to work that morning to find the doors to their newsrooms locked shut. Within hours the staff of the Blade had regrouped and set about to launch their own newspaper.

A two-page printed version of the new DC Agenda is set to hit the streets by Friday morning when the new Web site is also expected to go live, said Brown. At a party the staff held Wednesday night the D.C. Gay Men’s Chorus showed up to buy an ad on the back page of the first edition.

“I haven’t cried yet,” said Brown, who declined to say how much the ad cost. “They paid what they wanted; they were very kind to us. It was the first and it was lovely they did it.”

The staff also launched this week another Web site – www.savetheblade.com – where they are selling bricks as a way to raise money to pay for the new media venture.

“It is a yellow brick road and it is paving the way to our future service as a community newspaper,” said Brown.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 12:12 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Advocate will remain a separate publication

Starting in 2010 national LGBT newsmagazine The Advocate will be bundled together with Out magazine but remain a stand-alone publication, the Bay Area Reporter has confirmed.

Blog_Advocate

Since the news earlier this month that the monthly publication had laid off staff and would no longer be available to subscribers by itself, readers and LGBT media watchers have been confused on whether The Advocate would cease to exist and be folded into Out as a special section or remain a separate entity.

In an email response to questions from the B.A.R. this week, Stephen Macias, senior vice president for Regent Media, the parent company that owns both publications, clarified what form The Advocate would appear in next year.

The Advocate will continue to be a separate mag with its current editorial focus on news, politics and culture, delivered monthly with a separate OUT as well,” wrote Macias.

The B.A.R. contacted Macias for comment following the closures this week of Window Media’s newspapers, which included the Washington Blade in D.C. and Southern Voice in Atlanta. The shuttering of the well-regarded weeklies shocked readers nationwide and has led to ongoing recriminations over just what caused the sudden shut downs of the papers.

Window Media’s majority stockholder, Avalon Equity Partners, had been under receivership with the U.S. Small Business Administration since 2008. While the SBA has said it had nothing to do with this week’s events, others have blamed the government agency.

No matter who is to blame, the news has further flamed fears that more LGBT publications could fold in coming weeks or months. Despite Regent Media’s denials, some continue to speculate that The Advocate will become an online only news outlet.

Macias did not discount that the company’s 2008 takeover of PlanetOut, which had owned the magazines, has been problematic. But he said the company is already forecasting that 2010 will be a better year advertising-wise than 2009 has been.

The Advocate and the Window Media group have/had very different challenges. The Advocate online, Advocate video, Advocate print the new television show, and Advocate Summit scheduled for next fall will have more stakeholders and readers than its had in its 42 year history,” wrote Macias. “Our sales team is already selling The Advocate and Out brands well into third quarter of 2010. We are cautiously optimistic around the climate in the marketplace. Ad and marketing budgets are being restored for 2010. Advertisers are eager to include us in their buys as they realize what an important consumer niche LGBT Americans are.”

— Matthew S. Bajko, November 18, 2009 @ 4:16 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


Dufty to host meeting on leather events

Mayoral candidate and District 8 Supervisor Bevan Dufty will host a City Hall meeting next week on policies surrounding the city’s famed leather events.

Blog_Dufty

The public get-together will be a first for the producers of the annual street fairs and dance parties, known as Folsom Street Events. It comes at the behest of local gay blogger Michael Petrelis, who denounced the nonprofit for instituting a more stringent anti-public-sex policy this summer without first asking the community’s input. In one posting he said it would be better for fair organizers to ban children (and dogs) rather than place restrictions on open displays of gay sexuality.

As the Bay Area Reporter detailed in several stories this summer, the changes were done at the behest of police, who revealed they had received complaints about lax patrolling of lewd and illegal behavior during the 2008 Up Your Alley Fair. The smaller cousin to the larger Folsom Street Fair and known locally simply as Dore Alley, the event attracts a predominantly gay male crowd where oral sex and masturbation is not an uncommon sight within the venue’s foot print.

Even with the stricter guidelines in place – which called for people found engaging in public sex to be ejected from the fairgrounds after their second warning – organizers reported little problems with this year’s events.

The nonprofit’s board of directors and its executive director, Demetri Moshoyannis, had informed Petrelis in October they would grant his request for a public meeting. In an e-mail sent November 18, the organizers said they welcomed feedback on how to make next year’s events better.

“Folsom Street Events would like to hear from you about what makes our events so great and what would make them even better! There’s no need to RSVP. Just stop by and listen or give us a piece of your mind. We hope to see you there!” stated the e-mail.

The meeting runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, November 23 in Room 278 at City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place in San Francisco.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 1:14 pm PST
Filed under: News


Hammer to join police panel December 2

Former Assistant District Attorney James Hammer, an out gay man who provides legal analysis for local Fox News affiliate KTVU Channel 2, will join the city’s Police Commission as its newest member December 2.

BLOG_Hammer

In a surprise turn of events, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Hammer’s appointment to the citizen led police oversight panel at its meeting Tuesday, November 17. Behind the scenes there had been some moves to block Hammer’s being given the post.

But an apparent deal was worked out as no objections were raised when Hammer’s appointment was brought forward for a vote. The board’s Rules Committee had recommended the onetime police officer and Jesuit priest for the post on a 2-1 vote.

Openly gay Supervisor David Campos had voted against Hammer’s appointment – he favored seeing an out gay Latino be given the seat – but had said during the November 5 meeting that he would not block the decision when it went before the full board.

Hammer told the Bay Area Reporter late Tuesday that he was “really excited” about being given the post. He will be the panel’s only openly LGBT member and is widely expected to use the position as a launching pad for a run for district attorney when that elective office becomes vacant.

“I think it is a really exciting time for the city with a new chief of police. It is especially important to have an LGBT representative on there,” said Hammer. “It is a big responsibility, I think.”

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday the Police Commission does not meet next week. Hammer expects to be sworn-in sometime before the panel’s first meeting in December.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 10:52 am PST
Filed under: News


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