Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 12 / 22 March 2018

SF Dems urge party to oppose condoms in porn ballot measure

condomsThe San Francisco Democratic Party is urging the statewide party to oppose a condoms in porn ballot measure that will go before voters in November.

The local party’s oversight body, known as the Democratic County Central Committee, unanimously passed a resolution denouncing the measure at their meeting Wednesday, January 27.

The initiative is backed by the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which passed a similar local measure that covered porn sets in Los Angeles County. The agency contends the rule is needed to protect the health of porn actors.

But those opposed to the measure say that in addition to condoms it would mandate the use of eye goggles by porn actors. They also worry passage of the initiative would create a “sue-a-porn-star” provision in state law, as anyone could bring a lawsuit against those who violate it.

And they are concerned that the state’s $6 billion porn industry would move to another state with less restrictive policies California has already enacted to protect the health of porn actors.

“These issues aren’t intuitive for a lot of people, especially when the measure is referred to as the ‘condoms in porn measure.’ The first question I would hear from people is, ‘What is wrong with condoms?’ Well, nothing,” said DCCC member Matt Dorsey, a gay man who is HIV positive and was the lead sponsor of the resolution. “It really takes some going through the measure and understanding the context and larger narrative to get how dangerous this measure is. In the end everyone did their homework, and I applaud my colleagues on the DCCC for it.”

AHF has teamed up with the group FAIR – For Adult Industry Responsibility – to push for the measure’s passage. The proponents argue it is aimed at expanding the power of Cal/OSHA and local California public health departments to enforce condom use on adult film sets throughout the state.

Their goal, they contend, is to end the transmission of both HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases among porn actors and empower performers who want to use condoms but face opposition from porn producers.

“Porn producers tell the media that performers have a choice when it comes to condoms. What they don’t tell you is that if a performer wants a condom, they’re paid less. Sometimes, producers will fire you for asking. We’re replaceable,” stated Cameron Adams, who was identified in an AHF press releases as a former adult film performer who became infected with HIV while working in the industry in August 2013. “They’ll say, ‘I have three girls waiting to take your place, and they’ll shoot without condoms.’ So where’s the choice in that?”

Under the California Democratic Party’s rules, local DCCCs are not allowed to endorse or oppose ballot measures unless the state party decides not to take a position on a specific initiative, explained Dorsey as to why the SF DCCC did not outright oppose the porn in condoms ballot measure.

It is also partly why Dorsey is not asking other local committees around the state to pass similar resolutions. He does plan to discuss the condoms in porn ballot measure at the state party’s LGBT Caucus meeting during the convention, which will be held in San Jose February 26-28.

It is unclear if the state party will take a position on the ballot measure during the  convention, said Dorsey, as the delegates will be more focused on making endorsements in state legislative and executive races as well as congressional contests. The party’s executive committee could vote to do so at a later date.

No matter when the party does take up the issue, Dorsey said the SF DCCC stance is likely to carry significant weight with party officials.

“San Francisco is a globally-recognized leader on HIV/AIDS issues,” said Dorsey. “This is a very strong statement from San Francisco’s Democratic Party, and I hope it will send an influential message to the California Democratic Party, and to voters statewide.”

— Matthew S. Bajko, January 29, 2016 @ 3:22 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

EQCA report calls for increased data collection, ending HIV in California

Equality California has released a report calling for increased collection of data related to LGBTs and working to end HIV in California, among other recommendations.

The Fair Share for Equality report, shared today (Thursday, January 28) and drawn from the recent Los Angeles gathering of LGBT leaders organized by EQCA’s educational institute, is meant to help close economic, health, and other disparities facing LGBTs.

One of EQCA’s top priorities in recent years has been pushing agencies to include sexual orientation and gender identity in their data collection, arguing the information helps show where resources are needed.

“The collection of accurate, timely data about the LGBT community is vital to reducing disparities in health and wellbeing, simply because if we are not counted, we do not count,” the statewide LGBT advocacy group’s report says. “Government agencies, policymakers, health professionals and other entities providing social services need to know how many LGBT people are being served by existing programs in order to assess how to better meet LGBT health and wellbeing disparities.”

EQCA sponsored state Assemblyman David Chiu’s (D-San Francisco) Assembly Bill 959, which mandates that some social service agencies collect LGBT-specific data.

“Ensuring that agencies implement AB 959 appropriately, that data are actually collected and collected in a way that meets the needs of the LGBT community, and expanding AB 959’s requirements to other agencies is a top priority for Equality California and Equality California Institute,” the report says.

Project Inform Executive Director Dana Van Gorder. Photo: Khaled Sayed

Project Inform Executive Director Dana Van Gorder. Photo: Khaled Sayed

The report, which says, “California has an opportunity to stop the HIV epidemic in its tracks,” also calls for ending the state’s HIV epidemic by increasing “awareness and uptake of PrEP,” among other actions.

Developing a PrEP-based drug assistance program that would provide prevention drugs to people who lack adequate health insurance are among the report’s HIV-related recommendations.

EQCA also suggests the state immediately adopt a strategy similar to San Francisco’s Getting to Zero initiative. That campaign’s goals include reducing by 90 percent HIV transmission in the city by 2020.

Dana Van Gorder, executive director of the San Francisco-based Project Inform, is one of the people who helped craft the “Strategies for Prevention, Treatment, and Support” section of EQCA’s report.

Van Gorder and others point to PrEP’s role in Getting to Zero and the fact that many, especially people of color, don’t know about PrEP or how to get access to it.

“While PrEP will not eliminate the spread of HIV on its own, it is a critical component of California’s overall HIV prevention strategy that includes HIV testing, education, condom distribution, access to sterile syringes, treatment as prevention, PEP, and mental health and substance abuse services,” Van Gorder and others say in the report. “Further, when implemented appropriately, PrEP supports increased engagement with health care providers that will prevent the transmission of other sexually transmitted infections and promote overall health and wellness.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, January 28, 2016 @ 6:16 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

SF housing density program met with community opposition at planning commission

Opponents of a housing density proposal held a press conference on the steps of City Hall prior to a hearing before the planning commission January 28.

Opponents of a housing density proposal held a press conference on the steps of City Hall prior to a hearing before the planning commission January 28.

Community members came out in force Thursday to oppose a proposal that would allow developers to build denser developments in various San Francisco neighborhoods in return for including increased amounts of affordable housing for low to moderate and middle income residents.

City planners attempted to address the concerns about the proposal during the planning commission hearing. The oversight body is expected to vote on the density bonus in exchange for more affordable housing next month.

[UPDATE: Staff had requested they postpone the matter until April. But after the nearly six-hour hearing, a number of planning commissioners indicted they were ready to send the matter on to the Board of Supervisors tonight.

Others were inclined to take up the matter again in three months after planning staff addressed the myriad issues brought up by the oversight panel and the public. In a compromise 4-2 vote, the commission voted to schedule a vote on the program at its February 25 meeting.]

Gil Kelley, director of citywide planning in the planning department, acknowledged there has been “such a storm around this issue.” He argued it would allow the city to add 5,000 new affordable housing units by 2036.

“I want to dispel some info out there … that this is somehow akin to provoking wholesale redevelopment,” said Kelley. Instead, he argued, “We think it has a limited but important infill design aspect to it that will be dispersed throughout the city.”

And an aide for Board President London Breed announced she would introduce an amendment when the supervisors take up the matter later this year to ensure properties with rent-controlled units would be excluded from the density program.

Conor Johnston, the supervisor’s chief of staff,  said that Breed was still studying the program details and had no stance on it yet either way. He noted that both he and Breed are tenants in rent-controlled units and have a personal stake in the issue.

He stressed that Breed’s amendment “will say it cannot be applied to a property with rent-controlled units.”

Kelley added that planning staff intended to include such a provision in the language the planning commissioners will be voting on. And the office of Mayor Ed Lee, who introduced the density proposal last year along with District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang, also said it supported a rent-controlled unit exclusion.

The proposal as currently written “still needs some fine-tuning,” said Jeff Buckley, a senior adviser to the mayor on housing policy. He told the commissioners, “Your job is really needed to really sharpen this program.”

Yet housing activists and residents remain strongly opposed to the proposal. Not only are they concerned about losing rent-controlled units, they also fear small businesses will be displaced and unable to afford to re-open elsewhere.

“Who benefits from this? Only developers,” said Deepa Varma, the new director of the SF Tenants Union. “It sounds like we are giving up the store, literally, for developers to make more money.”

Philip Lesser, a former board member of the Mission Housing Development Corporation, countered that the proposal is the “best” to come to Room 400, where the planning commission meets, “in a decade.”

Under the density program buildings, such as the one depicted above, could go from four to six stories in height.

Under the density program buildings, such as the one depicted above, could go from four to six stories in height.

Known as the Affordable Housing Bonus Program, it would award projects that include higher amounts of affordable housing than what is currently required with such development incentives as increased density, heights, and limited reductions in other zoning requirements, according to city planners.

The target would be for at least 30 percent of on-site units to be set aside as affordable. As it is now, developers of buildings with 10 or more units are required to set aside 12 percent as below-market-rate if provided on-site or they can pay an in-lieu fee to the city toward the building of affordable housing elsewhere.

But as the Bay Area Reporter‘s Political Notebook column noted earlier this month, opponents of the program fear it will lead to the demolition of the city’s rent-controlled housing stock, ruin the character of the neighborhoods covered by the proposal, and lead to the loss of various structures of historical importance.

Housing activists have been demanding that buildings with rent-controlled units be excluded from the program. They had raised questions in recent weeks about Breed’s amendment to exclude rent-controlled units because of a clause they contended would allow the city to remove the rental stock exclusion after a one-year review of the program.

(Breed aide Johnston said at today’s hearing that that language would be removed.)

“Ultimately, we want them to kill it and send it back to the drawing board,” said Fred Sherburn-Zimmer, a queer woman who is the new executive director of the San Francisco Housing Rights Committee. “We don’t need a plan that encourages luxury housing.”

A number of community groups held a press conference on the steps of City Hall prior to the hearing to voice their objections to the housing density program. Gay District 9 Supervisor David Campos derided the plan as a pig dressed up in lipstick.

He argued it would do nothing to solve the city’s housing crisis but would pad the pockets of developers.

“It is clear what this program does is incentivize not affordable housing but the displacement of thousands of San Franciscans,” he said.

He added that the “devil is in the details” and questioned how the plan as proposed would provide housing stock affordable to low and moderate income residents of the city or prevent families with children from having to move outside of San Francisco in search of homes that fit their needs.

“I feel we need to go back to the drawing board to ensure we are getting it right,” said Campos, adding that ordinary citizens “need to be at the table as the program is developed, not after the fact.We should give San Franciscans as much of a voice as we do to developers.”

Once the planning commission adopts the plan, it will go before the Board of Supervisors for approval. With progressives now holding a 6-5 majority on the board, the supervisors are likely to, if not scrap the proposal, add several amendments to it to address the various concerns residents and merchants have raised.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 5:52 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

SF man raising money to buy tents for homeless people


Photo: Dan Brekke/KQED

A formerly homeless queer San Francisco man today (Thursday, January 28) launched a Gofundme campaign to buy tents for the city’s homeless people.

More tent encampments have been appearing in the city recently, especially as El Nino has brought more rain. But city crews have reportedly been clearing some of the tents. Many believe this is part of an effort to rid the streets of homeless people in time for the upcoming Super Bowl celebrations, which the city is expect to pay almost $5 million to host.

On the fundraising site, Shaun Osburn, 36, says, “It is our hope to crowd fund replacement tents for the individuals who have lost their homes due to the heartless actions of local government. With some 2-4 person tents costing anywhere from $30-$40, it is our hope that we can replace 100 of these confiscated tents before the worst of the storms hit.”

Like others, Osburn faults Mayor Ed Lee and gay District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener for homeless people having their tents taken away just as more storms approach the city.

“[A] large push by Interim Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Scott Wiener has been made to cleanse city streets of any and all signs of wealth inequality here in San Francisco,” Osburn says. “Poor people make for such terrible B-Roll, you know.”

Wiener recently wrote a letter to Police Chief Greg Suhr and other department heads seeking data on how many tents there are and how many shelter beds are available.

In his letter, Wiener said he wants to know about efforts to move people from tents into housing or shelters, and work to “enforce the bans on tents in our public spaces.”

“We need to know what is driving this specific homeless population, and what we can do to promptly transition tent occupants into housing/shelter and to eliminate these tents in a humane way,” he said.

As of this afternoon, more than $1,500 had been raised toward Osburn’s $4,000 goal. He says when $2,000 is reached, “we will reaccess if it makes sense to purchase additional tents and/or higher quality tents.”

Osburn says, “Previously homeless myself, I have been a strong advocate for poor and marginally housed individuals since my mid-20s. Having previously worked in social services and still having strong ties with the communities with which they serve, I will be distributing these tents directly to folks in need with the assistance of friends.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 5:33 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Planning commission rejects AHF Castro pharmacy permit

A notice for public hearing is taped to the window of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation clinic on 18th Street. Photo: Rick Gerharter

A notice for public hearing is taped to the window of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation clinic on 18th Street. Photo: Rick Gerharter

With no public comment or debate among the five members present, the city’s planning commission this afternoon rejected the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s plan to relocate its Castro pharmacy.

The 4-1 vote today (Thursday, January 28) had been expected, as a majority of the commissioners at their Thursday, January 14 meeting had signaled they were likely to disapprove AHF’s permit request.

But they had postponed their vote to do so for two weeks in order to give AHF time to answer how they would activate the space at 518 Castro Street other than as a pharmacy.

No one from AHF addressed the commission today. The Los Angeles-based agency had told the Bay Area Reporter that they have no plans, as of now, to use the storefront for anything other than a pharmacy. (It has been using the space to show works by local artists.)

Commissioner Michael Antonini was the lone vote in support of allowing AHF to proceed with moving its 18th Street pharmacy into the same building where it operates a health clinic.

But commissioners Kathrin Moore, Cindy Wu, and Rich Hillis, who all had previously voiced objections to AHF’s plans, were joined by commission chair Rodney Fong, who was not present at the prior hearing, in denying the permit request.

AHF can now appeal the commission’s decision to the Board of Supervisors – it has 30 days to do so – or it could revive a lawsuit it filed against the city regarding the zoning controls covering chain stores in the Castro that it had put on hold last year as it sought the permit to relocate the pharmacy.

So far AHF has remained mum on which route it will take. As the B.A.R.‘s Political Notebook reported today, AHF Bay Area regional manager Dale Gluth said the agency was “still working out our Plan B.”

City planning staff initially had granted the agency the permit for relocating its pharmacy in January of 2014. But they then reversed course after concluding AHF’s pharmacy was covered by the city’s formula retail rules, which require chains with 11 or more stores to seek a conditional use permit to open a new location.

AHF lost its appeal of that decision and then sued the city and Wiener, claiming city officials had unfairly targeted it when they passed emergency zoning legislation covering chain stores in the Castro.

Critics of the agency had strongly opposed its permit request, arguing there was no need for the relocation. Much of the opposition, however, stems from disagreements over AHF’s policy stances against the widespread use of PrEP and sponsorship of a November ballot measure that would require condoms to be used on all porn sets in the state.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 2:04 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

With incumbent bowing out, lesbian Assembly Speaker Atkins set to win CA Senate seat

Assemblywoman Toni Atkins

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins

Lesbian Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) is all but assured of winning a state Senate seat this fall now that the incumbent has bowed out of the race.

Senator Marty Block (D-San Diego) announced today that he would not seek re-election to his Senate District 39 seat. His decision ends what could have been a divisive battle between the Democratic colleagues and allows the party to focus its resources on other races.

Termed out of the Legislature’s lower chamber this December, Atkins shocked the Statehouse in September when she announced she would run for Block’s seat.

In explaining her decision to reporters, Atkins claimed that Block had agreed to give up his seat after one term so she could run. Block admitted to reporters that the two lawmakers had discussed such an arrangement but insisted he never agreed to step down next year.

While Block had support from his Senate colleagues to retain his seat, Atkins had amassed a large campaign war chest for her race next year. As the Bay Area Reporter noted in November, Atkins had nearly $1.6 million in campaign funds she could tap into for her race.

And this morning Atkins announced she had won the endorsement of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee. The influential group represents more than 86,000 members and joins an already impressive list of groups and officials backing Atkins for the Senate seat.

“Toni is a champion of health care for all – and shows the effectiveness and leadership California needs from its state Senators,” stated CNA RN Co-President Malinda Markowitz. “And nurses know they can count on Toni Atkins to stand up to the for-profit health care interests in the fight to make sure ALL San Diegans and Californians have quality health care.”

Said Atkins of the endorsement, “Earning the support of the nurses is very personal to me. My sister is a nurse, and so was my mother-in-law. I’ve seen first hand their commitment to patients and the nursing profession – the same commitment the nurses showed when I worked at the community clinics. You can bet that I will be sharing this big endorsement with my constituents and voters.”

Around the same time that Atkins revealed the nurses’ support of her campaign, Block took to the floor of the state Senate to announce he was suspending his re-election campaign. According to the Sacramento Bee, he was greeted with “hugs and well wishes” from his fellow senators.

“The more I thought about it, the more it just didn’t make sense for us to be fighting,” Block said, according to the Bee “We can do so much more to move our agenda forward, an agenda we share, by working together.”

Due to Atkins’ lame duck status in the Assembly – she was first elected to her 78th Assembly District seat in 2010 under rules, since changed, barring her from seeking more than three consecutive two-year Assembly terms – Atkins is stepping down from the powerful speaker position in March.

Succeeding her will be Assembly Speaker-elect Anthony Rendon (D-Los Angeles). It will mark the first time a straight lawmaker has held the influential leadership post since 2009.

Due to the heavy Democratic makeup of Block’s 39th Senate District, which includes most of San Diego and the coastal cities of Coronado, Del Mar, and Solana Beach, Atkins is expected to easily win the seat come November.

She will likely join lesbian state Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) and gay state Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Los Angeles), who are both seeking re-election to their seats this year, in the Legislature’s upper chamber.

Gay Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) is termed out of office this fall, and should gay San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener win the race to succeed him, there will be four out state Senators in the next legislative session. Yet Wiener is facing a tough race against his fellow board colleague Supervisor Jane Kim for the seat.

Another out Senate candidate, Katherine Aguilar Perez-Estolano, is running in the 25th Senate District, which includes the cities of Pasadena, Burbank and Glendale. The married Perez-Estolano is an expert in urban planning and transportation who serves on the California High Speed Rail Authority.

Yet she is facing an uphill climb against three other Democrats and one Republican opponent in the June primary, where the top two vote-getters will advance to the fall general election.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 1:42 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

CA congressional candidate backs undoing dishonorable discharges of gay veterans under DADT

A southern California congressional candidate has pledged to push for undoing the dishonorable discharges of gay veterans under the military’s former “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

In a statement released today (Wednesday, January 27) former Democratic state Senator Lou Correa said that if he is elected to Congress in November then one of his top priorities would be to introduce a policy that reverses DADT discharges.

Under the homophobic policy, which was repealed in 2011, the armed forces routinely dishonorably discharged service men and women who disclosed they were lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. More than 14,300 service members were kicked out of the military due to DADT.

Congressional candidate Lou Correa

Congressional candidate Lou Correa

In his statement, Correa said that more than 100,000 service members dating back to World War II had been dishonorably discharged due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Noting that those discharged under DADT can currently get their records changed on a case-by-case basis, Correa stated that “is not enough” and “mass action” is needed to remedy the situation.

“This is long overdue. We as a nation have wronged over 100,000 individuals in the US military who were dishonorably discharged because of their sexual orientation and it is time we make it right,” stated Correa, a former chair of the state Senate’s Committee on Veterans Affairs. “While the damage done to these brave men and women cannot be undone, their records can still be reversed to reflect the honorable discharge they earned. By doing so we are finally giving these wronged veterans the legal, health, and employment benefits they deserve.”

Correa, of Santa Ana, is one of several candidates seeking the 46th Congressional District seat in Orange County. The current officeholder, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove), is running for U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s seat this year, as is state Attorney General Kamala Harris, San Francisco’s former district attorney.

Two other Democrats are running for the congressional seat against Correa: gay Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen, who came out publicly last summer, and former state Senator Joe Dunn. Republican Louie Contreras  is also in the race.

(Anaheim City Councilman Jordan Brandman, who also came out as gay last year, withdrew from the race in December amid criticism of his vote to delay the creation of a Latino-majority council district until 2018.)

During his time in the state Legislature, Correa consistently failed to receive a perfect score from Equality California, the statewide LGBT advocacy group. It has a standing policy that it will not endorse lawmakers unless they receive a 100 percent on its annual scorecards.

In 2010, for example, Correa had the lowest score among Democrats, at 64 percent, due to his opposing bills that would have made it easier for LGBT youth to obtain mental health services; improved safety for LGBT prisoners; disallowed employers to prevent victims of hate crimes from going to court; and extended unemployment benefits to same-sex couples.

In 2014, his last year in the Senate, Correa received a score of 83 percent from EQCA after he voted against providing gender neutral options for parents on birth certificates.

He did earn a 100 percent score in 2012 and in 2008. But in 2007 he earned a score of 80 percent partly for failing to vote on a bill that would have required the state to offer gender-neutral marriage licenses to couples. EQCA counted his not voting on the bill as a no vote.

As the Bay Area Reporter noted at the time, Correa, the first Latino senator from Orange County, had “voted against an equal benefits bill and was the only Democrat in the Assembly not to vote for a 2004 resolution against a federal marriage amendment. He did give the domestic partner bill AB205 the 41st vote it needed for passage and received strong LGBT support in his razor-thin win in his Senate race this year.”

EQCA has yet to endorse in any of this year’s congressional races. Correa has been endorsed by gay state Senators Ricardo Lara (D-Los Angeles) and Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) in his bid for the congressional seat.

— Matthew S. Bajko, January 27, 2016 @ 3:45 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Man robbed in Castro

A man was robbed by someone carrying a gun early Monday in San Francisco’s Castro district.

According to police, the January 25 incident started at 2 a.m. when three men approached the victim at Market and Castro streets and.

One suspect showed the victim a black handgun he had in his waistband and demanded money. The victim, who’s 38, complied, and the suspects fled with the man’s backpack.

The victim wasn’t injured, but the suspects took his cash, laptop, smart watch, and phone.

The suspects were described only as Hispanic men ages 20 to 25.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 2:31 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Community invited to re-open Dolores Park next week

A new overlook at Dolores Park awaits its public debut. Photo: Rick Gerharter

A new overlook at Dolores Park awaits its public debut. Photo: Rick Gerharter

After being delayed due to inclement weather, the re-opening of the southern portion of Mission Dolores Park is now scheduled for next week.

The fencing around the popular public green space bordering the city’s Mission and Castro districts had been set to come down last Thursday, January 14, for an early evening party hosted by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

But it was cancelled due to rain. Now the unveiling and party is back on, this time from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, January 27.

According to the long-term weather forecast, the evening should see partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the mid-60s.

As the Bay Area Reporter has previously noted, Mission Dolores Park has undergone a $20.5 million renovation to address a lack of bathrooms and irrigation issues. The project was begun in March 2014 with a complete overhaul of the open space’s northern section.

Work on the southern half, including the popular “gay beach” section near the intersection of 20th and Church streets, started last June. Walkways in the area have been repaved, new grass planted, and a new overlook was built facing toward the city’s downtown skyline and the Bay Bridge.

With the addition of a new bathroom built into the hillside near the children’s play area, as well as restroom facilities constructed near the tennis courts, there are now 27 toilets, up from the previous four, for park users.

The total does not include the new pissoir, or public urinal, the first such amenity to be installed in one of the city’s parks. It is located near the J-Church Muni stop across from where the new overlook is and close to the gay beach section.

The department released the below video invite online to encourage community members to attend.


— Matthew S. Bajko, January 21, 2016 @ 6:09 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Wiener Senate campaign poll has him 15 points ahead of Kim in SF race

Supervisor Scott Wiener

Supervisor Scott Wiener

An internal campaign poll has Scott Wiener leading his opponent, Jane Kim, by 15 points in their race for San Francisco’s state Senate seat.

But Kim’s campaign has countered that his advantage will be short-lived.

Wiener, a gay man who represents District 8 on San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors, and Kim, the city’s District 6 supervisor, are both seeking to represent the 11th Senate District, which covers all of San Francisco and several cities in northern San Mateo County.

The current officeholder, gay state Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), is termed out of office this December. He has endorsed Wiener to be his successor.

According to the poll of 600 voters in the Senate district, conducted December 8-15 by EMC Research and Fall Line Analytics, Wiener also has a 13-point advantage among female voters.

When voters were asked whether characteristics like “being a strong leader” and “being effective and getting things done” better described Wiener or Kim, voters chose Wiener by a two to one margin, according to a release Wiener’s campaign issued this morning (Thursday, January 21).

The poll also found that 39 percent of voters had a favorable opinion of Wiener, compared to 26 percent of voters who had a favorable opinion of Kim.

The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 4 percent. In the release, Wiener’s campaign contended that “with only one-third of the voters undecided, Wiener is in an extremely strong position with fewer than five months until the June primary.”

In an emailed response to the Bay Area Reporter‘s request for comment, Wiener campaign spokeswoman Maggie Muir wrote, “This significant lead demonstrates that voters believe Supervisor Wiener will be the more effective leader in Sacramento on critical issues like affordable housing, public safety, water conservation and transportation.”

Kim campaign consultant Eric Jaye told the B.A.R. that the polling results actually show a lack of support for Wiener among the Senate district’s voters.

“They have got to be worried. Scott Wiener has been running for this office for five years and virtually nonstop. I wouldn’t call that a very impressive result for five years of work,” said Jaye, founder and president of Storefront Political Media. “I think he needs to be a little bit worried about that particular margin.”

Kim’s campaign has yet to conduct its own polling in the race, though Jaye said it plans to soon.

Predicting that the number one issue in the race will be housing costs, Jaye said that Kim has demonstrated that she is by far the stronger leader on the issue of housing affordability. Wiener, on the other hand, “needs to be worried,” said Jaye, when it comes to his record on affordable housing issues.

“On affordability issues, Jane Kim has an insurmountable lead,” said Jaye. “As this campaign progresses, and that issue is debated, those numbers are going to flip.”

Voters will have a chance to hear the two candidates debate six times prior to the June 7 primary. In a joint statement today the Kim and Wiener campaigns announced they would hold five debates in San Francisco and a sixth in San Mateo County.

They are seeking community groups and media organizations to host the debates, the first of which should be held sometime in mid-February or early March. The plan, said Jaye, is to schedule all six prior to the primary.

Under the state’s jungle primary system, the top two vote-getters regardless of party affiliation advance to the November general election. Although local Republican Party official Hilary Hagenbuch has pulled papers to enter the race, it is widely expected that Wiener and Kim, both Democrats, will be on the fall ballot.

— Matthew S. Bajko, @ 1:43 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Next Page »

Follow The Bay Area Reporter
Newsletter logo
twitter logo
facebook logo