Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Congresswoman Jackie Speier will host a public SF town hall over Pride weekend, appear in parade

Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo) will be meeting with her San Francisco-based constituents during the city’s upcoming Pride weekend.

Speier (seen at left at a 2009 town hall she held at San Francisco’s LGBT Community Center) has invited residents of her 12th Congressional District, which covers the southern portion of San Francisco, and the press to discuss financial reform, the Gulf Coast oil spill, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, jobs, the economy and health care.

The public event will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m.  Saturday, June 26 at Temple United Methodist Church, 65 Beverly Street in San Francisco’s Merced Heights neighborhood near San Francisco State University.

Following the meeting Speier will join with city officials at the 1 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony that day for the reconstructed Laguna Honda Hospital in the Forest Hills district. As a state Senator in Sacramento, Speier authored legislation that allowed San Francisco to tap into federal funds to help pay for the construction costs.

She will also be riding in a red Camaro in this Sunday’s Pride parade.

Speier’s public meeting comes as the city’s other House member, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has faced calls from some local LGBT activists to hold her own meetings with the city’s LGBT community. Gay blogger Michael Petrelis and Patrick Connors, a gay columnist for the SF Weekly, have both criticized Pelosi for her lack of engagement with her LGBT constituents.

It is unclear when, if ever, Pelosi has held an open public forum with LGBT residents in San Francisco. Last fall when the Bay Area Reporter asked her spokesman Drew Hammill about it, he did not answer the question directly.

Instead, Hammill merely replied in a one-sentence email, “The speaker regularly sits down with community leaders for an in-depth and candid discussion about LGBT priorities in Congress.”

This past May Pelosi organized a private phone call with leaders of California-based and national LGBT groups. Five days later she also appeared at a $100-per-person fundraiser for Equality California May 21 at the LGBT Community Center in the same room that Speier held her September meeting, which was arranged at the last minute.

Asked then when Pelosi had last been in the Castro for an event with LGBT community members, Hammill told the B.A.R. that the speaker spoke at a June 2008 rally in the gayborhood where she endorsed Mark Leno for state Senate.  Also in 2008, he wrote that Pelosi visited the No on 8 campaign headquarters on Market Street near Noe “to rally the troops at a campaign mobilization event” the last Sunday prior to Election Day.

Last fall, Hammill said that Pelosi held a candidate fundraiser at Tangerine, a popular Castro brunch spot on 16th Street.

Pelosi will not be at Pride in person Sunday, but she has taped a video message that will be broadcast around 3 p.m. It is the first time a House Speaker has addressed an LGBT Pride event.

At the insistence of Petrelis and Connors, a statement will be read by Pride board president Mikayla Connell urging the speaker to hold a vote on the pro-gay Employment Non-Discrimination Act and engage with her local LGBT constituents on a regular basis.

Pelosi has said she will not bring ENDA up for a vote until Congress repeals the military’s ban against gays and lesbians serving openly. The stance has angered LGBT activists across the country who want to see the House take immediate action on ENDA.

— Matthew S. Bajko, June 23, 2010 @ 2:42 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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