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

Gay activist Dan Choi files paperwork to run for SF college board

Gay activist Dan Choi has signaled he intends to run for a seat on San Francisco’s community college board this fall.

According to the city’s Ethics Commission, Choi, 33, filed his candidate intention paperwork Monday, July 28. The deadline for candidates to submit their nomination papers with the city’s Elections Department is August 8.

Choi did not immediately respond to the Bay Area Reporter‘s requests for comment Thursday morning.

Based on the Ethics Commission’s current list, Choi is one of eight people who intend to run for three seats on the Community College Board of Trustees. Two incumbents are among the list, the board’s president, John Rizzo, and its vice president, Anita Grier.

Gay board member Lawrence Wong, who is also up for re-election this year, has yet to file to seek re-election. The other current gay board member, attorney Rafael Mandelman, is not up for re-election until 2016.

Since last summer City College of San Francisco has been fighting the termination of its accreditation by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The commission also stripped authority from the college’s elected board of trustees and now all power rests with a special trustee, Bob Agrella.

Photo: Steven Underhill

Photo: Steven Underhill

As the B.A.R. noted this week, Choi is now living in San Francisco and has been spotted at several community events. He  ran in this year’s San Francisco Marathon, attended last Sunday’s Up Your Alley fetish fair, and as seen in the photo at right, shared a smile with Sandy Stier, one of the plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit challenging Proposition 8, at GLAAD’s VIP kick-off party held Saturday, July 26.

Choi, according to his Facebook profile, studied at City College of San Francisco. He made national headlines in 2009 when, while serving in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer and Arabic language specialist, he publicly came out and challenged the military’s anti-gay policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

That June he served as a grand marshal of San Francisco’s annual Pride parade, marking the first time he had attended such an event.

He was then discharged and lost his effort to appeal the decision. He publicly called on President Barack Obama and Congress to repeal DADT, and his advocacy on the issue led him to, in March of 2010, handcuff himself to the fence in front of the White House.

It was one of several protests where he chained himself to the fence. In 2013 he was convicted on a misdemeanor charge and ordered to pay a $100 fine by a federal court for one of the incidents.

DADT was officially repealed on September 20, 2011.

On his Facebook page earlier today Choi wrote, “A place that was always my home, now my official residence,” referring to San Francisco.

On his Lt. Dan Choi Facebook page, in a July 23 post, Choi wrote that he moved to San Francisco due to one of his “dearest friends,” District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim.

She is the main reason why I came here and it saved my life,” wrote Choi. “Many of you know how rotten my life was during the past years. I trusted few people at times. Jane helped me realize my worth and currency more than anyone.”

— Matthew S. Bajko, July 31, 2014 @ 11:52 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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