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

Lesbian SF supervisor candidate secures Milk club endorsement

District 11 supervisor candidate Kimberly Alvarenga

District 11 supervisor candidate Kimberly Alvarenga

A lesbian San Francisco supervisor candidate has secured the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club’s early endorsement in her race for the open District 11 seat.

The vote by the more progressive Milk club’s members Tuesday night was expected, as its political action committee had recommended that it support Kimberly Alvarenga in the fall election. A Milk club member since 2008, Alvarenga at one time served on the PAC.

The political director of Service Employees International Union Local 1021, Alvarenga, 46, and her wife, Linnette Haynes, are raising their 3-year-old son, Oziah, in the city’s Crocker-Amazon neighborhood.

As the Bay Area Reporter has noted, Alvarenga would be the first out lesbian to win a district-based supervisor election in San Francisco since 2000, when the city’s 11 supervisors reverted to being elected from districts rather than citywide.

The last lesbian to serve as a supervisor was Leslie Katz, who left the board in 2001 and is now a city port commissioner.

“The Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club was founded to support queer progressives for elected office. That is why we felt so strongly about coming out early in our endorsement of Kimberly Alvarenga, a lesbian progressive woman of color and member of our club,” stated Milk club president Peter Gallotta. “We know that Kimberly will be a strong voice for the LGBT community, communities of color, and working families at a time when San Francisco is experiencing increased inequality and unaffordability that is pushing so many of us out.”

Facing off against Alvarenga for the District 11 seat is Ahsha Safai, who worked for former mayors Willie Brown and Gavin Newsom. Since 2008, he has been the political director for San Francisco Janitors Union Local 87. He lives in the Excelsior with his wife, Yadira, and their two children.

In 2008 Safai lost to Supervisor John Avalos, who is barred by term limits from running again for the District 11 seat, which includes the city’s southern neighborhoods of the Excelsior, Ingleside, Oceanview, Outer Mission, and Crocker-Amazon

Among Safai’s LGBT backers are gay state Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), gay District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, and gay former District 8 Supervisor Bevan Dufty.

As for Alvarenga, she also picked up this week endorsements from the California Nurses Association and former Mayor Art Agnos.

“Kimberly is the only candidate we trust in this race to fight for health care for everyone,” stated Zenei Cortez, co-president of the nurses union. “She’ll defend the safety net and hold the healthcare industry accountable for how they behave in our communities.”

— Matthew S. Bajko, February 17, 2016 @ 3:28 pm PST
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