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The update to the Committee, announced during Pride Week, allows for greater representation from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, and aims to bolster and streamline citywide strategies, provide policy recommendations, and better engage the City through a unified leadership body.
"This is a historic milestone for our LGBTQ communities in San Francisco," said Mayor Breed. "The committee has a rich history, and today we are affirming its leadership by expanding its representation. Moving forward, elected officials, non-profit leaders, community members, and other partners will come together and communicate under one body."
"I am honored to have been selected to be part of the new LGBTQI+ Advisory Committee, because it's deeply important to have LGBTQ people in leadership positions to make decisions and advise on issues related to our community," said Senator Scott Wiener. "San Francisco has and will continue to lead on LGBTQ issues, and I commend our Mayor for her strong support for the LGBTQ community."
"For decades, the Advisory Committee had a direct impact on ground-breaking legislation impacting the City's diverse LGBTQ+ communities," said Supervisor Mandelman. "Now, we can look forward to this inspiring new membership to facilitate stronger conversations within City Hall and offer unique perspectives on the policies and issues affecting us today. I look forward to working with my fellow Committee members to advocate for our diverse communities."
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Housed within the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, the LGBTQI+ Advisory Committee was established in 1975 to provide assistance and advice to the Commission regarding discrimination against LGBTQI+ communities, advocate for the civil rights of people with HIV/AIDS, and educate LGBTQI+ communities about public resources and direct services. Since then, the Committee was an integral part of LGBTQI+ advocacy and public policy. Over the years, Committee members and staff issued reports and incubated policy measures that led to legislation such as domestic partnership benefits, the formation of the LGBT Aging Policy Task Force, and more.
After a period of dormancy, Mayor Breed and the Human Rights Commission prioritized a revamp of the Advisory Committee to contemporize and better serve the needs of San Francisco communities today. Since 2018, the Commission hosted numerous outreach meetings and stakeholder engagement within the community to solicit feedback on the future direction of the Advisory Committee. This led to the formation of a new, 25-member body with the ability to include representation from elected officials, designated seats for CBOs and non-profits, and general seats from community members and leaders working to uplift LGBTQI+ communities regionally.
People of color make up 75% of the Committee's members, and has 50% Transgender and Nonbinary representation, making it one of the City's most diverse legislative bodies.
"Many of the City's challenges today disproportionately impact our most vulnerable populations, the most recent example seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mayor and Human Rights Commission worked hard to ensure equitable COVID response and recovery that was informed in partnership with San Francisco's diverse BIPOC and LGBTQI+ communities. Equity, intersectionality, and LGBTQI+ justice was at the forefront of our community engagement process and was critical to our success," said Dr. Sheryl Davis, Director of the Human Rights Commission.
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"It's such an honor to be a part of this new chapter for the Advisory Committee," said Joseph Sweiss, Vice Chair of the Human Rights Commission. "The more we learned about the history and legacy of the Advisory Committee, the more we were inspired to create a bold, new body that gives everyone a seat at the table. Through this new format, the Committee will enable the organizations and leaders already working within the community to better address the overlaps, gaps, and overall needs and come up with solutions together."
The Mayor today swore-in and appointed the following representatives and community members for the first term of the updated Committee:
David Latt, Office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Omar Rincon, Office of Senator Scott Wiener
Joe Adkins, Office of Supervisor Rafael Mandelman
Keith Baraka, San Francisco Democratic Central County Committee
Timothy Hampton, The LGBT Center
Rick Oculto, Our Family Coalition
Michael Nguyen, GLGBTQ Alliance
Nicole Santamaria, El/La Para Translatinas
Juniper Yun, The Transgender District
Akira Jackson, The Taja Coalition
Michael Appel, LYRIC
Vincent Crisostomo, The AIDS Foundation
Okan Sengun, The LGBT Asylum Project
Monica Paz, San Francisco Community Health Clinic
The swearing in ceremony followed the Mayor Breed's recent announcements over Pride Month, including budget investments to create the first in the nation guaranteed income pilot program from transgender people and to acquire a location for an LGBTQ museum.
More information on the City's LGBTQI+ Advisory Committee can be found here.
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