Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club
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Inside Alice This Month!

  • June Membership Event: Membership Meeting, June 9, 2014 6:30 - 8 PM 
  • Co-Chair Column: Remembering Maya Angelou
  • Alice Endorsements: Take a Look at Our Slate!
  • Alice Endorsement: David Chiu
  • Alice Endorsement: Kimberly Toney Williams
  • Alice Endorsement: No on B
  • Alice Endorsement: Yes on A
  • Alice Pride Breakfast: Sunday, June 29, 2014, 7:45 AM
  • Alice Board Members Ride in ALC
  • SFFD is Hiring - A Special Call to the LGBT Community
  • FIELD: Help us Get Out The Vote!
  • Alice May Recap!

June Membership Event

June 9, 2014 6:30 PM - 8 PM
LGBT Center, 1800 Market Street

As many of you know, San Francisco’s LGBT Aging Policy Taskforce recently published a landmark report identifying significant issues facing the aging LGBT population in San Francisco. The report also made recommendations that the Board of Supervisors, in particular Supervisors Campos and Wiener, are now acting on to address those issues. 

As part of our public policy focus, the Alice Club is organizing a panel for its members and the public on June 9 that will address Taskforce recommendations and discuss next steps. The panel takes place at the LGBT Center at 6:30 PM.

Mathew Bajko, Assistant Editor of the Bay Area Reporter, covered the Taskforce through its 18 month deliberations. Matthew will moderate the panel, guiding discussion of major recommendations and fostering dialogue between panel and audience on how the club and the public can help ensure recommendations are implemented.

Panel members include Taskforce Chair Bill Ambrunn, who will focus on the reasons for the Taskforce as well as update everyone on current Board of Supervisor activities. Additional panelists include Taskforce members who coordinated development of specific recommendations: Michelle Alcedo (Cultural Competency, Social Services), Michael Costa (Healthcare), Tommi Mecca (Housing), and Daniel Redman (Legal, Descrimination). 

This promises to be a very interesting, topical, and informative program. We hope that you can join fellow Alice members June 9!


Co-Chair Column: Remembering Maya Angelou

Zoe Dunning
Alice Board, Co-Chair

I distinctly remember January 20, 1993, watching President William Jefferson Clinton’s first inauguration. I had never really paid attention to inaugurations before, but this one was significant to me.  Three days prior, I had just “come out” publicly as a lesbian naval officer, at a political rally directed at then President-elect Clinton, demanding him to fulfill his campaign pledge to lift the ban on gay military service. I turned on the TV the morning of his inauguration to see what he would say. As it turned out, I don't remember anything he said, but I vividly remember what Maya Angelou said.
Maya Angelou delivered one of the most famous inaugural readings ever, her poem On the Pulse of Morning . Written specifically for the inauguration, the poem's themes are change, inclusion, responsibility, and role of both the President and the citizenry in establishing economic security. These messages ring true today as much as they did 21 years ago.
One excerpt took my breath away when it actually mentioned gays. Her point - that we are united by nature, but represent differing cultures:
The singing River, and the wise Rock.
So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew,
The African, the Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French , the Greek,
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Sheik,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the Homeless, the Teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the tree.
Our city of San Francisco and our Democratic party are great examples of this concept. We celebrate and embrace our diversity, but are united by more than nature. We are united by our love of this city and our democratic values of fairness, equality, and opportunity. We can celebrate our differences, and still come together with these shared values to address our problems and forge a path ahead. Our country has terrible scars from our past and mistakes made too often, but each day is a new day we must look forward, learn from those lessons and start anew:
Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need 
For this bright morning dawning for you. 
History, despite its wrenching pain 
Cannot be unlived, but if faced 
With courage, need not be lived again.
It is these principles that serve as the foundation for the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club’s values, as demonstrated in our endorsements. From Betty Yee for Controller to David Chiu for Assembly, we support candidates that not only recognize the continuing inequalities of our past and present, but also successfully create policy to move us forward. Their messages focus on hope and solutions, not fear. Again, Maya Angelou:
Lift up your hearts 
Each new hour holds new chances 
For a new beginning. 
Do not be wedded forever 
To fear, yoked eternally 
To brutishness.
So I encourage you to wake up Tuesday morning and exercise your right to vote. Vote for the candidates that can lead us forward by bringing your Alice slate card with you. For as the poem ends:
Here, on the pulse of this new day 
You may have the grace to look up and out 
And into your sister's eyes, and into 
Your brother's face, your country 
And say simply 
Very simply 
With hope -- 
Good morning.
RIP Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 - May 28, 2014)

Alice Endorsements!


Alice Endorsement: David Chiu

David Chiu
President, San Francisco Board of Supervisors

I am truly humbled to have received the endorsement of the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club in my race for the 17th Assembly District.  The oldest LGBT Democratic Club in the United States, Alice has made a profound impact on San Francisco, California and American politics. 

As someone inspired by the civil rights movement, it has been so personally important for me to be a stalwart ally of the LGBT community throughout my entire life.  Over the years, in addition to being one of the founding members of Asian Pacific Islander Equality, I have been honored to work alongside leaders from the Alice B. Toklas Club to fight for marriage equality and equal rights, for LGBT seniors, youth and immigrant families, for HIV/AIDS funding, and against bigotry and discrimination.

Representing and fighting for the LGBT community will be a top priority of mine in Sacramento, and I look forward to working with you to make San Francisco and California better for all of us, particularly our diverse LGBT community.

I'd love for you to visit our campaign headquarters in the Castro, as well as to join our wonderful LGBTs for Chiu team.  Hope to see you soon!

Alice Endorsement: Kimberly Toney Williams

Kimberly Toney Williams

Thank you very much for endorsing my campaign for Superior Court Judge.  I am running for Superior Court Judge because I believe that the County of San Francisco deserves a leader who brings experience, equality, and integrity to the courtroom. I have  actively served in San Francisco for over 19 years as an Assistant District Attorney and believe I am the most qualified candidate in the race.If I am elected judge, I pledge to bring justice to all by focusing on these three important goals:
I am committed to increasing accessibility to our justice system for all. In recent years, our courts have suffered due to severe cuts in the budget. People of color as well as the economically disadvantaged are disproportionately impacted by these cuts. Fundraising cuts have decimated the scope of support services, entry points into the court and placed a heavy burden on existing resources. Throughout my two decades as an attorney, I have honed the skills necessary to effectively serve the people of San Francisco as Superior Court Judge.
I have  successfully prosecuted serious cases involving child abuse, elder abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, fraud, and career criminals. I strongly believe the courts serve as a critical enforcement mechanism in our justice system and play a key role in dispute resolution. Expediency of case resolution and ensuring individuals are granted due process are not mere courtesies, it is the law. I will work diligently as a prosecutor to safeguard each person’s right and expectation of assistance from our justice system.
Times change—and courts must change with them while upholding the letter of the law. I have  a   fiduciary duty to our legal system and the people of San Francisco to ensure openness in sentencing as well as exploring mediation and employing remedial efforts prior to trial.
I will work with an open mind committed to the consideration of all factors as your Superior Court Judge.

Alice Endorsement: No On Prop B

Tim Colen
Executive Director, San Francisco Housing Action Coalition

The members of the Alice B. Toklas Club deserve enormous credit for their leadership in opposing Prop B.  The City is lucky to have groups like yours that respond with common sense to silly political games.

In spite of its deceptive language, Prop B represents a dangerous vision of what San Francisco should do with its derelict industrial lands along our eastern waterfront. 

Despite its bland appearance, Prop B is a crazy political scheme that would severely harm the value of an enormous swath of our public property.  The San Francisco Port has conducted an analysis of its fiscal effects that should frighten any voter.  They conclude that $8.46 Billion projected for the Port Harbor Fund could be “delayed, reduced or lost” as a result of Prop B.  

Other US cities repurpose their old industrial land in ways that respond to a vision for the future, one that maximizes public benefits.  They do not downzone their derelict public land.  Prop B makes no sense as a modern urban planning tool – it only makes sense for continuing insider political games.

The City is enduring a brutal housing affordability crisis that cannot be solved unless we find the will to increase housing production. This vacant, unused waterfront land could deliver many thousands of new middle-income homes.  

Do not be deceived by slogans that promise “citizen participation,” yet are designed to prevent us from responding to the challenges we actually face.

Vote No on Prop B!

Alice Endorsement: Yes on A

Micah Hilt
Communications Co-Chair, Alice Board
Planner, City and County of San Francisco

I want thank my fellow Alice members for Alice's thoughtful leadership in supporting Prop A in the coming June election. I also want to tell you why it is absolutely critical you support this measure.

Proposition A, or the Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response (ESER) Bond, is a $400 million bond measure to improve some of our city’s critical facilities and infrastructure against earthquake damage. These facilities and services are our first and often last lines of defense after a disaster, and in our day to day lives--like the use of our city's century old auxiliary water system during the recent Mission Bay fire.

Specifically, this measure seeks to retrofit many of our City’s neighborhood firehouses, seismically upgrade our aging emergency (auxiliary) firefighting water system, seismically upgrade most of our city’s police district stations, consolidate and strengthen our motorcycle police and crime lab facilities, as well as construct a new medical examiner’s office building.

These improvements are investments in today that will help us recover tomorrow. They will allow our City to bounce back from the earthquakes we all know are coming and serve our community as it faces challenges each and every day. 

As a staff member of the City’s Earthquake Safety Implementation Program, a 30-year 50-task earthquake risk mitigation program (, I work to help our city prepare to recover from earthquakes every day. I believe that this measure is critical to the continued success of our City, and I hope that you will come out and vote on June 3--Vote Yes on Prop A! 

For my information please visit  


Alice Pride Breakfast!

Join us for our Annual Pride Breakfast!

Join the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club for our Annual Pride Breakfast! This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and supports all of the important work we do year-round.

Date: Sunday, June 29, 2014
Time: Doors Open at 7:45, Program: 8:15am 
Location: Hyatt Embarcadero - 5 Embarcadero Center (map and directions)
Tickets: $70 Members, $100 for non-member ticket
Sponsorship OpportunitiesPlease visit our ActBlue page.




Alice is Riding in the 2014 AIDS Lifecycle!

AIDS Lifecycle is a 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles starting on June 1 of this summer. All proceeds from fundraising for the event go to support the work, services, and research of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the LA Gay and Lesbian Center. Go riders! 

There's still time to donate to these riders! Click here!

SFFD is Hiring - A Special Call to the LGBT Community

As a 17 year veteran of the San Francisco Fire Department, often times I get asked "How manyLGBT members are there in the San Francisco Fire Department?"  The answer is unknown, the Fire Department does not collect such data at this time.  I could speculate but the short answer is: remarkably not enough.  Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, by her own admission says that she could “count on both hands” the number of gay men that are both in the field and at Department Headquarters.  The SFFD currently employs approximately 900 firefighters that operate in the field for emergency medical and fire-suppression activities; with another approximately 500 members working in various administrative positions that do not include working out of the 43 fire stations located throughout the city.  

Working for the Fire Department as an out, gay, man for the last 17 years has been one of the most thrilling and rewarding activities of my life thus far.  I have had the pleasure of working as an EMT on the ambulance, driver and tillerman of the truck, surf rescue firefighter, and I currently serve as apparatus operator for Engine 21, in the Western Addition.  It is truly a labor of love.  However, as some of you know, I have also seen the not so pleasant side of the job, some of which was told in an article written by another Alice Board Member, Joel Engardio for the SF Examiner, the story can be found here.  

The Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club has asked Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, in writing and in a face-to-face meeting to consider improving the Department’s numbers as they pertain to the LGBT community.  One of the things that came out of these discussions was the appointment of Alice’s very own, beloved and esteemed, Ken Cleaveland, as our newest Fire Commissioner.  This was an important accomplishment and we thank Mayor Lee for appointing Ken to the Commission.  However, our work is not done.   It is our belief that the SFFD and the residents of San Francisco deserve a Fire Department made of members that reflect the make-up of the city.  This means we need a Department that is made up of members that are at the very least commensurate with our diverse population.  This is woefully not the case, and where you the reader come in.  

Please take a moment and read the job announcement for Entry Level (H-2) Firefighter.  A full description of what is needed to apply is listed in the aforementioned link.  Basically speaking, you must be at least 20 years of age by time of appointment, have a high school diploma or equivalency, and have a clean driving and criminal record (please see application announcement for a complete, and more detailed list of requirements).  Based on my personal experience I would add the following:  a willingness to work with folks from all walks of life and background (after all, you’ll be spending 24 hours with them), possess the ability to work in a team oriented environment steeped in tradition, ability to withstand circumstances that are incredibly stress inducing, a commitment to physical fitness, able to function within a paramilitary organization, and a strong desire to serve and protect all citizens, of San Francisco with honor and respect.  This combined with the requirements set forth by the Department will make you an excellent candidate for this extraordinarily rewarding career in the Fire Service.

Important to note, opportunities for entry level positions in the SFFD arise infrequently, the time to act is now!  There is currently no application deadline set for this nationwide candidate search, it is continuous.  In conclusion, it goes without saying that this is a dangerous job with many life hazards.  However, if you feel that you have what it takes, please apply, the LGBT community needs you.  Finally, if you have further questions, feel free to contact me at, place my name in the subject line and I will follow-up with you shortly thereafter.  If I cannot address your question, I will certainly help you find the person that can.  

Wishing you success,
Keith Baraka


It's time to get out in the field for one last push. GET OUT THE VOTE! Please RSVP to if you plan on attending!

Saturday Canvassing
Saturday, May 31, 2014, 10:30 AM
Meet at Spike's Coffee at 19th and Castro

Sunday Canvassing
Sunday, June 1, 2014, 10:30 AM
Contact for meeting location

Morning Visibility
Monday, June 2, 2014, 7 AM - 9 AM
Meet at Harvey Milk Plaza

Phonebanking for David Chiu
Monday, June 2, 2014, 5 PM - 9 PM
Chiu HQ, 549 Castro Street

Tuesday, June 3 ELECTION DAY

Morning Visibility
7 AM -9 AM
Meet at Castro @ Market

Phonebanking for David Chiu
5 PM - 9 PM
Chiu HQ, 549 Castro Street

Mark Murphy for School Board!

Please join School Board candidate and Alice Board member Mark Murphy for a signature gathering rally! Saturday, May 31, 10 AM at Harvey Milk Plaza. Mark will be out with Supervisor Wiener and School Board Commissioner Rachel Norton in support! Click here for more details.

Alice May Recap!

Alice Board Member Juan Cerda hitting the streets for field!

Alice hosts a postcard writing party!

The unveiling of the new Harvey Milk stamp at City Hall

Supervisor Wiener biking to work for Bike to Work Day 2014!
Copyright © 2014 Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club, All rights reserved.

Thanks so much for checking out our monthly newsletter. 
-Micah, Thomas and the Communications Team