2016 Executive Board Candidate Statements

The following candidates have been nominated for positions on the 2016 Executive Board of the Harvey Milk Club. Candidates will also briefly present to the membership and answer questions at the election meeting on Tuesday, January 19th from 7-9pm at the Women's Building. 

Nominations are currently open for Board candidates and will be open until Tuesday, January 19th.  Please send all nominations to [email protected].  


Peter Gallotta


My name is Peter Gallotta and I am the current Co-President of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club and have served on the Executive Board of the Club since 2012, first as the Recorder and then as the Vice President of Internal Affairs. I am proud to be a part of a Club that stands for social and economic justice, that believes in working at the intersections of identity and issues, and that builds queer progressive power and leadership in San Francisco. As Co-President, I have worked with the Executive Board and membership to advocate for #CleanPowerSF, the Mission moratorium, greater regulation of short term rentals and AirBnb, and building more affordable housing. We've also worked together to hold the San Francisco Pride Board and SFPD accountable, engage and recruit new members, and implement our 2015 political program which helped get Aaron Peskin elected to the Board of Supervisors. 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the Club and a pivotal year in electoral politics. With your support, I am committed to ensuring that 2016 yields a strong, inclusive, and effective Harvey Milk Club that will do the work that needs to be done to continue to elect progressive leaders and keep San Francisco a city for all of us. When not wearing my Harvey Milk Club t-shirt, you can likely find me fighting for improved transit along the Geary corridor or helping to address hunger in my neighborhood of seven years, the Tenderloin, with Mama G's Thanksgiving Street Dinner, or in line for a cup of coffee! Contact me!

Vice President of Political Affairs

Lee Hepner

My name is Lee Hepner, and I'm looking forward to my fourth year of service on the board of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club. I'm honored to be nominated for VP of Political Affairs. I intend to use our Political Action Committee as a forum for in-depth and dynamic conversations around core issues to the club and hope to oversee an endorsement process that is thoroughly transparent, accessible, and without conflicts of interest. I currently serve as a Legislative Aide to San Francisco District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin. Previously, I worked as a civil litigation attorney handling police misconduct, free speech, unlawful termination and landlord-tenant cases. Contact me!

Vice President of External Affairs

Paulina Maldonado 


My name is Paulina Maldonado and I am running for Vice President of External Affairs. I am thrilled at the prospect of serving on the executive board again this year to make sure we make 2016 the comeback year for progressive politics in San Francisco. My passion lies in Criminal Justice reform. In 2010 I graduated from California State University, Fresno and earned my degree in Criminology, with an emphasis in Law Enforcement. Through a partnership with CSU Fresno and the Fresno Police Department, I also graduated from the police academy (P.O.S.T). After college, I worked alongside newly elected Honorable Daniel A. Flores in his criminal defense practice largely serving the Spanish-speaking community for four and a half years. In 2014, I managed his successful campaign for San Francisco Superior Court Judge. I currently serve as the Co-President of the Latinx Young Democrats of San Francisco. By day, I'm a paralegal at a p rivate criminal defense firm.

Vice President of Internal Affairs

Cynthia Crews


When I was 16, I first became an activist fighting against environmental pollution in a town home to three superfund sites. I’m excited to run for the office of Vice-President for Internal Affairs after being a Milk Club member for five years. My activism has focused on partnering with organizations that seek to empower women, people of color, LGBTQ communities, and persons with disabilities. I am proud to support progressive legislation and candidates, to work on grassroots campaigns, and to take it to the streets with direct action. For the past five years, I’ve served on the Steering Committee of The League of Pissed Off Voters, focusing on voter education, participation, and advocacy. I serve as Vice Chair of the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) in the public seat where we’re pushing CleanPowerSF over the finish line. When I’m not fighting the good fight, I work as a Project Manager in the healthcare industry, focusing on communications for compliance and ethics. With a passion for politics that keeps me busy, I still find time to shake a tail feather and celebrate this amazing city I’ve called home for 15 years. Contact me! 

Executive Board Political

Nathanial Owen


I'm excited to be running for Executive Board Political, after serving this past year as Recorder on the E-Board. While I hail from the South, I made the trek with my partner to San Francisco a year and a half ago and immediately jumped into the city's queer progressive politics through the Harvey Milk Club. In my day job, I tackle racial and economic justice as a program director at Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), where I recently launched a microloan fund for low-income Latino and immigrant small business owners here in San Francisco. I am running for this specific position on the Milk Club board because I want to play a major role in shaping our PAC meetings, bringing policymakers, activists, and thought leaders together to educate and engage our members on the political issues that are so critical to the city's future. I'm also looking forward to rolling up my sleeves for the huge political fights we as queer progressives must win in 2016. Here's to fighting the good fight for the heart and soul of this amazing city where I now call home. Contact me!

Executive Board Internal

Adele Carpenter


My name is Adele Failes-Carpenter. I began my community and youth organizing work as a young queer in Portland, Oregon and since moving to the Bay Area 11 years ago, I've worked in tenant advocacy, as an outreach worker with homeless queer youth, in youth HIV-prevention research, and now (youth-focused) policy advocacy. I do work with a national anti-racist political education organization and do research and other support work for a grassroots, veteran-led anti-war organization. My partner teaches at MHS and we parent a kid together. I'm running for the Milk Club Board because I want to continue to contribute to and grow our queer progressive movement in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. I am passionate about leadership and member development, and since beginning to staff a commission three years ago, I've become somewhat of a nerd for procedure, ie bylaws, etc.  

Executive Board Organizing

Adam Mehis


My name is Adam Mehis and I am running for Executive Board Organizing. Most of my work since joining Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club has focused on organizing and strategizing the best avenues to work alongside multiple campaigns and initiatives. Besides my involvement with the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, I am a Board Member of District 8 Democrats and am newly accepted to join the Equity Advisory Committee. 

Executive Board Outreach (2 open positions) 

Mia Satya


Mia Satya is a queer and trans identified San Francisco-based community organizer with over a decade of advocacy experience specializing in youth empowerment, economic justice, housing affordability, and LGBTQ liberation.As a service provider for 4 years, Mia worked with community based organization to provide critical services like healthcare, housing, and employment for San Francisco’s most vulnerable members including homeless and LGBTQ youth.Mia now bridges her personal and professional experiences to create and implement policy solutions that will have a community wide impact.

While on the San Francisco Youth Commission Mia worked to secure Free Muni for 40,000 low-income youth and co-created the landmark 12N LGBTQ diversity training for 9,000 City employees. Mia has served on over 10 committees in 5 City departments and played many key roles in the re-authorization of the Children’s fund in 2014. Now as a Director at Transitional Age Youth San Francisco, Mia facilitates opportunities for underrepresented youth to give feedback to City leaders, so that together we can ensure all San Franciscans have successful transitions to adulthood.  

Mia is an alumna of the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute, Pathways to Policy, the Anne Braden Program, the Victory Empowerment Fellowship, and the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Transgender Leadership Exchange. Mia is currently studying public policy at Mills College and is a part of the Emerge class of 2016.

In her spare time Mia supports TAJA Coalition’s effort to end the genocide of trans women of color and she, recently launched All Out the LGBTQ+ Political Pipeline to inspire, educate, and connect youth to create change. Contact me! 


Albany Arroyan


I’m running for re-election to the Board because I am both prepared for, and humbled by, the challenges that lay ahead in 2016, as we fight to ensure progressive values are, and remain, San Francisco values. As a POC, and the son of an undocumented immigrant, I know that there is much work to be done to continue the fight for racial justice in our overall social justice platform. I have four years of experience in professional campaign treasury work, and have been working within public accounting firms for the past six years, in a wide range of accounting practice areas. I’m looking forward to a successful and hard fought year alongside our general membership, and E-Board colleagues. Contact me!


Jessica Andrepont

My name is Jessica Andrepont and I am a queer, cis gender woman of color running for the Harvey Milk EBoard to continue to effect positive change in my community in any way that I am able. I am a Master of Public Affairs student at USF, a Legislative and Policy Graduate Fellow in Jane Kim's Supervisorial Office, and have been personally and professionally committed to addressing the unique social justice issues of our community for about 20 years. The Harvey Milk Club provides a wonderful opportunity for me to continue to advocate for civil rights, economic justice, ending homelessness, and environmental protection all within the context of how these policy issues (amongst many others) affect our increasingly economically marginalized QT community. Contact me!


Angel VanStark


My name is Angel VanStark, and I'm a young, queer POC who has formerly experienced homelessness.  Currently, I work for a tech company (*sorry*), serve as a board of directors for the LGBT Center of San Francisco, and as a board member for the company LGBT resource group pushing more inclusive internal projects and recruiting efforts.  I'm running for Recorder, because I think that the role would be perfect for me to get to know everyone and get my leadership chops more developed in a PAC world to later on be able to take on more involved roles when I'm more financially secure; I'm also hoping that by being a part of the internal team, I can bring some engagement and recruiting strategies that are aimed towards helping our progressive movement grow and hold high levels of retention. Contact me! 

Events & Fundraising

Stephen Torres


Stephen Torres is a freelance writer, bartender and organizer who lives in the Mission District and has lived in San Francisco since 1999.  I have been a part of the Harvey Milk Democratic club since 2012 and have served as Events & Fundraising chair since 2013.  We have seen many successes in this aspect of the club in the past few years and I am forever grateful to my amazing colleagues, especially my co-chair, Katy Birnbaum.  I would love to continue to offer my experience to the club once gain, especially on this, our most auspicious 40th Anniversary. Contact me! 

At Large (up to 5 positions) 

Katy Birnbaum


Northern California grown, I have been in a torrid love affair with San Francisco for the past 8 plus years. After graduating from SFSU in 2010, I've been busy filling my bag of tricks with digital communication skills, community and volunteer organizing and events management. I am the Programming and Partnerships Director at Sunday Streets, a nonprofit organization that encourages healthy living and community building through large-scale car-free events across the city. My heart causes include women's empowerment, corporate regulation, and environmental and food justice among many others. I believe that successful social and political movements start with community building and membership development. I'm excited to help build the capacity of the Club over the coming year while helping develop and support the brilliant queer leaders of tomorrow. Contact me!

Carolyn Ji Jong Goossen


My name is Carolyn Ji Jong Goossen and I would love the honor of serving on the executive board as a member-at-large. I have been a member of the Milk club for two years. My background is in youth development, youth media, journalism and public policy. I currently work as a legislative aide to Supervisor David Campos at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and prior to that, worked as an editor at New America Media (aka Pacific News Service). I am a queer/bi, mixed-race mother of two kids in San Francisco public schools and am also a board member of SFWAR (San Francisco Women Against Rape).  I am interested in running for e-board of Harvey Milk Club because I am passionate about local politics and finding ways to leverage the political and electoral process to create positive social change.

Linshao Chin


My name is Linshao Chin.  I was born and raised in San Francisco.  I work for the City of San Francisco as a Compliance Officer, enforcing labor laws in San Francisco, including the minimum wage and paid sick leave.  Previously, I've worked as an organizer at various community based organizations working on immigrant rights, worker rights, anti-gentrification and environmental justice. I am running for the Milk Club board to promote civic engagement in our communities.  When I'm not dreaming of a more just and equitable San Francisco, I enjoy crafting, fixing things, exploring the city and reliving childhood memories & chasing after my dog. Contact me!

Carolina Morales

(Bio coming soon!) 

Tom Temprano


I’m honored to be running for a seat on my sixth (!!!) Harvey Milk Club Executive Board. Having previously served as President, Co-President and Vice President of External Affairs I’m excited to share my knowledge of the club’s incredible history and experience in queer progressive politics with the new generation of leaders joining this year’s board. In addition to my work with the Harvey Milk Club I’m the proud owner of a local bar, a DJ and producer of queer community events, co-chair of the SoMA Stabilization Fund CAC and a dedicated LGBT community activist. Oh, and I had a lot of fun running with all of your support for the City College Board of Trustees this past year. Here’s to a 2016 filled with queer progressive victories! 

Ex Officio 

Laura Thomas (immediate past president of the Harvey Milk Club

I've served as co-president for the last two years, PAC Chair before that, starting as an at large member of the EBoard. I work as the Deputy State Director for the Drug Policy Alliance, working to end the war on drugs and reduce the harms from drugs. I've lived in SF for nearly 30 years, got my start here as an AIDS activist with ACT UP, helped found the Dyke March, and volunteer with the syringe access program, among other things. I'm excited about the opportunity to build more power for the progressive movement in San Francisco and to elect some strong women to office this year.