Milk Club Values and the Next D7 Supervisor

Joel Engardio is actually running on being anti-police-reform. In this day and age?

In the age of Defund the Police and Black Lives Matter, Joel Engardio had the bizarre audacity to send out this mailer. In it, he attacked our Club's endorsed candidates Vilaska Nguyen (#1) and Myrna Melgar (#2) for District 7 Supervisor, in an apparent attempt to win over reactionary voters and Police Officer Association money.

All during the Republican National Convention, no less!

As a gay person, Joel Engardio should know better. Law enforcement has played a long and grotesque history of brutalizing Black, Brown, and Queer people in San Francisco and across the nation. This is why, despite being gay, the Harvey Milk Club Political Action Committee and it’s Membership decided not to endorse him for Supervisor.

For more context, check out Mr. Engardio's responses to his SF DCCC questionnaire and judge for yourself. He chose not to participate in our Club's endorsement process, so we have no questionnaire for this candidate, unfortunately.

Please note that in the DCCC questionnaire, Joel Engardio did not support the mayor's plan to divert police funding and reinvest in Black Community. He left that yes/no answer blank.

No wonder Joel is the candidate of the SF Police Officers Association, SF Republicans, Scott Wiener, and apparently Senator Dianne Feinstein's third-choice. Read the very fine print in Mr. Engarido’s most recent piece of artwork below.

Begs the question: Who are Senator Feinstein's #1 and #2 candidates for District 7?

All of this only underscores why the Milk Club endorsed Vilaska Nguyen and Myrna Melgar as our #1 and #2 candidates for District 7 Supervisor. They are both committed to life-saving, common sense police reform. Both oppose qualified immunity for officers, which is the civil rights action of our time. Both oppose tasers and have strong positions on many other issues including tenants rights, immigrant rights, and environmental justice.

And both candidates support District Attorney Chesa Boudin, as if that is something to be ashamed of. By the way, do you remember when the Milk Club called out Kimberly Guilfoyle earlier this year for her anti-Chesa rant?

We tried to warn you back in January, America!

With several other moderate candidates in the running in this fairly moderate district, it is imperative that we in the Milk Club support both of our candidates for Supervisor, Vilaska and Myrna! So visit their websites and sign up to volunteer.

At the Milk Club, we leave no district behind.



The Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club

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Milk Club Endorsement Season



Here are our Milk Club's endorsements for the November 2020 ballot:


United States President & Vice President: Joe Biden & Kamala Harris

U.S. Congress, District 12: Nancy Pelosi

U.S. Congress, District 14: Jackie Speier

CA State Senate, District 11: Jackie Fielder

CA State Assembly, District 17: no position

CA State Assembly, District 19: Phil Ting

District 1 Supervisor: Connie Chan

District 3 Supervisor: Aaron Peskin

District 5 Supervisor: Dean Preston

District 7 Supervisor: #1 Vilaska Nguyen, #2 Myrna Melgar

District 9 Supervisor: Hillary Ronen

District 11 Supervisor: John Avalos

School Board: Kevine Boggess, Alida Fisher, Mark Sanchez

Community College Board: Tom Temprano, Shanell Williams, Alan Wong, Han Zou

BART Board, District 7: Lateefah Simon

BART Board, District 9: Bevan Dufty

AC Transit Board of Directors, Ward 1: Jovanka Beckles

Proposition 14: Bonds authorizing $5.5 billion for state stem cell research. YES

Proposition 15: Tax commercial and industrial properties for education and local government funding. YES

Proposition 16: Repeal Proposition 209 and allow for more diversity. YES

Proposition 17: Restore the right to vote to ex-prisoners. YES

Proposition 18: Permit people 17-years-old the right to vote in primaries and special elections. YES

Proposition 19: Property tax transfers, exemptions, and revenue for wildfire agencies. no position

Proposition 20: Restrict parole for non-violent offenders. NO

Proposition 21: Expand local government's ability to enact rent control. YES

Proposition 22: Exempt app-based transportation and delivery companies from providing employee benefits. NO

Proposition 23: State requirements for kidney dialysis clinics. YES

Proposition 24: Establish the California Privacy Protection Agency. no position

Proposition 25: Replace money bail with a system based on public safety and flight risk. YES

Measure A: Health and homelessness, parks, and streets bond. YES

Measure B: Create a Public Works Commission and a Department and Commission of Sanitation and Streets. YES

Measure C: Remove citizenship requirements for members of city bodies. YES

Measure D: Sheriff's Department oversight. YES

Measure E: Remove the minimum police staffing requirement. YES

Measure F: Business tax overhaul. YES

Measure G: Authorize youths aged 16 and 17 to vote in municipal elections. YES

Measure H: Neighborhood commercial districts and city permitting. no position

Measure I: Real estate transfer tax. YES

Measure J: Parcel Tax for SFUSD. YES

Measure K: Affordable housing authorization. YES

Measure L: Business tax based on comparison of top executive's pay to employees' pay. YES

Measure RR: CalTrain sales tax. YES


Here is our list of completed questionnaires turned in so far:


US House, CA-12: Shahid Buttar


District 1 Supervisor: Connie Chan

District 1 Supervisor: David Lee

District 1 Supervisor: Marjan Philhour

District 1 Supervisor: Marjan Philhour (Candidate Statement)

District 1 Supervisor: Veronica Shinzato


District 3 Supervisor: Aaron Peskin

District 3 Supervisor: Danny Sauter


District 5 Supervisor: Daniel Landry

District 5 Supervisor: Nomvula O'Meara

District 5 Supervisor: Dean Preston


District 7 Supervisor: Stephen Martin-Pinto

District 7 Supervisor: Myrna Melgar

District 7 Supervisor: Emily Murase

District 7 Supervisor: Vilaska Nguyen


District 9 Supervisor: Hillary Ronen


District 11 Supervisor: John Avalos

District 11 Supervisor: Ahsha Safai


School Board: Matt Alexander

School Board: Kevine Boggess

School Board: Alida Fisher

School Board: Jenny Lam

School Board: Tim Murphy

School Board: Michelle Parker

School Board: Mark Sanchez

School Board: Njon Sanders


Community College Board: Aliya Chisti

Community College Board: Anita Martinez

Community College Board: Jeanette Quick

Community College Board: Geramye Teeter

Community College Board: Tom Temprano

Community College Board: Shanell Williams

Community College Board: Han Zhou


District 9 BART Board: Bevan Dufty

AC Transit, Ward 1: Jovanka Beckles


Ballot Measure (Local): Real Estate Transfer Tax Rate Increase

Ballot Measure (Local): Article 34 Authorization for Social Housing


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Remembering Harry Britt

The late Harry Britt with former Milk Club President Gwenn Craig, Jane Fonda, and Tom Hayden at our                                                                                          annual Dinner on May 22nd, 1980. Thank you Gwenn for sharing this photo by Dan Nicoletta.

Harry Britt would not have wanted to be memorialized as a “legend” or a “hero.” But for all of us, he will always stand as a queer icon.

Harry was the chosen political successor of our Club’s namesake, Harvey Milk, and helped define progressive & queer values throughout San Francisco. Harry believed that tepid liberalism kept the powerful satisfied with the status quo and that none of us should rest until there is a fundamental transfer of that power to Queer and Trans folks, Women, People of Color, and those most damaged by the ills of our society. His fight lives on in all of us.

Harry would want us to turn our pain and sorrow into tangible action. The Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, devastated by this loss, will continue to fight to do just that. Let the pain of this loss ignite a flame inside of all of us to do better for those of us with less. Let that flame grow bigger and brighter in our shared fight for radical racial justice.

No apologies. Black Lives Matter.

Rest in Power Harry.

Please read more about Harry Britt's life, accomplishments, and reactions to his passing here in 48 HillsThe Bay Area ReporterThe San Francisco Examiner, and The San Francisco Chronicle.

Harry Britt's passing on Wednesday will not make us queers timid in the least. In fact, it will make us resist oppression that much harder. Harry wouldn't have it any other way.

The Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club

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George Floyd


As an LGBTQ political organization, our history is a riot, from Compton’s to Stonewall to the White Night Riot, and every power and right and privilege we have was taken by us, for us, and built with thrown bricks.

We stand in solidarity with those acting and organizing for justice, in Minneapolis and Louisville and everywhere, yesterday and today and tomorrow.

George Floyd and Breonna Taylor deserve justice — as do Oscar Grant, Mario Woods, and so many more — and the systems that murdered them deserve to be dismantled.

Quote by Harry Britt, after the White Night Riots that followed from Harvey Milk’s killer getting away with murder. We didn’t apologize then and shouldn’t start now.


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Ready To Listen Rally



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Virtual Phone Bank for Jackie Fielder

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When: Tuesday, May 26th (6pm-8pm)


Facebook Invite is here.

Join the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club to make calls for Jackie Fielder for State Senate 傑基. 菲爾德!

Jackie's a queer, Native American, and Mexicana educator and organizer running for State Senate to fight for California homes for all, a Green New Deal for California, and economic and social justice.

She's taken on Wall Street lobbyists and the fossil fuel industry, and has a track record of fighting for people and winning, even against the odds. She also has the Milk Club's endorsement, and needs our help to get her message out!

Training will be provided; registration is required.

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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Happy Birthday, Harvey!

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When: Friday, May 22nd (5:30pm-9pm)


Facebook Invite is here.

May 22nd is Harvey Milk Day in the State of California—a day of celebration and reflection on the strength of our community all the more resonant as we face COVID-19 together.

Sponsored by the GGBA - Golden Gate Business Association

To commemorate this day, we present a virtual “block party”, hosted on Twitch and Zoom:

This collaborative effort is organized by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman's office, the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District, the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, the Castro Community Benefit District, “Windows For Harvey” presented by the Castro Merchants Association, the Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza, Open House, the GLBT Historical Society, the Tenderloin Museum, the Golden Gate Business Association, and the SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund. This joint effort is not just to wish the happiest birthday to Harvey on what would have been his 90th birthday, but also an opportunity to broadcast our solidarity in hope, because as he so often reminded us, “You gotta give ‘em hope.” This event will be something to remember in these difficult and extraordinary times, just as we will one day look back and remember how we came together even when we couldn’t.

Juanita MORE! will hosting with performances by Mercedes Munro and Bionka Simon and the evening’s tracks provided by DJ’s Parks, Kidd, Jim Hopkins and Paul Goodyear.

This is a companion event to Live Drag for our LGBTQ Elders, happening from 4:30-5:30pm, just before the block party.

The event graphics and its theme, Heroes, was originally created for this year’s Windows For Harvey initiative, presented by Castro Merchants. Using Dan Nicoletta’s iconic photo, Harvey is now in medical uniform, a salute to the essential workers who are keeping our city functioning, and the medical personnel who are keeping us safe and healthy. The facemask around Harvey’s neck becomes a Rainbow Flag, to represent our community's strength and resiliency that protect us. The untied strings of Harvey's mask blow in the wind as Harvey’s tie does in Nicoletta’s original photo, which he has shared with us that he sees as a reference to the winds of change swirling around Harvey then, just as they are swirling around us now.

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COVID Camps and a Leadership Fiasco at the Top

Top Photo: Bunk beds for mostly Asian travelers at an Angel Island Immigration Station, arranged as a museum display in 2010. (Photo: Brant Ward, The Chronicle.)
Bottom Photo: The Moscone Center, where homeless people at risk for COVID-19 may be forced to live in 2020. (Photo: Street Sheet.)

Despite what The Atlantic may say, you cannot claim to be a leader in San Francisco if your indifference to people experiencing homelessness verges on blatant and reckless disregard for their well-being. And in this COVID-19 era, such flippancy can, has, and will bump up the death curve.

Take for example the mayor and Human Services Agency Director Trent Rhorer's plan to create a new shelter system at the Moscone Center with no discernible physical distancing whatsoever.

From Street Sheet:

“People are given a wristband with their bed number on it and shown to a tiny mat on the floor with a folding chair,” the source said. “There aren’t many people staying here yet, but there are going to be hundreds of people, all breathing each other’s coughs.”

Thanks to the loud public outcry, and outrage from our Club's allies on the Board of Supervisors, this dangerous plan will likely be drawn down significantly. And at least some of this money will instead be invested in housing the unhoused in hotel rooms. Hopefully.

(Did you know that 30,000 hotel rooms are sitting empty right now?)

We will not let this horrible plan tarnish the late Mayor George Moscone's name, nor let the current mayor or anyone else create a brand new viral hot spot in the center of town. The Milk Club will do everything in its power to make sure EVERYONE is properly sheltered-in-place during this deadly pandemic, not just those with the privilege of a roof over their heads.

Death by dilly-dallying. MSC South’s Men’s Floor. (Photo By Chris Herring from Street Sheet.)

And if that wasn't bad enough, what the hell happened here, and why did it have to happen at all?

On Friday, 70 people tested positive for COVID-19 at MSC South, representing the largest viral outbreak in any shelter in all of California. According to The New York Times, this is the largest reported shelter outbreak in the entire country!

So when the mayor's allies claim that she alone is responsible for flattening the curve, when the credit should go to Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Sara Cody and the robust collaboration of officials across nine Bay Area counties, ask them who deserves "credit" for the largest outbreak in a shelter in the entire country. Or ask them about the growing number of COVID-19 cases in SRO hotels.

According to 48 Hills, "This could have been prevented – but the Mayor’s Office refused for a month to move homeless people into vacant hotel rooms."

We at the Harvey Milk Club are both thankful and grateful for all of the members of the Board of Supervisors currently pushing emergency legislation to fund over 8,000 rooms for homeless folks like those at MSC South. As well as hotel rooms for critical service workers who are also at risk of this deadly virus.

This will be voted on this Tuesday, so please contact your Supervisor right now so that we can ensure a veto-proof super-majority. Face it: You don't have anything better to do right now anyway!

The Milk Club knows what it means to protect the marginalized from deadly viruses. We fought like hell during the height of the AIDS pandemic, and we will do so again. This means flattening curves that some politicians would prefer didn't exist to begin with and ensuring they can't erase their failures from the public record.

Some things never change. And as the photo at the top of this email of bunk beds at the Angel Island Immigration Station reminds us, history too often repeats itself.

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Virtual Parties, No Hook Ups, Make A Difference

How are you holding up?

We have been asking that question of friends, family, and our chosen family for the past few weeks as we shelter in place, maintain distance from loved ones, and come together to deal with the coronavirus and its destructive wake.

Our community is resilient. We have experienced enormous loss over the decades. We have faced prejudice that has driven us out from our homes. We have moved across the country to start fresh and find new families. And even today, we remain strong in the face of anti-LGBTQ discrimination at home and around the world.

Through it all, we have cared for each other. But now, with a racist, anti-scientist threat to humanity in the White House, we in the Harvey Milk Club need to lead with kindness and compassion now more than ever.

And let’s be honest: Being human also means staying connected. This means finding new ways to see each other, hear each other’s voices, and an obligation to reach out to community members with greater needs.

So really: How are you holding up? How are you connecting with other people at this time? What do you need? Email us at [email protected] and let us know. Our meetings may be going virtual soon, but the Milk Club is still at your service.

Now, read on…

Can't Pay Rent? Here is What to Do!

A record 3.3 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week. And a hundred thousand people apply in California everyday. Nevertheless, April 1st means rent is due for most of us.

The good news is that San Francisco has imposed a Temporary Eviction Moratorium for all tenants who are unable to pay rent due to impacts of COVID-19. 

Under the Temporary Moratorium on evictions, a landlord cannot evict a tenant if all of these requirements are met:

  1. The rental payment first became due on or after March 13th, 2020.

  2. The tenant was unable to pay rent because of the financial impacts related to COVID-19.

  3. The tenant notified the landlord within 30 days of when the rent was due that the tenant is unable to pay due to the financial impacts related to COVID-19.


  1. Within 7 days after notifying the landlord, the tenant provided documentation or other verifiable information that the tenant is unable to pay rent due to the financial impacts of COVID-19.

The above protections can delay your payment of rent for up to three months, unless it extends further. But they do not relieve you of your duty to pay back-rent when the moratorium expires. The Harvey Milk Club is deeply concerned that this is leading us to an “eviction cliff” and are working with partner organizations to provide additional relief!

You can find more specific guidance here or at the San Francisco Rent Board’s website.

Sunday Quaran-Tea Party

A major update for those of us who have been feeling particularly cloistered from the nightlife community that brings us together: Dancing together in the privacy of our own homes to some of the Bay Area’s best queer nightlife DJ’s has been deemed... ESSENTIAL!!

A lot of friends are throwing virtual parties right now, but we are prioritizing this afternoon's Quaran-Tea Party on Facebook Live and Twitch tomorrow (and every Sunday until this shit is through) from 1-6pm for live DJ sets hosted by drag queen Florida Maniac (aka Lady Voldemort).

This is all thanks to the San Francisco Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund, established by drag legend Juanita More, Race Bannon, and a number of bar owners and nightlife impresarios who are caring for all of their workers during this time. From bar staff, to door security, to go-gos, coat check and all of the other essential staff at our favorite joints.

If you have the means, lend a hand to those who don’t by donating to the Queer Nightlife Fund here.

Hooking Up is on HOLD. #StayTheFuckHome

Look, we get it. It’s more than just sex. It is how we meet new people and an important part of how our community interacts. Heck, our bodily delights and physical communion can certainly feel like a necessary, revolutionary act!

But San Francisco’s Shelter In Place order exists not only to protect our own health and safety. It also protects the safety of others in our community, including our friends and roommates, many of whom are uniquely vulnerable to the worst symptoms of the coronavirus.

The sacrifices we make today will help us recover more quickly. Have tough talks with your friends and roommates. Be honest with people you encounter about your risk of exposure, and don’t be afraid to ask them for the same. 

This is not about shaming each other. Rather, we require a collective resolve to end this pandemic as soon as possible.

Feel free to read Race Bannon’s piece in the Bay Area Reporter called Sex in the Era of COVID-19 here.

Volunteer Opportunites and Resources for Those in Need

Whether you are in need or are an able-bodied Milk Club Member with some extra time and a big heart, there are plenty of ways to plug in, get help, and make a difference right now:

  • Since 1998, Project Open Hand has served San Francisco seniors and adults with disabilities with nutritious meals and now operates out of 15 sites in San Francisco. Project Open Hand needs volunteers to meet urgent community needs. Find out more here.

  • The San Francisco Human Services Agency has partnered with the Shanti Project to recruit volunteers to do grocery, medicine, and small mail delivery for seniors. Find out how to sign up here. 

  • Self Help for the Elderly is another amazing organization providing meals to over 500 seniors across San Francisco. They need delivery drivers. Please reach out to them here.

If you live in District 5 and/or want to volunteer? Friends have put together a list of D5-specific volunteer opportunities here.

Did we miss any hot opportunities to help? Email us at[email protected] and let us know.

Chinese Food Has NEVER Tasted Better

Our friends at the Rose Pak Democratic Club 白蘭民主黨協會 have put together a great list of Chinatown restaurants providing takeout and delivery service throughout San Francisco’s emergency order. Let’s keep these businesses open and their workers employed.

Amid an uptick in anti-Asian violence, we in the Milk Club need to show solidarity with San Francisco’s Chinese community. And it’s never tasted as delicious as this!

Check out the full list here, and if you haven’t had the jalapeno fried chicken wings at Capital yet, you can’t have them soon enough. (Plenty of veggie options available, too.)

Self-Care and Mental Health Resources

COVID-19 is causing a lot of stress. But people who already suffer from existing mental health issues like depression and anxiety are particularly vulnerable during these unprecedented times. Senior citizens and people who live alone are especially at risk.

Self-care during self-quarantine means eating well, getting enough sleep, and spending time outside to the extent that it is safe and allowable. There are a number of resources for folks in our community who need additional self-care tips and other services:

  • The Trevor Project is a national 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth. Call 1-866-488-7386 or text START to 678678.

  • The Felton Institute San Francisco Suicide Prevention provides a 24-hour hotline for people experiencing mental health crises. Call 415-781-0500.

  • The Institute on Aging offers a 24-hour friendship line for people 60 years and older, adults with disabilities, and those feeling isolated. Call 1-800-971-0016.

  • The Mental Health Association of San Francisco has a 24-hour peer-run line for nonemergency emotional support. Call 1-855-845-7415.

  • Headspace has a library of guided meditations.

  • Ten Percent Happier offers guided meditations, coronavirus-focused sessions that are free of charge, and a daily virus-focused livestream and Q&A.

  • The Virus Anxiety website has daily mantras, write-in mental health questions, and calming online distractions.

  • The Disaster Distress Helpline provides crisis counselling and support for anyone in the United States experiencing distress or other behavioral health concerns. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66764.

  • The Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 text-based support. Text MHA to 741741 and you can connect to a trained crisis counselor.

From The Vault

In 1978, Susan Sonntag wrote that nothing is more punitive than to give a disease a meaning. We remember how AIDS was characterized as a “gay disease,” which allowed politicians to brush it under the rug and refuse to take action that could have saved lives. Today, we join our allies in condemning the President and his enablers seeking to label the current pandemic as a “Chinese Virus.”

In 1980, long before researchers understood what was causing primarily young, gay men to die from pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and Kaposi sarcoma, then-Milk Club President Bill Kraus addressed the Club:

“The problem lies not in evil personalities or traitorous acts, but rather in the political orientation which believes that an oppressed group gets what it needs by being careful not to offend the powerful.

“The problem lies in the desire to protect the little that we have gotten by not risking a fight for what we deserve. The problem lies in believing that what we have gotten is somehow a favor given to us by politicians rather than the politicians’ recognition of what we have the political power to demand and get.”

Thanks for reading. Stay safe, and stay healthy.


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