Letter to Larkin Street Youth Services Executive Director, Sherilyn Adams In Support of LSYS Employees Organizing Efforts

Dear Ms. Adams,

The youth that are served by Larkin Street Youth Services are among our most vulnerable residents and the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club has long stood alongside you in your dedication to assisting them and fighting for their rights. You may remember that last year we partnered with the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club in successfully lobbying the Mayor to restore $500,000 worth of funding that had been cut from your budget that was intended to serve young people with HIV.


We are however troubled by recent actions by your organization to infringe upon the rights of your own dedicated employees who have expressed interest in forming a union with Service Employees International Union Local 1021.


The employees at Larkin Street Youth Services are dedicated to creating a better quality of life for their clients and deserve the ability to advocate for their own quality of life as well. The Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club has always stood with unions and we feel particularly strongly that those workers who are dedicating their lives to social justice, as yours are, deserve the opportunity to have a voice and to feel secure in their workplace. Teachers, nurses, and social workers in San Francisco have organized to improve the size of classes, nurse-to-patient ratios, and caseloads in the interest of those that they serve as well as their own working conditions. This is true in the case of your workers at LSYS as well.


Given the critical needs of the clients that you serve, it is troubling to us that you would spend your agency’s precious funds on your current anti-union campaign. Your workers, your clients and the San Francisco tax payers who help to fund your work deserve better.


The Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club asks that you immediately cease your anti-union campaign, stop using agency funds for anti-union efforts and accept the results of the mail ballots currently being circulated.

Our club respects the crucial service that your organization provides to our city’s youth and hope that you show the workers who provide these vital services the opportunity to organize that they rightfully deserve.


Tom Temprano

President, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club


Sign the Change.org petition asking Larkin Street Youth Services to remain neutral.

Read the SF Bay Guardian article by Steve Jones about the use of LSYS funds in anti-union efforts.