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Dear San Francisco Pride Board Members,

As the co-Presidents of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, we write to express our disappointment in your recent vote to allow Facebook to sponsor and march in the San Francisco Pride parade this year.

The Harvey Milk Club and our members have been actively involved with the #MyNameIs coalition since the Facebook name change policy first went into effect last fall. There is no doubt in our mind that this policy directly discriminates against and impacts members of the LGBT and drag community, as well as survivors of violence, undocumented immigrants, teachers, doctors, and others who are transitioning identities or are in need of privacy for a myriad of social, professional, or personal reasons.

Not allowing Facebook to sponsor or march in Pride would have sent a strong message that Facebook needs to be held accountable for this discriminatory policy that promotes surveillance of bodies, gender, and individual identity and undermines the individual right to privacy. Instead, by allowing Facebook to not only march, but sponsor Pride, you are forsaking the community you seek to serve.

We are also deeply troubled to see that San Francisco Pride has chosen to allow Airbnb, a company that is contributing to San Francisco’s unaffordability crisis, to serve as a Grand Sponsor and “Alternative Accommodation Partner” for Pride in 2015. The Harvey Milk Club has fought for greater regulation of Airbnb’s practices and is concerned about the impacts that unfettered “home sharing” is having on our neighborhoods and housing costs. Given that San Francisco is a union town, with so many great union hotel options, it seems overly gratuitous to name Airbnb the official “Alternative Accommodation Partner” and also ill-considered given the current policy battles underway in San Francisco (and many other cities) to better regulate use of Airbnb.

We have real reasons to be concerned by the corporate cooptation of Pride generally, but these companies in particular are bullying and buying their way into our community’s good graces. Meanwhile, we know very well that they are not acting in our best interest. They are profiting off of our homes, our names, and our identities.

We understand that Pride requires significant funding, but we do not understand why Pride would take money from companies that are so incredibly divisive and polarizing. Would Pride have taken money from Coors in Harvey Milk's time? No, and Pride should not now sell out to companies that are doing great damage to our communities. Our dignity is not for sale. 

We acknowledge that there are challenges to organizing an event of this size and scale. There are political pressures and financial realities to contend with. However, we expect a Board that is accountable to the community that it seeks to serve and represent. That community is San Francisco and many of us would like to see greater steps taken to secure additional funding for Pride from alternative sources (e.g. the City) in order to rely less on the need for branding by large corporations.

While we are disappointed by your recent actions, we ask that you create a dialogue with us on the conditions that facilitated these decisions. The Harvey Milk Club would like to create a space for that dialogue to occur, and we call upon members of this Board to attend any of our upcoming General Membership meetings on the following dates: June 16th, July 21st, or August 18th, to speak directly with us, answer our questions, and brainstorm solutions. 

Our meetings are at 7pm at the Women’s Building in the Mission and we can add you to our agenda. We welcome you to join us and will be following up on this invitation to attend to emphasize the importance of your participation.

Thank you for the work that you have and continue to put into this event. We want a better Pride for San Francisco, and we hope to work with you to ensure a more inclusive and community focused celebration in the future.


Peter Gallotta and Laura Thomas
Co-Presidents of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club

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"The Times Of Harvey Milk" - A Special Screening To Celebrate Harvey's 85th Birthday!

WHEN: May 22nd, 2015 | VIP Reception: 6:00 | Screening & Fireside Chat: 7:00
VIP Reception & Fireside Chat featuring Rob Epstein, Tom Ammiano, Harry Britt and other special guests from the film
WHERE: The Castro Theatre
Get Your Tickets Now> 

Celebrate Harvey Milk’s 85th birthday this year at the Castro Theatre for a special one-time screening of the Oscar-winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk. Presented by the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, this anniversary event will include a special VIP reception and fireside chat with the film’s director Robert Epstein, former Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, former Supervisor Harry Britt and other special guests from the film and friends of Harvey’s.

Get Your Tickets Now> 

Premiering at the Castro Theatre in 1984, The Times of Harvey Milk chronicles the political career of Harvey Milk, San Francisco's first openly gay elected official, and his rise from a neighborhood activist to a symbol of gay political achievement, through to his assassination in November 1978.  Receiving international acclaim, awards and selection into the National Film Registry in Library of Congress, the documentary later became inspiration for Gus Van Sant’s 2008 Oscar-winning biopic, Milk.

“At first, Harvey Bernard Milk showed few signs he would make history,” narrates Harvey Fierstein in the opening of The Times of Harvey Milk. Eighty-five years later, it’s hard to conceive what LGBTQ history much less life in San Francisco would be without him. What better way to honor one of our movement’s most galvanizing figures than to spend an evening in the heart of the Castro remembering his legacy with living legends of the gay rights movement.

Join us for this special evening commemorating the Mayor of Castro Street.

Get Your Tickets Now> 


Press Release

Event Flyer

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Tech, Queers & Progressive Politics: A Panel Discussion To Disrupt The Divide

Come tech workers, come queers, come progressives, come allies, come all - it’s time to collaborate on solutions for our city’s most pressing issues! Eager to help foster a more constructive dialogue between San Francisco’s booming tech community and the city’s long-standing progressive base, the Harvey Milk Democratic Club is excited to host this important panel discussion and start the conversation about what’s been holding us up.

With a vibrant panel reflecting both the diversity of the Bay Area and tech industry, the discussion will focus on:

  • The intersection of the tech industry and the progressive community, highlighting members with shared affiliation and the organizations that marry technology & social engagement

  • Identifying how to change the communication dynamic between the communities to foster more open dialogue and collaboration

  • Strategizing how we can shift the “us vs. them” paradigm to one of shared thriving

  • Unpacking the barriers making it difficult for tech workers to engage with issues such as housing affordability, homelessness, racial justice, public transportation, and more

If you've got questions for the panelists, please email them to [email protected]. Due to time and format constraints, we can't guarantee we'll be able to field all of the questions, but we'll do our best to fit them in where we can. 


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SF Tenants Rights Fair 2015: Knowledge Is Power


San Francisco faces a new surge of evictions by landlords seeking any excuse and pretext to remove existing tenants and profit from the city’s out-of-control market rents. In response to this crisis, organizations of the San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition are joining together in an unprecedented effort to inform tenants of their rights and to support families, seniors, and working people in their attempts to keep their homes and stay in San Francisco – because if we know our rights before a crisis comes knocking, we will be better equipped to assert our rights in a time of need. Knowledge is power.

Join us for this important day of organizing and education - stay in your home!

RSVP and spread the word!

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Lexington Club Commemorative Street Plaque

We're honored to have been able to write the resolution for a Commemorative Street Plaque for the beloved Lexington Club. Thank you to our members the Lexington family for including us in the process and providing vital input. It's a bittersweet happiness, but we're excited to announce that the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the installation last week. We look forward to celebrating the legacy of the Lex on April 22 at our monthly happy hour. In the meantime, check out the resolution and feel free to share your memories of this vibrant community space on our Facebook page.

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March 2015 PAC Meeting Recommendations

The PAC voted to recommend that the Club sign on in support of the following bills:

Votes on these items will take place at our upcoming General Membership meeting on Tuesday, March 17th from 7-9pm at the Women's Building (3543 18th Street). 

To vote on these recommendations, you need to be a member in good standing. To join or renew your membership with the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, click here

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Queer #BlackLivesMatter : A Call to Action in Castro -- Saturday, Feb 28th


Come join the Castro demonstration celebrating Black History month to affirm and celebrate the lives of Black LGBTQ people. 

San Francisco's recent increase in violence against transgender women with the deaths of Anastasia and Taja de Jesus and the anti-black racism of local establishments like Toad Hall have led us to take collective action. 

We are planning for community building, music, performances, and brief community leaders' speeches. Following the celebration, we will have a moment of silence for our fallen family members as we march in solidarity down Castro street to Toad Hall to declare that all #BlackLivesMatter. Afterwards, we will continue the dialogue and community building at The Mix. 

We invite you to join a celebration! We invite you to build community! We invite you to find safe spaces for us! Help us call out Castro and celebrate black queer and trans lives in our community. #CalloutCastro #TransLivesMatter #BlackLivesMatter

During the event, we ask that you please abstain from using any and all substances. We want everyone to be present for this movement, both physically and mentally.

Darin Conley
Mahnani Clay
Shaun Haines
Thea Matthews
Kin Folkz

Organizational Partners
SPECTRUM Queer Media
Bayard Rustin Coalition 
San Francisco Black Leadership Forum 
Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club
CUAV (Community United Against Violence)
Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club 
Transgender Law Center
GLBT Historical Society
San Francisco Young Black Democrats

Important links:

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Hump Days With Harvey Happy Hour - Gangway Edition

WHAT: Humps Days With Harvey Happy Hour - Gangway Edition
WHEN: Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 | 6:30-9:30pm
WHERE: Gangway, 841 Larkin St.

Calling all queers, progressives, allies, and friends! The Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club is holding its first Hump Day with Harvey Happy Hour! In honor of this month of love and friendship, we are inviting all of the club’s friends to join us in the heart of the Tenderloin at the storied Gangway.

Come throw a few back with your favorite queer politicos and in the spirit of the season, bring a pal to join the fun! Maybe they’re new in town, maybe they want to get involved in local politics or maybe they just want to grab a beer - whatever the case, all are welcome to a cordial evening with friends and the first of many occasions to toast the 85th anniversary of the birth of our namesake himself, Harvey Milk!

Please RSVP here:

PLUS - 642 Hyde St. Fire Donation Drive
We'll also be accepting donations for the families displaced by the fire at 642 Hyde Street just a few weeks ago. Please give a helping hand and donate some cash directly to them or bring a few items to the happy hour. 

The most needed items (besides money) are:
• Housewares: cups, plates, silverware, pots and pans
• Beds/Bedding: full and queen size sheets, comforters, pillows, blankets, towels
• Toiletries: soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toilet paper, razors, tampons and pads for women
• Baby supplies: size 4 diapers, diaper cream, baby shampoo, clothing size 12 months
• Kid clothing: boys size small, medium, and large shirts/sweaters/jackets and girls size 5T shirts/sweaters/jackets/pants
• Adult clothing: size 30x30, 32x30, and 32x32 pants/jeans/pajama bottoms for men. Medium and Large shirts and sweaters for men and women
• Shoes: size 9, 9.5 Men’s, 7, 10 Women’s, 5 Boys, 4 Girls

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#BlackLivesMatter - United We Win!

A discussion about the role of the queer community in the fight for racial justice


Tuesday, January 20th
7:30pm at the Women’s Building (3543 18th Street)

“Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.  It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.” - Alicia Garza, co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter

Please join the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club for a panel discussion with some of the Black Lives Matter movement’s leaders, including co-founder, Alicia Garza;  Neva Walker - one of the #BlackFriday14; Thea Matthews – an organizer for the SF #MillionsMarch, and Trans Activist and BLM organizer, Jannetta Jones.  These powerful women are leading the charge in what is arguably the most effective, organized, impactful and galvanizing social justice movement of our time. Moderated by the Harvey Milk Club’s own Mahnani Clay, the panel will discuss the movement’s origins, goals, demands, actions and next steps with a focus on what the queer community can do to join this historic movement.
We anticipate that this discussion will be well-attended, so please RSVP on Facebook. To help us facilitate the dialogue, we are asking folks to submit questions for the panelists to [email protected] by January 19th.. There will also be time for live Q&A during the event.

Get to know the panelists:

Alicia Garza


Alicia Garza is the Special Projects Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. In 2013, Alicia co-founded #BlackLivesMatter, an online platform developed after the murder of Trayvon Martin, designed to connect people interested in learning more about and fighting back against anti-Black racism. She has been the recipient of multiple awards for her organizing work in Black and Latino communities, receiving the Local Hero award from the San Francisco Bay Guardian and the Jeanne Gauna Communicate Justice award from the Center for Media Justice in 2008. She has twice been honored by the Harvey Milk Democratic Club with the Bayard Rustin Community Activist award for her work fighting gentrification and environmental racism in San Francisco’s largest remaining Black community.


Neva Walker is a long-time youth worker, community organizer and political leader from Minneapolis who recently relocated to the Bay Area. She has organized intensively around community demands for affordable housing and opportunities for youth. At age 29, Neva was the first African American woman elected to the Minnesota Legislature in the state’s history. She ran a precedent-setting grassroots election campaign that involved young people of color at every level of leadership. She served 8 years as a legislator before stepping down to return to her organizing roots. She’s a former Board member of the Progressive States Network. Since coming to the Bay, Neva spent time supporting the Black Organizing Project at the Center for Third World Organizing, and has been organizing workers in the labor movement.


A San Francisco native, Thea Matthews is a re-entry, first generation college student at City College of San Francisco; her major is sociology. Matthews is also president of CCSF’s Black Student Union; and she is an active participant in the Black Lives Matter movement. Matthews helped organized the Millions March SF, Queers come for #Black Lives Matter, and the SF Black Lives Matter Community Building Symposium. She continuously strives for the advancement and empowerment of all Black/ African American students and marginalized communities. She envisions people of all races to gain a keen awareness on the pervasiveness of systematic racism and oppression; and with this newfound consciousness, work towards the eradication of it.



Janetta Louise Johnson isan Afro-American Transsexual from Tampa, Florida. She moved to San Francisco in 1997, where she has worked in various capacities at non-profits and social service agencies. She recently survived 3 years in federal prison and is committed to developing strategies and interventions to reduce the recidivism rate of the transgender community. Janetta’s involvement with TGI Justice dates back to 2006. She served as Interim Organizing Director in November/December ‘08, planned vibrant grassroots fundraisers, and later put her skills as a community organizer, trainer, and activist to use inside as she fiercely and tirelessly advocated for her rights as a transgender person in jail and prison.
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