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Farrell boots Katz from SF Port Commission

by Cynthia Laird

Port Commissioner Leslie Katz. Photo: Rick Gerharter
Port Commissioner Leslie Katz. Photo: Rick Gerharter  

Mayor Mark Farrell has not reappointed Leslie Katz, the San Francisco Port Commission's only LGBT member.

"Leslie was a dedicated and valued member of the Port Commission and we appreciate all her commitment to public service and the City of San Francisco," Farrell said in a statement Thursday night.

Katz, who called the Bay Area Reporter Thursday (April 5), was one of the very few out lesbian port commissioners in the state. She and gay Oakland Port Commissioner Michael Colbruno founded an affinity group for LGBT port commissioners and high level managers several years ago.

"I'm one of the very few LGBT port commissioners in the state," Katz told the Bay Area Reporter.

"I'm surprised," gay District 8 Supervisor Jeff Sheehy told the B.A.R. late Thursday afternoon. "I think Leslie absolutely deserves to be reappointed and I'm surprised she wasn't renominated. She's been a leader in our community for 30 years."

The mayor nominates commissioners, who then must be approved by the Board of Supervisors.The B.A.R. has learned that Farrell nominated Gail Gilman to Katz's seat.

Katz said that she was looking forward to continuing to serve on the commission, and mentioned the work she hoped to keep doing on the affinity group, as well as other projects the port is involved in.

Katz had served on the commission for seven years. Her term ends in May.

Sheehy recalled that Katz, a former San Francisco supervisor, was instrumental in the city passing its landmark equal benefits ordinance back in the 1990s.

"We couldn't have done it without her," he said.

[This story has been updated.]

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