Alice Club likely
to snub Olague forBreed
by Matthew S. Bajko
Already facing detractors among the city's progressive political camp, bisexual District 5 Supervisor Christina Olague now has to fight for support from moderates.
Olague is likely to see the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, the more moderate of the city's two main gay political clubs, snub her in the race. The group's political action committee has recommended that Alice give a sole endorsement in the District 5 race to London Breed , executive director of the African American Art and Culture Complex.
Alice members will vote Monday, August 27 to finalize the club's endorsement slate. It is rare for the PAC recommendations, which need to meet a 60 percent majority vote threshold for approval, to be rejected by the full club.
Alice co-chair Reese Aaron Isbell class=st> told the Bay Area Reporter Breed's pick shouldn't be a surprise as she has built up strong ties with Alice members over the years. The club held its mayoral debate last year at the complex that Breed runs.
"We have had a great relationship with her for years," said Isbell, noting that Breed received more than 66 percent of the vote, the threshold needed to secure a sole endorsement.
He painted the PAC's decision less as a statement about Olague's time in office and more having to do with her lack of relationships with Alice members.
"When Supervisor Olague was appointed, our club didn't really know her that well," he said. "It is not really like a rejection. It is more of positive support for London because we love her."
The Alice vote comes after gay state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) announced his backing of a second opponent against Olague. He has now endorsed both John Rizzo, City College Board of Trustees president, and Julian Davis, president of the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center, in the race for the D5 seat.
In an email sent August 20 by Davis's campaign to announce Ammiano's endorsement, the state lawmaker is quoted as saying, "Julian represents a new generation of progressive leadership that San Francisco desperately needs. He shares my values of justice and equality. I know we can count on him in City Hall."
The one consolation for Olague is her chances of landing the endorsement of the progressive Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club seem to have improved following the club's forum with D5 candidates it held Tuesday, August 14. She received the largest round of applause from the audience that night during the closing statements.
The Milk Club will vote on its endorsements in mid-September.
Mayor Ed Lee appointed Olague, formerly president of the Planning Commission, to fill the vacancy created when Ross Mirkarimi resigned to become San Francisco sheriff. (He is fighting his suspension from the post by Lee after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor stemming from an altercation with his wife. The matter is set to go before the Board of Supervisors following the Ethics Commission's recent vote to uphold Lee's decision.)
But Olague's ties to the moderate mayor failed to help her secure the endorsement of the city's Democratic Party. As the B.A.R. 's Political Notes online column from Monday noted, none of the eight people seeking the Haight and Western Addition centered seat could muster up enough votes to secure the support of the Democratic County Central Committee.
Despite the makeup of the DCCC moving more to the city's political middle following the June election, it wasn't enough to help Olague beat back efforts by several of her higher profile opponents to see that the party's endorsement be withheld in the race. She was the only incumbent not to secure the party's endorsement.
Olague could now have the distinction of being the sole out candidate on the fall ballot not to secure an Alice nod. But she may not be the only incumbent supervisor to be snubbed by the group.
The PAC went with David E. Lee, executive director of the Chinese American Voter Education Committee, over District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar.
Gay BART board member Tom Radulovich and gay District 9 Supervisor David Campos, running unopposed, won the PAC's blessing, as did the city's other BART board member, Lynette Sweet .
District 3 Supervisor David Chiu , the board president, and District 11 Supervisor John Avalos, also running unopposed, secured nods from the Alice PAC.
Joel Engardio, a gay journalist seeking the open District 7 supervisor seat in the neighborhoods west of Twin Peaks, landed in the third place slot in his race. Voters can pick up to three candidates in supervisor races, and the Alice PAC chose Port Commissioner Francis Xavier "F.X. " Crowley for first place and Board of Appeals President Michael Garcia for second place.
Gay attorney Rafael Mandelman was among the three people the Alice PAC tipped its hat to in the race for four seats on the community college board. Amy Bacharach and incumbent Natalie Berg rounded out the list. Incumbents Steve Ngo and Chris Jackson failed to make the cut.
In the race for four seats on the school board, the Alice PAC went with the three incumbents seeking re-election: Sandra Fewer , Rachel Norton and Jill Wynns. There are no out candidates in that race, in which four seats are at stake.
East Bay LGBT Dem club announces endorsements, awardees
The East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club announced last week that it had voted to give early endorsements to six of 10 openly LGBT people running for East Bay political offices this fall.
In order to secure Stonewall's backing, candidates needed to receive 60 percent from the voting membership. Incumbents Oakland City Council at-large member Rebecca Kaplan and District 2 Berkeley City Councilman Darryl Moore both won the club's endorsement, as did Berkeley City Councilman Kriss Worthington in his bid to be mayor of his hometown.
Newcomers Richard Fuentes, running for the District 3 seat on the Oakland School Board, BART board candidate Rebecca Saltzman, and Judy Appel, seeking a seat on the Berkeley School Board, were all endorsed by Stonewall.
"This is an impressive slate of candidates by any standard," stated Stonewall PAC Co-Chair Michael Colbruno . "All of these candidates have a broad range of expertise on a variety of issues, as well as a proven track record as successful advocates and campaigners. If this is what the future of California politics looks like, then the future looks bright."
The other out candidates will have a second shot at landing the club's support next month. Stonewall members will reconsider the club's slate of endorsed candidates at their September 19 meeting.
The remaining out candidates are Sean Sullivan and Alex Miller-Cole , who are both running for the District 3 seat on the Oakland City Council; Dollene Jones, running for the A.C. Transit Board's at-large seat; and Dmitri Belser, seeking the Berkeley City Council's District 3 seat.
In other club news, Stonewall leaders announced they are honoring 18 individuals with Trailblazer Awards next month as they mark the group's 30th anniversary this year.
The list of honorees include lesbian former San Francisco state Senator Carole Migden; artist Kim Anno; James Chambers and Eric Hsu, two of the club's original founders; musician Mary Watkins ; and Rabbi Reuben Zellman of Congregation Beth El in Berkeley.
The awards ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday, September 9 at the Ed Roberts Campus, 3075 Adeline Street near the Ashby BART station. Tickets for individuals cost $50.
To buy tickets and see the full list of awardees, visit http://www.eastbaystonewalldemocrats.com.
Harris headed to Charlotte
So far the Democratic National Convention speaker lineup is void of any LGBT people, but a host of straight allies will be addressing attendees of the quadrennial confab set to take place September 4-6 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
This week California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris , a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage, was added to the list. The former district attorney for San Francisco, Harris was an early backer of President Barack Obama four years ago.
Her selection ratcheted up speculation that the UC Hastings School of Law-educated litigator could be headed to a high level post in D.C. if Obama is elected to a second term.
"I wouldn't be surprised if she is named the next attorney general," said Wayne Friday, the B.A.R.'s former political editor.
To learn more about the convention, visit http://www.demconvention.com.
Web Extra: For more queer political news, be sure to check http://www.ebar.com Monday mornings at noon for Political Notes, the notebook's online companion. This week's column details the fall candidates the SF Democratic Party endorsed and snubbed.
Keep abreast of the latest LGBT political news by following the Political Notebook on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/politicalnotes.
Got a tip on LGBT politics? Call Matthew S. Bajko at (415) 861-5019 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.