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Gay homeless advocate joins Pelosi's SF office

by Sari Staver

Gary McCoy. Photo: Sari Staver
Gary McCoy. Photo: Sari Staver  

Longtime gay activist and policy analyst Gary McCoy has been named a congressional aide in the San Francisco office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D).

In a telephone interview with the Bay Area Reporter, McCoy said he'd be "handling constituent casework."

He replaces former aide Alex Lazar, a gay man who started August 9 in San Francisco Mayor London Breed's office as director of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services.

McCoy, 40, worked as an intern in Pelosi's office in 2013-2014.

A self-described "policy wonk," McCoy has been an outspoken advocate for people who are homeless and for people living with HIV. He experienced chronic homelessness for almost a decade and, at that time, also had challenging health problems with untreated HIV.

Most recently, McCoy was the policy and community affairs manager with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. Before that, he was chief of staff for former District 3 Supervisor Julie Christensen and worked as a legislative aide in the supervisor offices of both Breed, when she represented District 5, and gay state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), when he represented District 8.

McCoy also managed Wiener's supervisorial re-election campaign in 2013-2014.

Last year, McCoy was named to Governor Jerry Brown's 15-member Statewide Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council. Earlier this year he was elected president and chair of the board that oversees the Pink Triangle Park and Memorial Rose Garden, the Castro monument to LGBTs killed by the Nazis in World War II.

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