Letters to the Editor
Another great Pride brunch
We're pleased to report to the community that the 17th annual Pride Brunch honoring the 2015 SF LGBT Pride Parade grand marshals and honorees raised more than $32,000 in net proceeds for Positive Resource Center.
A record attendance of 330 hosts, guests, and dignitaries enjoyed the hospitality of the Hotel Whitcomb, the lively music of the Dixieland Dykes +3 band, and hosted bars by Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and Tito's Handmade Vodka. The bustling ballroom was an explosion of color thanks to rainbow flag decor by Tom Taylor, table arrangements by CoCo Butter and Deana Dawn, the exotic centerpiece by Ixia, and an 80-foot banner from World Pride in Toronto, compliments of Randy Arnold.
Special thanks to Wells Fargo, our loyal presenting sponsor, and lead sponsors Sterling Bank and Trust, Walter Leiss, 440 Castro, Julius M. Turman, Kent M. Roger and Daniel Hancock, Google, and Kevin Shanahan and Michael Montoya.
While the event could not happen without the support of PRC staff, hosts, LGBT media, and super volunteers Ingu Yun, Karin Jaffie, Joanie Juster, Michael Daniels, China Silk and a spirited morning crew, the honorees' personal remarks are what make this annual event so special. This year's included Felicia Elizondo, Judy Dlugacz, Brian Basinger, Belo Cipriani, Julia and Sam Thoron, Tita Aida, Patrick Carney, Jerome Goldstein and Tom Taylor, Mary Midgett, Monica Helms, Harry Lit, and Kris Hayashi of the Transgender Law Center.
Finally, thanks to the many donors to the successful raffle and silent auction and the generous winners. We look forward to working with SF Pride and PRC for our 18th annual Pride Brunch in 2016.
Gary Virginia and Donna Sachet
Pope's global warming Trojan horse
When Pope Francis welcomed Governor Jerry Brown and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee last week to Vatican City for the pope's summit on the environment and climate change ["Papal opportunity awaits Mayor Lee," Editorial, July 16], the pontiff allowed Trojan horse Lee to sneak past Vatican gatekeepers.
As Kate Conger reported in "Revisionist Future" in the April 15, 2014 San Francisco Bay Guardian, Lee's office "ordered the most effective strategies for achieving clean energy goals to be removed from [San Francisco's] plan for combating climate change." Conger reported that at the direction of Roger Kim, the mayor's senior adviser on the environment, the city's Department of the Environment removed references to CleanPowerSF from the 2014 Climate Action Strategy report – likely at Lee's direction – before the report was released to the public.
In a September 30, 2013 memo to Kim, former director of the Department of Environment Melanie Nutter wrote, "At the request of the mayor's office, mention of PG&E's 100 percent Green Power Option and SFPUC's CleanPowerSF program were removed from the Energy Chapter [of the Climate Action Strategy]." Lee has long opposed CleanPowerSF to help campaign contributor PG&E, which stands to lose customers if CleanPowerSF proves successful.
Conger reported that when Lee was asked in March 2014 why reference to CleanPowerSF was removed from the report, he responded, "I don't think I have a real answer for that." When Supervisor John Avalos asked Lee to direct the Department of Environment to return CleanPowerSF to the Climate Action Strategy plan, Lee answered he could not, saying CleanPowerSF was "too problematic."
A Civil Grand Jury July 2015 report notes political discord around CleanPowerSF – discord fomented by Lee on behalf of PG&E and labor union IBEW Local 1245 representing PG&E employees – has stymied the effort for over 11 years. Local l245 is attempting to place a measure on the November 2015 ballot to prohibit the city from using words like "green" or "clean" in CleanPowerSF marketing materials.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed Resolution 0126-13 on April 24, 2013 urging the San Francisco Employees' Retirement System (SFERS) to divest from its fossil fuel investments.
Two years later, SFERS Commissioner Wendy Paskin-Jordan is widely viewed as having slowed down SFERS' divestment of fossil fuel investments. Recently, SFERS invested another $100 million in more extremely dirty fossil fuels, despite the supervisors' resolution that also directed SFERS to cease-and-desist from acquiring new fossil fuel investments.
Our mayor has repeatedly proven he prefers PG&E's dirty energy over CleanPowerSF. For that reason alone, the pope shouldn't have invited him to Vatican City.
While Governor Brown said, "We are talking about extinction," in his July 21 Vatican speech, we have Mayor Lee and union bullies quibbling over which words can be used in marketing materials, and deleting references to CleanPowerSF from the city's own climate action plan. How Orwellian is Mayor Lee, in the face of possible extinction?