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Political Notebook: It won't all be bad tidings in 2017, say these LGBT politicos

by Matthew S. Bajko

Jordan Gwendolyn Davis
Jordan Gwendolyn Davis  

Fearing for the worst from the Trumpocalypse? Well, there will be some bright spots in the political world during 2017, so predicts the septet of LGBT politicos who participated in the Political Notebook's annual tradition for the first column of the new year.

This mark's the 10th installment of the yearly feature, and unsurprisingly, what may come from the administration of President-elect Donald Trump was foremost in many of the respondents' minds. But a host of local issues and upcoming races for public office in two years, as there are no local elections in 2017, also caught their attention.

Looking back at the predictions for 2016, just one person saw Trump being the Republican Party's nominee, though even they thought Democrat Hillary Clinton would be taking her oath of office come January 20. Several correctly called the wins by Scott Wiener and Kamala Harris to their state and U.S. senate seats, respectively.

Check back next January to find out how foretelling this year's prognosticators turned out.


2017 predictions

I believe that in 2017, given the fact that we are having no elections, it will be gearing up for the battles in 2018. My predictions are as follows.

Conor Johnston will be appointed in the District 8 seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and Rafael Mandelman will gear up to run against him in 2018.

London Breed will be re-elected board president, and will move in a more progressive direction. Issues with single-room occupancy hotels as they relate to the transgender community may come up.

Tenants rights legislation that will be simultaneously supported by some moderates and opposed by some progressives will make the stage.

No politicians will come to Trans March.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will be pressured into actually funding free City College.

Cash bail will be eliminated, thus meaning less jail population, thus meaning more ability to plug holes in the budget. Funding for homelessness and transit will come up again, and there will be a debate about using the sales tax versus a more progressive tax to fund it.

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein will announce her retirement at the end of the term; a wildcard would be Michelle Obama running for her seat.

There will be gearing up for the even-numbered seats on the Board of Supervisors in 2018; progressives will focus on keeping District 6 in their hands and picking up both District 8 and District 10. District 2 and District 4 will remain in moderate hands, and therefore, progressives will punt on both of them.

Senator Wiener will be the one to stymie progressive change in the state Legislature, and he will be protested.

President Trump will become such a disaster that even more moderate pro-development supervisors will be turned off by gentrification of majority black or brown areas.

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) will get confrontational with Trump's Republicans and rightfully so. Congressman Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) will be louder than ever and will be one of the major voices against the Trump administration.

Calls for single-payer health care in California will heat up, eventually to end up on the ballot in 2018.

The city's progressive faction will have to reckon with certain ableist undercurrents. Most of all, there will be a lot more protests and a lot more left unity as we confront the racist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, classist and ableist men in the White House.

Jordan Gwendolyn Davis

Transgender rights activist



Troy Bodnar

At the national level, I predict that the LGBT community will realize that President-elect Trump is not the enemy and that he will continue to be our advocate. Voters who thought he would destroy this country will thank him for his policies that keep Americans employed and create more jobs here at home.

I also predict that he will not start a new world war, as many of my Democrat friends will have you believe. 2017 will also see many LGBT organizations wanting to work with Log Cabin Republicans since we are best able and prepared to work with the president-elect.

Gavin Newsom's campaign for governor will start to unravel as more qualified and honest Democrats step up to the plate. Although Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer of San Diego has stated he will complete the second term that he was easily re-elected to in June, I predict he will decide to run and will win the governorship in 2018. Mayor Faulconer is a strong ally of our community.

Troy Bodnar

President, Log Cabin Republicans of San Francisco



Nenna Joiner

Fire safety, fire department inspections, and permits will skyrocket in Oakland. Thirty-six lives were lost in the December 2 Ghost Ship fire and this unfortunate event will lead to landlords looking closer at insurance coverage of tenants and use of space. The perception of Oakland took a big hit on a national level rightfully so.

Rental affordability will be the main issue again for 2017. Oakland has yet to bring jobs to the city that can help people afford rising rental costs and/or costs associated with moving. This imbalance can be helped, but not alleviated, by the city encouraging small business development.

Opening a business can take just as much time, or less, as looking for a Job. Maybe someone wants to sell 'Music CDs.' For example, in East Oakland, the unemployment rate is rather high (+30 percent). Oakland lacks a workforce that could quickly shift to different job categories as our current situation demands.

Commercial property will have a larger role for 2017. Large-scale residential projects are urged to have commercial space thus attracting businesses that need only tenant improvements. With major construction downtown, it breaks the economic rhythm of the business. This issue could open up small live-work enclaves in Oakland to spread businesses throughout the city.

Oakland protests/riots are legendary but the riots fuck with small businesses. Even if no physical damage, interruption of foot traffic is enough to stress business.

Flipping a coin ... the Raiders will stay. Jobs are important, but seasonal jobs do not truly impact the unemployment rate in East Oakland. Balancing the needs of the community with capitalism is of importance to the future. I do believe both the capitalist interests and needs of people can be achieved.

Oakland will get its first Equinox health club.

Nenna Joiner

Oakland storeowner and Democratic Party activist



Shaun Haines

Hello 2017, you will be beautiful, full of challenges and opportunities. The adage, "what doesn't kill you will make you stronger" comes to mind. 2016 was the year of villainy, 2017 will be the year of heroines and heroes. There is a war coming and we need your super powers to protect what we hold dear. You never imagined yourself to be a hero for liberty and justice, but I guarantee that you will become one and soon.

Hillary Clinton lost the Electoral College but she won the popular vote, outstandingly. This changes the game and moves the United States closer to joining the rest of the civilized world in recognizing the leadership of women to lead us through the struggles ahead.

We may see an African-American female chair of the California Democratic Party â€" Kimberly Ellis. We may also see an African-American male chair of the Democratic National Committee â€" Keith Ellison.

California shall not secede from the union.

Future generations depend on you to do your part. You will stand for truth and help to protect our freedoms and the vulnerable. Be strong, because the lives of the innocent are in danger. Your participation, sacrifices, bravery and our ability to unite against evil are required â€" there's just too much at stake. We must win.

Progressive and moderate camps will still butt heads. However, there will be more collaboration as we join forces to ensure our survival. We will mobilize to secure our rights and privileges.

Believe me, I know you are ready to show that special power of yours. Your power to: call out injustice, volunteer to build stronger community, and donate to important causes because you understand how important those resources are to those we love. Most importantly, your power to vote and inspire others to work hard to ensure we identify new Democratic candidates we will respect and trust to lead.

We will defeat Trump and the tyranny of his Red & White Army of hate, racism, bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, and obstructionism.

Shaun Haines

Founder and President San Francisco Black Community Matters



Louise "Lou" Fischer

Happy 2017 San Francisco; Donald Trump is president. Half the country is discontented enough to believe that a clueless, tyrannical, narcissistic, reality TV demagogue is qualified to run this country.

I predict that chartered Democratic clubs' memberships will swell with people who said, "What the heck just happened?" and recognize the need to organize for civil rights and social justice.

There are no elections in San Francisco, so my predictions are nationally focused.

LGBT rights: Marriage is safe (for now) but workplace protections and anti-discrimination laws can be overturned by executive order. Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions' track record for LGBT rights makes Anita Bryant look like "just a beauty queen from Florida."

Abortion rights: Roe v. Wade does not need to be overturned to decimate abortion rights at the state level. The GOP Congress will cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood.

The environment: Farewell to Obama's legacy of combatting climate change. Trump's appointment of climate change denier Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency makes Richard Nixon (who started the EPA) look like "the environment president."

Voting rights: Sessions is not going to protect voting rights.

The economy: The GOP will pass massive tax cuts for the rich, run up the deficit, and Wall Street will go back to being unregulated and the economy will melt down. We might make it to 2018 before this happens (so start saving now).

Foreign policy: We have a secretary of state that has no idea how to do this job; there will be no foreign policy.

There is hope â€" Democrats will unite and work to elect more governors and flip a few house seats in 2018. For my final prediction for 2017, people will channel Peter Finch in "Network" and yell "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" and this will be the catalyst for change.

Louise "Lou" Fischer

Co-Chair, Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club



Valerie Cuevas

On January 20, President-elect Trump takes office and California returns to the spotlight as that most "progressive" state where we settled questions over the encompassing intent of equal protection clauses a long time ago.

Same-sex marriage? K-12 public education regardless of citizenship? Health coverage for pre-existing conditions? Yes to all!

Whether protecting the environment or banning assault weapons, Californians are well-practiced champions of meaningful progressive public policy. And despite the national election results, we are ready to lead in 2017.

No surprise then that San Francisco Board President London Breed introduced, and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed, a resolution in response to the election of Trump that reaffirms my tremendous honor and great sense of responsibility as an out, publicly-elected leader at this moment in time.

One verse of that resolution must be our North Star in 2017: "California is the sixth largest economy in the world. The Bay Area is the innovation capital of the country. We will not be bullied by threats to revoke our federal funding, nor will we sacrifice our values or members of our community for your dollar."

Look for a powerful varsity team of national, state, and local players to lead California's high-stakes dance with those who play fast and loose with the facts. From U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris holding us down in the Beltway, and Governor Jerry Brown with soon-to-be state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, plus state Senate President Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) etching "progressive" into a new version of states' rights, to gay state Senators Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Scott Wiener advancing LGBTQI issues in Sacramento and nationally, and courageous young leaders from Richmond with RYSE Executive Director Kimberly Aceves keeping us all honest to ensure the voices of our most vulnerable are heard.

Valerie Cuevas

West Contra Costa Unified School Board Member



Gary McCoy

On January 31, 1989, the Golden Gate Bridge was shut down by Stop AIDS Now or Else, with Mike Shriver and Waiyde Palmer. There was no Ryan White CARE Act, and AZT was the only approved antiretroviral drug â€" it was a very dark and desperate time.

Before that, in 1986 during the Reagan era, Terry Beswick with Citizens for Medical Justice was being arrested at the San Francisco federal building. Congress was considering mandatory HIV testing of applicants for the Peace Corps and Jobs Corps, which would disproportionately affect poor and inner-city people of color.

"We definitely lost that battle. But we had to take a stand, and who knows? Maybe it had some effect on policymakers considering even broader testing. But it had a huge effect on me," Beswick told me. "That's the way direct action protest works. You just do what you can, and if you have no voice and all you have to fight with is your body, then you put your body on the line."

Today, with the incoming Trump administration, San Franciscans will stay true to history and fight. We'll turn to Shriver, Palmer, and Beswick, along with Laura Thomas, Kate Kendell, Cecelia Chung , Lito Sandoval, and others for mentorship in 2017.

We'll see an incredible amount of community organizing in 2017 from: Thea Matthews and Queer Black Lives Matter; more local activism from folks like Shaun Osburn (who most recently crowdfunded tents for the homeless) and Jimmy Ryan (Burrito Project SF); more community organizing in the Tenderloin from residents like Curtis Bradford (Tenderloin People's Congress, and TL Votes); and increased advocacy for homeless youth from people like Zak Franet (Homeless Youth Policy and Advisory Committee).

We'll all do our part and fight like our life depends on it â€" because it likely will.

Gary McCoy

Homeless advocate and Democratic Party activist



Political Notes, the notebook's online companion, is on holiday hiatus. It will return Monday, January 9.


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Got a tip on LGBT politics? Call Matthew S. Bajko at (415) 829-8836 or e-mail mailto:.



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