News Briefs: Berkeley City College prez named to Biden panel

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday April 19, 2023
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Berkeley City College President Angélica Garcia. Photo: Courtesy Berkeley City College
Berkeley City College President Angélica Garcia. Photo: Courtesy Berkeley City College

The White House has announced that Angélica Garcia, the president of Berkeley City College, will be appointed to the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, where she will serve alongside celebrities such as Lady Gaga, George Clooney, and Kerry Washington.

President Joe Biden announced April 13 his intent to appoint the members of the committee, according to a news release from the White House.

Garcia, who identifies as pansexual and is the first Chicana to lead the East Bay community college, has a doctorate in education. She became president of the school in May 2020, as the Bay Area Reporter previously reported. The school is part of the Peralta Community College District.

The President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities was founded in 1982 by executive order to advise the president on cultural policy. In her role as a committee member, Garcia will contribute to advising Biden and the heads of U.S. cultural agencies on policy, philanthropic and private sector engagement, and other efforts to enhance federal support for the arts, humanities, and museum and library services, according to a news release.

"I am deeply honored to be included among brilliant, global-minded, and champions of the arts, humanities, museums, and libraries," Garcia stated. "Community colleges across this country are anchors of democracy that often serve as the cultural centers of diverse communities, in many cases being the only spaces where the arts, humanities, and libraries are accessible.

"I am humbled by this appointment and am eager to be both learner and teacher on the committee," she added.

A number of luminaries were appointed to the committee, including Troy Kotsur, the Oscar-winning Deaf actor who starred in "CODA;" John Batiste, the Grammy- and Oscar-winning musician who served as bandleader for "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert;" and award-winning actress Jennifer Garner. Co-chairs of the committee are Lady Gaga, who is bisexual, and Bruce Cohen, the gay award-winning producer who was nominated for a best picture Oscar for the 2008 "Milk" biopic.

Virtual meeting for Twin Peaks project

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department will have a virtual meeting on the Twin Peaks Improvement Project Tuesday, April 25, at 6 p.m. A notice in Rec and Park's newsletter stated that staff will be providing people with the latest information about the upcoming project.

The Twin Peaks Access, Roadway, and Pedestrian Walkway Improvement Project involves improving the trail system via more sustainable realignment, restoration of previously disturbed areas, installation of new steps as needed, and wayfinding signage. This is the third phase of the project; other work has been completed from 2013-2018.

To join the Zoom meeting, click here.

State Senate candidate Lisa Middleton. Photo: Courtesy the candidate  

CA Senate candidate Middleton coming to SF
Lisa Middleton, a trans woman who's running for a Southern California state Senate seat next year, will be in San Francisco Friday, April 28, for a campaign fundraiser at the home of gay BART board director Bevan Dufty.

Middleton, an elected member of the Palm Springs City Council, announced last month that she was reviving her campaign for the 19th District Senate seat, which will be open next year. She had initially launched her campaign in 2021 but redistricting changed the district number to an odd one, meaning it would be on the 2024 ballot. The district includes the LGBTQ tourist and retirement mecca of the Coachella Valley.

If elected, Middleton would be the first trans member of the state Legislature, as the Bay Area Reporter noted in a recent article. She is running against state Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa), who currently represents the 23rd Senate District.

The upcoming fundraiser will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Castro home of Dufty, a former city supervisor. "Yes, I'll be cooking," Dufty quipped in an email.

Tickets start at $100. To RSVP and receive the address, email [email protected] or [email protected]

Movie night returns to Duboce Park
Free outdoor movie night returns to Duboce Park Saturday, April 29, with "Top Gun: Maverick," starring Tom Cruise. The 2022 Oscar-winning action film is a sequel to the 1986 hit "Top Gun," with Cruise reprising his starring role as naval aviator Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell.

The movie, which was the highest grossing of 2022 and earned $1.487 billion, will screen at the park at around 8 p.m. on the upper lawn. Friends of Duboce Park will have a refreshment booth with popcorn, healthy snacks, and cocoa, a news release stated. Movie night is co-sponsored by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

The N Judah Muni line stops right at Duboce Park and there are other Muni lines within a few blocks.

For more information or to volunteer, contact [email protected] or [email protected]

BART seeks member for police panel
The regional Bay Area Rapid Transit system is seeking a member for the position on the BART Police Citizen Review Board. The person will be appointed by District 2 BART board member Mark Foley but applicants do not need to reside in his district, according to a news release. However, they must be a resident of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, or San Francisco counties, the release noted.

Members of the citizen review panel work to increase the public's confidence in BART's policing services by: reviewing, recommending, and monitoring the implementation of changes to police policies, procedures, and practices; and receiving citizen allegations of on-duty police misconduct.

The citizen panel also advises the BART board, general manager, independent police auditor, and police chief; participates in recommending appropriate disciplinary action; meets periodically with representatives of BART police associations; and participates in community outreach.

The application deadline is Thursday, June 1. For more information and to download an application click here.

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