News Briefs: Woods to speak on anti-LGBTQ legislative assault

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday August 9, 2023
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Trans health leader Tiffany Woods. Photo: Courtesy Tiffany Woods
Trans health leader Tiffany Woods. Photo: Courtesy Tiffany Woods

Tiffany Woods, a trans woman and chair emeritus of the California Democratic Party's LGBTQ Caucus, will speak at the Commonwealth Club on the current legislative assault on LGBTQ+ Americans. The in-person program takes place Monday, August 14, at 5:30 p.m. at the club's offices, 110 The Embarcadero in San Francisco.

Woods, who is state transgender health manager for the California Office of AIDS prevention branch for the state public health department, is a former Bay Area resident who for many years organized the Transgender Day of Remembrance in the East Bay.

According to a program description, Woods, who is a mom, will speak about the unprecedented number of anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ+ bills being presented in state legislatures across the country, and why it's important that people stand up and fight for trans, nonbinary, and LGBTQ+ people. According to national LGBTQ and civil rights organizations, in 2023, more than 500 anti-trans bills have been introduced in 36 states across the country, rolling back decades of progress on trans rights fueled by transphobia, deliberate misinformation, discrimination, and misplaced fear under the false guise of "protecting children, girls and women."

These bills by GOP lawmakers across the country have been focused on prohibiting trans health care for youth, and at least 10 states have already passed such bans. Proposed bills range from gender-affirming care bans, bans on transgender youth participating in sports, bills that bar trans people from using bathrooms that correspond to their gender, and LGBTQ school censorship on what schools can say about LGBTQ people, to drag bans and bans on name and pronoun changes on government-issued documents.

The cost for the program is $10 for club members, $20 for non-members, and free for Leadership Circle members and for students with valid ID.

For tickets and more information, click here.

Oaklanders asked to take survey

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao is asking city residents to take an online survey dubbed Talking Transitions that will be used to gather insights that will help shape the agenda of her administration and the future of the city. The survey focuses on three areas: housing, community safety, and economic development.

A news release stated that as part of the effort and to encourage the next generation of civil servants and community organizers, the city is employing Youth Data Fellows, ages 16 through 24, to help spread the word about the survey and drive responses in underrepresented communities.

"I am proud to lead a city that has a powerful tradition of engagement — we speak truth to power in The Town," Thao stated. "I want to take that energy and local knowledge and put it into an all-hands-on-deck initiative to create a collective agenda for Oakland. I also recognize that many voices have still not been heard. This is why a big part of Talking Transitions involves engaging young Oaklanders as we launch this solutions-based survey — empowering our next generation to be engaged in developing a relationship with their community and building their advocacy muscle."

In addition to the survey, city leaders invite residents to a series of Town Talks public forums. The events are scheduled for three Saturdays on September 9, 16, and 23. Attendees will be able to meet government officials, learn how city government works, and share experiences and ideas to make Oakland better for all, the release stated. Locations and times will be posted closer to the dates.

To take the survey, which is offered in multiple languages, and for information on the forums, click here.

Bark in the Park at the Presidio

The Guardsmen, a group of young professionals that raises funds for scholarships and other programs for at-risk youth, will host Bark in the Park, Saturday, August 19, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Presidio's Civil War Parade Ground in San Francisco.

The dog-friendly event will feature dog shows and competitions, games, and vendors with the latest in pet accessories. There will also be food and beverage trucks offering human treats as well as local brews and cocktails. IDs are required for VIP tickets as well as drink passes.

Tickets are $35 general admission or $115 for VIPs. General admission includes a person and a pooch plus two drink tickets. All proceeds benefit The Guardsmen. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

EQCA to hold advocacy day

Equality California, the statewide LGBTQ rights organization, will hold an in-person advocacy day in Sacramento Tuesday, August 29. It will be the first time the group has returned to the state Capitol since the COVID pandemic upended in-person events in 2020.

"We'll be advocating to preserve access to gender-affirming care, increase safety and support for LGBTQ+ students in schools, reduce health care inequities, and more," Craig Pulsipher, EQCA's legislative director, stated in a note to supporters. "Participants will receive advocacy training on LGBTQ+ legislative priorities and have an opportunity to meet with California legislators and their staff."

As the Bay Area Reporter has been reporting, conservative school districts in Southern California have recently taken action against LGBTQ students. The school board in Temecula voted against an inclusive textbook while the school board in Chino Valley adopted a policy that would require the forced outing of trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming students to their parents without their consent. State leaders, including Governor Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Rob Bonta, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond have all condemned the actions. Bonta has launched an investigation into the Chino Valley school board. Newsom has said the state will purchase textbooks for students in the Temecula district that meet state standards on inclusivity and other matters. Bonta and Thurmond support that effort.

Those wishing to participate in EQCA's advocacy day need to provide their own transportation to Sacramento. EQCA stated it has some limited travel assistance available via reimbursement. For more information and to register, click here.

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