News Briefs: Engardio to spotlight Sunset district during APEC

  • by Cynthia Laird, News Editor
  • Wednesday November 8, 2023
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San Francisco Supervisor Joel Engardio. Photo: Courtesy Joel Engardio
San Francisco Supervisor Joel Engardio. Photo: Courtesy Joel Engardio

Gay District 4 Supervisor Joel Engardio will be highlighting the Sunset district during next week's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, conference in San Francisco. APEC is an inter-governmental forum of 21 member economies in the Pacific Rim that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region, according to its website.

World leaders, including President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, will be attending the conference at Moscone Center. Hundreds of delegates from the member countries will also descend on the city, which is hosting its biggest global event since 1945, according to media reports.

Engardio, who has been promoting positive things in his Sunset-based district since taking office in January, will host "Summit to the Sea," an oceanside bike ride, happy hour, and sunset viewing that will take place Friday, November 17.

"With world leaders coming to our city, let's show the international media we're more joy than doom loop," Engardio wrote in his district newsletter, referring to the many media accounts of how San Francisco is experiencing empty real estate in its downtown area and the closings of various businesses, leading to what outlets have referred to as a doom loop.

The afternoon starts at 3 p.m. with a bike ride from Golden Gate Park's Conservatory of Flowers to the ocean at Great Highway and Judah Street. That will be followed by happy hour at 4 with live music and food from local restaurants at that intersection. The sunset viewing will take place at 5. People who cannot go on the bike ride are welcome to attend the happy hour, the newsletter noted.

"All APEC delegates and staff are invited to close out a long week of meetings with a 'Summit to the Sea,'" Engardio stated. "The public is invited, too."

Engardio added that he came up with the idea after his successful night market that was held in the Sunset in September. The event is co-sponsored by Friends of Great Highway Park, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, Lyft, Bay Wheels, and Avenue Greenlight. Gay state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and District 7 Supervisor Myrna Melgar are also co-sponsors.

To RSVP, click here.

Butch Voices closes up shop

Butch Voices, a grassroots organization dedicated to self-identified masculine-of-center people and allies, has announced it is shutting down. The organization was known for holding regional conferences since its founding in the fall of 2008. Its first conference was held in Oakland a year later, Joe LeBlanc, the founder and board chair of the group, and the board stated in an email announcement.

"We are making an intentional decision to close things out to honor and celebrate all that we have done together with Butch Voices," LeBlanc and the board stated. "The work that it takes to create and foster spaces that center folks of color and be trans inclusive since day one has been an incredible joy and also comes at a cost to many of the incredibly talented and giving folks who have led and been a part of this organization.

"The burnout is real, and we encourage everyone to take rest and step back when that time is needed for ourselves. This is that time for Butch Voices," the board added.

The board noted that Butch Voices was an all-volunteer organization.

"We are so grateful to everyone who has donated time, energy, and resources to enable us to go beyond those butch nods together," the board stated. "Using our voices to dig in on issues that impact us daily in a society that often doesn't understand us, mocks us, and doesn't want us to exist. The violence we often face for trying to use a restroom, having the proper language used for how we identify, or to just simply be who we are, continues to this day. Connecting folks to resources and each other has been key to making change happen wherever we could."

The board encouraged supporters to continue letting their voices be heard.

Oakland LGBTQ bar observes trans month

Transgender Awareness Month will be observed Thursday, November 9, at the Port Bar in Oakland, as the East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club holds its annual fundraiser to benefit local organizations' trans programs. The evening will see local elected officials tend bar at the Port, co-owned by gay men Sean Sullivan and Richard Fuentes. The fun takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. at 2023 Broadway.

Benefiting nonprofits are Parivar Bay Area, the country's only trans-led, trans-South Asian organization; the LGBT Asylum Project; and El/La Para TransLatinas.

People can register at

HIV confab content now online

The International AIDS Society has announced that content from the 12th IAS Conference on HIV Science is now available online at no cost. The conference was held in Brisbane, Australia, in July.

An email announcement stated that anyone can now view more than 100 sessions, as well as 1,400 abstracts and e-posters, from IAS 2023. Sessions are also translated into five languages: Arabic, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

To view the content, click here.

BART general manager Bob Powers will conduct listening tours at several BART stations in the coming weeks. Photo: Courtesy BART  

BART GM, police chief to hold listening tours
Bob Powers, general manager of the BART regional transit agency, and new BART police Chief Kevin Franklin will hold listening sessions at several BART stations in the coming weeks. The sessions are to elicit feedback from patrons on BART's new Safe and Clean plan that was rolled out in September when the agency unveiled its new train schedule that reconfigured train lengths to provide shorter wait times.

BART police officers are riding more trains, and BART has doubled police presence in the system, according to the plan. A progressive policing approach utilizes crisis intervention specialists, ambassadors, fare inspectors and additional patrols with experts in de-escalation.

The agency noted that trains are safer, in part, because they are shorter and there are 4,000 cameras in the system to minimize response time and hold suspects accountable, the plan stated. LED lighting has been installed on platforms and in parking facilities to eliminate dark corners, and BART personnel conduct welfare checks for the unhoused and to enforce drug use and no smoking policies.

Under the plan, BART is also working to keep the trains cleaner.

BART has been working to get ridership back to levels seen prior to the COVID pandemic.

"So much has changed at BART since the pandemic and we have doubled down on our commitment to safety, cleanliness, and reliability improvements," Powers stated.

Station visits with Powers and Franklin are scheduled this month as follows: Monday, November 13, from 5 to 6 p.m. at Embarcadero; Tuesday, November 14, from 7:15 to 8:15 a.m. at Pleasant Hill; Wednesday, November 29, from 7 to 8 a.m. at Antioch; and Thursday, November 30, from 7 to 8 a.m. at Dublin. Next month their meetings will be on Sunday, December 3, from noon to 1 p.m. at Civic Center; Wednesday, December 6, from 7:15 to 8:15 a.m. at Fremont; and Wednesday, December 13, from 7:15 to 8:15 a.m. at El Cerrito del Norte.

Powers and Franklin will be on the station platforms to talk to riders while they wait for trains. BART noted the schedule is subject to change and will be updated online. For more information, go to

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