News Briefs: Openhouse to honor Achtenberg, Brown

  • by compiled by Cynthia Laird
  • Wednesday April 10, 2013
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The LGBT senior agency Openhouse will honor former San Francisco Supervisor Roberta Achtenberg and former Mayor Willie Brown at its ninth annual Spring Fling Sunday, April 21 at 11 a.m. at the Four Seasons Hotel, 757 Market Street, San Francisco.

An out lesbian, Achtenberg, 62, was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1990. She resigned in 1993 to take a position in the Clinton administration. She left that post in 1995 and ran unsuccessfully for mayor. Currently, she serves as a trustee for the California State University system. In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed her to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She will be honored with the Adelman-Gurevitch Founders Award.

Brown, 79, is a straight ally who served for decades in the state Assembly, including 14 as the powerful speaker. One of his legislative hallmarks was his 1975 bill to repeal state sodomy laws. With the advent of term limits, Brown left the Assembly in 1995 and ran for San Francisco mayor, defeating Achtenberg. Last year Brown served as Lifetime Achievement grand marshal of the LGBT Pride Parade. He will be honored with Openhouse's Trailblazer Award.

Openhouse is currently working on plans for its affordable housing project at 55 Laguna Street. It also offers programs for LGBT seniors at the LGBT Community Center and other locations. The upcoming benefit, themed Sparkle, is its annual fundraiser and includes a champagne reception and brunch.

Tickets are $175 and available online at


Shanti speakeasy party benefits breast cancer program

Shanti will pull out all the stops this weekend when it holds a speakeasy cocktail celebration and fundraiser for its breast cancer program. Guests will be transported back to the 1920s at San Francisco's historic Old Mint building, 88 5th Street, Saturday, April 13 from 3 to 6 p.m.

Bay Area Reporter society columnist Donna Sachet will emcee the afternoon festivities and Shanti will honor Dr. Judith Lice, director of oncology services at San Francisco General Hospital.

In addition to drinks and light appetizers, there will be a silent auction featuring such items as an Oahu vacation package, Sonoma getaway, and lower box seats to a San Francisco Giants game.

Shanti's breast cancer program provides critical one-on-one services to over 450 of the city's most vulnerable residents diagnosed with the disease. It primarily targets low-income and uninsured women.

Tickets to Saturday's speakeasy are $125 and can be purchased online at


Youth sought for advisory board seats

The San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Families is seeking applicants for the advisory board of its Youth Empowerment Fund.

The advisory board is made up of eight to 12 outstanding youth leaders between the ages of 15-20. Members hail from communities throughout San Francisco and provide leadership and oversight to the fund, which works closely with the Youth Commission and other youth organizations. Youth selected to the advisory board will begin their terms in August.

In addition to the age requirements, applicants must live in San Francisco, have a 2.5 cumulative GPA or higher, be committed to making a positive change for the youth in San Francisco, and be willing to work with youth and adults from diverse backgrounds.

The time commitment is up to five hours per week; weekly meetings are on Wednesdays. Responsibilities include making decisions on how to fund and support youth-led projects, facilitating workshops and trainings, and learning about youth programs and community organizations in the city.

Advisory board members also receive a stipend of up to $2,000 per year.

For more information and to download an application, visit The deadline is Thursday, April 25.


Panel on global gay issues

The Global Forum on MSM and HIV will host a panel discussion entitled "Global Health and Human Rights of Gay Men" Wednesday, April 17 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street.

The organization noted that recent research has estimated that HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men is as high as 18 percent in sub-Saharan Africa, 15 percent in Latin America, 15 percent in South Asia, and 25 percent in the Caribbean. Forum leaders said that the high HIV rates are driven by increased stigma, discrimination, and violence facing gay men and other MSM.

"We hope this series of events will provide a broader perspective on the current status of gay health and human rights globally, creating important linkages between activists working on these issues in the Bay Area and abroad," said Executive Director George Ayala, Phys.D, in a statement.

The Global Forum is also holding an open house with keynote remarks by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) Friday, April 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. at its headquarters, 436 14th Street, Suite 1500, in Oakland.

For more information on the panel, visit For information on the open house, visit


White House announces Milk Champions of Change

The White House has announced that nominations are now open for Harvey Milk Champions of Change, a program that will recognize a group of outstanding LGBT state and local elected and appointed officials. Established in 2011, the Champions of Change program regularly spotlights ordinary citizens who are doing extraordinary things.

Members of the public are invited to nominate candidates for consideration. Nominees should be LGBT individuals who have been elected or appointed to state or local office, and who have demonstrated a strong commitment to public service. In the spirit of the program, the White House is looking for those leaders whose contributions have gone unrecognized.

Milk was the first openly gay person elected to office in San Francisco, when he won a seat on the Board of Supervisors. He was murdered, along with Mayor George Moscone, in November 1978 by disgruntled ex-Supervisor Dan White.

To nominate a Champion of Change, visit (Under "Theme of Service, select Harvey Milk Champions of Change.) The deadline is Friday, April 19.