News Briefs: Campos lands high-profile job in South Bay

  • by compiled by Cynthia Laird
  • Wednesday March 15, 2017
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Former San Francisco Supervisor David Campos has been appointed a deputy county executive for Santa Clara County.

Campos, 46, a gay man, was termed off the Board of Supervisors after serving eight years representing the Mission district. He started his new position Monday, March 13.

"David is known as a good government advocate and has a proven track record for requiring transparency and accountability for government agencies," County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith said in a news release. "He possesses the right combination of management expertise, knowledge of policy implementation, and a clear understanding of how to meet the needs of a diverse community."

Prior to serving on the Board of Supervisors, Campos was a member and vice president of the San Francisco Police Commission. He also served as general counsel for the San Francisco Unified School District and, prior to that, was a deputy city attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney's office.

"Santa Clara County and its Board of Supervisors are national and regional leaders on many critical issues and I look forward to serving the diverse communities of this great county," Campos said in a news release. "I have great respect for the excellent work Jeff Smith has done for Santa Clara County and I am honored to join his stellar team."

Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager, the only out elected LGBT official on the board, praised Campos' hiring.

"I am excited that David is joining the Santa Clara County leadership team," Yeager wrote in an email to the Bay Area Reporter. "His intimate knowledge of government operations and passionate community advocacy are incredible assets. I also applaud County Executive Jeff Smith for his continued dedication to hiring and promoting LGBTQ people to top management positions. In fact, David will be the third of five deputy county executive positions to be held by an out LGBTQ person."

In a phone interview Monday, Campos said he was "very excited" to be starting his new job and said he met with Yeager.

Asked if he might run for office in the county at some point, Campos said he was "very committed to this job" and noted that he "still lives in San Francisco" and is commuting to work.

Campos is married to Phil Hwang. His new salary will be $245,000, according to Santa Clara County officials.


Judge keeps Orlando shooter's widow in jail

A Florida judge has ruled that that the widow of Omar Mateen, the man who fatally shot 49 people and wounded 53 others at Orlando's gay Pulse nightclub last June, should remain in custody.

U.S. magistrate Donna Ryu had ruled earlier this month that Noor Salman, 30, should be released on bond, saying federal prosecutors hadn't shown sufficient evidence that she posed a serious flight risk or danger to the public.

After a hearing in federal court in Oakland, Ryu ordered that Salman should be able to stay with her uncle who lives in the East Bay city of Rodeo, California.

Salman pleaded not guilty in January to charges of aiding and abetting Mateen's support of the terrorist group ISIS and to obstruction of justice. She was arrested January 16 at her family's Rodeo home.

In his Friday, March 10 revocation of Ryu's order, U.S. District Judge Paul Byron said that Ryu "misapprehends the meaning of danger to the community by asking the government to identify a specific threat. Defendant Salman is charged with aiding and abetting a horrific terror attack."

Byron added that the charges are "supported by numerous admissions made by the defendant ... . The existence of the defendant's past involvement in a terrorist attack, even recognizing that she did not pull the trigger, poses too great of a danger to the community to warrant pretrial release. While [Ryu] found defendant Salman does not have any ties to the Islamic State and has not personally exhibited extremist views, [Ryu] minimizes the defendant's admitted knowledge of Mateen's own extremist and violent views, his preparation for the attack, and the defendant's admission that Mateen departed the family home on June 11, 2016, armed with an assault weapon and ammunition."

The former Fort Pierce, Florida resident's 29-year-old husband was killed in a shootout with police at Pulse. She faces a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted. She's currently being held without bail in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. Salman declined a visit from the Bay Area Reporter earlier this year.

Salman's attorneys had asked for her to be released on bond, saying she was a battered woman with learning disabilities who doesn't pose a danger.

Prosecutors have said Salman had been with Mateen when he went to Pulse and other sites to scout locations to attack. Salman's attorneys have said she only went as a "bystander," Byron noted, but he said that during one trip, Mateen had asked his wife, "How bad would it be if a club got attacked?"

In response to Byron's order, Charles Swift, an attorney for Salman, said in an email to the B.A.R., "Ms. Salman has pled not guilty to the charges. She persists in her claim of innocence and we are currently exploring all available legal remedies on her behalf. Until all the facts come out in trial, we urge the community to withhold judgment."


SF Pride names 3 grand marshals

With public voting ended, the organization that oversees San Francisco Pride has announced that Chris Carnes and the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus were the winners for individual and organizational grand marshal, respectively.

Additionally, the membership of the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee selected Alex U. Inn, (also known as Carmen Alex Morrison) a member of the drag king troupe Momma's Boyz, as a community grand marshal.

Carnes is a longtime LGBT activist, fundraiser, and event producer who used to serve on the board of Equality California.

Inn is an advocate for justice and equality and a Gay Games gold medal winner.

The gay men's chorus, established nearly 40 years ago, was the first choral organization to proudly proclaim its orientation in its name and is credited with helping start the LGBT choral movement.

On its Facebook page, SF Pride said that additional grand marshals and other honorees would be announced soon.


Artists can take part in 'Windows for Harvey' project

The Castro Merchants group is again planning its "Windows for Harvey" campaign to observe Harvey Milk Day, but this year it is asking artists and designers to create imaginative window displays honoring the slain San Francisco supervisor.

Brian Springfield with the merchants group, and Angie Sticher, the founder and studio manager for Spark Arts, said that interested artists are welcome to contact Castro Merchants to participate.

This year's Windows for Harvey initiative will run May 18-31 (Harvey Milk Day is May 22). Springfield said that artists can donate work they've already done or complete new work. Sticher will pair the artist with a merchant for the window display.

Last year, Springfield explained, the merchants group had posters made that businesses placed in their windows. The thought was to do something different this year, he said.

Once the window displays are up, people can stroll through the neighborhood to look at them.

Milk, the first out gay person to win elective office in San Francisco, was himself a small business owner in the Castro, having operated his camera store for many years. He was also a founder of the merchants organization, Springfield noted.

Milk was assassinated by disgruntled ex-supervisor Dan White in 1978.

Interested artists can contact Castro Merchants at [email protected] for more information.


Blade to launch LA edition

The Washington Blade has announced it will start a southern California edition next week.

Troy Masters, who had run the Pride LA gay newspaper until earlier this month, will oversee the Los Angeles Blade as publisher and editor, according to an email from Lynne Brown, publisher of the Washington Blade.

Additionally, lesbian veteran journalist Karen Ocamb will be senior contributing writer.

The paper will focus on Los Angeles and California news, politics, opinion, arts, and entertainment, the news release stated.

The first issue is due March 24; the paper will be published bi-weekly.

Both Blade publications are members of the National Gay Media Association.


Garza to moderate plenary at Greenlining summit

Queer Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza will moderate the opening plenary of the Greenlining Institute's 24th annual economic summit next month.

This year's summit theme is "Racial Justice on the Frontlines," and will take place Friday, April 14 at the Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway.

Joining Garza will be community activists and political and business leaders who will tackle issues such as gentrification, tech diversity (or the lack thereof), possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and the impending arrival of Uber in downtown Oakland.

The Greenlining Institute holds its daylong summit each year to connect, brainstorm, and strategize on important economic issues affecting communities of color. Last year's event was sold out, and a large crowd is expected this year.

Other notable speakers will include Zachary Norris, executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights; Matt Haney, San Francisco school board commissioner; Kim Carter, founder and executive director of Time for Change; and Angela Glover Blackwell, chief executive officer of PolicyLink.

Tickets range from $18-$150; all include a continental breakfast and refreshments at the networking reception. Some ticket prices include the luncheon program. For more information, visit


Seth Hemmelgarn contributed reporting.