Letters to the editor

  • by BAR staff
  • Wednesday May 2, 2018
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Letters to the editor

Leno attack rooted in untruths

The attacks levied by Debra Walker and Roma Guy against gay former state senator and mayoral candidate Mark Leno in last week's letters to the editor [April 26] were the most dangerous of attacks: those rooted in deception and untruths.

Throughout Leno's two decades in public service, he has stood with women and families. Leno authored legislation making California the first state in the nation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, giving 5.6 million workers a raise and lifting over 2 million Californians out of poverty. Given that women workers make up over 50 percent of minimum wage earners yet less than half of the U.S. workforce, this hard-fought win for California especially impacted women and their families.

When domestic violence survivors came to Leno seeking his support, Leno authored legislation allowing survivors safe exits from their homes by breaking their residential leases. And when Leno authored the bill that removed from all state statutes the term "Battered Women's Syndrome" and replaced it with "Intimate Partner Battering," he joined hands with women in affirming our belief that how we describe a crime of violence should not further victimize the survivors.

To claim that Leno's "history with women" is anything but one of committed allyship that translated into significant public policy is to overlook some of his greatest accomplishments as a public servant, in the interest of furthering a false narrative about one of California's greatest champions for all those without a voice.

As queer people of color, let us be clear: Leno has heard us and stood with us time after time. There could be no stronger voice in City Hall leading fearlessly on the issues impacting us all than Leno.

San Franciscans, join us by voting Leno for mayor.

Honey Mahogany, Harvey Milk Club Co-President

Carolina Morales, Harvey Milk Club Co-President

San Francisco

Bathroom signage

Gwendolyn Ann Smith's Transmissions column April 12 ["Here's your (bathroom) sign,"] opens more discussion on the topic of signage.

As a sometimes cross-gendered female, I, too, have heard the hollering in the restroom, apparently caused by my presence. Fortunately, women in general have broadened their expectation of who we are and what we do in more recent years so things are more comfortable. And newer, gender-neutral one-holers are efficient and comfortable for most people, I think. Multi-stall public bathrooms becoming "all-gender" are apparently comfortable for some people, too. But many women (trans, intersex, and non-transsexual, puleese) prefer to avoid the messes they are finding, or the sight of organs once used as weapons to abuse them, or the loss of the camaraderie, and sense of safety and modesty they are used to finding in the women's room. Some public places like the de Young Museum have shifted signage in response to the diminished usage of the all-gender main restrooms that have the urinals.

I happened to visit the San Francisco LGBT Community Center during the midst of the #MeToo movement, enjoyed one of the all-gender bathrooms, and asked as I was leaving if there was a women's restroom. No, none in a building of four floors. I could only find myself saying, "That's unfortunate," to the somewhat stunned people attending the counter. And it is.

Marie Kochaver

Richmond, California

Prop I proponent responds

In response to "Prop I not an easy sell in SF" [April 26], I must first disclose, I am the proponent and author of SF ballot measure Proposition I, "Relocation of Professional Sports Teams."

Prop I is an easy sell in San Francisco. It was so easy to collect, on average, 2,000 signatures (500 on average were tossed out for noncompliance) a week for 10 weeks to qualify the measure for this June's election. But don't just take my word, please read the 500-word measure in the voter pamphlet, which will soon be mailed.

In reporting, the article points to the fact that more than 14,000 signatures of registered voters of San Francisco agreed with my position that we might owe our neighbor an apology. The article also points out that 30 top San Francisco Democrats on the Democratic County Central Committee voted to recommend a no vote. San Francisco Democratic Party Chair David Campos said they did not understand the measure.

I must take Campos at his word but, what was not asked: what is not to understand about taking from someone else when we have so much more already? San Francisco has a $10 billion annual tourism industry compared to Oakland's $800 million annual tourism industry. Or, what is not to understand about opposing sports teams (Warriors and Raiders) that are trying to walk out on more than $100 million combined public debt? Or, would you like an 18,000-seat arena right across the street from your neighborhood hospital?

I must also state, along with the 14,766 actual signatures of support, I do have support from the San Francisco League of Pissed off Voters and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. In addition, over 20 noted UCSF faculty and health researchers signed a letter to the late Mayor Ed Lee, resolute against the project.

Finally, the motto for the organization that was formed for Prop I is, "A world-class city helps its neighbors; it does not help itself to its neighbor's jewels." If you agree, Prop I is an easy sell to SF. If not, the term, willingly ignorant, better describes Campos and the SF DCCC vote against it.

Allen Jones

San Francisco