As a gay man, fighting for the LGBT community is personal for Scott Wiener, including working to end HIV infections, ensuring access to HIV treatment, meeting the community's housing needs, eliminating discrimination and violence against the transgender community, and addressing the serious needs of our seniors and youth. Straight allies are so important, but we also need our own community at the table. Scott has fought for the LGBT community for 25 years and will fight hard in the State Senate for our community. Scott recently published a piece on why he cares so deeply about the LGBT community.
As a gay man who came of age during the height of the HIV crisis in the late 1980s - when there was no effective treatment for the virus, Scott understands on a very personal level why we must keep our commitment to those living with the disease and those at risk. Scott leads the charge in City Hall to backfill tens of millions in federal HIV budget cuts - cuts that would destroy San Francisco's HIV safety net. Scott helped craft and is helping implement San Francisco's innovative Getting to Zero strategy, a plan to end new HIV infections, HIV deaths, and HIV-related stigma in San Francisco. Scott recently obtained a significant budget appropriation to advance Getting to Zero. Scott also delivered more than $1 million in resources for the newly opened Castro health center for gay, bisexual, and transgender men, called Strut. In 2014, Scott announced that he uses PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a once-daily pill that reduces the risk of HIV infection by nearly 100%. Scott made this announcement in order to raise awareness and reduce stigma around this important HIV preventative. In the State Senate, Scott will work very hard to ensure that all Californians living with HIV have access to care and that those at risk for the virus have access to all prevention tools, including PrEP. Scott will take Getting to Zero statewide so we can envision an end to HIV infections throughout California.
We have a growing senior population in San Francisco, including many LGBT seniors. We do a lot of work to address the needs of seniors, but we hadn't fully analyzed the specific needs of LGBT seniors, for example, aging with HIV, being more likely to age without adult children, and experiencing discrimination in senior programs and facilities. Scott co-authored legislation to create an expert task force to study and come up with policy recommendations on how to ensure that this growing population survives and thrives. Based on the task force's recommendations, Scott authored legislation to ban discrimination against LGBT people in long-term care facilities in San Francisco and provide specific guidance on how to avoid discrimination, such as requiring that seniors be addressed using the pronoun of their choice, providing medically appropriate healthcare, and prohibiting room reassignments based on homophobia and transphobia. The legislation ensures that these facilities are sensitive to the needs of LGBT seniors and that they meet the needs of this growing population. Scott also obtained funding in the budget to address dementia and isolation among LGBT seniors.
Too many LGBT young people struggle. Many are homeless, housing-insecure, or suffer from stigma. We have a responsibility to support our youth. Scott works tirelessly to support our youth and has obtained significant budget resources to expand housing, health, and education opportunities for these young people. Every year, Scott works with our youth-serving nonprofits to determine what exactly is needed in the budget to provide help and opportunity for our at-risk youth.
To better improve city services to all members of our community, and particularly the most vulnerable, it is important to understand the population that is being served. That is why Scott authored legislation mandating city departments and city-funded nonprofits to collect voluntary information on sexual orientation and gender identity. With this data, the city will have the information necessary to improve outreach and support to our LGBT population.
Scott fights to protect and improve nightlife in San Francisco. Scott particularly fights for our LGBT nightlife spaces, which are critically important community spaces. Scott helped Heklina open Oasis nightclub and helped the owners of the Eagle get that venue open. Scott landmarked Twin Peaks Tavern, the first gay bar visible from the street. Scott recently wrote about why LGBT nightlife spaces matter, to the community and to him personally.
States that LGBT people as second class citizens should not have the privilege of doing business with the City and County of San Francisco. We should stand in solidarity with the many companies that have chosen not to do business in these states. That is why Scott authored legislation to ban the City and County of San Francisco from entering into contracts, spending money on travel, or purchasing goods from states that adopt these discriminatory laws. Economic pressure has proven to be an effective tool in driving change, and we need to act firmly to protect our community.
The transgender community has always been at the vanguard of the fight for LGBT equality and acceptance, and yet our transgender brothers and sisters are, at times, left behind, struggling with access to healthcare, housing, and employment and subject to unacceptable levels of violence. Scott fights for transgender equality and acceptance and will take that fight to the state level. Scott played a key role expanding universal healthcare access to transgender people under San Francisco's healthcare program. Scott then obtained funding to hire a surgeon to perform medically necessary transition procedures. Scott also works closely with UCSF on its innovative programs for transgender and gender-nonconformist adolescents and children and obtained funding for this work.
Scott represents the district previously represented by Harvey Milk, and Scott always keeps in mind Harvey's values and legacy. Scott authored a resolution asking the Secretary of the Navy to name a ship after Harvey, who served in the Navy. The resolution passed, with Scott's opponent voting against this important idea. Recently the Navy announced it was, indeed, naming a ship after Harvey. This decision was a major step forward for our community.
The LGBT community is significantly impacted by San Francisco's housing crisis. Scott works to help LGBT people remain stable in their housing and access affordable housing. Scott obtained funding to help educate the LGBT community about how to most effectively apply for affordable housing. Scott also authored legislation to close an egregious loophole in our rent control law that denied rent control to long-term HIV survivors with federal housing subsidies. And, he obtained funding to help long-term HIV survivors who are transitioning from private disability to social security and thus at risk of losing their housing.