Supervisor Wiener’s Statement on U.S. Navy Decision to Name a Ship After Harvey Milk

San Francisco — (July 28, 2016) Today, news broke that the United States Navy will name a ship the USNS Harvey Milk, after the great San Francisco LGBT and civil rights leader. Supervisor Wiener released the following statement:

“This is an incredible day for the LGBT community and for our country. As a gay man and a San Franciscan, I’m incredibly proud that the Navy is honoring Harvey Milk — and the entire LGBT community — by naming a ship after him. This momentous decision sends a powerful message around the world about who we are as a country and the values we hold. When Harvey Milk served in the military, he couldn’t tell anyone who he truly was. Now our country is telling the men and women who serve, and the entire world, that we honor and support people for who they are. Harvey Milk’s strength continues to reverberate throughout our city, our country, and the world.”

Supervisor Wiener authored a resolution at the Board of Supervisors in 2012 urging the Navy to name a ship after Harvey Milk. You can read the resolution here.

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Supervisors Wiener and Avalos Come Together to Put Forward Consensus Street Measure for November Election

November ballot measure will end City program that transfers street tree responsibility and liability to private property owners, and pay for maintenance responsibility and liability for all street trees and sidewalk damaged caused by trees through budget set-aside

San Francisco — (July 26, 2016) Today Supervisors John Avalos and Scott Wiener announced an agreement to put forward a consensus street tree measure for the November election that will end the City’s street tree transfer program and guarantee funding to pay for street tree maintenance and liability. The ballot measure requires the City to assume responsibility for all street trees — including tree maintenance, sidewalk damage, and liability — and provides a long-term dedicated funding source to do so.

“I’m proud to have partnered with Supervisor Avalos to craft a smart and sustainable solution to ensure the long-term viability of our urban forest,” said Supervisor Wiener, who has been working on this issue with Friends of the Urban Forest for almost six years. “Trees are critical for our environment, health, and quality of life, but for decades San Francisco has failed in funding the basic task of maintaining our urban forest. This measure will allow us to create a vibrant and growing tree canopy for all residents. San Francisco should be the greenest city in America. Our residents deserve better and it’s time to fund our urban forest once and for all.”

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SF Supervisor Plans to Block Contracts with North Carolina Companies Amid Discriminatory Legislation

This article was first published on NBC Bay Area on July 24, 2016
By Brendan Weber

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener is setting plans in motion to ban the city's contracts with North Carolina companies amid legislation that limits protections for members of the LGBTQ community.

Via Twitter, Wiener made his announcement while simultaneously applauding a similar announcement made by the NBA earlier in the week.

The NBA said on Thursday that it would be moving the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte as a result of North Carolina's controversial civil laws.

On July 1, the state of North Carolina reassured that employees could utilize state law to sue over employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion and other factors. However, gender identity and sexual orientation were left unprotected.

Members of the LGBTQ community are also not protected from discrimination in hotels and restaurants and transgender individuals are required to use restrooms corresponding to the sex indicated on their birth certificates.


Board of Supervisors Passes Supervisor Wiener’s LGBT Data Collection Legislation to Improve Support for LGBT Community

Legislation requires that City Departments and contractors collect data on sexual orientation and gender identity to improve services and develop policies to support LGBT community

San Francisco —  (July 20, 2016) On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Supervisor Scott Wiener’s LGBT data collection legislation, which will improve support for the LGBT community. The ordinance requires City departments and contractors providing health care and social services to seek, collect, and analyze data concerning the sexual orientation and gender identity of the clients they serve. Clients have the right to not provide the data.

“For years we have heard stories about how programs and facilities could better serve our community, but so much evidence has been anecdotal,” said Supervisor Wiener, who published a piece on Huffington Post on the legislation. “This legislation will allow us to collect real data that can be analyzed to show us where our City departments and non-profits are succeeding, and where they need improvement in meeting the diverse and significant needs of the LGBT community. I want to thank my colleagues on the Board for their unanimous support of this important legislation which will truly change people’s lives.”

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Jane Kim Chooses Tents Over Housing

Kim votes against $50 million in annual funding for housing for homeless people, while at the same time insisting people have a right to live in tents on the street

San Francisco, CA - (July 20, 2016) Supervisor Jane Kim voted on Tuesday to oppose $50 million in annual funding - $1 billion over 20 years - that will create permanent housing for homeless people, as well as build additional navigation centers to get people off the streets and into services. Kim cast this vote while also taking the position that living in tents on public sidewalks should be legal. Kim has a long record opposing efforts to reduce tents on our streets.

"Protecting the right to pitch tents on public sidewalks is more important to Jane Kim than ensuring sustainable funding for new housing and navigation centers that would actually move the homeless off the street and into safe, permanent housing,” said Maggie Muir, campaign consultant to Supervisor Scott Wiener.

Kim supports the right to pitch a tent on any public sidewalk, park or plaza. She criticized the city for removing the massive tent encampment on Division Street and supports state legislation that would wipe away San Francisco's local laws against camping on sidewalks and other public spaces.

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Supervisor Wiener Calls for Hearing on Preserving LGBT Nightlife Spaces and on Status of Stalled LGBT Cultural District

With possible loss of the Stud, and other LGBT venues in SOMA at risk, Supervisor Wiener calls for renewed, strong response to ensuring these safe cultural spaces continue to exist and also calls for long-stalled SOMA LGBT Cultural District to move forward

San Francisco, CA – (July 12, 2016) Today, Supervisor Scott Wiener announced that he will hold a public hearing on how best to protect and preserve our LGBT nightlife spaces. The community recently learned that, due to a rent increase and possible site development, the Stud (at 9th and Harrison) - an iconic and beloved LGBT nightlife venue - is at risk of closure. A community effort has come together to save the Stud. Other SOMA LGBT nightlife venues are also at risk.

In addition, Supervisor Wiener will seek to push forward the long-stalled SOMA LGBT Cultural District. Despite being required as part of the Western SOMA plan in 2013, that cultural district has been delayed for years. At the hearing, the Entertainment Commission, the Planning Department, and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development will be asked to report.

Supervisor Wiener, a gay man who has frequented many of our city's LGBT nightlife venues for years, has long worked to preserve our LGBT nightlife. Supervisor Wiener authored legislation to landmark the Twin Peaks Tavern in the Castro - the first gay bar with open windows. Wiener worked closely with Heklina and her business partners to open Oasis, at 11th and Folsom, and helped the owners of the revived Eagle get their business going.

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Getting Fire Victims into Affordable Housing

This Op-Ed was first published in the San Francisco Examiner on July 11, 2016

By Scott Wiener

Tenants can be displaced by fire for days or weeks or months. Sometimes even years. Some will never be able to get back into their homes. When I first came into office in 2011, a series of arsons struck the Castro, driving dozens from their homes. We have seen fires throughout our city, with countless residents, particularly in the Mission District, being burned out of their homes.

Each time one of these fires hits, the first question we ask is whether everyone is safe. The next question is where is everyone going to sleep that night and the night after that?

When fires hit my district, we immediately work to make sure that displaced tenants know how to access the Good Samaritan Program, which I authored in 2011 after the Castro fires. The Good Samaritan Program allows property owners to rent out vacant units on a temporary basis to victims of fires and other natural disasters at a discounted rate without triggering a full tenancy. I’m proud of this legislation — which was supported by both tenant and landlord groups — but the Good Samaritan Program is about addressing those temporarily displaced by fires who need a few months, maybe more, until their homes will be repaired.

We also need more permanent solutions for the worst cases when people cannot return to their homes. That’s why I’m authoring legislation to give tenants displaced by fire preference in the affordable housing lottery.

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Supervisor Scott Wiener’s Statement on Week of Violence

By Scott Wiener

“This has been a week of profound grief and heartbreaking loss. After the events of this week, Americans across our country are feeling a sense of helplessness, of uncertainty and of fear. We must reject the easy impulses of bitterness and rancor and embrace the difficult work — but the important work, the vital work — of finding a path forward together.”

-Attorney General Loretta Lynch

. . .

I commit to being part of the solution.

This week has been a rough one and a depressing one. Just when we were coming to terms with the massacre in Orlando and moving forward to address the hate crime violence plaguing our country. Just when we thought that maybe, just maybe, we were beginning to see a small amount of progress in the relationship between police and communities of color. Just a day after we saw deescalation training in practice, when police apprehended an armed standoff suspect on Market Street without shooting anyone.

Then we saw — and I mean *saw* — the deeply disturbing and tragic video out of Louisiana. Then we saw the equally disturbing and tragic video out of Minnesota. Then we saw the disturbing and tragic events in Dallas. Then we saw other targeting of police officers in other cities. And, we continue to see the fear, anxiety, and anger that disturbing incidents like Louisiana and Minnesota trigger in communities of color.

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LGBT Nightclubs Are Sacred Spaces: Why the Stud Matters

By Scott Wiener

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(Photo: localwiki.org)

As the Pulse nightclub massacre recently reminded the world, LGBT nightclubs are, in many ways, at the heart of our community. They’re our community gathering spaces. They’re where many of us grew up, met some of our closest friends, and picked up our next boyfriend (or at least boyfriend for the night). I started sneaking into LGBT nightclubs when I was 18 years old. I can’t even imagine what coming out as a gay man would have been like without these community spaces — the places where you always knew you could go to be with your people.

We recently learned that the Stud — an iconic gay nightclub at 9th and Harrison in Western South of Market — is at major risk of shutting down due to sale of the building, a steep rent increase, and possible future development of the site. I have a personal connection to the Stud. I moved to San Francisco in 1997 and spent. more nights there than I can recall, at Trannyshack, Sugar, and other awesome parties. The grave risk to the Stud’s future is personal for a lot of us. A significant community effort has risen to save the Stud. We must join together and support this effort. These fights are hard, though winnable and well worth the effort. After all, we are talking about our community and our spaces.

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Fighting The LGBT Community’s Invisibility

This article first appeared on The Huffington Post on July 7, 2016

By Scott Wiener
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(HINDUSTAN TIMES VIA GETTY IMAGES)

In many ways, the history of the LGBT community is a history of battling invisibility. Since the dawn of time, society has tried to make us invisible. We gained strength as a community only by shedding that invisibility, coming out, and proudly saying who we are.

Sadly, as far as we have come, our battle for visibility is not over. We are fighting discriminatory policies in states all across our country, against forces that want us to disappear. We face disproportionate challenges regarding poverty, suicide, isolation, substance abuse, and violence, yet most do not know of these challenges. We are the most targeted group for hate crimes, as exemplified by the recent tragedy in Orlando, once again by someone who just wanted us to disappear.

The LGBT community’s disappearing act also plays out in the provision of the most basic services, ranging from senior long-term care facilities to meal programs to homeless facilities to employment programs. We do not even systematically collect data about how many LGBT people use these programs, so that we can understand how many LGBT people access a particular service and whether better outreach or more culturally competent service is needed. Over and over again, we hear stories from members of our community about how a particular program or facilities just wasn’t targeted to the needs of LGBT people.

To address this challenge, I introduced legislation, which is currently working its way through the legislative process, to collect this very data. The legislation requires that our city agencies and city-contracted nonprofits collect data regarding the sexual orientation and gender identity of the people they serve. The legislation does not require an individual to submit the data, but service providers must ask the question and collect any data provided.

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