Monday, July 23, 2012

Save the Eagle Tavern

Please join the Milk Club and email these supervisors and mayor.

Use our words or your own. Tell our electeds why this IS OUR SPACE!

It has recently come to our attention that a non-LGBT group of entrepreneurs has entered into a purchase agreement for the former Eagle Tavern. This comes as a shock to many in the LGBT community as there was no outreach done or notice given about this historical community space despite the fact that many LGBT San Franciscans had expressed much interest in the building’s future. Furthermore our community had previously heard that there were queer entrepreneurs in negotiation to take over this space; buyers who intended to return it to a place that would continue to serve as a center to those who previously patronized the Eagle and enjoyed it as a LGBT-friendly space.
This startling change of course has caused great concern within those of us who considered the Eagle as a haven and who still view it as a revered symbol of San Francisco’s continued struggle with the HIV/AIDS epidemic and a critical meeting site for the marginalized queer community. To our dismay, such spaces are becoming scarcer, and our marginalization is becoming more profound. The Eagle is more than a bar and a business, yet current city processes appear to regard it as just another tavern. The Eagle is hallowed ground for us, and we as stakeholders must participate in any decisions about its future through a vigorous community-wide dialogue where all voices can be heard.
We offer here several specific reasons why we consider the Eagle to be a sacred space. They are given so that you can understand and respect our alarm at these developments:

*The ashes of gay men and women who died during the AIDS epidemic are scattered there.
*The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have blessed it as hallowed queer space and have used it to veil many postulants.
*Over its 30 year history over $50 million was raised for charities, particularly HIV/AIDS organizations.
**It was a place that was accessible to the full spectrum of diversity of the LGBT community.
It was our community center.

Given the historical, cultural, and emotional significance of this site we find it just to demand a process where all members of the queer community have an opportunity to participate in decisions regarding its future. We demand that an open meeting be held at the earliest possible date and ask that our elected officials, community representatives, the general public, and all key parties be in attendance. We also believe that the Eagle must be given Historic Landmark status.
South of Market is undergoing a massive shift in its composition and it is important to allow members of the community to speak for themselves before rash decisions about its future are made. We look forward to this discussion.

Your name here! (D6 home of the Eagle) (D8) (D5 and head of committee reg. liquor license transfer) (D3 President of the BOS) (D9) (D11) (D7 on committee for liquor license transfer) (D4) (D2) (D10) (D1) (Mayor)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Gays being Gay in San Francisco

In the past 2 weeks the Gay Community and our Culture has received a sucker punch both in public and in private. 

In a lively debate about astro turf and bright lights at the Beach Chalet, Supervisor Elsburnd asked the question about the safety of children due to gay cruising in the bushes. To this police Chief Gregg Shur replied that he and his manly soccer friends are afraid to go into the bushes; all kidding aside. 

I thought this was an environmental issue being discussed but if it is really a question of getting bright lights so fags don*t cruise in the bushes, don*t bother we have Grinder for that now. As for me being a danger to children I could go into the fact that most pedophiles are straight but refrain from going there. NOT! 

In fact straight people are a generally violent lot compared to the faries and dykes I know. So look in the mirror if you wanna see who is hurting the children. Thats not my big gay culture staring back at you is it. Thats why I could care less about assimilation. I am proud of my culture. Oh and fear not she aint after no chillen! PUH leze!~

I don*t think gay men need to apologize for our behavior either. Just because straight people don*t care to have it around or understand it. It*s was through our generous persecution we ended up in the bushes in the first place.

Then the Eagle tavern liquor license debate. Now I know you can*t tell landlords and business owners what to do but I can ask Mark Rennie why he is working on a deal to oust 3 gay men in negotiations to buy the Eagle in favor of 5 straight men. Could have something to do with the Landlords broker being tied to the building housing Foreign Cinema and one of the new straight investors being part owner of Foreign Cinema. There is a connection but i just can*t quite put my penis... er um finger on it.

In his letter; that I understand was actually written by the 3 queers also having an exclusive deal with the Eagle property broker and a SOMA based liquor license as compared to the one that is on import from the Mission; Mr Rennie notes the sights importance to the Gay community and our historic ties to the space. I may be wrong but I do not think Mr Rennie is a man of the bushes so I question why he speaks for us. 

I*m worried that while we are noshing on our oven fresh pizza on the patio at the economically feasible beer bust we can remember the golden showers of yester year as commemorated by a plaque. This must be what Mr Rennie alludes to in his letter because those are the plans. The real kicker is the clever name of this enterprising group, Double Rainbow.

Personally I would rather we Queers speak for ourselves and own our own cultural institutions. It just gives it that authentic feel. 

Now I have that off my chest I am heading to the mirror to apply my Queer war paint. Lots of work to do in the city these days.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Farewell SF!

The day after Christmas I finally had the guts to leave a relationship that was becoming more verbally and physically abusive over the last two of seven years. I stayed for as long as I did because I knew if I left I would be homeless. Now I am homeless and have been at the mercy of friends for almost 6 months. That is too long.

I have been without proper medical attention for a year. I have been HIV + for 25 years. This is a problem.

I have a bird named Conrad who I need to look after. He can not become homeless. We have been together for 17 years. I have to take care of him.

These pressures added to my PTSD; (due to my relationships abusive nature); have made it impossible to continue on in this manner. I have to do something about my situation.

I am 45 years old and have found my way through a 17 year stint in SF and now just have to move on.

I have by some miracle in this very traumatic last 6 months  been able to get 2 As in college, led a very productive 5 months at the Milk Club and almost 1 year at the Entertainment Commission.
Here in the city I have been in several Pride parades and Taken Back Polk, been part of the Castro Street Fair for 6 years, been Sainted by the Sisters, swilled beer at the Eagle and any other hole that served welcoming drinks, graduated from Miss Martys School of Beauty, dragged it out from Miss Trannyshack 2004 to Charlie Horse, and run for political office. I gave you my all SF!

I love this city and it is just my nature to try really hard, but I can achieve where ever I am. Since the city of San Francisco keeps selling itself out to the highest bidder and making deals like Twitter, I dont see how a temporary fix on my housing will help in the long run. 

Am I bitter... Hell yes!
I am mad as fucking hell!
But I will get over it.

I love you SF and you had better show up for the Milk Party this Monday because I have made up my mind to leave on the 30th.
Milk Soriee will be my last big appearence and I wanna share it with you. Because I love you.
This was a great 17 years! Changed my life. 


Also looking for a farewell party/moving fundraiser at the Cinch around the 27th.

Monday, May 14, 2012

NO to 8 Washington

Dear Supervisors,

As President of the Harvey Milk Club, I write to join the growing chorus of housing and neighborhood advocates opposing the 8 Washington luxury condo project. We ask you to reject its flawed EIR and deny the precedent setting bonuses it got from Planning including a 62% increase in height, a doubling of bulk and quadrupling of parking. This might have been justified for affordable housing but these condos will sell for $2.5 to over $7.5 million each including not 1 or 2 but 7 penthouses.

This is not the kind of housing San Franciscans want or need. It is housing for the ½ of 1%. A lot of it will be second, third and fourth homes for millionaires. As you know from a recent report by your Budget Analyst, this is the one (and only) category of housing in San Francisco that is overbuilt. Why build more?

In addition to the obvious problems with this project, it would also:

• reward owners of the Golden Gateway (they own 80% of the 8 Washington site)
at the same time they’re converting many of their 1,254 rent-controlled apartments
to short-term hotel use, destroying the kind of housing we actually do need.

• allow the Port to divert $30 million of future City tax revenue to Port projects,
including giving the developer a $5 million city subsidy.

• create a 400-car underground garage for a project touted as “transit oriented”

• put 20,000 dump trucks on The Embarcadero, up to one every 2 minutes, to
remove 110,000 cubic yards of dirt to build an underground (underwater) garage.

• destroy an active recreation facility used by thousands of residents each year.

Finally, the developer wants you to believe that those who oppose this outrageous project are “just a few vocal neighbors” or “the rich fighting the very rich”. That is simply not true. I join with the SF Tenants Union, Housing Rights Committee, Senior Action Network, San Francisco Tomorrow, SF ACCE, Affordable Housing Alliance, the Golden Gateway Tenants Association, the SF Green Party, the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods and many more in opposing this ugly, needless project.

Please join us.

Anna Conda/Glendon Hyde
President of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Questions about Milk Club Party

Hello Everyone,

First off let me state for the record we talked about pricing of the party A LOT!
$40 dollars is pricey but this is a major special event and only $10 after 10! However I totally understand the perspective that $40 is a lot to ask. I am there myself.
I scrape by in this city by the skin of my teeth and sandwiches provide by my work on Monday and Tuesday. (I cant wait for them to go back to the hummus. Egg salad not so much but I eat it.)
I am really grateful that I have dedicated myself to this club because the work that is being done is going to make people stand up and take notice.
It is part of our goal to really invite expressive exciting Queers to hang out with us.
Dont get me wrong we work very hard to bring a voice that is pro nightlife, pro drug policy reform, pro housing, pro people, pro sexworker, pro worker and questions why some voices are heard more than others.
This work and being a chartered Democratic Club require that we have money  because we have programs to run.
That money goes to help people like Jamie Rafaella Wolfe run for the DCCC and offer a new trans voice to the discussion. She is someone I truly stand behind and am proud to be organizing to support her future in the discussion.
This is what I am doing and to do this work takes money. Not for an office or for pay to any one. All labor is love motivated only.
So to help get your voice we are having a swanky shin dig at $40 dollars a pop. But um like I get the messages to go to these events and this price for what you are getting is pale in comparison. NOT that I can afford it but really we tried to be at least be reasonable.

Also from 10-2 there is a 10 dollar admission and that gets you a membership to Milk for a year! Thats how we arrived at that price.
 That features Stay Gold, Hard French, Honey Sound System, Bear-z-Bub, SOME Thing- Historic, Sucker Punch, and many more.
We want you to celebrate Harvey s Birthday with us! We are trying as hard as we can to get you to be with us.

So again its $40 and up from 7-10 where we give awards to
Jose Sarria (Total radical Ass Kicking mother of all Queens honey!)-Harry Britt Life Time Achievement,
Jon Ginoli (Pansy Divison) and Lynee Breedlove (Tribe 8 and Homobiles) Hank Wilson Activist Award,
The Ducal Court of SF- Bill Kraus HIV/Aids Activism Award,
El Rio - The Community Ally Award,
Transgender Law Center - Baynard Rustin Civil RightsAward
The Cockettes - Sylvester Pride in the Arts Award

Plus tributes to our awardees with live performances by Thrill Peddlers, Doug Hilsinger, Tom Orr and surprise guests. Along with Catering to die for!
This is a multi media presentation and amazing footage will be shared. Honestly I think Nate Albee thought he was producing a SMASH episode!

So we have a great night all night lined up no matter what your price range and if not this year join us and help out next year.
I would love to let everyone in for free.... trust Charlie Horse never cost no body nothin but maybe a liver or two, but this is simply a different situation.
Trust me I HATE knowing $40 is too much for some and nothing to others. It just reminds me why I am doing this work.

Anna Conda

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Letter from Milk and Alice

Dear Mayor Lee and Board of Supervisors,

We are writing on behalf of the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club and the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club to ask you to fully fund HIV/AIDS services for San Francisco in the budget for the coming fiscal year. We ask that you find local General Fund dollars to replace the lost federal funds for San Francisco. 

As you know, the LGBT community has borne the brunt of the HIV epidemic in San Francisco since the beginning. Our two clubs have lost countless members to this disease and many of our members are currently living with HIV. Gay and bisexual men and transgender women have been particularly hard hit. This is an issue of utmost importance to us, and we ask that you prioritize filling these federal funding gaps as you put together your budget. We pledge to help you with this in any way that we can.

There are more people living with HIV in San Francisco now that at any point in the epidemic. And yet our HIV budget is shrinking. San  Francisco is facing major cuts in the federal funds that we depend on to reduce the spread of the disease and to take care of San Franciscans living with the virus. Ryan White funding has decreased over the years from $37.5 million in 2001 to $20.8 for 2012, a decrease of about 45%. This year we are facing:
·         A 20% cut, or $4.7 million reduction to the Ryan White grant for San Francisco, which would result in the loss of medical care, food, dental care, hospice care, mental health services, legal services, home health care, and other essential programs;
·         A 20% cut, or $3.1 million (the first installment of a 50% cut over five years) in HIV prevention funds from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC); and
·         The loss of $500,000 in services for young people with HIV at Larkin Street Youth Services because of a change in federal funding priorities.

If those funds are not replaced, San Francisco may see an increase in new HIV transmissions and a decrease in access to life-saving services for people living with HIV/AIDS, potentially leading to a preventable increase in deaths. We call on you to do everything you can to help avoid those outcomes. We understand that the city is facing economic challenges and that the budget is tight. If we do not replace these grants, however, we will face higher public health costs down the road: increased transmissions, expensive emergency room access and hospitalizations. It is more cost-effective to invest in prevention and care now.

Thank you for all of your work on behalf of the LGBT communities and we offer our help in building political support for a budget that replaces these funds. We look forward to working with you on this.

Martha Knutzen and Reese Aaron Isbell, Co-Chairs of the Alice B Tolkas LGBT Democratic Club.
Anna Conda/ Glendon Hyde
President, Harvey Milk Club

Friday, February 10, 2012

Now wait a minute who is stirring up hate speech?

I am using this piece in my critical writing class as an example of thinly veiled example of point of view. It is clearly the author starting this discussion in an angry and fear inducing tone. It is very right wing propaganda writing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Regulate Party Buses and Save Nightlife's Dignity

Assembly Bill 43 deals with underage drinking on party buses but not the uncontrolled drinking of "adults". It was created to memorialize a nineteen year old male who died driving home after partying on a bus all night. However underage drinking is not the only problem these buses cause. Over drinking because alcohol is unregulated on these buses is also a huge problem for our neighborhoods. Many buses travel for an hour and a half before placing visitors in our midst. Many of the problems they cause are blamed on the night clubs and has substantially ruined their reputations with neighbors. Please send Fiona Ma a message at and ask her to look into regulation of alcohol on these buses and save our neighborhoods from inappropriate behavior and help restore nightlife to better place. This bill is in the State Assembly currently waiting for a hearing in Public Safety.