Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sean Strub, Poz Mag Founder, Donates to #VotePetrelis
By Michael Petrelis

My friend Sean Strub published a memoir this year entitled "Body Counts" and he graciously mentioned my unique brand of HIV advocacy on the first page, which was an 
honor to be included in his personal history book.

Sean has spent decades advocating for the rights of LGBT folks and people living with AIDS, and many know him as the founder of Poz magazine. We met back during the dark plague years when we both were members of ACT UP/New York.

Today he made a generous contribution to our DIY Democracy campaign of $100, as a show of support for me individually and the ideal of more HIV positive people running for elective office.

It's my hope that you'll be inspired by his donation and today make a contribution to my campaign for District 8 Supervisor. All the info you need to do this is in the About box on the left of this Facebook page.

There are only three weeks left until Election Day and a donation of any amount from $5 to the maximum allowed of $500, would go a long way toward assisting me in garnering votes. Please give today.

And thank you, Sean, for the monetary support and friendship!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

12 Reasons to #VotePetrelis
By Todd Swindell and Michael Petrelis

A District 8 voter asked recently us why he should vote for Michael, now that he's received his vote-by-mail ballot and wants to send it back to the Department of Elections.

We reeled off several reasons he should use his first ranked-choice vote for us, starting with he's not pleased with the politics of the incumbent Supervisor.

Then we provided him with a few accomplishments we brought about this year that he should consider as cause to vote for us:

1. Persuaded the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to repaint white bike lane stripes protecting riders near the dangerous Market and Octavia Street intersection at the ramp to the highway. The repainting was done in August.

2. Succeeded in getting the Department of Public Works to steam clean hazardous pigeon poop from surfaces at the 16th Street BART Plaza, while also nudging the Department of Public Health, the SFMTA and BART to expand pigeon proofing and other measures to increase sanitary conditions at this transit hub. This multi-agency advocacy project transpired over June and July.

3. Obtained emails from the City Attorney Dennis Herrera's staff revealing that this office provided extensive public relations assistance, using taxpayer-funded infrastructure including organizing an author meet-and-greet inside the City Attorney's City Hall office, to assist promoting a book about Prop 8 that showcases Herrera in a favorable light. This act of civic transparency and accountability was in May.

4. Requested and received the names and demographics on all city residents killed by members of the San Francisco Police Department, in officer-involved-shootings. For the first time ever, we had a central list of all 168 such fatal shootings stretching back to 1939. The SFPD released this info in April.

5. Posted on the web in May, for the first time, a similar list of all BART police officer-involved fatal shootings.

6. After seven years of lobbying, in March convinced the DPH's director Barbara Garcia and the Health Commission to broadcast their bi-monthly meetings on SF Gov TV, bringing much-needed transparency to the DPH and its decision-making process.

7. Revealed that Protocol Chief Charlotte Shultz has a nonprofit group that receives $250,000 annually in taxpayer funds to host soirees and she's violated the sunshine law requiring the nonprofit's board to hold two public meetings each year. It took six months of public records requests to hold Shultz accountable and follow the city dollars that she uses for parties with her friends.

8. Showed that Mayor Ed Lee and his staff hadn't sent a condolence note to Alex Nieto's family and friends after he was fatally shot by an SFPD office, to express condolences over his death. This info came to light after a public records act request was made in September.

9. Obtained the list of all attendees at Mayor Ed Lee's invitation-only meeting with tech firms and executives, where current and future city policies related to the tech industry were discussed, providing sunshine over whom the Mayor meets with behind closed doors. The list was posted on the web in January.

10. Organized a picket and press conference in July at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's pharmacy in the Castro to protest their unscientific opposition to using Truvada as a method to prevent HIV transmission to negative individuals.

11. Asked for and received monthly calendars from nine of the eleven members of the Board of Supervisors, along with the calendars from the Clerk of Board, and in January shared them on the web while calling on the Supervisors to voluntarily post their monthly calendars on their-city funded web sites.

12. For the first time, making the full audio of Dan White's bone-chilling confession to murdering George Moscone and Harvey Milk available on the web, after requesting a copy of it from the city archive at the San Francisco Public Library back in April. There can never be too much multi-media LGBT history on the web.

Just a few reasons why District 8 voters should make Petrelis their number one choice on their ballots in the remaining three weeks before Election Day.

Here's a photo of Petrelis with his friend and endorser Veronika Fimbres.



Monday, October 20, 2014

Russian Gays Attacked on Coming Out Day in Moscow
By Todd Swindell and Michael Petrelis

One of our Russian LGBT friends, Andrew Obolensky, emailed us recently with news about Russian Orthodox Christians harassing his advocacy group, The Rainbow Association, on October 10th. The good news is that no gays were seriously harmed and a lecture took place in spite of the harassment, but the bad news is anti-gay forces acted with impunity and no repercussions from the police.

He's requested that we share this information:

"This Friday a group of homophobes attacked the Sakharov Center in Moscow and beset it for more than 2 hours. Their goal was to disrupt the event organized by the local LGBT community, dedicated to the International Coming Out Day and attended by more than 50 people.

"On October 10, Sakharov Center, which promotes human rights for all Russians, was hosting an annual interactive meeting titled 'Be Open – And Your World Will Get Broader'.

"Soon after the beginning several dozens of aggressive religious homophobes headed by Dmitry Enteo, alias Dmitry Tsorionov, showed up. They brought the posters and Orthodox icons and started to scream hateful slogans, trying break into the building. They started to throw eggs at the participants who were on their way to the event, threatening physical violence. Meanwhile, the homophobes were giving interviews to the media claiming that the organizers of the meeting are molesting children at this meeting.

"After half an hour, a police squad arrived. They inquired, what are the goals of the event, who allowed this event to be held, and if this event violates the 'gay propaganda' law. The police did not allow anyone from leaving the building unless the participants who their documents in order to prove there was no minors present at the venue.

"This controversial behaviour of police was appreciated by the leader of the homophobic attackers Enteo who on his Twitter account welcomed the cooperation between the police and the Orthodox activists.

"The crucial thing is that despite the attack and the violations on the part of police (some media quoted police saying that the behaviour of the homophobes was peaceful'), the annual interactive meeting was a success. The organizers received very positive feedback from the participants. And thanks to the efforts of the staff of the Sakharov Center and the LGBT activists, homophobes did not make it inside of the building and nobody was hurt."

As you well know, Michael has long been active as a global organizer for gay human rights and while the troubles of our friends in Moscow in recent days aren't an issue in the District 8 Supervisor race, we feel it's important to give attention to this incident on Friday.

The #VotePetrelis team salutes the bravery of our LGBT friends who every day take steps that demand protection of their human rights and show the world that gay Russians are out, loud and proud!


 The attackers gathering outside the LGBT meeting.

 LGBT Russians and allies conducted their lecture inside the center as planned.

Remnants of eggs that hit a gay leader are visible on his head and jacket.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

#VotePetrelis Posters Now Up on District 8 Streets
By Todd Swindell and Michael Petrelis

Our fabulous DIY Democracy campaign posters went up on October 10th on select utility poles around District 8 and we're hoping they attract the eyeballs of voters.

Several posters were taped up near pedestrian crosswalks, where people may spend a few extra moments reading the posters before crossing the street.

If you wish to donate money to increase the number of posters we can display with just over three-weeks left before Election Day, please do so using PayPal or sending a check to our post office box.

Thanks, to all our donors who made this signage possible!



Weekend Woof #92 : Big Bears & Muscle Boy

One aspect of campaigning for District 8 Supervisor of San Francisco is meeting-and-greeting lots of handsome men on the street or just watching them and snapping a few photos as they walk around.

Here are just a few of the dudes we've seen recently out and about who caught our queer eye. Thanks for gracing the lens of our camera.

And how was your week for cruising men and boys?








Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ebola Signs Posted at UCSF's HIV Clinic
By Michael Petrelis

October 10 was my follow up visit date to get lab results from a blood draw two weeks ago and it was impossible to ignore the many signs at the HIV clinic about Ebola.

They were impossible to ignore starting with the two at the reception desk, in the examining room where my vitals were taken, and also on a bulletin board in the hallway.

Even though Ebola has not spread to San Francisco, I was curious why several alerts were posted around the UCSF 360 Positive Clinic and asked my physician if there was a special concern for HIV poz folks about the Ebola epidemic.

Dr. Susa Coffey said the signs were put up because of heightened concerns among the healthcare workers throughout the UCSF clinics and hospitals, and administrators want to build general awareness regarding Ebola.

It's never too early to educate everyone about a public health hazard and I certainly understand the fears healthcare workers have, coming in contact with lots of people with illnesses and infections.

Personally, my lab results were pretty good considering the recent week-long bout with food poisoning and going off my AIDS cocktail and all meds during that time.

As I've written before, I'm a Truvada bore and take the drug (comprised of two treatments in one pill), to combat my HIV and hepatitis B infections, and it continues to radically reduce my hepatitis B viral load.

Before my consultation was over, I shared a #VotePetrelis campaign card and button with Dr. Coffey, who wished me all the best in the election.

Final point. Dr. Coffey was pleased I got my flu shot two-weeks ago because it means I'll have maximum protection during the height of the flu season. Have you had your flu shot yet?


Armistead Maupin, Scott Wiener & Me on Castro Street 
By Michael Petrelis
 


While out campaigning on Castro Street near Walgreens at approximately 3:30 pm on Saturday, October 11, I ran into "Tales of The City" author Armistead Maupin with whom I am acquainted because of my decades of HIV and LGBT activism.

When I asked for his endorsement in the District 8 race for Supervisor, Armistead said his policy is not to endorse any candidate.

But when I requested a photo of us together, he readily agreed to pose for my camera and we stopped a young woman walking by to snap a picture of us two happy homosexuals.

Barely a minute after we checked the images on my camera, none other than the incumbent, Scott Wiener, came striding up Castro Street and for perhaps two or three seconds we looked at each other.

He kept on walking up toward Market Street, Armistead and I finished our conversation, and I resumed campaigning giving out cards and buttons.

You never know who will cross your path when you're on the streets of District 8 soliciting votes and pushing visibility for the #VotePetrelis effort!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wiener Accepted Gilead's Medical Affairs VP's Donation 
By Todd Swindell and Michael Petrelis


Last month, District 8 incumbent Supervisor Scott Wiener generated lots of media attention after disclosing he's taking Truvada as part of a PrEP regimen to avert contracting HIV.

The disclosure was made in advance of a hearing he and Supervisor David Campos held at City Hall, looking at a supplemental budget allocation to the Department of Public Health in order to investigate educational and cost issues related to Truvada for use for pre-exposure prophylaxis reasons.

We wondered why these gay Supervisors waited more than two-years since the FDA approved Truvada for prevention purposes and how many sexually-transmitted HIV infections occurred in San Francisco in this period that could have been averted if the at-risk individuals had access to PrEP.

A story in the Bay Area Reporter by longtime LGBT health writer Liz Highleyman on the hearing generated a comment from John Steen asking if either Supervisor had received donations from Gilead. Steen seems unaware that such info is a few clicks away.

The SF Ethics Commission's contributions search engine (http://tinyurl.com/SF-Ethics-search-engine),shows that Wiener in 2010 during his first run for Supervisor, received $125 from Hans Reiser who is Gilead's vice president for medical affairs.

We seriously doubt that donation played any role in Wiener pushing for the DPH to receive the Truvada educational allocation, but in the interests of providing transparency between the incumbent and Gilead we're sharing the info since it was omitted from the tremendous coverage last month.
Campos or Chiu: Who Got $ From Parks' Boss Phil Ginsburg? 
By Todd Swindell and Michael Petrelis


You've probably heard about the video showing Latino youths and techies arguing over the Mission Playground soccer field, and who had the right to play on it one recent afternoon.

The video has been viewed on YouTube almost 348,000 times and you can watch it here: http://tinyurl.com/Mission-Soccer-mess.

There's a rally today, Thursday, October 16, from 9 to 10 am at City Hall to send a message to the Parks and Recreation Commission that the Mission Playground is not for sale and should remain public space without fees needed to play soccer.

As longtime proponents of returning the rainbow flagpole and LGBT Pride flag at Harvey Milk Plaza, which is public property, to the public and ending the control of the city owned property by the Castro Merchants, we're pleased to see the grassroots uprising over the Mission Playground and who gets access to public space.

The #VotePetrelis team will at the City Hall rally and more info about it can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/Rally-4-Mission-Playground.

Curious about the political leanings of Phil Ginsburg, the general manager of San Francisco Parks and Recreation, we checked his donations to candidates and discovered that he donated $250 in June to David Chiu's assembly campaign and nothing to his challenger David Campos.

Our source for this data comes from the Secretary of State's search engine for contributions made to candidates and committees: http://tinyurl.com/Cal-Access.

We want to make the political agenda of Ginsburg fully transparent as the battle over who gets access to San Francisco's public spaces enters a new phase.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Diverse Crowd at Yes on G Office Opening
By Todd Swindell and Michael Petrelis

Momentum for Prop G, the anti-speculation housing tax measure, and the #VotePetrelis campaign gained steam at last week's party for the Yes on G office.

A beautifully diverse group of folks - Hispanics, LGBT people, artists, low and moderate income renters, blacks and whites, musicians, Asians - showed up to learn more about Yes on G.

We handed out lots of our cards and union-made buttons, and received heartfelt wishes of good luck in our District 8 Supervisorial effort from everyone we spoke with.

There were a few very short speeches encouraging everyone to display Yes on G signs in their home windows and talk with our friends and neighbors about voting yes on this prop. A good time was had by all.

We lobbied people to follow the https://twitter.com/YesOnG_SF feed and to spread the hashtag #YesonG far and wide on Twitter.

Here are our photos from the party.