Monday, January 20, 2014

No Milk Club Agendas Online: Would Harvey Approve?

They like to tout themselves as the "Home of San Francisco's Queer Progressive Left", but the Harvey Milk Democratic Club is actually a clique of moderate Democrats rightly viewed by many as David Campos' political home base and which has made no bones about serving as an arm of his Assembly run campaign.

I've been over the club for its various broken promises regarding reclaiming Harvey Milk Plaza and the public flag in the center, going to bat for admitted wife-bruiser Ross Mirkarimi, devoting resources to helping club owners and maybe even their own president get licenses to open bars and party spaces (as if the entertainment industry and alcohol companies can't do their own political heavy-lifting) and abysmal understanding of the importance of effective signage at street and park actions.

Recently, the president Tom Temprano promised to send a letter about the Merchants of Upper Market Castro and assorted politicians not lowering the rainbow flag at Milk Plaza for Nelson Mandela, but it was just more hot air from the clique.

When I put in some time assisting them promote the Castro Tenants Convention, one of their members Lee Hepner, listened to my kvetching about the club and asked why I don't come back to their meetings and give them an earful.

I told Lepner that I was a member for only part of one-year before vowing not to renew membership and noticed the group didn't post their agendas on their web site or Facebook page before meetings. Lepner said at the end of every meeting anyone could speak to the group and that advance agendas are emailed only to members.

The Milk Club meets on Tuesday, January 21 and true-to-form the agenda is not on the web. Why bother trying to entice new folks to their ranks by informing them of what to expect? The insiders and Campos supporters have the agenda and that's good enough for the club. Even if public comment is allowed from non-members, it's not worth my time to show up and get nothing but stressed out.

BTW, that tenants convention was good on a few levels for activists, but make no mistake about this: it also turned into a good PR move for the District 8 Supervisor who was allowed to attend and take notes, show he's allegedly progressive on housing issues, he was not taken to task for his long list of political transgressions in any substantive or symbolic way at the convention, and will soon be co-opting some of the tenant activists goals and agenda.

Holding the Supervisor to account is clearly not integral to the tenants agenda nor the Milk Club, which allowed him to speak at their Milk candlelight memorial two-years ago after he had proved himself hostile to the club's progressive goals. The club is totally fine that they can't access the Milk Plaza rainbow flag.

Would Harvey approve of the community not being able to use the rainbow flag in the heart of the Castro and a group named in his honor being opaque with agendas?

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