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San Francisco | Government & Elections | LGBTI / Queer

Petition Seeks to Gag San Francisco Supervisor at Annual Harvey Milk Memorial
by David Francisco
Saturday Nov 16th, 2013 7:22 PM
San Francisco Group for Accountable Government (SFGAG) seeks to prevent media hungry SF Supervisor from hijacking the annual Harvey Milk Candlelight Memorial.
antiharvey112013400pxl.jpg
antiharvey112013400pxl.jpg

An organization known as the San Francisco Group for Accountable Government, (SFGAG), has launched an online petition seeking to prevent unpopular San Francisco District Eight Supervisor Scott Wiener from speaking at the thirty-fifth annual memorial for Harvey Milk. The evening candlelight commemoration, organized by the Harvey Milk Democratic Club and other groups, is to be held beneath the Pride Flag on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 7pm.

A link to the petition first surfaced on November 13, 2013 in the Facebook group “Recall Scott Wiener Now” posted by prolific Wiener detractor Scott Hester-Johnson. Many members of the group indicated they had signed as well as shared the petition link.

Subsequently, on the Facebook information page for the Milk memorial, outspoken activist Mitch Hightower started a message thread by stating that he hoped the event would not be “hijacked by elected officials”. A flurry of responses ensued with a variety of opinions on who is and is not an appropriate speaker for this well-attended community event. The vast majority of the postings favored having no politicians speaking at all.

“No politicians will be using the memorial to score political points”, assured organizer and event co-host David Waggoner.

Long-time community activist Tommi Avicolli Mecca concurred declaring, “Wiener is not being asked to speak”.

Other community activists are already aware that the District Eight Supervisor often doesn’t wait for an invitation. Recently Wiener arrived in a black limousine with a small entourage and commandeered the megaphone from activists Trey Allen and Michael Petrelis at a demonstration in front of the Russian Consulate. The Supervisor immediately captured the television news and other media attention. This resulted in video and written coverage focused on comments from Wiener and not the demonstration issues.

While at the time of this writing the petition has not yet exceeded 100 signatures, the comments about Wiener are highly critical and unabashed. Many of the most searing comments came from activists and other citizens who have regularly weighed in on various issues concerning the polarizing Supervisor.

“Who voted for this guy? Scott [Wiener] is not only a disgrace to the LGBTQ community but also to San Francisco as a whole”, posted Dean Clark.

Renowned activist Jason Villalobos also gave a scathing review of the Supe. “Scott Wiener has done more to damage the gay community that any other out politician in the Bay Area. He’s a disgrace to the legacy of Harvey Milk”.

James Youll added, “Scott [Wiener] has repeatedly invoked Harvey Milk's name to draw attention and credit toward himself, despite a long history of policymaking and behind the scenes manipulation to harm the very people and community that Harvey Milk stood for and validated. Politicians who steal legitimacy have no legitimate place in a celebration for Harvey”.

In a polite email response from SFGAG, a referral link to the petition was provided and read, “Thank you for your interest in SFGAG and our current Change.org petition effort. The petition speaks for itself as do the numerous comments from petition supporters”.

The District Eight Supervisor and his staff were unresponsive to requests for comment about the petition. However, many activists and other citizens engaged in the community had much to say.

“Harvey Milk showed rare courage, spoke the truth, and gave a voice to those who had none. Like a cowardly bully, Scott Wiener has abused his power and used lies and deceit to do just the opposite, take that voice away. How is it even remotely appropriate for this hit man of the wealthy to attend a candlelight memorial for a genuinely great and selfless man whose vision he is so far removed from”, wrote community activist Peter Sferra.

San Francisco resident Mira Ingram said, “Harvey Milk empowered those facing discrimination and oppression, and built a community of caring and compassion; Scott Wiener criminalizes those facing discrimination and oppression, and exiles them from their communities”.

Michael Regalbuto wrote, “[Wiener] stand[s] against the core values Harvey Milk and those like him set forth in this City, State and Country. [Wiener’s] politics are an abomination to any reasons I had for living in [San Francisco], this city that has become a cesspool”.

“Harvey is rolling in his grave watching [Wiener] help turn this city from a welcoming, accepting, creative community into a sanitary, challenge-free playground for the rich”, added San Francisco resident Rachael Atchison.

Respected activist Ron Noble concludes, “The LGBT leadership in San Francisco is dead”.

FYI: When you sign the petition your comments are forwarded to the entire SF Board of Supervisors and the lead organizer of the Milk Candlelight Memorial event, Tom Temprano, President of the Harvey Milk Democratic Club.

View the Petition here: http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-supervisor-wiener-to-stay-away-from-the-35th-annual-candlelight-memorial-honoring-harvey-milk

View the Facebook page for the 35th Annual Milk Memorial here:
http://www.facebook.com/events/1435238993363238/1436616956558775

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Michael Petrelis
( mpetrelis [at] aol.com ) Sunday Nov 17th, 2013 12:16 PM
I very much approve of this petition effort and hope the organizers behind it expand their agenda a bit. I'd like for the Milk Club to push MUMC to lower the rainbow flag at the Milk Plaza on Nov 27 for George and Harvey. Below is what I've posted to my blog.

http://tinyurl.com/kzxnuct


A reader tipped me off to a petition and image on Change.org, pictured, that should be of interest to all of us fed up with the polarizing and demonizing City Hall tenure of the Castro district's member of the Board of Supervisors.

As someone who was put through eight months of grinding-down by the sheriff, the police and the district attorney as they pulled levers of the criminal justice system because I took a photo of the Supervisor at a sink in a public bathroom, I know full well the lengths he will go to and exact a vendetta. Sure hope someone runs against the guy when he's up for reelection next year.

I have no clue who is behind SF GAG, but wish they had called on the Harvey Milk Democratic Club, organizer of the annual memorial and whose membership in 2011 unanimously passed a resolution demanding the public flagpole at the municipal Harvey Milk Plaza be controlled by the LGBT community and not just the Supervisor and his buddies in MUMC, to properly honor Harvey Milk and George Moscone by lowering the rainbow flag for one day.

Why? Because it is standard practice around the globe to lower flags in honor of beloved deceased community leaders and that November 27, 2013, is the 35th anniversary of the murders of Milk and Moscone. You can be damn sure neither man would have put up with the privatization of the historical plaza and the iconic public flagpole and rainbow flag.

Let's show respect for the lives and legacies of Milk and Moscone and for one 24-hour period, and use the plaza's flagpole to mourn their losses with a simple flag-lowering.
by Scott Hester-Johnson
Monday Nov 18th, 2013 8:33 AM
For the record, I reposted (and support) the petition which I originally got from Mitch Hightower.
by SF GAG
Monday Nov 18th, 2013 1:22 PM
We enlisted the assistance of numerous local activists to get the word out about this petition. The San Francisco Group for Accountable Government thanks them all! Sign the petition here: http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-supervisor-wiener-to-stay-away-from-the-35th-annual-candlelight-memorial-honoring-harvey-milk