The Castro LGBTQ Cultural District will be managed by an Advisory Board of 15-19 people. This board is being chosen through three rounds of elections. The first two rounds of elections took place on December 14th, 2019, and February 22, 2020. Click here for a complete description of voting procedures.

Five seats will be open in the third election, to be held September 19, 2020. Candidate statements for this election are below. These statements are presented as submitted by the candidates, and no attempt has been made to verify their content. In addition, women have been seriously underrepresented among the candidates in all three rounds; after Round 3, up to four appointed seats will still be available to balance the board’s diversity and skill set, and will be filled by the board on an individual basis.

Candidates

César Cadabes
Mitch Enfinger
Carnell Freeman
Corey Fusco
Daniel H. Galindo
Angel Garfold
John Goldsmith
Matt Hicks
Levi Maxwell
Wes McGaughey
Miky Montano
Michael Trung Nguyen
Xander Parker
Sacred

César Cadabes

Cadabes
I was born and raised in Hawaii. As a young gay man, I moved to San Francisco away from home to find a home. I came to San Francisco in 1982 during the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic. Those first years taught me a lot about our community, our struggles, our power and our resilience. I have worked in HIV/AIDS for the past 20+ years and that continues today. I have worked non-profits, clinical settings, public health departments and am currently at the UCSF-Gladstone Center for AIDS Research.


As a public speaker with the Wedge program, I shared my experiences as a person living with HIV to build bridges with our allied communities. As a member of the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA), we worked to combat stigma and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS in the Asian and Pacific Islander communities through GAPA Theatre, an intergenerational collective of writers, performers, and storytellers. Currently, as the Artistic Director of GAPA Theatre, our current mission is to mentor and support emerging QTAPI artists to amplify our voices through performance; spoken word, short plays and personal narratives, to contribute to the shifting cultural, social and political discourse. I am also a member of the San Francisco HIV Community Planning Council, a collaborative regional community planning body, that works to develop innovative, effective, and integrated responses to meet the shifting needs of the HIV epidemic.


Given the experience in both my professional and personal endeavors, the skills I can contribute involve community organizing, organizational strategic planning, working closely with community stakeholders, event planning and coordination, fundraising and grant writing. The constituencies I am a part of and can bring the voices of to the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District as a board member are; nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, POC and LGBTQ theatre/performing artists, LGBT POC folks with a focus on QTAPI communities, elder LGBTQ folks, people living with HIV and renter/tenants.


As a community organizer, I have conducted voter registration and fundraising on the streets. As an artist I have raised funds during performances, as well as, written and been awarded grants both as a solo performer and for GAPA Theatre. As an executive director of a nonprofit HIV organization I have coordinated several fundraising campaigns and events and have written grants to state, federal and private entities that have been funded.


San Francisco has always been my home. I have lived in many different neighborhoods in San Francisco throughout the years; Noe Valley, the Mission, Duboce Triangle, the Outer Richmond, the Tenderloin, as well as a short stint in Alameda. The Castro has always been the center of my heart. I have lived here in the Castro for over 10 years. I play here, I patronize businesses, bars and restaurants here in the Castro. My intention for joining the board is to help ensure that this community, this cultural district, never loses its identity, its cultural significance or its role as a beacon to the global LGBTQ community.

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Mitch Enfinger

Enfinger
I am deeply committed to the Castro District and to the legacy of the trailblazers who made the neighborhood what it is today: a bastion of hope for millions of Queer and Trans people around the globe. I myself was drawn to San Francisco in an effort to find community and feel the sense of belonging I’ve only ever experienced in the Castro. I came to this city as a politically inexperienced, deeply unsure young person but I had plenty of passion and the Castro gave me every opportunity to grow and learn and participate.


I have spent the last several years working as an organizer for political movements across San Francisco. I have strategized field programs, coordinated communications, and developed comprehensive fundraising operations. I want to bring the experience I have as a politcal organizer to the Cultural District to help faciliate more outreach to the community at large.


I have been fortunate enough to be able foster relationships with many Castro Merchants during my time working for neighborhood businesses —where I got my first job in San Francisco— and through this I contunied to be confronted by one of the most pressing issues I believe the Castro faces: the loss of historic spaces and businesses that serve primarily LGBTQ+ people. I hope to be able to leverage the connections I have made in this community to help create stable institutions and and renewed sense of unity in the Castro.


I love this neighborhood with all my heart. The Castro District gave me every opportunity I have had in San Francisco and at times of uncertainty offered me that relentless —even if sometimes faint— ringing of hope that Harvey promised would never be silent.


I hope to be given the opportunity to join the board and to help propel the mission of the Cultural District. Should I be elected, I will serve this community with the dedication and compassion that it deserves. ”

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Carnell Freeman

Freeman
For more than 20 years I have been involved in the creation, management and planning of multiple LGBTQ groups with a specific focus on bridging queer communities of color.


As a native of Boston Massachusetts, I formed a men’s social group called Men of Color Creative Change (MOCCC) (https://www.facebook.com/MOCCC-271373777094) which focused on bringing together Black men in social setting to help foster deeper connections in a city that is not known for it’s inclusiveness of Black gay men. MOCCC hosted multiple events throughout the city as well as collaborated with other queer groups like QWOC Boston (https://www.facebook.com/groups/21040870276) and played a major role in helping to bring together members of Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (https://www.tsne.org/hispanic-black-gay-coalition)..


After moving to San Francisco, I started another group called Gay Bowling SF (https://www.facebook.com/GayBowlingSanFrancisco), a LGBTQ bowling group which grew to over 200 members with regular gatherings at Mission Bowling Club.


Recently, I started Mocaa SF (https://www.facebook.com/mocaasf/?ref=page_internal). Mocaa SF is monthly Black Queer party hosted the first Thursday of every at Lookout SF, along with Bay Area QTPOC Nightlife group which now has over 600 members. The goal of these two social groups is to increase the visibility and community networking for queer BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color).


I am also a small business owner. I have owned and operated Cee’s Fried Chicken (https://www.facebook.com/ceesfriedchicken), a local pop up for approximately 3 years. Cee’s Fried Chicken has participated in events such as, San Francisco Pride, Oakland Pride, Folsom Street Fair, First Friday Oakland and many others.


I take great pride in furthering the efforts of creating a more inclusive community for queer BIPOC and humbly accept the opportunity to help assist the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District become a more inclusive and diverse organization using my long standing experience in this area.

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Corey Fusco

Fusco
As a young Trans Queer man, moving to San Francisco almost a decade ago felt like I finally made it to my home. I started my life here not knowing a single soul and over this time I have gained a beautiful community and chosen family. The Castro is where I first started performing Drag. It led me to feel freer about my identity as a Trans man. Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering at the LGBT Center, being involved as a performer for Trans March, and now working at the bar that gave me my Drag debut. As a Nightlife personality I hope to bring my experiences as being a visitor, worker, and performer of The Castro to the board. My past managerial and current service industry experience will give the board a set of eyes from a person who has worked on the forefront with our neighbors and friends. I hope to bring my skills in mediation, multi-tasking, organizing and strong work ethic to not only help the board, but our community achieve its goals and desires. I also hope to help in the current progress of making the Castro more inclusive to our Queer, Trans, and BIPOC community members as well as aiding them to become business owners and creators of our community. Through Drag and producing events, I feel confident in helping the board raise funds needed to obtain goals that require financial assistance as I have previous experience in doing such. My wish for becoming a board member for The Castro Cultural District is to help create that magic I felt, the community, the sense of belonging- to our future friends who come to San Francisco and finally feel that they too have found their home.

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Daniel H. Galindo

Galindo
I have come to know intimately some of the greatest issues facing the LGBTQI+ community after living in San Francisco for 11 years. The Castro is where I evolved from a scared and reserved Latino boy from West Texas to the openly out and proud gay man that I am today. Since arriving in San Francisco in 2009, I have made it my mission to further issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in my work, as well as through my volunteerism on the boards of the ACLU of Northern CA and the Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), the oldest LGBT bar association. This commitment and experience is what I pledge to bring to the Cultural District. I will ensure that the District represents the underrepresented and preserves the contributions of people of color and trans community members in the culture of the Castro and the social and economic opportunities the Cultural District creates. It will be my specific goal to ensure that the Castro is a thriving, fun, safe, accessible, and inclusive space for everyone. My experience as an attorney and member of the BALIF’s Governance Committee also means that I will be able to help the District organize and develop an internal governance structure and bylaws. In a past life I was also a community organizer, which means I am well prepared to empower community members and sensitively and effectively solicit and implement feedback.

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Angel Garfold

Garfold
Constituencies represented: Non-profit, Queer, Women, Leather/Kink


I believe the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District has a great opportunity to work with all that currently exists, as well as grow and change to be even better for all those that live there, as well as those that come to experience the history of the area. I’d love to see and be a part of that. Additionally, I’d like to explore creating a community space for the LGBTQ folks at large in the area.


I’ve worked with a number of boards in various roles over the years. I think my experience in those positions, as well as the different demographics, have helped me get an understanding of a wider scope of needs and communication styles. I am not shy about sharing my personal experiences, my knowledge, or my opinions. I ask a lot of questions to understand the bigger picture as well as to learn about individual people. As a queer white cis woman who identifies as a leathergirl, I know I bring to the table a certain point of view. I see it as a mutually beneficial opportunity to add to the other demographics of the board and the overall community.


I look forward to the opportunity to bring my voice, thoughts, and energy to what the cultural district can create. I enjoy working with others towards larger, collaborative goals.


Some of the resume details: I’m currently on the Steering Committee for the Queer Nightlife Fund, President of SF Bay Area Leather Alliance as well as the SF girls of Leather, and I assist in the running of the SF Catalyst play/community space. I am an accountant by profession.

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John Goldsmith

Goldsmith
Hello and greetings to my LGBTQ Brothers, Sisters, Kin and Allies! My name is John Goldsmith and my nickname is Junglesmith, or just, Jungle. I’m deeply grateful to be standing here today with you all, showing up for cultural change and advocating for the preservation of our community shared spaces. We are collectively working towards an improved LGBTQ reality, which also includes JOY! I am a California native and the majority of my life has been spent in this very City and County. As a 29 year SF resident, I currently live right off Castro Street, 11 doors down from Harvey Milk’s last apartment. I am a renter, transit advocate, green solutions orienter, environmental artist, degreed photographer and art historian and a gay, queer cis man. I have participated in the formation of the Castro Queer Cultural District since the initial community meeting and the development of the Working Group. At the time, I was representing a local non-profit along with the secretary. Since then, I continued to participate in the Governance and Bylaw meetings, Mapping and Land Use, and its cultural evolution of the baby group with big ideas! Now in a Covid World, outdoor events and activities will be more prominent in the newly opened environmental spaces. I am excited to see the addition of more street parks, and preserving the few that exist. I will bring to the Advisory Board a strong, clear voice and vision for a clean, green and vibrant Castro. I will welcome visitors from everywhere to the Castro. We have so many cultural interests to offer, all in walking distance and via numerous transit options. I envision full services for the unhoused and the addicted. I expect compassionate care and consideration from our elected leaders, Public Works and the SFPD. I am sorely disappointed in the Castro/Upper Market corridors in the last 5 years. The increased empty storefronts, filthy sidewalks, poor souls laying there or screaming in the streets, tents, fire hazards and general de-gentrification. Apparently, the “Burn It All Down” approach by City Leadership has changed and it will take good queer folx, like YOU and ME to keep OUR CITY – OURS! I will advocate for maximum affordable housing construction in-fill areas and more land trusts for open space. In the last few years, I developed 2 MoveOn online petitions, both related to the Castro. I am an advocate for the preservation as well as the needed ADA improvements at the Castro Station, not its demolition and replacement. The other petition refers to a local tax affecting Castro/Upper Market residents and clean streets. I also collaborated, with local petitioners, to have dangerous sidewalks removed near Pink Triangle Park on Market Street. Another achievement was to remove a bus shelter by Pink Triangle Park and have it permanently moved in front of the Old Pottery Barn building for better access. I will do more with your vote of support. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Junglesmith

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Matt Hicks

Hicks
The Castro has played a pivotal role in my entire adult life. It’s the first place I felt truly comfortable holding my boyfriend’s hand as a college intern. It was my home during much of my 20s and early 30s. It’s where my 4-year-old son now walks with my husband and me, asking about the street placards of Keith Haring or Sylvester on our way to the Eureka Valley park.


The Castro has shaped me and so many other LGBTQ+ youth and adults, and it’s a treasure we must preserve and help evolve. It’s also a place that, like our lives, keeps changing over time. I’ve seen a lot of changes during my 21 years in San Francisco, but I have never seen the neighborhood at such an important crossroads as it is today. Before COVID-19, it faced the challenges of economic disparity, retail closures, and a housing and homelessness crisis. Today, all of those threats are intensifying as the neighborhood’s businesses, institutions and residents struggle to simply stay afloat long enough to get through the pandemic.


I want to join the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District Advisory Board because I believe it has a central role to play in the neighborhood’s recovery. By drawing on the past, the district can help bring neighborhood interests together to chart its future–from our cherished nonprofits and local businesses to government leaders and people of all backgrounds who love the Castro. The Castro is home to immense creativity, compassion and hard-fought struggles that can be channeled to bring it back even better post pandemic. We can preserve a culture and an ethos that embraces community and togetherness, celebrates diversity and human rights, and overcomes challenges with swagger.


I believe I am well suited to help build the awareness, forge the alliances and grow the financial resources that the district needs to take on today’s challenges. I have 25 years of communications and marketing experience as a former journalist, a former Congressional staffer, and more recently as a business communications leader. Currently, I am vice president of executive communications at Zendesk, a customer service software company based in the Tenderloin that grew from 300 to 4,000 employees during my 7 years there. I know how to build a new organization, grow it and be scrappy along the way.


I represent multiple constituencies: long-time residents, both renters and homeowners; LGBTQ+ parents raising families here; and various local nonprofits and political campaigns. I have served on the planning committees for the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus’ annual Crescendo gala fundraiser and the annual Hospitality House art auction fundraiser. I was part of the Finance Committee for Gavin Newsom’s successful 2018 gubernatorial campaign. In the early 2000s, I was an active member of Marriage Equality California.


I care deeply about the Castro. I want to ensure it continues to inspire people and uplifts their lives like it has mine. I would be honored and humbled for your vote.

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Levi Maxwell

Maxwell
I Levi Maxwell am committed in continuing the work for a greater and ever more open Castro.


My work began some 10 years ago as a homeless queer youth providing resources and support to fellow homeless and low income youths who congregated and or made homes on the streets and SROs in and around the neighborhood.


As I came of age I gained skills around harm reduction, youth advocacy, racial equity and organizing.


All in attempt to insure that Castro was a place where my community could count on me as an ally and asset in their desire to enjoy this neighborhood; our haunt and home.


As a black, queer, non-binary, trans, jew who not only was formerly homeless but in time made a career insuring greater stability for those still struggling, I believe that I have the capabilities to insure this neighborhood; our neighborhood is a space and place that can and will provide opportunities in uplifting us all.


By joining the board I will insure that the most marginalized in our community are provided a conduit to express their concerns and goals in making the Castro ever greater in reach, draw and connection.


I continue to challenge what is necessary and speak truth to power.


Castro has within my own mind many fond memories and moments. But also troubling experiences of violence, disrespect and undeniable racism and prejudices.


I cannot continue to merely speak on it. I know that to right the wrongs of the past and present I must work to create a better future.


My co-conspirators are people I trust and know will back me and will spread what needs to be seen to get the funds the Castro Cultural district needs.


Funds are critical, but do not be fooled: I ain’t here to just fill up another coffer by being a “diverse face”, I’m here to bring the intrinsic wealth of the people, my many peoples to the spotlight.

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Wes McGaughey

McGaughey
I’m originally from a conservative small town in the central valley of California. I moved to San Francisco in 2002 for school—or so I told everyone. I really moved here because I wanted to be in the “Mecca” of LGBT life in the U.S. I was in search of acceptance and love. I had read about the Castro in LGBT publications and I knew I had to go there. There are so many like me, for whom the Castro symbolized the freedom to be who we were. While I could never afford to live in the Castro, I visited often. Sometimes daily. The Castro is so much more than a neighborhood. That is precisely why we should preserve and promote its LGBT cultural heritage. That will be harder than we can imagine, with online shopping gobbling up brick-and-mortar retail, restaurants and bars facing evictions, and the soaring cost of housing in an already economically privileged area. I am up for the challenge.


I’ve spent most of my career—and personal life—advocating for vulnerable people. While an intern for now congresswoman Jackie Speier (then a state senator), I organized her Pride contingents. I also joined one of the youth groups of the STOP AIDS Project and went on to be a youth group facilitator in the Castro. I was named Quintessential Volunteer of the Year in 2005. When I began my career leveraging health care data to breakdown disparities among minorities, sexual, gender, and otherwise, I helped organize CPMC’s contribution to the LGBT Center’s first LGBT health fair. I have peer-reviewed and invited publications in medical journals as well as a book chapter on the social determinants of health. I’m a member of the Alice B. Toklas Democrats and the former chair of the LGBT forum at the Commonwealth Club of California.


A first-generation college graduate, I have a BA in political science from San Francisco State University, a MBA from progressive Mills College, and also a Master of Public Policy from Mills College. I worked all throughout college and graduate school, where I was Point Foundation Scholarship finalist. The accomplishment I am most proud of, however, is being Sainted by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (my saint’s name is St. Wes Craven-Cox).


Most recently, I’ve joined the junior board of the Treasure Island Museum. Through my work there, I will ensure that the gay history of the island—which contributed immensely to the growth of LGBT San Francisco and the Castro—will be conserved and remembered in the museum. ”

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Miky Montano

Montano
My name is Miky Montano. I was born in Xalapa Veracruz, Mexico and I live in San Jose, California. I’m a Computer Systems Engineer as well as a Dancer focussing on Mexican Folklorico. My areas of interests, as they relate to the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District, are Cultural Heritage, Cultural Competency, and Racial Equity. Due to Covid restrictions, my dancing at the Mexican Heritage Plaza – School of Arts and Culture with the ballet folklorico Los Lupeños de San Jose has temporarily stopped. I continue my communication with the dance school and I attend online classes with the Institute in Mexico. I recently completed an acting class on “Storytelling” and an “Ethnics in Dance” class. I enjoy sharing culture through folklorica dance, cuisine and the customs of Mexico. I think that importing aspects of Mexico’s treasure trove to the Castro is important! Latin influence in the SF Bay Area is key. The Castro can be a better district by providing a voice to Mexican influence and culture. Folklorico is more than preserving the music and dances of a country. It is a framework of action that includes musical instruments, crafts, clothing, rites, beliefs, legends and foods.


Mexico has generated many living traditions continuing to this day, throughout the large country. These traditions, such as Day of the Dead, have become increasing cultural happenings in the SF Bay Area. Events like Carnivale and Christmas celebrations are rich customs that require introspection, inspire joy and provide meaningful purpose. Today, our complex region seeks diversity, while honoring our multicultural past, and Society looks to the LGBTQ community as Agents of cultural beacons. Now, our cultural identities are conforming with a Global Community. We appreciate, with more clarity, that we are Mexicans: a people rooted in customs with millennia-old traditions. Our cultural identity is comforting and reassuring us, as individuals. The collective cultural community is re-charged by the synergy created by these actions and movements.When we perceive our present culture and participate in its evolution, we create more room for positive outcomes. This is portrayed in the dances, such as a huapango or zapateado, an offering on the Day of the Dead, or the presentation of the Christmas branch and aguinaldos (the act of gift giving). Dances often represent a struggle between good and evil, often based on a spiritualistic ritual. I will advocate for more poetry and art songs from my native Veracruz, including topics of the Virgin and the many Holy Patrons. By being on this Advisory Cultural Board, I will bring reasons to celebrate and enrich our diverse cultures and develop a sense of LGBTQ belonging with our Sisters, Brothers and Kin. As a representative, I can share a year of traditions which can be exhibited, and taught, in different events, I am currently finishing my Art Instruction Teaching credentials at the Instituto Regional De Danza Azueta. I entertain the idea of creating a Folklorico LGBTQ Ballet here, promoting culture for and with Latin people and their allies.

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Michael Trung Nguyen

Nguyen
My name is Michael Trung Nguyen, and I am excited to run for the board of the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District (CQCD) because, after living in the Bay Area for over 14 years, I’ve finally found my people in the Castro. Yet, I have also witnessed the magic that generates our Queer culture—the artists, small business owners, and LGBTQIA+ residents—disappear from the Castro over the years. My vision is to build a strong, community-led district, rich in racial, gender, and socioeconomic diversity, with open streets and bustling sidewalks that celebrates the whole LGBTQIA+ community.


Growing up as an only child to Vietnamese refugees in the suburbs, I often felt alone. The idea of community was foreign to me. I first learned about LGBTQ culture when, 20 years ago, I snuck out to Oaklawn, the gayborhood in Dallas. Dazzled by drag queens and nightlife, I felt the freedom of living my most authentic self, dancing to Britney under a shiny disco ball.


Now, serving as Chair of the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA), I lead our social, political, and cultural programs to bring more awareness and visibility to the Queer Trans Asian & Pacific Islander (QTAPI) community in the Bay Area and beyond. I serve on two other boards: Livable City, an organization working to create a safer, greener and more equitable San Francisco, home to Sunday Streets, and Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), the nation’s first LGBTQI bar association. As a software patent lawyer, I also bring my network of techies and legal eagles, always willing to contribute to the success of the LGBTQ movement. Through my drag persona, Juicy Liu, I have raised over $50K for many nonprofits, including the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation through AIDS/Lifecycle. As an advisor, I would strive to make the Castro more equitable and safer for all. We can achieve that when the District becomes more inclusive, more effective in advocating at City Hall, and more loving of our whole community.


The Castro has been dominated by cis gay white men since the ‘60s. They continue to dominate Queer spaces, as small business owners, staff, nightlife personas and producers. Two years ago, I saw a need for more diverse drag in the Castro, so I started a new showcase of Queer and Trans Performers of Color. However, without my cis gay white male friends and allies, the show would not have survived. Through coalition building and allyship, we all have the power to create space for a more diverse, intergenerational and energetic Castro.


Please join me in bringing my vision of the Castro to reality. Preserving our Queer culture takes a village of dedicated volunteers, curators, small business owners, and the full spectrum of the LGBTQIA+ community to keep it loud and proud. I hope to grow the vibrant culture of the Castro to attract more LGBTQIA+ people to live, work and play here for many more decades. Thank you for your vote.

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Xander Parker

Parker
My name is Xander Parker. My Goal is to help represent marginalized queer folks who do not have a voice in our community. I am a 22 year old, non-binary and Indigenous Bay Area native and I would be honored to serve on the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District Board. Prior to the shelter in place order and the closure of my work spaces, I was working at the San Francisco Playhouse, a non-profit theater founded in 2003, as a House Manager. Once shelter in place happened and theaters closed, I was looking for new work that felt meaningful to me. I accepted a position at Inclusive Community Resources in Berkeley, working as a home caretaker supporting people who experience different forms of disability. Outside of that, I am an artist working in performance, with a particular focus on ways to bring my activism into my work as an entertainer. I am also the Co-Event Coordinator for Oaklash, a Bay Area non-profit Organization that produces the first and only annual Bay Area drag festival. As an organizer and activist with a theater background, I utilize my skill sets of bringing people together through collaboration and creative imagery. This, along with my lived experience and understanding of multiple intersecting identities is what I am bringing to the table of the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District Board.


It’s time we start listening to the voices of young, brown, and black queers who are underrepresented in places like the Castro. By bringing the challenging conversations to the floor, making a plan, and taking action with the Castro District Board is how we help uplift and protect these lives. Recently, on July 30th, 2020; the BAQNC recorded almost 400 surveys on the level of safety/inclusion with some of the queer bars in San Francisco and then spoke with Toadhall, The Stud, The Edge, The Eagle and Badlands in an online “Town Hall ” meeting. After the meeting we are left with questions on what exactly these spaces plan on doing to ensure the safety of marginalized queer people. We are being subjected to harmful behavior in places that claim to be inclusive but do not hold guidelines that invite or protect the voices and lives of BIPOC. I am the candidate that is going to put in the work for our safety by holding these spaces accountable and push forward for better guidelines in these spaces.


I wish to see the Castro Cultural District Board center Racial Equity, Youth, and the Arts within the Castro and I hope to bring the focus around these subjects by working with groups such as the Bay Area Queer Night Life Coalition, the TGI Justice Project, and your everyday members of our community. The future is in the hands of our youth and we rely on them to uphold & protect the legacy of our community. Creating outreach and getting queer youth involved, like myself, will help bring a more diverse and new perspective that our community needs.

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Sacred

Sacred
Good afternoon,


My name is Sacred Mitchell, and I am formally tossing my hat in the ring for an opportunity to be considered as a potential candidate for one of the 15 seats on the first iteration of the San Francisco Castro LGBTQ Cultural District Advisory Committee. I am a current resident of San Francisco proper, and have lived here in the city for close to 15 years now. I moved here to California, from Arkansas, at a very young age without really any knowledge of the new home that I moving to. Upon moving here, I was even ignorant to the fact that San Francisco was considered a “Gay Mecca” and why. But I’ve definitely spent the last decade or so learning all about what that meant and why.


I have a strong commitment to this community, especially in terms of all the letters in the acronym LGBTQ that often get overlooked and dismissed and left out in the rain under the rainbow umbrella…which is basically every subcommunity outside of the “G”. And I know that I have a reputation for it, specifically in terms of how active I can be in “Call Out” culture. But what people tend to not realize, is that I am much more than just a voice. And I do have a plethora of skills that are quite often put to good use once given the opportunity. I am very skilled at organizing and coordinating events, great at listening and anticipating needs and getting them met, and great at curating and offering experiences. But I am also a very deep, critical thinker and able to put myself in other’s shoes quite often, in result of various traumas I myself has suffered and overcome…and probably will continue to. The life of an activist is no walk in the park.


Constituencies that I often represent are definitely ones that look most like myself, queer black men, since we do tend to suffer in silence and alone quite often. But I also stake an interest in representing the trans community, the Lesbian community, the Bisexual community, and all queer, same-sex loving individuals of color within Castro and San Francisco…that’s regardless of age, HIV-status, body type, etc. And that’s where my intentions for joining this board lies, in having a say, having a seat at the table to speak, boldly, on behalf of any underdogs that I rarely see representation of or appreciation for within the Castro district.


And I am able to raise funds, as I have done for the SF LGBT Center before, even as I was homeless, and as I have done for myself when I needed to crowdfund, and as I’ve done in the past in high school. And as I even did yesterday, at a bartending event I helped organize and make cocktails at to raise money for Breonna Taylor and those protesting, and being locked up for doing so, on her behalf.

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