Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Political Notebook: LYRIC school program receives partial funding


LYRIC Executive Director Jodi Schwartz
(Photo: Rick Gerharter)
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Set to unveil a report about the effectiveness of its school-based initiative, an LGBT youth agency received partial funding for the program from San Francisco officials last week.

In his budget released May 31, Mayor Ed Lee proposed allocating $75,000 toward the program, overseen by the Castro-based Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center. The amount is half of what LYRIC had been seeking, and the agency plans to continue to press City Hall for the full amount as the Board of Supervisors begins its budget talks.

As a story in last week's Bay Area Reporter detailed, LYRIC was passed over for a $250,000 grant from the city's Department of Children, Youth and their Families to help cover the expansion of its school-based work on LGBT issues during the 2013-2014 school year. In response, the agency had lobbied the mayor and the board to award it $150,000 to maintain the program.

Since it launched the curriculum in 2011, LYRIC has taught the weekly course about LGBT issues once a week at public middle and high schools. This past school year it was at Balboa High School and Everett Middle School.

It has also taught the course at Buena Vista/Horace Mann, a K-8 school, and Mission High School. LYRIC plans to teach the initiative at three schools in the fall during the 2013-2014 school year: Everett, Buena Vista, and Balboa.

In an email to the B.A.R. last week, LYRIC Executive Director Jodi Schwartz said the mayor's proposed funding amount would cover the costs of teaching the course at the middle schools but not the high school.

"We will need to secure additional funds in order to support the work at the comprehensive level required and across all three sites, which also includes Balboa HS," she wrote. "We are in conversation with multiple members of the Board of Supervisors as to whether they will support funding for the school-based initiative."

Schwartz sounded a positive note on seeing the city award it the full amount.

"It remains our hope that we can secure the full $150K from the city, as we are still committed to match those public funds, dollar-for-dollar, with private funds," she wrote.

Gay Supervisors David Campos (District 9) and Scott Wiener (D8) worked with the mayor's office to secure the partial funding for LYRIC through Lee's middle school initiative. It is likely they will push for LYRIC to receive its full funding request, though neither supervisor has yet to publicly pledge to do so.

Campos did not respond to the B.A.R. 's request for comment this week, while Wiener declined to specify what changes in the budget he would be seeking.

"I'm working on various LGBT youth budget proposals at the moment, and I'm not prepared to comment on any specific add-back requests," Wiener, who sits on the board's budget committee, wrote in an email.

Amid the funding fight LYRIC will unveil a new report about its program's impact in the schools at a City Hall press conference Thursday, June 6. Based on surveys taken by students enrolled in the program, an education evaluation firm concluded the school-based initiative had achieved "promising evidence of positive outcome" in several areas.

LYRIC will discuss the report at the 4 p.m. press conference on the steps of City Hall. Campos and Wiener are both expected to attend.


SF Pride snubs gay college board member

Each year the local guide to San Francisco Pride, known as Inside Pride, features greetings from local out politicians in addition to ones from the governor and mayor.

City College Trustee Rafael Mandelman(Photo: Rick Gerharter)

This year the list included every single gay San Francisco elected official except for one: freshman community college board member Rafael Mandelman. His gay board colleague, Lawrence Wong, is featured as are gay Campbell Mayor Evan Low, lesbian Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, and gay state Assembly Speaker John A. Perez , (D-Los Angeles), who has yet to take part in the city's parade or festival since being elected in 2008.

Mandelman told the B.A.R. that Pride had asked him to send in a greeting for the guide.

"I don't know what happened," said Mandelman, an attorney elected in November to the oversight body for City College of San Francisco. "I am sure they will get to right it next year."

Robert Sokol, whose company, Via Media, publishes the guide, said Pride officials determine the list of politicians to include and in which order to print their statements. Two other gay electeds, Berkeley City Councilmen Kriss Worthington and Darryl Moore , had been asked to submit Pride greetings but didn't make the final list, said Sokol.

"The editorial content is directed by Pride staff and its contractors. I go with what they tell me," he said.

SF Pride CEO Earl Plante said several Bay Area out politicians were cut due to space limitations. They will be included in the smaller Pride guide that will be published June 27.

"We are doing our due diligence to get everyone in the Pocket Pride guide," said Plante. "We increased the pages to ensure we get everyone in there."

Mandelman shared his Pride message with the B.A.R.

"From November's ballot box victories in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington to the election of Senator Tammy Baldwin, from Barack Obama's re-election and inauguration to NBA player Jason Collins' courageous coming out, this has been a good year to be queer," wrote Mandelman, referring to same-sex marriage wins and the lesbian lawmaker becoming the first out member of the U.S. Senate. "And yet ... as far as we have come, we know the road ahead is still long, longer still for the queerest among us. So as we celebrate our victories this Pride, let us rededicate ourselves to continuing our struggle until we have won justice for every last one of us."

Web Extra: For more queer political news, be sure to check Monday mornings at noon for Political Notes, the notebook's online companion. This week's column reported on gay SF Treasurer Jose Cisneros' re-election kickoff.

Keep abreast of the latest LGBT political news by following the Political Notebook on Twitter @

Got a tip on LGBT politics? Call Matthew S. Bajko at (415) 861-5019 or e-mail mailto:.


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