Thursday, August 28, 2014

Alice Club Questionnaire Tickles Funny Bones
By Todd Swindell and Michael Petrelis
(Cross-posted from our campaign page.)

If it's one thing we've learned in our decades of political advocacy it is the value of laughter, as both a powerful healing tool and a counter-balance to the craziness endemic to politics.

We wish to thank the conservative LGBT leaders and members of the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club for providing us with deep and extended gales of laughter earlier this month.

The club has long been the stomping ground of the incumbent District 8 Supervisor, faithfully embraces his policies and agenda at City Hall, and provided him with an early endorsement in his reelection bid.

We received a time-wasting questionnaire from Alice along with a confusing and poorly-written note, and we're going to unpack each sentence just for the fun of it.

Alice says: "Attached is the Alice Fall Questionnaire which we would appreciate your completing if your [sic] wish.

#ILikeMikeSF replies: Why in heaven's name are they sending out a questionnaire to all District 8 challengers, when we are fully aware of how devoted the club is to the incumbent? A response is likely to be used to defame his opponents.

Alice says: "You are aware of our pre-endorsement of our former Alice co-chair [the D8 incumbent] for re-election, which is why you haven’t received this before."

#ILikeMikeSF replies: Yes, we're quite aware of this fact and totally understand the club has ignored his challengers. Why does the club pretend it's interested now in what we have to say on any issue?

Alice says: "However, it would be useful to know your position on the various questions we ask, and it would be appreciated if you would respond.

#ILikeMikeSF replies: Please explain how and why it would be useful. Is there is snowball's chance in hell that the club would actually consider rescinding the early and enthusiastic endorsement, making it up for grabs?

Alice says: "Of course, disregard the return date, but hopefully you can complete [sic] before [our deadline]."

#ILikeMikeSF replies: Well, why have a return date (do they actually deadline?) in the first place? We'll also disregard the incredible sloppiness of this entire endeavor except for the humor value of it.

Oh, and no, we didn't attend their endorsement, but we sure have enjoyed Alice proving they can be ridiculous. Asking candidates so late in a club's useless endorsement process to answer a questionnaire, when they've already made their preferred choice well known, is an insult to voters and challengers.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Guerneville Gay-cation & Campaigning Up North

My husband Mike had last week off from work and to make sure he had a restful time, he sent me packing on a gay-cation up to the charming town of Guerneville up in Sonoma county.

I put my bike on Golden Gate Transit and the Sonoma County Transit buses earlier this week, and glad I had my two-wheels to ride around the woods and to the beach along the Russian River.

Staying at the Woods Lodge during the week meant I got a great deal on a room and the place was very quiet, so I was able to unwind and de-stress before the fall campaign season begins in earnest.

Being a consummate advocate, I took my #ILikeMikeSF propaganda with me and after a conversation with these two young gay men from San Francisco, took a photo of them with our campaign sign. That's Christian on the left and his sweetie Nicholas on the right.

When I came home, Mike was so rested and relaxed it was clear he hadn't been to his law firm all week and enjoyed his time-off from assisting me with the political campaign.

Now, back to electioneering and if you haven't already RSVPed to the invitation: , to our September 5th fundraiser at Sweet Inspiration on Market Street near Noe, please do so now. It's gonna be a blast!
Effective Campaigning at Harvey Milk Plaza
By Todd Swindell and Michael Petrelis
(Cross-posted from our campaign page.)

Since our alternative candidacy is a very grassroots effort, we need to press lots of flesh and a top location for that is at the Harvey Milk Plaza transit hub in the heart of the Castro.

In recent days, we've been at the plaza during the evening rush hour greeting voters and potential donors distributing as many campaign cards as possible. It's been surprising hearing how many people say they're not on Facebook and we tell them the page is open to all regardless of being a user of Facebook or not.

One of the pleasures campaigning at this location is getting reacquainted to the many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender folks and people living with HIV/AIDS we've met over the decades.

Every encounter with an old friend or hearing words of encouragement from strangers is a "win" for our campaign. We hope this sort of old-fashion electioneering educates voters that we're on the fall ballot and persuades them to tell their social media contacts about our campaign.

This photo is of an old acquaintance named Shadow who had nothing but words of praise to share, well, that and a very welcomed bear hug. Thanks, Shadow for your support and embrace, not to mention posing with our #ILikeMikeSF sign.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

D8 Bisexual Activist Sue Englander Endorses Us
By Todd Swindell and Michael Petrelis
(Cross-posted from our campaign site.)

If you've been at Harvey Milk Democratic Club meetings, union picket lines or LGBT solidarity protests in recent years you've likely seen District 8 bisexual voter and activist Sue Englander.

Seems we've known and seen her organizing for countless years and when asked for her endorsement for our alternative candidacy, without hesitation she smiled and said yes.

We were at the District 8 Democrats' meeting at Rafael Mandelman's apartment, and we quickly grabbed him and had his snap this photo of Sue and Michael together. Sue has sent us this fabulous endorsement statement and we have two things to say: thank you. From Sue:

"I'm endorsing Mike because he and I share a love of the Castro and Mission neighborhoods as broadly diverse communities and livable spaces, something that is fast disappearing.

"Most recently, he impressed me with his tireless and successful effort to persuade SF DPW and BART to wash away the debris and bird droppings at the 16th Street Plaza. For Harvey Milk, it was dog poop and for Mike, it's pigeon poop!

"I know that Mike will work to ensure a livable city for all San Franciscans, one that is deeply inclusive, immensely creative, and just a bit crazy and full of passion - just like Mike!"

Monday, August 25, 2014

Why Am I in California Lawyer Magazine this Month?

Former actress and longtime lesbian Democrat Sheila Kuehl was profiled in the May edition of California Lawyer magazine, as she campaigned in the June primary for Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in the Third District.

This passage positively screamed out for a reaction:

A relentless fund-raiser, Kuehl regularly sends out email solicitations, mining seemingly any occasion as a rallying cry. 'Help me scare away the competition with a donation before Halloween, read one typical plea last fall.

What is in the water some politicians drink that leads them to fear democracy and competition at the ballot box, and giving voters more than one person to consider voting for on election day?

The August issue of California Lawyer is now online (, and my letter about Kuehl made it into print:

Terrific and balanced piece on this liberal Democrat, who seems to have a problem with political competition. Glad the article is well-rounded and factual. Very glad she's got challengers in her race and in her effort to scare away competitors. Her kind of thinking is bad for that little thing we call democracy! Here in San Francisco, in the November 2013 elections, there were three citywide offices on the ballot: city attorney, assessor-recorder, and treasurer. And none of the incumbents faced any serious or protest candidates. Can we please get career politicians to drop their Soviet-style desires when vying for public office?

Illustration for California Lawyer by Jon Berkeley.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Weekend Woof #87: Boys, Boys, Boys

I took a hiatus last weekend from this photo series that aims to please the queer eye, and now I'm back with a new edition. In my estimation, none of the fellas in these images is over forty so that qualifies them as boys.

These two guys look good enough to eat in their red shirts, as they passed through Harvey Milk Plaza.

What a great head of dark, curly on this biker dude riding a Muni bus last week. His facial fuzz was also fine to look at.

Two built guys, both wearing tight white shirts and sporting white earbuds, adding male beauty to the Castro gayborhood.

Not sure what drug he was on, but he was happy to show off some of the tattoo on his bicep on a BART train that was overly bright.

Do you like your young beef in tank tops on the lean or hefty side? Me, I'll take the dude on top. And how were your last two week for male-gay-zing?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Chicken Supe Won't Debate
By Todd Swindell and Michael Petrelis
(Cross-posted at on August 10.)

Voters in San Francisco's District 8 won't have the opportunity to see the incumbent Supervisor debate all of his opponents including Michael, because his campaign this week told local news outlets of his refusal fully participate in the democratic process.

As you know, Judge Sam Feng on Monday granted leeway for debates to take place with MIchael present and that would in no way violate the stay-away order and we thought DIY democracy was enhanced with the judge's ruling.

However, two local news outlets are reporting that the incumbent campaign issued a statement declaring his hardline opposition to joining any events where Michael will be on the panel.

This development comes after the Supervisor told a local gay newspaper in June that he would participate in debates.

Our intent is to speak at as many endorsement panel meetings and debates as possible, and if Michael's presence deters the incumbent from engaging in this important aspect of democracy, so be it.

Democracy Victorious! Debates Approved!

By Todd Swindell and Michael Petrelis
(Cross-posted from and dated August 4th.)

Thanks to several modifications by Judge Sam Feng at this morning's hearing, our campaign can now participate in panels hosted by advocacy groups and candidate debates, to be held closer to election day.

He agreed that Michael could appear this Wednesday, August 6th, at the San Francisco Latino Democratic Club's special early endorsement meeting but to avoid being near the District 8 incumbent Supervisor.

Our defense attorney Derek St. Pierre and Michael must compile a list of other endorsement meetings of interest, then must request and will be granted expedited calendaring in Feng court to consider any potential proximity issues for the candidates.

Regarding formal debates in the fall organized by groups such as the League of Women Voters, Feng will allow Michael full participation in them including directly questioning the incumbent if the host organization's format calls for such engagement.

Do-it-yourself democracy in San Francisco was enhanced today by Judge Feng, and we are grateful for his modifications.

Many thanks to our supporters who were in court today, including Patrick Connors who tweeted this photo of Michael being interviewed by reporter David Stevenson of KTVU, left, and his lawyer on the right. You can read all of Patrick's tweets and view his #ILikeMikeSF photos here:

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Weekend Woof #86: Bear - It's What's For Dinner!

The #ILikeMikeSF team has been out pressing the flesh at Harvey Milk Plaza with our materials for the District 8 Supervisor campaign, which is where many of these photos were snapped this week. Some were also taken today down at the SF Eagle Bar, where we went simply to enjoy the fine bears on the prowl.

Be sure to visit our campaign sites here and also here

Thanks to all the furry fellas who graced my camera lens!

The two shirtless bears have been known to provide eye candy for the queer dudes of the Castro, but I've always seen them in tee shirts till today.

A couple of salt-and-pepper bearded daddies to look at and one with a stogie in his mouth for the cigar fetishists among us.

OMG, a furry member of the Lollipop Guild standing on the Yellow Brick Road looking so adorable. Awwww.

The sweetest chub cub I met all week was this dude. Don't let the gray hairs fool you. He's all cub.

Here are youngish beefy dudes seen at Up Your Alley a few week back. And how was your week for bear-and-beef watching?

Friday, August 08, 2014

100 Attend Plaza 16 Meeting to Stop Luxury Condos
By Todd Swindell and Michael Petrelis

The diverse Plaza 16 coalition of Mission residents working to preserve our small piece of San Francisco brought out more than 100 people on July 31, with the primary purpose to organize against a proposed ten-story luxury condo adjacent to the BART 16th Street Plaza.

Over the course of a two-hour meeting, conducted in English and Spanish, the emphasis was on working together to stop the Planning Commission from approving the Maximus Real Estate Partners' condo project at their January meeting, and mobilizing more of our neighbors, friends and local small businesses to join the coalition.

We were there and found much support for the #ILikeMikeSF campaign. Many of our cards were distributed, photos of supporters and District 8 voters holding our sign were taken, and everyone offered us encouragement. Muchas gracias, amigos y amigas.

At the feed, we shared photos of a few attendees and promoted the hashtag #PlazaSixteen. When you're on Twitter and other social media, be sure to raise awareness for #PlazaSixteen and assist this grassroots Mission effort.

Our message is clear to real estate developers, City Hall, Sacramento and Washington and our elected officials: we need affordable housing built now for low-income folks, and we won't rest until we have it.

This video was shot at the start of the meeting and gives you a small taste of the multicultural nature of everyone who showed up. We're proud to have joined our neighbors last night and look forward to future organizing with them.