Alice Works (Her Butt Off)!
2011 Break-down:

Reese Aaron Isbell, Co-Chair Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club

In my first year as Alice Co-Chair I realized just how much work it is to run this amazing organization. I’ve been on the Board of the Club since 2004, but I really had no idea how much everyone does until I had the unique vantage point of oversight from the Co-Chair position. It is truly an honor to be help lead all the great work that Alice does every year. I want to give you a monthly breakdown of 2011 of just some of the items Alice did this year on behalf of the Club, the LGBT Community, and the City of San Francisco.

January 2011

February 2011

  • New Alice Co-Chairs meet with New Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club Co-Chairs to discuss common goals for the year
  • Newly-elected Supervisors Jane Kim and Scott Wiener address monthly Alice Membership meeting
  • Alice sends welcome letter to newly appointed Mayor Ed Lee and a message about his new search for Chief of Police
  • Alice assists and promotes community fundraisers for recent arson fires in the Castro and for the Lyon-Martin Health Clini
  • Alice speaks on behalf of former Supervisor Leslie Katz for her successful appointment to the Port Commission
  • Alice speaks before the special Police Commission community hearing at the LGBT Community Center
  • Alice Board Member Julian Chang elected President of the Juvenile Probation Commission
  • Alice Board of Directors hosts All-Day Board Retreat

March 2011

  • Alice speaks out and begins dialogue on issues relating to how the Unrest in the Middle East Unrest in the Middle East Could Spell Global Freedom
  • Supervisor Sean Elsbernd and representatives from SEIU present to Alice’s monthly Membership meeting a program on various proposals for pension reform locally and note those from around the country, especially being pushed by the Republicans in Wisconsin
  • Alice represents with a table at the Cesar Chavez Holiday Breakfast
  • Alice provides Resources for Same Sex Couples on 2010 Tax Preparations
  • Five Alice Board Members begin promotion and fundraising for their efforts with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation Lifecycle AIDSRide
  • Alice sends letter to President Barack Obama to thank him for his role in the Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
  • Alice sends letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein to thank her for her role in pushing forward a legislative Repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act
  • Alice sends letter to Congresswoman Jackie Speier for her courageous speech on the House floor regarding abortion and women’s health care

April 2011

  • Alice contacts the California Citizens Redistricting Commissionand requests new San Francisco hearing date as Redistricting Commission schedule conflicts with Annual Pride Parade & Festival
  • Newly-elected Supervisors Malia Cohen and Mark Farrell present to Alice’s monthly Membership meeting
  • Alice sends Mayor Ed Lee letter to express community concerns regarding proposed policies on nightlife including requiring of photographing, scanning, and retaining identification of patrons at nightlife establishments
  • After months of discussions, meetings, and negotiations, Alice succeeds in having the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committeepass a new specifically-outlined policy to not attack or malign registered Democrats.
    • “SFDCCC funds and campaign activities, including but not limited to mail or other electronic or telephonic communications,  shall not be used to attack or malign a registered Democrat running for local or non-partisan office, or, to direct registered Democrats to vote against a registered Democrat running for local or non-partisan office.  This prohibition is not intended to preclude activities that clarify that a candidate is misleading voters regarding Party affiliation or endorsement, and is also not intended to preclude activities that clarify a SFDCCC endorsement. Further, campaign activities may refer to the source of funds used to target officially endorsed candidates, but shall not attack a Democratic opponent or suggest an association between the source of independent expenditure funds and a Democratic candidate. In the event that independent expenditures are made in favor of non-endorsed candidates, or against officially endorsed candidates, the source of the funds may be referenced.”
  • Alice Board Members participate in the annual California Democratic Convention in Sacramento

May 2011

  • Supervisor and Budget Committee Chair Carmen Chu and Greg Wagner, the Mayor’s Budget Director, address Alice’s monthly Membership meeting
  • After months of deliberations by working groups and committees, the Alice Board of Directors passes changes to Bylawswhich allow for the first ever ranked-endorsement process for local elections and for a new process for nominations to the Board.
    • Passed unanimously by the Board in May and approved unanimously by the Membership in June.
  • Former Alice Co-Chair Carole Cullum is honored by Supervisor Scott Wiener at City Hall and she and her partner Kathy are honored at an Alice Board meeting as they move on to Minnesota

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

  • Alice Kicks Off Month-long History Exhibit entitled “40 Years Together, 40 Years Strong” at GLBT Historical Society Museum
    • Welcoming Comments from Christine Pelosi, Chaif of the Women’s Caucus of the California Democratic Party
    • Historical Retrospective by Alice Board Member Nathan Purkiss
    • Listening Station with the first gay rights speech in American history spoken at a Democratic National Convention, delivered by Alice President and founder Jim Foster in 1972.
    • Collage work for the exhibit by San Francisco artist Peter Villapudua
    • Historical Panel with Guest Speakers Phyllis Lyon, Gary Miller, Connie O’Connor, Pam David, Andrea Shorter, and Theresa Sparks
  • Alice joins with the San Francisco Young Democrats and the City Democratic Club in hosting a standing-room-only mayoral debate at the African American Art & Culture Complex live-streamed by the Huffington Post
  • Alice Political Action Committee (PAC) conducts 2 weekends of interviews with Mayoral candidates, as well as interviews for candidates for Sheriff and District Attorney and proponents and opponents of the local measures on the ballot
  • Alice PAC votes to make recommendations to the Membership for ballot measures and candidates, including its first ever ranked-endorsements for Mayor
  • Alice co-hosts a second mayoral debate held by the Raoul Wallenberg Jewish Democratic Club at the Jewish Community Center

September 2011

  • Alice sends letter in support of Larkin Street Youth Center and its proposal for youth housing at the Edward II in the Marina District
  • Alice Membership votes for endorsements based on the PAC recommendations for the November 2011 election
  • Alice Board Members Zoe Dunning, Bob Dockendorff, Julian Chang and former Co-Chair Susan Christian serve on the Board of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and celebrate with the SLDN and full LGBT community the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell officially on September 20
  • Alice celebrates the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell with House Leader Nancy Pelosi at a special event at the LGBT Center

October 2011

  • Alice’s Field Activities for November 2011 election are in full operation throughout the City by tabling every weekend and by walking nearly 80 precincts by hand
  • Alice mails out slate cards and materials to voters throughout the City three times before the election
  • Alice posts weekly advertisements in the LGBT community press regularly
  • Alice hoists 3 billboards around the City promoting its top candidates
  • Alice tables all day with a booth at the Castro Street Fair
  • School Board Member Rachel Norton and Redistricting Task Force Member Myong Leigh address the monthly Membership Meeting
  • Alice attends the Human Right Campaign Gala
  • Alice hosts its annual Fall AwardsHonoring those who Build and Protect our Community
    • Leadership Award: Charles Sheehan
    • Legislator of the Year: Supervisor Scott Wiener
    • Community Partner in Public Service Award: San Francisco Public Library
    • Community Partner in Public Relations Award: Contemporary Jewish Museum
    • Community Partner in Public Policy Award: Jewish Community Relations Council
    • Special Recognition: “Gettin’ Shit Done Award”: Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
    • Volunteers of the Year: Keith Baraka & Nathan Purkiss

November 2011 

  • Alice continues huge Field Operation before Election Day on November 8th
  • Alice attends the San Francisco NAACP Annual Freedom Fund Dinner and Gala with a joint table with Senator Mark Leno
  • Alex Clemens of Barbary Coast Consulting presents an election-aftermath analysis for the Alice Membership Meeting

December 2011 

  • Alice Nominating Committee begins its work on recommendations for Alice’s 2012 Board of Directors to be voted upon in January
  • Alice Hosts its annual Holiday Party on December 17th!


Whew, that was a mouthful! And there’s still many items I probably missed in my monthly listing, but this gives an idea of all the work that Alice has done this year and every year. Now let’s all celebrate at the Holiday Party on the 17th! See you soon.

Reese Aaron Isbell
Alice Co-Chair

Facebook Twitter Email