It's About Community

San Francisco LGBT Community Elects Tom Ammiano, Cecil Williams & Janice Mirikitani, and Phyllis Lyon & Del Martin as Grand Marshals

A record 1,455 people from the community voted in this year's Grand Marshal Ballot. The ballot was introduced for the first time last year in keeping with the board's commitment for greater community involvement in the planning of the Pride event. Nominees were selected by the general public, the Pride Committee's general membership and board of directors. People cast their votes at a colorful and festive polling place set-up at the corner of 18th and Castro Streets on April 1 and April 8, on Polk Street on April 8, and by mailing in ballots printed in local newspapers.

The results of the voting are as follows (Bar at 70 votes):

Individual Grand Marshal Category :

Candidate # of Votes
Supervisor Tom Ammiano 559
Rev Cecil Williams & Janice Mirikitani 240
Phyllis Lyon & Del Martin 151
Rev. Jim Mitulski 125
Michaelangelo Signorile 117
Page Hodel 116
Keith Truitt 99
Dr. Susan Stryker 95
Comm. Pat Norman 70

Organization Grand Marshal Category:

Organization # of Votes
AIDS Emergency Fund 293
Project Open Hand 245
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence 220
Gay & Lesbian Historical Society 161
El Modena High School G/S All. 149
SF Gay Men's Chorus 138
Pro Latino 111

At its meeting held on 05.02.00, the Pride Committee confirmed the top three, Supervisor Tom Ammiano. Rev. Cecil Williams & Janice Mirikitani, and Phyllis Lyon & Del Martin would be this year's Grand Marshals and that the AIDS Emergency Fund would be the Organization Grand Marshal. The remaining nominees were awarded "Honorary Marshal" status and will be recognized as such in the Parade.

Tom Ammiano is the second gay elected official to be President of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors. Cecil and Jan have been longtime friends and allies of the community, running the gauntlet of institutionalized criticism for accepting openly queer people in their congregation since the early 1960's. Phyllis and Del founded the first Lesbian organization in the USA, the Daughters of Bilitis, in the 1950's and have been together, as a couple, since 1953.

Commenting, Pride Executive Director, Teddy Witherington, said :

"Tom, Cecil, Jan, Phyllis, Del and the AEF are popular choices and their selection as Grand Marshals coincides beautifully with this year's theme, It's About Freedom. Their life's work has been to push the boundaries of personal freedoms and work tirelessly for our community. The response from the public was overwhelming and it's great to see the Board's policy of community engagement paying dividends."

Upon hearing the news of his election, Tom Ammiano was in jubilant mood and said:

"To be selected as Grand Marshal is one of the best and biggest honors afforded me in my 30 year career. My family and friends are thrilled and share in my joy."

ENDS

For further information please contact Teddy Witherington at: (415) 864 0831