CA State Senator
Senator Scott Wiener represents San Francisco and northern San Mateo County in the California State Senate. Elected in 2016, Senator Wiener focuses extensively on housing, transportation, civil rights, criminal justice reform, clean energy, and alleviating poverty. Before his election to the Senate, Senator Wiener served as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, representing the district previously represented by Harvey Milk. He also chaired the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. Before taking public office, Senator Wiener practiced law for fifteen years, including nearly a decade as a Deputy City Attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office. He also served in a number of community leadership roles, including co-chair of the San Francisco LGBT Community Center and on the national Board of Directors of the Human Rights Campaign. Senator Wiener has lived in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood since 1997. He received degrees from Duke University and Harvard Law School and was a Fulbright Scholar in Santiago, Chile.
Director, Harm Reduction Policy, San Francisco AIDS Foundation
Laura Thomas is a queer white femme living in the Mission in San Francisco with her three cats. She is the Director of Harm Reduction Policy for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation where she is leading work on drug user health, harm reduction, and access to treatment, with a focus on efforts to open supervised consumption services in San Francisco. She has been advocating on HIV and public health issues in San Francisco for over 30 years, since becoming involved in AIDS activism through ACT UP in San Francisco. She has worked for the Drug Policy Alliance, community-based organizations in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and as a health policy consultant. She was appointed to the San Francisco Entertainment Commission in 2016, where she serves in the public health seat. She is a long-time member of the San Francisco HIV Community Planning Council. She volunteers with the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory and SFAF Syringe Access Services. She’s a former two-term co-president of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club and was a founding organizer of the SF Dyke March. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Masters in Public Health and a Masters in Public Policy.
Alex Kral, PhD
Epidemiologist, RTI International
Alex H. Kral is an epidemiologist with expertise in community-based research with urban poor populations and drug policy. His policy and evaluation research has included syringe services programs, overdose education and naloxone distribution programs, and supervised consumption site programs. He is currently the principal investigator and co-investigator on several National Institute on Drug Abuse and foundation funded studies of the relationship between substance use, criminal legal involvement, infectious diseases and overdose, and federal and state drug policies. He has authored or coauthored more than 190 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including the Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal of Epidemiology, American Journal of Public Health, and Drug and Alcohol Dependence. He is regularly interviewed by journalists in print, podcast, and visual media, with frequent quotes in New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and San Francisco Chronicle and provides testimony in State legislatures.