March Leaders Meet at White House;
Cleve on Broadway; Oregon Says No
Cleve on Broadway; Oregon Says No
What has the director of Cleve's march on DC, Kip Williams of San Francisco, been doing lately to build a mass turnout for the event and create the structure and people-power for the promised network of LGBT captains in every Congressional district? He attended last week's Netroots Nation convention for progressives and Democrats in Pittsburgh.
After that, according to Bil Browning, editor and publisher of the Bilerico Project site, Willams hit the road:
Jerame [Davis], Kip and I ran off to New York City for less than 24 hours and then dashed down to Washington DC for a couple of days. It was a great working trip full of meetings.
Let's look at the boys' photos and get a sense of how those many meetings went.
That's Jerame, Bil and Kip having a "meeting" in the Blue Room, on their tour of the White House. This little sit-down counts as a meeting, right?
And here they are in Central Park, holding another meeting. I guess all the other LGBT people these organizers met with, 6 weeks before their DC march, on their trip that was just "full of meetings," didn't want to be photographed with them.
That might explain why none of the photos from the grand tour show these guys at a damn meeting. Or anything close. They did sightseeing, and there ain't nothing wrong with that, if every detail necessary to mobilize thousands of LGBT people in a very short time were taken care of.
Speaking of the Big Apple and its fabulous attractions, have you heard that Cleve Jones is making his Broadway debut? Actually, it's off-Broadway since he'll be appearing on the Delacourt stage in Central Park next Friday afternoon to energize the troops.
The 2:30 PM public rally on Aug. 28 will take place at the Delacorte Theater, home of the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park. Participating in the rally will be gay rights activist Cleve Jones, Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis, Wicked and Next to Normal producer David Stone, as well as Hair Tony nominee and Broadway Impact founder Gavin Creel.
I hope the folks putting on the mid-afternoon show, on a weekday, at the end of summer, lure a better and bigger crowd than the numbers that turned out for the meetings put on Kip, Bil and Jerame this week.
So how are things going in the Western states, in terms of building support for the march, and persuading folks to be there?
The Just Out newspaper of Portland, Oregon, provides some answers:
A march on Washington D.C. has long been a rallying cry for American civil-rights organizations, but Oregon’s gay, lesbian, bi and trans community has so far shown lukewarm support.
For example, grassroots local advocacy is of primary concern for Dawn Holt, president of Portland’s PFLAG chapter. “A national march strikes me as a bit of a distraction,” Holt said.
PFLAG’s response is typical of Oregon’s gay, lesbian, bi and trans advocacy organizations.
“With the economy the way it is and this march being so far away, I don’t know a single person who’s planning to make the trip out there,” said Laura Calvo, treasurer of the state Democratic Party and interim president of the Democratic Party of Oregon GLBT Caucus. [...]
Can you believe that Oregonian LGBT community members are not opening their shrinking wallets to book flights and hotels to be in DC in October, to see the cast of "Hair" sing a few songs?
I wish I could end this post sharing the news that Loch Powell, spokesperson for the march, kept his word to share with me, and any visitors to the march's web site, the budget at this point. He promised the budget yesterday, but the budget was not released, nor do I have any clue when it might finally see the light of day.
Powell's email from late last night gave an explanation for the delay:
I know you have been waiting patiently for the budget, and I still dont have it. We have an amazing treasurer on board who is doing his absolute best to make sure that every i is dotted and t is crossed. Chip Arndt, who has an amazing track record in the LGBT movement has taken this on, and is wanting to make sure that everything is covered in our forecast.
You obviously are not the only one asking for it, but as I promised you, you will be the first to receive it and then we will post to the site. Just as I cc'd you on the request by BAR in their request for it as well. I am doing my best to do right by you, and your voice to the community, in all of your patience!
The accountant may be the most amazing guy ever, but I'm not impressed by the inability of the march organizers to provide any fiscal transparency at this point. They must all be busy organizing and holding important meetings in DC and NYC.