Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Secret EQCA Site:
Pelosi's Milk Day Bash

[Update: Geoff Kors of EQCA has shared a reply in the comments section. Check it out below.]

There just is no pleasing that Patrick Connors, self-proclaimed uppity fag putting out damn excellent 411 on the inadequacy and endless money-grubbing of Gay Inc over at the SF Weekly's blog The Snitch.

Today Patrick is on a tear
over the official whatevers and everythings in the next few days by Equality California and others, in Harvey's hometown for Milk Day. Take it away, fierce uppity fag! The floor is yours:

As you'd expect, there's lots of stuff happening in San Francisco commemorating the gay icon. What you might not expect is how tame San Francisco's events are compared to other cities in California and around the country.

Outside of S.F., Milk Day is commemorated with public demonstrations like those we watched (a bit too repetitively) in the 2008 film Milk. New York City is honoring Milk's activism by organizing a march to City Hall. Los Angeles will have a week of events touching on various topics as well as hosting a Town Hall meeting, a march, and two rallies. Hell, even in St. Louis, they're marching to City Hall.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco there are no marches planned. [...]

Not to be outdone, Equality California (EQCA) is also participating in the recognition of Harvey Milk Day by throwing a few events to help raise money. For at least $75 per ticket, you can hear Nancy Pelosi, Mark Leno, and Tom Ammiano speak in San Francisco. [...] EQCA is throwing parties all over the state this weekend. This Harvey Milk Day idea is a big opportunity to raise (read: make) money. [...]

Sure, it's about that, but it's also about keeping the gays pacified just enough with the Democrats, through restricted events with our elected officials and giving them photo-ops with EQCA leader Geoff Kors. He's the California version of HRC's Joe Solmonese and as beholden to Democrats first, gay second, as his counterpart at the national level.

I followed Patrick's link to the EQCA events page to get the location of the Pelosi party, and that is secret info, emphasis mine, unless you cough up some gay dollars first:

San Francisco Harvey Milk Celebration with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Kickoff the first annual Harvey Milk Day by helping to elect LGBT candidates and our allies to office. [...]

Location Provided Upon Ticket Purchase

There is no other EQCA listing hiding its location. Just the Pelosi event. I've emailed EQCA's leadership asking why this is so, and if I get a response, it will be posted here.

My activist nose smells something isn't right about all this. It smells of fear on EQCA's part to protect the Speaker of the House from coming under fire at home from her gay constituents. Pelosi has been the target of sit-ins and activists arrested in her Washington and San Francisco offices, and there was a rally and picket of 100 angry gay folks at her district office yesterday.

Frankly, I'm also over the ceaseless narrow EQCA/HRC/Gay Inc focus on electing Democrats who happen to be gay, and our allies who love our votes and dollars but never get around to enacting change for us. If the "elect gays and allies at all costs" strategy is so great, why is there such dissatisfaction in the community?

Those reasons, and a host of others illustrating growing gay community impatience with her and the Democratic Party that just ain't showing us the political capital they're willing to spend on our legislation, are what I believe are a few things keeping the EQCA event with Pelosi close to the vest.

Instead of shielding the Speaker from San Francisco gays, EQCA should be doing everything to use all tactics -- cocktail parties to loud protests -- to persuade our Congressional representative to get fierce for gays.

Finally, if GetEqual activists had no problem purchasing several tickets to a fundraiser in LA last month and zap President Obama, I sure hope they repeat their performance with Speaker Pelosi in her political backyard. EQCA and Pelosi need to hear this message: No more Democratic Party "screwing the gays" as usual business.


Anonymous said...

Hi Michael,

It is not uncommon for politicians and celebrities to request that locations of events not be publicized until about 24 hours before they happen. Often there are security concerns or issues with venues, and in this case the venue wasn’t finalized until this week. We’ll be sending out an advisory in a couple of hours with the location. We’ll make sure you receive it.

EQCA’s Political Action Committee only endorses candidates who are 100 percent for LGBT equality, including marriage equality and insurance coverage of transition-related care for transgender people. Our requirements for endorsement are stringent. I couldn’t agree more that we must elect people who are committed to enacting change. Many of the candidates we endorse have long histories of activism on behalf of LGBT rights, and we endorse them because their histories show they will take action for us. We have a couple of events over the weekend with Harvey’s nephew Stuart, Senator Mark Leno and others to raise funds for these committed candidates, including the event in SF tomorrow night, and every dollar raised will go to support these candidates through donations to their campaigns and direct voter contact to help elect them.

We also have rallies, door-to-door canvasses and other events planned across the state to commemorate Harvey Milk Day. All the details are at Our big goal for the weekend is to get people motivated and to help them have conversations with people who don’t yet support full LGBT equality to try to bring them over to our side. Hundreds of people have signed up to canvass and share their stories on Saturday in neighborhoods that supported Prop. 8. I think Harvey would have spent his day working hard to restore marriage equality and build support for LGBT rights.

We do hope that Speaker Pelosi moves forward on ENDA and DADT. Earlier this week we joined the Equality Federation, GetEQUAL, NCLR, Out and Equal Workplace Advocates, San Francisco Pride at Work and the Transgender Law Center in a rally outside of the Federal Building in San Francisco to ask the Speaker to move ENDA forward. We’ll continue to call for swift passage of ENDA and repeal of DADT. We are committed to doing whatever it takes to see progress this year in California and nationally.


Geoff Kors, Equality California

Michael said...

thanks for the reply, geoff.

Anonymous said...

Yeah... protesting someone as pro-LGBT as Pelosi, that's really gonna speed things along. (Shaking head, sigh)