Friday, January 14, 2011

LA Weekly: 
EQCA Needs Town Hall Meetings

Patrick Ranger McDonald, who recently wrote an extensive piece for the LA Weekly about Equality California and its soon-to-be gone leader Geoff Kors that presented pro and con views on the org and Kors, has a follow up blog post today about EQCA hiring a head-hunter firm.

It really says quite a lot about what is still monumentally wrong with EQCA that more than two-years after its elitist style of organizing directly impacted the loss of Prop 8 and gay marriage in California, the org is not holding any regular public meetings, no open forums soliciting advice from average gays about what we want from the org and its new executive director.

One of Patrick's sources, Richard Zaldivar, whom I've never met but who share my concerns about persuading EQCA to get out of its ivory tower and start democratically engaging with the community beyond its A-gay donors, nicely states some very simple advice that EQCA should quickly heed:

Whatever happens, The Wall - Las Memorias Project Founder Richard Zaldivar, a Latino gay rights and AIDS activist who was also quoted in the Weekly cover story, still wants EQCA board members to reach out to the gay community and seek its input by holding town hall meetings.

"It is good to know that Equality California has retained a search firm to recruit an executive director," Zaldivar writes in an email to the Weekly. "It is my hope that Equality California meets with all (LGBT) community stakeholders to help guide a search for the appropriate and capable candidate to lead this organization. It is my hope that the candidate for the job is from our California community and is culturally sensitive to its emerging populations."

So far, EQCA, which receives millions of dollars from the gay community every year and makes decisions that impact the lives and rights of some 850,000 gay and lesbians in California, has yet to make any public moves to suggest it will follow Zaldivar's advice.

How long must we wait for the A-gays running EQCA to get over their pathological fear of meeting with the ordinary gays they claim to represent? No one is helped by the intransigence of EQCA to public forums.

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