Saturday, March 26, 2011

EQCA/Leno Mum on April 5 Gay Ed
Judiciary Cmte Hearing in Sacto

In little more than a week, the state Senate Judiciary Committee will consider SB 48 and SB 117. The former is Mark Leno's gay education bill that was heard before the Senate Education Committee on March 23. The latter is Christine Kehoe's bill outlawing discrimination based on gender and/or gayness in public contracts.

EQCA is silent about the April 5 hearing on _two_ bills of strong interest to many gays, has no plans to hold a public forum giving the community a legislative update, and nothing is in the works at the group to have lots of pro-gay activists show up. Standard operating b.s. for EQCA and Geoff Kors in not engaging, organizing or mobilizing the grassroots.

By refusing to work with grassroots folks, and keeping information from the community until _after_ a hearing has transpiring, then sending out a fundraising pitch exploiting gay kids, we see an elitist A-gay approach, one that failed to empower gays in 2008's Prop 8 debacle.

Let's examine one of our key adversarial group's call to action posted a full week before the crucial March 23 education committee. It's from Lou Sheldon and his Traditional Values Coalition:

Here's what appeared on the EQCA site both before and after the March 23 hearing in Sacramento, and it tells you everything you need to know about the lessons the leadership of this Democratic Party-affiliated organization learned about respecting and energizing their base after they lost Prop 8:

The EQCA announcement to educate the community, get us off our computers, leave the bars and gyms, and walk into the halls of our government offices and hearing rooms is equal to their No on 8 campaign.

For more abysmal grassroots education and outreach, have a look at Mark Leno's site. Search his state-funded site for SB 48 and you'll find this very limited amount of info. The text of the legislation and a December press release on its introduction:

Speaking of Leno's December release, guess who gets a prominent and large quote in it? Kors. These two are quite a pair, joined at the hip, with EQCA's former communications director serving as Leno's current spokesperson and other cozy connections between their offices. Leno must fear us learning about April 5's meeting because there is nothing at his site about it and he's on the judiciary committee.

Why did A-gay Democratic community leaders not inform us of the March 23 hearing, like Lou Sheldon did? Sheldon not only got his people out, but in his successful turnout he forced Kors to write about their mobilization in his fundraising letter.

It's no wonder our opponents think we're timid and rabbity, scared to show our faces at public hearings in the capitol, when for years they've mostly seen only Kors at committee meetings.

Kors and Leno are different sides of the same fear-of-activists coin of the gay realm.

Both refuse to hold public forums, while Leno does Kors' bidding in Sacramento and Kors can always count on Leno to show up at the endless awards ceremony of EQCA. While the status quo suits these two, the rest of us are treated as mere spear-carriers in their grand opera, only to be called up for duty when money is needed, or the agenda's already been decided and they need foot soldiers to do the grunt work.

Here it is, three days after the March 23 education committee meeting, one day after Kors used it to rattle his begging bowl, and not one word about it appears on the EQCA site, never mind info on the April 5 hearing. However, their opening page is promoting these upcoming events:

If there is any proof out there that EQCA or Leno have a plan to utilize diverse grassroots gay activists looking to be politically engaged this legislative session, beyond calling only on their A-gay pals and other Gay Inc executives, show it to me and I'll eat it with ketchup at the next town hall meeting either EQCA or Leno organize for us.

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