EQCA Boss Palencia:
$0 for No on Prop 8
The elitist Democratic gay lobbying organization Equality California, without holding a single community forum, chose their new leader this week and the name was unfamiliar to myself and many San Franciscans. The executive director is now a Southern California Latino gay man from the nonprofit world named Roland Palencia.
He gave his first interview as EQCA ED to LA-based longtime lesbian journalism Karen Ocamb, whose blog LGBT POV has unfortunately served as an uncritical platform for the group. Their chat did not broach the subjects of regular town halls where the community sets the evening's agenda, board members presenting themselves at free events in their local areas or any other challenge to the status quo.
Palencia told Karen he blamed the victims of EQCA's abysmal engagement for the 2008 loss:
I also think that we, the community as a whole, could have been a lot more involved, could have done a lot more things. It was an issue that was not getting us much traction for the community. It’s hard to believe that now – but that was the reality.
The No on 8 lacking traction in the community? Not a sign of intelligence from Palencia, if that is what he really believes. The remarks were thankfully duly scrutinized by LA Weekly's veteran gay reporter Patrick Range McDonald:
Palenci's comments about the disastrous "No on 8" campaign, which was widely reported to be disorganized and dysfunctional, echo nearly identical excuses often mentioned by "No on 8" leaders, which angered many people in the gay community.
There have been numerous reports about the "No on 8" leaders not reaching out to college students, people of color, and grassroots activists, for leaving gay rights activists to fend for themselves in places like the Central Valley, and for running an isolated campaign without much outreach to the larger gay community and their straight allies.
Neither Karen nor Patrick wrote about the matter of Palencia's donations to the No on 8 campaign, but Seth Hemmelgarn of the Bay Area Reporter broached the subject:
Palencia said his involvement in the No on 8 campaign included writing checks and phone banking. He didn't remember how much he'd contributed.
Surprisingly, Seth didn't report how much Palencia gave to the campaign, so I used two search engines to learn the amount.
According to the Secretary of State and SF Chronicle data, the new leader of EQCA contributed $0 to the No on 8 effort. Why would he tell the BAR he wrote checks when the public record doesn't back up his claim? If there is a record of Palencia donating to No on 8, lemme know the URL for it.
At the state level, Palencia's totaling giving comes to $4,150 to the CA Friends Latino PAC, the G/L Latino/a HONOR PAC, Villaraigosa for Mayor, Friends of Fabian Nunez, Friends of Gil Cedillo, Gatto for Assembly, Portillo for Assembly, ACT BLUE, Torie Osborne for Assembly, and no donations to EQCA.
The Los Angeles City Ethics Commission campaign search engine shows he's doled out $1,250 to just three local candidates: Villaraigosa, Eduardo Reyes and Conrado Terrazas
Federal Election Commission records reveal a single contribution from Palencia. In late November 2008 he gave $400 to the Nevada State Democratic Party.
The only recognizable gay name among the recipients I recognize is Democratic Gay Inc hack Osborne, and I don't blame the guy for directing the bulk of his donations over the years to Latinos. But I'd like to know why he's not given more to gay pols, or anything to EQCA, Victory Fund or the Human Rights Campaign.
He's clearly a GWM, gay with money, so why no giving to those entities?