Friday, October 14, 2011

SF Chronicle: EQCA Fails
to Release Transition Plan

The Chronicle's chief Sacramento correspondent Wyatt Buchanan reported earlier this week on the abrupt departure of Equality California's executive director for three months, and other troubles for the group. Late Friday he posted an update and one doesn't have to read through the line to see even more ills besetting EQCA:

[...] A statement from the group announcing the departure of Roland Palencia said there would be a "transition plan" released by the end of the week. Well, that didn't happen.

Equality California spokeswoman Rebekah Orr told us Friday, "The board is in the process today of connecting with staff members to discuss the transition plan. We will release a public statement on Monday."

Let's stop here. I must express gratitude to Wyatt for doing old-fashioned journalism by asking an advocacy group about a promise, then reporting the response, in this case is another broken promise by EQCA and it's fast-evaporating staff. Quite interesting that their newly-moved from Oregon spokeswoman doesn't promise the transition plan. We're supposed to see a public statement come the new week.

Hmm, my mind entertains the possibility we could learn the group is closing up shop, every employee is moving on and EQCA is kaput. That would be a huge benefit to California's fabulous queer community. Not sure what the A-gay donors would do without their social networking galas and private cocktail receptions, but they'd survive.

IF, all caps intended, they release a statement on Monday, will many LGBT folks give a darn? I mean, as far as I know, the SF Chronicle is the only source to report today on EQCA's inability to share their transition plan. Lemme know if any gay media or bloggers have written about the missing plan.

The organization is hemorrhaging staff . . . they have already laid off one of their top Capitol staffers and the other is leaving soon.

The developments raise serious questions about the group's finances. We asked Palencia whether Equality California is in financial trouble, but he would only say, "Right now a lot of nonprofits are having problems." The group's IRS tax filings are available only for 2009 and back, when they were flush with money from donations due to the Proposition 8 campaign.

According to the secretary of state, the organization's two political action committees had just under $500,000 as of June 30. Looks like we'll have to wait a few more days to find out more about what's actually going on here.

My accountability and transparency genes get excited whenever I see an organization's IRS 990s mentioned and the latest numbers for their PAC reported.

Looking forward to Wyatt's next piece on EQCA, and hope he addresses an important question this group needs to answer. Will the Secretary of State allow them to use their half-million dollars in their gay marriage PAC for purposes other than that issue, given that they will not be organizing a 2012 repeal of Prop 8?

Very curious to see what EQCA says on Monday about their general plans, and what they intend to do with all that cash.

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