Thursday, March 01, 2012

Gill, Haas' Foreman Shoving
EQCA Down the Throats of CA's Gays

Apparently mogul and political boss Tim Gill, and Matt Foreman who dispenses millions of Haas Jr Fund dollars, didn't receive the memo from California's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender grassrooters and our allies regarding Equality California.

We don't embrace or support EQCA, and there are a good number of folks beyond the grassroots who just don't give a damn about the organization and how it operates, on top of an agenda that simply doesn't connect to LGBT people or duplicates the work of other groups.

EQCA's shelf life expired a long time ago, I'd say in the month of November 2008 when they led us to lose gay marriage in the state, but it managed to limp along and maintain the veneer of a successful and functional advocacy group with widespread community backing, until melting down last fall.

Let's turn to Los Angeles based veteran lesbian reporter Karen Ocamb of Frontiers for the latest poop and nonsense from this group and its big funders:

Last Thursday, Feb. 23, Equality California Board President Clarissa Filgioun and Institute President Cary Davidson announced the selection of LGBT ally Laurie Hasencamp as EQCA’s Interim Executive Director. The EQCA presidents said in a press release that they had “promised to keep you informed about our progress” since Roland Palencia’s abrupt resignation last October. “We have seized this moment to take stock, to look at the big picture and to ensure that Equality California is well-positioned to continue to lead the LGBT equality movement in California.”

Really? What leadership? EQCA has been MIA for so long, no one’s really noticed their absence. The press release noted that the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund and the Gill Foundation “have invested significantly” in EQCA – but for what, exactly?

Ouch, Ocamb's barbs really sting, as well they should. If Gill and Haas were making better use of their millions - rental subsidies for LGBT seniors and disabled comes to mind - and not wasting good money forcing EQCA down our throats against our collective will, EQCA would do us all a favor and be put out of its misery.

If there is hard, independent evidence that CA's diverse gay community still wants EQCA and their methods, let's see it.

Between Gill, Haas and EQCA there ain't no sunshine. They've kept their grant proposals, discussions, plans and tactics, hidden from the very community they say wants EQCA to go on. Even with the organization's meltdown and continuing troubles, I've not heard of any of these players ready to democratically engage with the grassroots or beyond their tight, closed boards and executive committees.

In case these folks wonder how Ocamb can write that "no one's really noticed their absence" and know she speaks the truth (thanks, Karen!), one answer is their lack of transparency and engagement with regular gays.

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