Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Victory! BAR: Gay Supervisors to Hold SF Pride Hearing

(BOS Chambers, site of the SF Pride hearing? Credit: Darryl Bush, SF Chronicle.)

As pretty much the only voice pushing for a City Hall hearing about the myriad controversies and problems at SF Pride, see my first post from June 4 here, follow up post here and letter in the Bay Area Reporter's Pride edition, I'm pleased with news in the BAR's editorial appearing in tomorrow's paper. If there were other voices, lemme know and I'll give due credit.

BAR editor Cynthia Laird writes:

We were thrilled this week to hear from Supervisor David Campos that he and Supervisor [REDACTED] intend to hold a hearing on SF Pride so the board and community could hear from officials themselves. It seems that Campos's involvement is the only way we can get some answers [...] Campos couldn't say exactly when the hearing will be held, but he and [REDACTED] confirmed to us that it will happen.

This time, the issue isn't about [Wikileaks gay hero Bradley] Manning, but about moving forward and the sustainability of the event, as well as making the board more accountable to the community. Campos told us this week that he wants to check in with Pride to see how the organization is doing, and to review the safety issues and the shooting that marred this year's festival. 

He and [REDACTED] also want to ask Pride leaders how they're doing implementing the recommendations of a three-year-old report from the controller's office that cited a need for Pride to tighten fiscal controls, rebuild senior management, and institute board training. (Pride has, since then, hired a new leader and this year finally repaid all its debt.)

That is all welcome news to us, and should be to the community, too. After all, Pride receives city funding to help put on the parade and festival, and its success directly impacts local hotels, restaurants, bars, and other businesses. 

Since it's not clearly spelled out if Campos and his colleague will hold a Board of Supervisors' hearing (or two) at City Hall, one that would air on and be archived at the SF Gov TV site, or a convene a community hearing in the Castro, I've asked Laird to get clarification on this vital point.

Let's hope the Supervisors understand we need the hearing to occur at City Hall, and that much time must be set aside for public comment. I wish to also start pushing for three-minutes of time, not the usual two, for each speaker at the hearing during the public comment section.

One barely has enough time with only two-minutes to lay out a few facts and make a point. Do you agree that three-minutes for each member of the public should be the guiding principle at the hearing?

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