Monday, January 18, 2016

SF AIDS Fdtn's 8 AM Community Mtg Avoids the Castro

As a nonprofit receiving millions in City funds, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation is required to hold at least two open board meetings for the public. I recently requested meeting notices of all charities subject to the Nonprofit Public Access Ordinance, which are kept on paper by the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, Angela Calvillo.

Notices from January through February 11 are here.

The SFAF is holding a community meeting on Saturday, January 23rd, at 8 am down at the Morrison and Foerster law firm, 425 Market Street, according to their notice.

Genuine community engagement, beyond ribbon-cutting, would dictate SFAF leaders hold their meeting at a more accommodating hour and at their new Strut facility on Castro Street. I can't fathom why this nonprofit is going to saw lengths to minimize public participation at the meeting.

After a year in which the SFAF faced major challenges over renaming their Magnet program and finishing their rented multi-level Strut building in the heart of the gayborhood, and the resignation of Arizona-based executive director Neil Giuliano (pay = $327,000) necessitating the search for a replacement, and the widening of PrEP and Truvada availability to prevent transmission of HIV among other queer male health concerns, the foundation has a duty to better engage their stakeholders.

A meeting that starts at 8 am on a Saturday and isn't in the Upper Market or Castro areas is a dereliction of leadership.

I reached out to SFAF spokesman Andrew Hattori and he replied their will be another board meeting months down the road at their Market Street headquarters in the evening on a weekday. Hattori explained:

"Approximately one month in advance, a staff member reaches out to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors and the General Information Center at the San Francisco Public Library to post the notices and make them available to the public.

"At each meeting, we slate time for public comment. There is no legal requirement to make agendas available in advance. Agendas are available at the meetings."

All that nonprofitese basically telling me to get lost, actually, the entire larger community to stay away. Omitted from the SFAF site is info about the meetings, because the "community-based" organization is only to jump as high as legally required and alerting everyone via their vast social media just ain't part of their agenda.

Oh, and forget knowing when the board wants to hear from anyone. It could be at 8:30 or 10:15 am, but the board won't do us any favors and let us know beforehand.

We may have legally-mandated and extremely limited access to the AIDS foundation's board, but unnecessary hurdles show this nonprofit lacks the spirit to meaningfully engage stakeholders.

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