BAR: No on Prop 8 Leaders Fail
to Hold SF Meetings
Cynthia Laird, the editor of the Bay Area Reporter, has an excellent column today, more than three weeks after the November 4 election, questioning the lack of No on Prop 8 accountability meetings in our little town.
Neither Kate Kendell nor Geoff Kors, the well-compensated leaders of the fight against Prop 8, as far as I've been able to determine, has lifted a finger to make such meeting happen here.
Many activists are saying that the forum the volunteer organization Marriage Equality was supposed to host last Thursday, and allegedly reschedule for the first week of December, will be the chance for Kors and Kendell to engage the local community about what went wrong and we're were headed.
Why should it fall to the Marriage Equality activists to build the platform for community-dialogue that the million-dollar National Center for Lesbian Rights and Equality California, the groups led by Kendell and Kors, should have either organized by now, or at least announced will happen in December. But neither leader has shown the least bit of interest in mobilizing his or her group for a forum.
Rest assured though, Kendell and Kors have had plenty of time and organizational resources to ask for more money.
The pain of the piss-poor leadership of these two official leaders on Prop 8, is exacerbated by their refusal or inability, along with their well-staff agencies, to start the dialogue we need to have after the debacle of losing on November 4.
Let's hope Laird's fine editorial piece today lights a fire under the butts of Kendell and Kors. That is, if those butts are not again on vacation, and we all know how much these leaders love their vacations.
The shortcomings of the No on 8 campaign have been discussed, but only abstractly – at least in San Francisco. There has been no public post-mortem in San Francisco since the election. Indeed, executive committee members here have traveled to Los Angeles (Geoff Kors) and Boston and North Carolina (Kate Kendell), but haven't sat down with community members in San Francisco. Heck, the Human Rights Campaign, which provided in-kind (staff) support and millions of dollars, held a town hall in New York City the other night to talk about Prop 8, which affected California, some 3,000 miles away.
Go figure ...
In a Monday post from Kendell's blog at the National Center for Lesbian Rights Web site, she writes about the "hundreds of messages" she and others have received since the election ... But nowhere does she talk about any lessons learned, and we know there are some because she agreed with one of our observations about the campaign's flawed messaging.
Similarly, Lorri Jean, CEO of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, posted a "frequently asked questions" list on the center's Web site ...
"Several members of the media have asked me if this [post-election] evaluation will be made public. So far the No on 8 campaign has not discussed this. My view is that while transparency is preferable, making such information public would give the opponents of LGBT equality undue advantage in future battles. Prop 8 was not the first time they attacked us at the ballot box, and it certainly won't be the last. We don't want to reveal our secrets to them in advance."
Secrets? What secrets? We lost. There was no ace in the back pocket. Some of the failings – not enough money early in the effort, no gays in the television ads – were being discussed during the campaign itself. The Yes on 8 campaign, in many ways, out-maneuvered No on 8, period. What we need is an examination as to why that happened and move forward, preferably with a consensus not to make the same mistakes again.