Friday, August 21, 2009

Obama at Cleve's March?;
Budget Out Today;Video of SF Fundraiser

Lots of news to share today about Cleve Jones' October 11 LGBT march on DC, so let's get started.

Dustin Lance Black, who won the Oscar for his screenplay for the movie "Milk," gave an interview with the Dallas Voice this week, and he spilled a few beans about efforts to get the president to address the march:

Q: How important is it that Obama acknowledge or appear at the march?

A: I think it’s incredibly important that Obama is invited to speak. Cleve is in contact with the White House, and if Obama does show up and speak I think that says a lot. And if he doesn’t, that also speaks volumes. I’m all for him being given the only VIP invite to speak.

Even this staunch critic of this march would be greatly impressed if Barack Obama were to show up on October 11 on the Mall in Washington and speak to the assembled crowd. Do I think it will happen? Nope, not very likely, but good to know the organizers would extend a Very Important Person invitation to the President of these United States of America, if he chooses to speak at the rally.

The second news nugget comes from Loch Powell, spokesperson for the march. In an email yesterday, he provided a time-line for the release of the budget:

I am promised to have a budget posted (which I will send to you first) on the website by tomorrow at the very latest. I would like to say 3pm tomorrow, but don't hold me to that, it might be closer to 4ish.

Again, I have reiterated to the entire executive committee, and everyone agrees this budget will be posted on the website and will be updated with full and complete transparency. No other March in history has ever done this, so we want to do it right.

Third, and final, bit of news comes from Cathy Brooks, a lesbian activist previously not involved in gay community politics before Prop 8 lost at the ballot in November, and is making up for being on the sidelines for so long.

Cathy attended the hush-hush fundraiser on Monday in San Francisco for the Courage Campaign and Cleve's march. She's made three videos from the event and posted them on her blog.

Clip number one is a short chat with Rick Jacobs:

Cathy's second video is five-minutes of Cleve talking about his life this year:

And the final clip is of Cleve and soldier Dan Choi sharing their thoughts about the march, and is about 17 minutes long:

Many thanks to Cathy for bringing the sunshine in to the fundraiser, and I look forward to receiving the march's budget and seeing it on the march's web site later today.


Unknown said...


Thank you for the kind words and the shout-out. I'm also glad that we had a chance to speak a bit and I feel it's important to reiterate something about which we chatted that I feel is critical for everyone to remember.

This fight is not new.

The LGBT equality battle has been going on for some time and there are those (yourself included) who have been part of this struggle for some time.

In affixing our eyes to the future, I feel it's imperative we give voice to the past, acknowledge that our differences ARE our solidarity and try to remember that in ripping down each other, we merely give our opponents more fodder.

A house divided unto itself cannot stand.

In solidarity and equality...

Michael @ said...

Amen to what Cathy said!

“Remember your roots, your history, and the forebears' shoulders on which you stand.”
- Marion Wright Edelman

Charles Merrill said...

Dan Choi gives the reason to the conclusion that we need a march. I look forward to hear what he has to say in October. Hopefully the religious groups like MCC that think we need a "respectable" appearance before lawmakers and the President will not be given too much importance on the speakers podium. This is not a movement based on what Jesus said, but a movement based in free thought and away from the teaching of hateful scripture.

Charles Merrill said...

I welcome Loch Powell's report. Can't say I am too impressed with pup Kip Williams the CEO of Equality Across America . This link from Bilerico, the blog that features articles from straight sunday school teachers.

Anonymous said...


I can only tell you that from the perspective here in DC, there is NOTHING, NADA, ZILCH happening around this march.

I've spoken to a number of folks who have tried reaching the organizers, Cleve, David Mixner, anyone, trying to get some clue as to who is doing the local planning/ground troops work.

Mixner was kind enough to give the name of the local organizer, a "Robin." Our emails have gone un-answered.

Having been involved in local organizing (not the glamorous front of the microphone part but the hard tedious necessary early organizing) for previous DC Marches and LGBT events, we've been stunned by the ABSOLUTE lack of outreach to the local community to own this and to staff this and to make it happen.

Jones speaks about "the work that needs to be done" and yet he's put out a call for a national march and nothing has happened to make this happen.

We're seriously concerned about how this makes our movement look if a call is made and nothing is done to set the places at the table.

Michael, please know that local people -- willing to put in the time and energy -- have been stymied by the lack of organization or response. This is basic nuts and bolts stuff. It doesn't bode well for the weekend of October 10th.

Unknown said...

i wish the march web site were more au courant and used by more people. where are the discussions about what to accomplish? can't say i've read any comments on anything posted on the blog for the march site.

and i looked at the pics charles sent a link to. i'm glad march organizer kip williams, and his new march buddy bil browning, did the tourist stuff in NYC and DC, but, i hate to be rude about this, did they do any actual organizing while on their grand tour?

seems to me if you're organizing a march in a few weeks in DC, you're gonna need to hold a few meetings in NYC and DC.

any evidence kip and bil made it to any meetings in those cities?