Tuesday, January 04, 2011

LA Weekly:
Has EQCA Found an In-House Director?

Down at the LA Weekly, gay reporter Patrick Range McDonald has been talking with many Equality California leaders and supporters, along with the numerous critics of the group for a big piece in the paper coming out in a few days.

When I spoke with Patrick last month, he annoyed me with several questions about the good work performed either by the org or its soon-to-be-gone director. After so many years of unbridled disgust with the elitist, non-engaging ways of EQCA and its executives, I was in no mood to offer more than minimal praise. I mention Patrick's persistence that I had something nice to say because I take that as a sign he's publishing a balanced and fair piece.

While we wait for his article to come out, let's look at his blog post today for the LA Weekly about the possibility that a new leader for the org has already been selected. Even if longtime EQCA managing director is not the replacement, he is pivotal to the org and is not leaving it anytime soon, so we all need to scrutinize him:

Will officials at Equality California, the powerful gay rights lobbying group, follow through on their promises to conduct an extensive nationwide search and reach out to the gay community as they look for a new executive director?

According to gay blogger and activist Michael Petrelis, the answer looks like a big fat "no," with signs that Equality California is already preparing to promote its managing director, Jim Carroll.

If that's happening, it contradicts what outgoing executive director Geoff Kors and EQCA board members told L.A. Weekly during recent interviews.

The hiring of the new executive director of Equality California is no small thing.

That leader makes decisions that can directly affect the rights and lives of hundreds of thousands of gays and lesbians in California -- whether it's fighting an anti-gay ballot measure or helping to get pro-gay legislation passed in Sacramento.

He or she will also work with other gay rights groups. It is something critics say EQCA and Geoff Kors haven't always done well, and hope the organization will correct with a new executive director who will seek to build a stronger, all-around gay rights movement in California. ...

Imagine that - a stronger gay community in the Golden State. It can happen, if EQCA's A-gay executives, board members and donors allow new voices to influence the group and they _finally_ being holding regular public forums. It's my hope that Patrick's article significantly contributes to those necessary changes. Click here to read Patrick's full blog post.

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