Sunday, April 24, 2011

Disgraced SF Pride Director
Gets Free Ride from Bilerico

Even before the 2010 San Francisco Pride parade and festival were over, there were rumblings of trouble because of poor executive leadership on financial issues and accountability. Amy Andre served for less than year as executive director of SF Pride, before resigning under a cloud of serious mismanagement charges.

For months the Bay Area Reporter admirably kept tabs on the mounting problems, continually asked Andre for interviews and giving her the opportunity to respond in-depth to her critics. Andre eventually quit, as SF Pride was facing a potential deficit of $150,000, in October and showed tremendous disrespect to the community in not making herself available to publicly discuss what went wrong.

The best way to restore sane policies at SF Pride and learn from past mistakes would have started with Andre engaging the local community with forthright dialogue. At the time of her stepping down from the director's position, Andre spoke with the SF Chronicle in the most vague wording possible that showed a deep denial about the mess she created:

"It was a tremendous learning experience for me, this situation included," Andre said. "That's one reason to take the jobs we do: to learn, to grow, to stretch ourselves. I've accomplished something here, and it's time to move on."

What a pathetic reply, after months of refusing to help SF Pride and the community get a handle on the myriad sloppiness Andre was leaving everyone else to clean up after her disastrous tenure. Her touchy-feely comment to the Chronicle won her no fans and did nothing to solve the SF Pride problems of her making. Good-bye to incompetent leadership was the feeling among many community members.

But none of Andre's poor stewardship or the serious issues left to be addressed at SF Pride warrant even a passing mention by the editors at the Bilerico site, in an essay they ran by her last week. In a provocative column, Andre opined that Lady Gaga is not an ally to the gay community and Bilerico omitted her SF Pride job and accompanying troubles from her bio.
Bilerico's full bio for Andre: Featured from CNN to PBS to Cosmo for her expertise in bisexual community and LGBT rights, guest blogger Amy Andre is the co-author of Bisexual Health, published by the NGLTF. With a master's degree in sexuality studies, Amy has educated thousands of people at over 100 universities and companies, including Microsoft, Harvard, and Stanford Medical School.

Not a thing said about SF Pride and the damage she did to it. I don't know which is worse. Were Bilerico editors ignorant of the extensive news coverage and editorializing in the BAR, coupled with the front-page news in the SF Chronicle, regarding Andre's controversial performance at SF Pride, or did they know the facts and dismiss them?

Either way, Bilerico again shows it's not a source of accountability or watchdogging over Gay Inc and the leaders who seriously harm community organizations.

(The photo shows Amy Andre during her short tenure at the helm of SF Pride. Credit: Rick Gerharter, BAR.)


Anonymous said...

The reason there is no comment from Bilerco might have something to do with the fact that you have no idea what went on at Pride, and nor does any one else. All that was printed by the BAR was rumors and false innuendos. The fact is that Amy tried to turn around decades of board and staff mismanagement, nepotism, and looting, and all she got in return was accusations that she caused all these problems that were there before she began. What's worse, all of the crooks and incompetant staff and board members are still there. It is they who will bankrupt and run pride into the ground.

Unknown said...

what a lame excuse you offer up as the reason why bilerico's editor doesn't even mention andre's former role at SF pride. the BAR reported a lot more than rumors, and indeed, if all they published were fictions and lies, andre would still be ED. it says much about andre that she has steadfastly refused to talk to the BAR or at any public meetings about the mistakes she made.

Anonymous said...

you presume she left because she was forced out rather than she wanted out of an organization whose board was/is frought with incompetance,mismanagement, and outright fraud. Why do you think no one else wants the job, and almost all the board members from last fall have quit? Because Amy was the only thing holding the organization together.

The BAR articles are full of half-truths and misrepresentations. And the fact that you simply parrot them as fact when you have no knowledge of the inside workings of pride simply makes you look ignorant.

Anonymous said...

The B.A.R. reported fact, not fiction, which was finally laid bare in the SF Weekly.

SF Pride had good fiscal practices and management in place since 1993, but it was the mismanagement by leadership and a lack of transparency, even by staff, that obscured the depth of damage done in less than one year.

Got rid of nepotism? Hardly. Almost everyone hired (and fired) was a friend of Andre's, brought in to hold positions they did not have the skill sets to do.