Friday, July 29, 2011

EQCA Notes Straight Labor Leader's Death;
Ignores Homeless Gay Youth Study

Honestly, I wouldn't blog about a press alert from Roland Palencia, the executive director of Equality California, mourning the death of an octogenarian straight Latino union leader and friend of the gays, if EQCA were also issuing alerts about crucial gay issues daily affecting thousands of LGBT Californians.

EQCA and Palenica have ignored calls to speak out against the Social Security and Medi-Cal cuts that went into effect on July 1, and help disabled, seniors and low-income gay folks, while the statewide organization additionally says nothing about the latest study detailing growing problems for hundreds of homeless gay youth, including those living on California streets.

Bear in mind how EQCA did not issue alerts in advance of hearings and votes in Sacramento on SB 48 the gay education bill, nor did they actively mobilize the community to pressure Gov. Jerry Brown to sign the bill until gay reporters nudged the group to put out calls to write and call his office.

But today EQCA devoted staff resources noting the passing of a straight labor ally and shared phone numbers of folks to call for more info about funeral services.

Why is it such a problem for EQCA to address the needs of low-income gays and homeless queer youth and regularly engage us democratically, but they can quickly release a statement about the labor leader and facilitate mobilizing gays who want to attend his funeral?

A few answers can be found in Timothy Kincaid's excellent piece - "Good-bye, Equality California, It's Been a Good Run" - over at Box Turtle Bulletin. He lays out how EQCA is no longer a gay organization and the proof that Palencia is pushing broad social justice issues, and that it's time for him, and others, to say so long to EQCA.

While EQCA said this, "___________________," about the safety net cuts for gay and needs of homeless queer youth, here is some of what it had to say about the death of a labor leader. By the way, EQCA doesn't bother to inform us of what exactly it is he did on behalf of gays, so if you have this crucial info, please share it with me. EQCA just assumes we all know what this leader did for us. From EQCA:

Richard Chavez, pioneer in the Farmworkers Movement and champion of full equality for all Californians, passed away earlier this week.  ... Chavez was instrumental in developing the infrastructure of the United Farm Workers union and was also an outspoken advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality. [Palencia said]

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Richard Chavez, a hero in the fight for justice and equality and a strong ally of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trasgender equality movement.

“Chavez served as a pillar to the United Farm Workers union and his tireless work a foundation to the modern civil rights movement. His story of struggle and courage will continue to serve as an inspiration to all Californians.

For memorial service information, please contact Camila Chavez at 415-377-4184 or Lori de Leon at 661-331-7851.

Color not the least bit inspired by Palencia or EQCA.

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