Wednesday, May 08, 2013

BAR: SFPD Chief Suhr Invited to May 14 SF Pride Meeting

Two weeks ago, Seth Hemmelgarn at the Bay Area Reporter penned a story about potentially revising security measures at the June 30th SF Pride parade and celebration, because of Boston bombing last month.

In the story was a news nugget now of great interest to many after SF Pride's debacle involving Bradley Manning and making him a grand marshal, then rescinding the honor after pressure from homosexual militarists. Hemmelgarn reports on when SF Pride is holding another public meeting, hopefully way different from last night's anti-democratic board meeting. From the BAR, emphasis added:

Pride officials have met with staff at the San Francisco Police Department's Northern Station, [SF Pride executive director Earl] Plante said, but he wouldn't share specifics on what changes could be coming.

"We don't want to let the bad guys know" the details, he said. Changes had been planned even before the April 15 Boston bombings, he said. San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr has been invited to the next Pride membership meeting, set for May 14, Plante said.

I again looked all over SF Pride's web site for any info about any upcoming meetings with the community they purport to be working on behalf of, and it was impossible to find such info but there were plenty of images and links to SF Pride's corporate sponsors.

Let's hope this membership meeting will take place. Might also be good to hear directly from Suhr and the police about their security plans for the Pride events. Frankly, I can't believe I'm about to say this given my distrust of police, but I'd rather hear from Suhr about his department's plans for the events and don't trust anything coming the SF Pride board on anything right now.

Is it asking too much of the SF Pride leaders to develop a communication plan, present it to everyone and also hold the May 14th meeting in a venue that can accommodate a large crowd?

1 comment:

Glenn Stehle said...

It is clarion that the SF Pride board of directors is out of control. It wants to control the official message that SF Pride sends to the world, and the official message is pro-militarism.

The SF Pride board decided upon this pro-militarism message not through any democratic process, but by fiat. It overruled existing procedures that were both time-honored and more democratic. The SF Pride board has decreed that it will allow free speech, but it will be relegated to the fringe, and thus carry a fringe stigma. The offical declaration of SF Pride, however, will be solidly pro-militarism.

What would be the best way to bring the board under control?

One way to reign it in, as Petrelis suggests, is through public meetings.

I searched the web to see if corporations in California that are 1) non-profit and 2) receive government funding (SF Pride receives funding from the City Arts Program Hotel Tax) are subject to the same open meetings and open records laws that federal, state and local government bodies are. I found this web page from the Digital Media Law Project and it seems there is not a clear-cut answer:

Bringing legal action against SF Pride (one law suit has already been filed) is another avenue. The criteria published by the city for receiving public funding clearly outlaws discrimination based on creed, to wit:

"Once funded, an organization must:

•comply with provisions of Chapter 12B of the San Francisco Administrative Code which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of or because of race, color, creed, height, weight, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS-related condition (AIDS/ARC).

There may be other laws the SF board has violated, which would require some legal research to uncover.

Another way to reign the board in would be to vote it out. From the following news story it appears SF Pride does have "members," who meet once a year in September to elect board members:

The board has nine members. Here is a list of the members with bios (under the heading of "board"):

It also might not be a bad idea to keep close tabs on SF Pride's finances, which have had a rocky history. By 2010, it had racked up large debts:

Last summer the board fired Executive Director Brendan Behan, who had nursed SF Pride back to financial health. It replaced him with Earl Plante, whose bio can be seen here (under the heading of "staff"):

Trust, but verify might be a prudent strategy.