Seeing as how San Francisco Pride sits in a state of confusion and flux (look no further than the Chelsea Manning SNAFU and the brutal Pink Saturday attacks to see how far the influential organization has distanced itself from the city of San Francisco), we've asked Patrick Connors (noted Tweeter and SFist commenter) to give you the lowdown on the brouhaha that is SF Pride. On Sunday, their annual meeting was held at the W Hotel where, among other things, a new board was to be selected. The night did not go according to plan.
Take it away, Connors:
The SF Pride Annual Meeting held on Sunday, September 15 at the W Hotel was a real hootenanny. The day began with the spirit of unity, with some forced smiles, and the usual dose of chaotic planning.
Seriously, if nothing else, the SF Pride Board needs to have someone on staff that knows how to plan an event. Registration was a delayed, disorganized, clusterfuck that pushed the start of the meeting well past the designated time (2 PM).
All fourteen candidates running for seven seats on the Board were chosen at random and given 5 minutes to speak. That also took way too long. Even the overseer of the process, SF Pride interim General Counsel Juilius Turman was spotted dozing during the 8th or 9th candidate.
Following the Board candidate presentation and voting the membership was engrossed in a vote to designate the theme of the 2014 SF Pride Celebration. There were approximately 15 choices some with teeth ("Smash the church, Smash the state"). Some with relevance to SF ("Housing for All" among others about housing) and some with acknowledgment of international events ("To Russia with love"). And some, like the winning theme, bland and difficult to define ("Color Our World With Pride").
Once the voting and bickering over the proposed agenda (which was not approved by the membership before the Board started picking and choosing which items THEY wanted to cover while ignoring the rest) was complete, the wait for the counting of votes began
The next 7 hours included very little food, an open bar, and the division of the remaining attendees into separate factions: those that want the results to reflect the candidates that received the most votes and those that want to keep any reform candidates from gaining access to the Board.
After hours of haggling and review and debate and intrigue it was determined that either 6 out of 7 reform candidates won a seat on the Board of SF Pride or in fact NOBODY won the election at all ... which would result in something that hasn't been defined or addressed.
The debate centers around how the votes are to be tabulated according to a proper reading of the Policy/Procedures and or the ByLaws of the non profit organization that would be really too annoying to explain in this summary.
Just as a coup of the still ongoing meeting (at 11pm) was arranged and began a stampede on the sequestered members of the Board, acting President Davace Chin stepped forward to read a statement. Before he could begin he remarked that he was feeling dizzy and then he crumbled to the ground.
An ambulance arrived to care for him but he wasn't hospitalized as far as I know. He - even more than the rest of us - had been cooped up all day long with little to eat and was under intense pressure and scrutiny.
For example: I arrived 10 minutes before the suggested registration time (1:30 PM Sunday) and left the W at 12:05 AM Monday. Davace was already there when I arrived. Although the timing of his collapse seems awfully convenient (and dramatic and explainable and a perfect cliff hanger), it wasn't openly questioned. We were all concerned that this meeting had gone on way too long and wasn't going to end organically. Check it out:
What's next?? God only knows ... but someone better be on the phone with Ted Olson. This election is NOT over.
Be sure to follow Patrick Connors at @uppityfag.