(By Patrick Connors)
In the last episode of As SF Pride Turns...
Three days ago—Sunday, September 15—San Francisco Pride held its annual meeting at the W Hotel. This is the meeting where new board members are elected (or re-elected) and where a theme for the next Pride Celebration is chosen by the members of the organization.
After 11 hours of deliberation and diarrhea that meeting came to an abrupt end when the acting Board President (Davace Chin) collapsed before making a final announcement from the old Board regarding the results of the election of the new Board.
That last official word from that night was that NOBODY won the election.
Yes, the 2012-13 Board of Directors of SF Pride that were being challenged by SF LGBT community activists running to replace them as board members tried to say that although 14 people ran for 7 seats - and nearly 150 people voted - there was no outcome to report.
Anybody still have questions about why it was important to make changes at SF Pride?
Acting Board President Chin recovered from his malnutrition / dehydration / exhaustion and announced via email that another meeting had been scheduled for Wednesday, September 18 to correct the tally of votes and to finalize the election of the next Board.
The meeting last night began at 7pm and was held at the LGBT Community Center. There was no food or open bar and there was very little drama. In fact, the meeting lasted less than 30 minutes and was rather anti-climactic.
Chin explained that there was some kind of misunderstanding about abstentions and yes votes and no votes and there was a full moon and maybe the spreadsheet was screwed up ... or something ... anyway ... the election committee was reconvened and a new tally would be derived.
While the committee pushed papers back and forth the 50 people in attendance—most, if not all, aligned with the group interested in electing a new board—chatted nervously and milled about the room like expectant fathers. Only two members of the current board and the acting General Counsel, Julius Turman, were in attendance.
Twenty minutes later, papers were being signed, hands were shaken and smiles broke out among the committee members. The tally was complete! Six out of seven of the reform slate were elected to replace sitting Board members. Only one candidate, Justin Taylor, was re-elected to the seat he was previously held.
The new members of the SF Pride Board are: Joey Cain, John Caldera, Jose Cital, Marsha Levine, Jesse Oliver Sanford, and Gary Virginia.
I can't help but wonder: What was the former board discussing for SEVEN hours on Sunday while trying to justify announcing that NOBODY won an election? Did the losers of the election really think they would get away with manipulating an election in order to retain their seats?
Finally, one of the leading lightening rods of the past 6 months of Pride drama is the current temporary CEO (and until last month the President of the Board) Lisa Williams. She was not on a ballot. You may recall that she sent a scathing letter to the LGBT community earlier this year after Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning was elected as a Grand Marshal of the 2013 Parade in which she said support for Pvt. Manning "would not be tolerated."
Will she continue to serve as interim CEO?? And how long will that last?
Stay tuned for the next chapter of As SF Pride Turns....