Benjamin Nicholls says accusations made by the Pride Board about HBA are completely false.
Today San Diego Gay and Lesbian News released the story “The Pride divide: an exclusive look inside the San Diego Pride committee meetings.”
In it, we got an exclusive look inside the negotiation meetings between Pride community members and the Pride Board.
Some hearsay allegations were made against The Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) and their involvement with San Diego Pride and The Block Party; an annual Pride HBA event.
Executive Director of the HBA, Benjamin Nicholls has made a statement in response to the claims made in the article and wishes to express those feelings to the public:
"I wanted to clarify some things relating to HBA's relationship with San Diego Pride and the Pride of Hillcrest Block Party. HBA sees San Diego Pride as a critical partner in the improvement of the Hillcrest community.
The San Diego Pride parade is an important economic development event for Hillcrest businesses and is critical to contributing to the brand of Hillcrest as San Diego's heart of tolerance, acceptance and fun.
The HBA isn't about making money. We do make money, but our primary goal is the improvement of the Hillcrest business community.
The continuation of our relationship with Pride serves that goal. Relative to our other events, like CityFest and the Taste of Hillcrest, Pride Block Party doesn't make a lot of money.
Block Party makes between $12k and $15k that is split between HBA and SD Pride. In return, SD Pride allows HBA to use the pride logo (and provides some other promotional activities).
The goal of the event isn't to make money, but to kick off San Diego Pride in a fun way in Hillcrest (with a low ticket price). The HBA has done many things over the years that have contributed to building the community and solidifying Hillcrest as the home of the LGBT community.
For example, we created the Hillcrest Pride Flag and Monument (at a cost of over $80,000). We hired the Lamba Archive to write the interpretive panels on the base of the flag to tell the proud history of the LGBT community in San Diego.
And, we partner with the San Diego LGBT Community Center to produce Nightmare on Normal Street (for the same reasons).
We were disappointed, earlier this year, when the idea arose to move the Pride kick off event to the Gaslamp Quarter.
Pride started in Hillcrest decades ago and even though the movement has grown beyond Hillcrest, Pride should always start here.
Hillcrest and Pride staff have had a good (if sometimes difficult) working relationship. We would like Block Party to make more money, but that is not our primary concern.
Our primary concern is to build community and strengthen our businesses. We would like our relationship to continue.
We would like to see the Stonewall Rally return to Normal Street. We would like all these things because it strengthens the community of Hillcrest.
I hope that clarifies things.
Hillcrest Business Association"