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Open letter, Pride moving forward

The San Diego LGBT Pride Board last weekend took an important step toward restoring community confidence in the organization by agreeing to a turnover of all board seats by February 28, 2010. We want to thank the Pride Board for agreeing to this course of action.

In recent weeks it became clear to us that many LGBT San Diegans had lost confidence in the board and its ability to manage our annual Pride Parade and weekend – the largest, most visible and most inclusive LGBT community event of the year. The revenues from the event are substantial, the result of thousands of LGBT San Diegans spending their hard-earned dollars at the parade, festival and many entertainment venues. Those San Diegans, our constituents, and thousands of visitors, deserve a publicly accountable board that has the community’s best interest in mind at all times.

We took the action of addressing the board after community concerns arose about the payment of $5000 of Pride funds to a board member, apparently in violation of the board’s by-laws. Moreover, the board membership had dwindled to only three members – too small a number to ensure checks and balances or even full discussion of issues to be determined by the board. Most seriously, the board purchased a building for over $1 million without any public discussion or public announcement of the purchase. We believe the board had lost its sense of responsibility to the community and a fresh start was necessary.

We’re grateful to the community members who have volunteered to serve on the board and plan this year’s event in July. This new board has committed to public meetings and financial accountability. Its board meeting minutes will be made public. In addition, we will ask the board to make the necessary changes to the policies and by-laws of Pride to ensure that all board members complete ethics training and conflict of interest training as part of their board service. By starting with this clean slate, we will turn a new page and work together for another successful Pride weekend for our community and tens of thousands of visitors. See you there!

Signed,

Senator Christine Kehoe
Councilmember Todd Gloria
Former Councilmember Toni Atkins