July 20, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

LA Pride gets a close up at tonight’s WeHo City Council meeting…make that should

BY TROY MASTERS  |  Christopher Street West, the non-profit organization that manages and produces LA Pride and the multi-day festival associated with it, is facing renewed criticism — and a critical juncture — only days after a high-profile board resignation revealed little in the way of promised changes. In the midst of the turmoil, West Hollywood City Council must now decide how to move forward.

Dan Morin

In recent days, Dan Morin, a 73 year old gay man who joined the board only recently “because of the serious problems connected with CSW last year,” resigned. After being asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement, Morin felt his ability to advocate for changes he felt were necessary to preserve the legacy of Christopher Street West were muted.

He summed up his frustrations in an opinion item for Wehoville: “If a board member thought the board was not operating in the best interests of the community, or worse, lying to the community or even the West Hollywood City Council, the board member was bound by the NDA to say nothing. If the board member revealed anything CSW deemed confidential, that member could be subject to litigation and possible financial punishment. The four board members who resigned within mere hours, on the same day in December, cited the revised NDA they were required to sign as a reason for their action. While they are still silenced by signing the original NDA, I am not.”

RESIGNEES: (top left) Steve Ganzell, (top Right) Marlon morales, (bottom Left) Karina samala, and (bottom Right) Andy Sacher. (photo: The Fight)

His reasons mirror the reasons given by a larger group of long-time board members. Individually, the CSW board members who resigned are representative of the issues that were of most concern in 2016. Karina Samala is a prominent transgender woman; Andy Sacher is founder of the Lavender Effect, a group that helps document the legacy of local LGBT history; Steve Ganzell is a legacy CSW president; Marlon Morales is a Latino man and chairman of LA Leather Pride Week.

West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister

In July of 2016, West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister, concerned about the financial transparency of City-sponsored events, initiated an item directing staff to develop policies and procedures for special events held in the City to include requirements for agreements, financial disclosures, and data collection to evaluate them. LA Pride is partially subsidized by the City (waived fees, public safety) and is estimated to generate more than $5,000,000 in tax revenues for West Hollywood, which makes protecting the event’s reputation and ensuring its financial health an important matter for the city.

That inspection has not been implemented, a fiscal step that when announced last year, appeared to quell the controversy. Since that time Wehoville reported that a copy of CSW’s 2016 profit and loss statement reveals that “the organization’s overall revenue was $2.1 million, 30% less than budgeted. Its overall expenses were $2.5 million, 13% less than budgeted. CSW had projected a $162,000 profit.

Christopher Street West has no cash on hand, if these calculation are to be trusted.

While we agree the show must go on, item 4B (which is only a recommendation), on tonight’s West Hollywood City Council agenda seems to put the cart before the horse: “Affirm the City’s commitment to allow Christopher Street West (CSW) to use City property and facilities through the 2019 L.A. Pride event and obtain a letter of commitment from CSW for the same. 2) Receive this progress report related to the planning and programming of the 2017 event. 3) Approve a footprint for the L.A. Pride Festival to be held on Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11, 2017. 4) Authorize staff to work with Christopher Street West leadership on the inclusion of a March and Rally into L.A. Pride 2017 programming on Sunday, June 11.”

CSW is determined to have three entertainment stages despite an extremely small footprint of space available for the Musica Festival. One concern is the extended footprint to Melrose and the usual NIMBY noise concerns it may cause. Graphic: Jeff Consoletti.

With so many financial and leadership questions hanging over the event, it is perhaps imperative that a full hearing be given before adopting any resolution that allows the event to proceed without change.

Affirming the “City’s commitment to allow Christopher Street West (CSW) to use City property and facilities through the 2019 L.A. Pride event and obtain a letter of commitment from CSW for the same,” seems premature without fully addressing the problems faced by Christopher Street West.

Promises to vet Christopher Street West must be implemented and the concerns raised by critics and departing board members must be taken seriously.

But the show must go on.

Related Posts

Dive into Artistic Swimming Classes at West Hollywood Aquatic Center

July 19, 2024

July 19, 2024

Learn Basic Techniques and Fun Routines, No Experience Required Dive into the basics of artistic swimming and master a fun...

Cinespia Announces Additional Special Screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

July 19, 2024

July 19, 2024

Featuring Tributes to Paul Reubens and Shelly Duvall and Annual Screenings Cinespia, the popular cinematic experience presented by Amazon MGM...

Felony Battery Suspect Arrested in South Brentwood Sexual Assault on July 16

July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024

26-Year-Old Taken Into Custody After Assault on Gretna Green Way Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Los Angeles...

West Hollywood Opens Nomination Period for City Council Candidates

July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024

Potential Candidates Must File Nomination Papers by August 9  The nomination period for City Council candidates in West Hollywood begins...

(Video) Only One More Saturday Pop Up of Pa’s Biscuitisserie at Cardinale du Vin Left!

July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024

From 9 am to 2 pm, the best biscuits: their tribute to Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay biscuits and the best...

(Video) Cold Brew Lou Celebrates Three Years at the Motor Avenue Farmers Market With New Coffee Drinks

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Stay cool with Cold Brew Lou’s new creations, orange you curious? Check them out. @culvercitywlanews Cold Brew Lou Celebrates Three...

Danny Boy’s Famous Original’s New Location Now Open in Westwood Village

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Acclaimed Chef Daniel Holzman Brings New York-Style Pizza to Westwood Daniel Holzman, celebrated chef and industry veteran, will open the...

Discover West Hollywood’s Culinary Gems During Dine LA’s Summer Event

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Exclusive Prix Fixe Menus at Top Weho Restaurants From July 12-26 The City of West Hollywood is showcasing its diverse...

New Restaurant Alert: All Roads Pinseria + Enoteca to Open in Brentwood on July 26

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Roman-Style Eatery Boasts Unique Pinsa and Italian Specialties, Italian Wines Exciting news for the Westside: All Roads Pinseria + Enoteca,...

West Hollywood to Host Community Meeting for WeHo 40 Strategic Plan

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Event Invites Community Feedback, Has Performances and Exhibits The City of West Hollywood will hold a community meeting on Saturday,...

Sexual Assault Reported in South Brentwood, Suspect at Large

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

LAPD Confirms Incident, Community Seeks Help to Identify Man A post on Nextdoor this evening reported the shocking news that...

Elon Musk Plans to Move Twitter and SpaceX HQs Out of California

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

Move Follows SAFETY Act Being Signed Into Law by Governor  Elon Musk, billionaire and CEO of Twitter, Space X, and...

Judge Issues Final Ruling in Favor of Barrington Plaza Tenants Association

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

Decision against Landlord Finds Intent Does Not Meet Ellis Act Standards The final ruling in the case of the Barrington...

RuPaul’s DragCon Returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center This Week

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

Join Drag Race Queens for a Weekend of Performances, Shopping, Surprises RuPaul’s DragCon is set to return to the Los...

Governor Signs Landmark SAFETY Act to Shield LGBTQ+ Students in California Schools

July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024

New Law Prohibits Forced Outing Policies in Schools to Keep Students Safe The Support Academic Futures & Educators for Today’s...