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

Photo: LAPRIDE by Jon Viscott

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
- Advertisement -

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.



  1. lace frontal

    These lace frontal are so lovable! and i really like them! They go together with rather much anything! So pleasant!I am definatly in love… If I had to chose a person to deliver for the rest of my life, these would be it!! They are great! Such a terri…

  2. Wow, incredible weblog format! How long have you been running a blog for?

    you make running a blog look easy. The overall look of your web site is
    fantastic, let alone the content material!

  3. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this
    blog before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new
    to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be
    bookmarking and checking back frequently!

  4. I don’t even know how I ended up right here,
    however I thought this put up used to be great.
    I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a well-known blogger if you are not already.

  5. Please let me know if you’re looking for
    a writer for your weblog. You have some really good articles and I feel I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely
    love to write some material for your blog in exchange for
    a link back to mine. Please shoot me an e-mail if interested.

    Thank you!

  6. Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine
    Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good success.
    If you know of any please share. Cheers!

  7. Hi there would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re using?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most.

    Can you suggest a good hosting provider at a fair price?
    Kudos, I appreciate it!

  8. Howdy! I understand this is somewhat off-topic however I needed to ask.
    Does managing a well-established website such as yours require a lot of work?
    I’m brand new to writing a blog however I do write in my diary every day.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my own experience and thoughts online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations
    or tips for new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

  9. It’s actually very complicated in this full of activity life to listen news on Television, so I simply use web for that purpose,
    and take the hottest information.

  10. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could
    add to my blog that automatically tweet my
    newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite
    some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with
    something like this. Please let me know if you run into
    anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and
    I look forward to your new updates.

  11. Just wanted to say this website is extremely good. I always want to hear new things about this because I’ve the similar blog during my Country with this subject which means this help´s me a lot. I did so a search around the issue and located a large amount of blogs but nothing beats this. Many thanks for sharing so much inside your blog..

  12. Hey there, You’ve performed a great job. I’ll certainly digg it and in my opinion recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here