It's business as usual for the Pride Board as they traverse their way through controversy.
San Diego Pride has been in the midst of controversy within the last few months, beginning in late August after the Board dismissed their Executive Director Stephen Whitburn leaving the community and volunteers to wonder why.
This caused a riff between the public and the Board, enough so that a Negotiating Committee of ten, five from the Board and five from the public, was put into place to mediate concerns over the alleged lack of transparency.
Plenty of Pride’s community volunteers have stepped forward to speak about each bullet-point issue they feel the Board has failed to amend, even accusing Board members of being hostile and disrespectful to them at the closed-door mediation meetings.
As an impending public coup hangs in the air, the Board has remained uncommunicative during the standoff, ignoring requests from the media for statements and rebuttals.
However their silence was broken yesterday in a media release penned by San Diego Pride’s female Interim Executive Director Christiana Tasto.
In the statement, she says that San Diego LGBT Pride is continuing dialogue with the community through public comment and monthly meetings.
The release also affirms that Board members and “key members” of the community have met to ease tensions regarding their alleged conduct.
One concern was that Pride had not made public their minutes from community meetings since May of 2015.
Tasto says they have fixed the server, and the updated minutes are now available to the public through their website.
Although it must be noted that as of this writing, when SDGLN clicked on the minutes to some of the meetings for August and September 2016, under the "purpose" catagory it states: "These are the minutes for the meeting of the Board of Directors held on March 21, 2014 located at the Principal Office."
Further, the latest minutes are not certified by a signature from Pride Secretary Jamie Carrillo.
The statement continues to say that Pride is hard at work planning the next Pride festival:
“The board, staff, volunteers, and community partners are developing plans for Pride 2017 and continuing Pride’s year-round programming, including the Pride Youth Leadership Academy, the Vote with Pride get-out-the-vote effort with The Center, and the Pride Youth Lunch Bunch with the Trevor Project. Work has begun on the partnership projects Out at the Park with the Padres, Out at the Fair, and SheFest. Production meetings for Pride 2017 have begun. 2016 Pride Community Grant applications are open.”
In conclusion, San Diego Pride says applications for the board of directors are encouraged and available on their website as well as information about volunteering.
The newly formed Pride Community Accountability Committee is still moving forward with their town hall meeting at the Joyce Beers Community Center on Sunday, November 13, asking the public to voice their opinions about the Board by encouraging a vote of no-confidence.
San Diego Gay and Lesbian News will keep you updated on all updates about this issue in the coming weeks.