Tuesday, November 3, 2009

ITS ABOUT TO GET UGLY: "Equality March Co-Directors Resign; Group Reorganizes Amid Controversy"

According to EAA board member and Bilerico Project founder, Bil Browning:
"Kip Williams and Robin McGehee, Co-Directors of the National Equality March, have left Equality Across America citing differences about the direction the new group should take. The march, held less than a month ago, attracted about 200,000 LGBT people to Washington DSC_8900.jpgDC to demand full federal equality under the law.

EAA founder Cleve Jones confirmed that both activists had stepped down from their leadership positions. Everyone involved agreed that the parting of ways resulted from concerns about financial security and the leadership of the new organization."

Kip was the ONLY person on the committee who accepted any money. Even that was minimal--he clearly did far more work than what he was paid for.

I haven't been blown away by EAA yet. Time will tell. We were supposed to have action happening in every Congressional District this week. What's happening? Perhaps it was better to wait until after the critical elections in Maine, Washington and Kalamazoo to act. However, if that was the reason why we've only received ONE email from EAA in a month and NO text messages, its still problematic. EAA could have been doing their part to call attention to the fact that there were many local races being fought very closely here across America, and that many activists were deeply invested in their outcomes.

EAA's aim is good--to foster local grassroots action in each of this nation's Congressional districts. Rather than a top-down power-structure, EAA claims to be trying to create something bottom-up--empowering young local activists to step up, build and recruit effectively on a local basis.

I'd like to see this pan out. In a perfect world, EAA won't REPLACE a national org that's already working, but fit in nicely filling the gaps and helping to unify the fight. This is not a perfect world, however. If it makes the wrong moves, EAA will step on toes and cause tension and hurt feelings. There are many very good activists in DC and around the nation already that are doing fantastic work in all of our national orgs. Their work ought to be recognized. However, noone can deny our picture of LGBT activism is incomplete and that new and fresh ideas are needed.

I just hope that EAA IS a new and fresh idea (local, grassroots activism) and not more of the same (big national structure, fund-raising as the main form of action, huge metropolitan areas the only places to get attention, fundraising, fundraising, fundraising, branding, fundraising).

This is the most we've heard from EAA since the march. That's really disappointing.

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