Dysfunction within the Gay Pride Celebration Committee of San Jose could put the city’s annual LGBT Pride Parade in jeopardy, according to a report published Thursday by the Bay Area Reporter. Meanwhile, a key issue in the fight for the District 6 City Council seat revolves around the fate of the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center. Council incumbent Pierluigi Oliverio put out a memo the same day as the report asking that the city-owned property on The Alameda be slated as the last sold by the successor agency of the now-defunct Redevelopment Agency. A City Council vote on whether to sell the property is scheduled for next week.
“The Billy DeFrank center is the only LGBT community center in the Bay Area—south of San Francisco,” Oliverio writes in the memo. “The Redevelopment Agency and former Vice Mayor Frank Fiscalini played a crucial role by providing the center with its location by only charging $1 a year for its lease agreement. The Billy DeFrank center provides great value to the LGBT community and San Jose as a whole. The Council should strive to continue providing the community this resource.”
Along with pension reform, the Bay Area Reporter’s story suggests that responsiveness to the LGBT community will be a hot-button issue in District 6.
“I think one of the clear differences I have made in the campaign, and will continue to make, is he doesn’t interact with the community or neighborhoods,” challenger Steve Kline told the Bay Area Reporter about Oliverio.
Oliverio reportedly told the media outlet that he disagreed with Kline’s assessment, adding that he thought his constituents were more concerned with “qualify of life issues in San Jose.”
Tonight at the DeFrank Center, the board for the Gay Pride Celebration Committee of San Jose is scheduled to discuss the role of its director, a position that was filled and vacated by Dane Dugan in the span of three months. Nathan Svoboda, who took over the role of Pride’s board president following Dugan’s resignation, says his organization isn’t “in turmoil.” But the Bay Area Reporter’ story would suggest Svoboda, who reportedly broke down in tears while trying himself to resign at a board meeting, is sugarcoating the fractures within the organization.
Andre Mathurin reportedly left the board recently because of issues with Vice President Roman Fernando, who was almost ousted from the board, and lackluster fundraising efforts to date in 2012 leave the annual LGBT parade, scheduled for Aug. 19, in a tenuous position.
But the city could step in with some financial help, according to the report:
“There could be some help on the way from San Jose city officials. Kerry Adams Hapner, director of San Jose’s Office of Cultural Affairs, said her agency is recommending that the city provide a ‘general range’ of $7,500 for Pride. She said she has ‘a certain degree of confidence this grant is going to proceed as recommended,’ but the ‘final say’ would come from the City Council and Mayor Chuck Reed. Adams Hapner said the office’s grant recommendations would be released next week, when they would be forwarded to the city’s Arts Commission. That panel would then send recommendations to the city council.”
Click to read the Bay Area Reporter’s story on the LGBT Pride parade and Bill DeFrank Center.