Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Harvey Milk LGBT Endorsement Meeting
I am printing two messages from Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club members about their endorsement meeting coming up. I am printing them both here. I am not sure what is going on?
Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club President Brian Basinger publicly misrepresented the position of the HMLGBTDC Executive Board with his recent comment to BAR reporter Matthew Bajko. Basinger derided the vote to go ahead with the December 11 endorsement meeting as an allegedly still unsettled matter.
Yet at the Milk Club Executive Board meeting of November 17, a proposal to resolve the ongoing dispute over the legality of the December 11 meeting was put forward by Peter Wong. It was suggested that Basinger’s decision to recognize an obscure parliamentary objection and his subsequent actions be treated as an error of judgment brought on by the utter chaos of the October 23 Milk Club public meeting. Because of that initial error, the validity of Basinger’s subsequent actions be treated as nullified. Thus, the December 11 meeting could be treated as a scheduled and legal meeting.
When this proposal was offered, Basinger made no objection or modification during the hearty discussion period prior to the vote. The proposal was voted on and approved by a near-unanimous number of Executive Board members with Basinger abstaining.
Democratic meetings run on trust. Attendees implicitly trust that members on the losing side of a meeting vote will respect the result of that vote. The losing side may complain about the result, as is their right.
Basinger’s remarks unfortunately crossed the line from righteous complaint into the realms of public disrespect for the Executive Board and a contempt for the democratic process. No evidence had been offered by him demonstrating malfeasance or even the likelihood of same at that board meeting. Instead, what Basinger has offered is innuendo whose effect is undermining the credibility of the Milk Club Executive Board.
It is not the purpose of this statement to publicly speculate on the motivation behind Basinger’s remarks. Instead, this statement is a public declaration that in this instance Basinger most certainly does not speak on behalf of the Milk Club’s Executive Board.
To allow Basinger’s remarks to go unchallenged would be to allow the Milk Club’s vital political work to be procedurally hamstrung. Given that California’s presidential primary comes in February, the clock is ticking quickly on the Milk Club’s endorsement vote and the publication of endorsement materials. Waiting until January undermines the Club’s ability to effectively spread its message.
We call on eligible Milk Club members to exercise their conscience and come to the Women’s Building on December 11 between 7-9 PM and vote on our February endorsements at the December 11 meeting.
We call on our progressive allies to support our efforts to move beyond personal acrimony and be a unified voice. Basinger has already made clear which path he has chosen to follow. The question is whether he will drag others along with him to disaster.
We the undersigned offer our public apology to our communities for the airing of this internal dispute. Many great challenges await us in the coming year such as the attempt to covertly eliminate rent control in California or the attempt to steal some of California’s electoral votes for the Republican presidential candidate. When the fight to stop these efforts is fully joined, we want our communities to know that the Milk Club will be there on the battlements.
Peter Wong, Corresponding Secretary Rafael Mandelman, Acting VP PAC Tim Durning, Treasurer Rick Hauptmann, Recording Secretary Morningstar Vancil, Sergeant-at-Arms Shona Gochenaur, Cannabis Caucus Chair Howard Grayson, E-Board Political Chair Krissy Keefer, Feminist Caucus Chair Debra Walker, Tenant & Housing Caucus Chair
The Harvey Milk Club PAC will meet on Saturday, December 8 at the LGBT Center (in the Ceremonial Room, 4th Floor) from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. to consider and make recommendations for Club endorsements for the February 2008 election (presidential primary and local and state ballot measures) and the June 2008 State Senate primary. Members must have attended the October 2nd PAC meeting, October 23rd General Membership meeting, or November 7 PAC meeting to vote at the December 8 PAC. Members are encouraged to attend the entire PAC meeting; however, they may request a ballot after attending for one hour
The Harvey Milk Club general membership will vote on endorsements for the February 2008 election and the June 2008 State Senate primary on Tuesday, December 11 from 7 to 9 pm at the Womenâ€™s Building at 3543 18th Street, between Guerrero and Valencia.New members must have joined on or prior to September 25 to be eligible to vote on either December 8 or December 11. Lapsed members whose memberships have expired within the previous six months are eligible to renew and vote at either meeting.
there will not be a PAC meeting on December 4th, and there will not be a general membership meeting on December 25 (for obvious reasons).