Each year the Pride Parade comes and goes with little notice on how the parade takes place, how decisions are made and what type of accountability is there for funds raised in support of the Pride Parade. Are there salaries involved? Are any audits done of Pride finances in the name of Chicago’s LGBT community? Are there any funds available for community charities? I don’t believe these are unreasonable questions, or that by asking for accountability I am attacking anyone personally.
Who is really in charge, how does one get involved with the parade committee, are there any publicized and scheduled open meetings? This year, we were presented a new partisan political leadership with the addition of Ald. Tom Tunney (44th Ward), and Ald. James Cappleman (46th Ward). How did these two aldermen become part of the leadership team with Richard Pfeiffer of a major LGBT community organization that is supposed to represent the broad diversity of our community?
Parade lineup is a concern for many participants of the parade. Many question the privileged location of politicians at the front of the parade. Perhaps a fairer and equitable solution to handle parade lineup is to hold a public lotto to assign locations, rather than just putting politicians up front.
In my opinion, the whole issue with Our Lady of Mt Carmel could have been handled better. From Richard Pfeiffer not responding to a letter he got from the pastor of Mt. Carmel to the private meeting Ald. Tunney held with Mt. Carmel’s pastor.
I don’t think it unreasonable to believe that the LGBT community’s concern with public intoxication should have been ignored in a private meeting with Ald. Tunney and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s Pastor. Attention to both LGBT community concerns, and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s singular concern of church access during the parade should have had broader community consultation.
On that matter, I wrote Ald. Tunney that the pastor’s request I thought was asking for special treatment given the fact that when the Chicago Marathon is run, it closes down access to about five Catholic parishes along the route. What makes the Chicago LGBT Pride Parade any different in this regard to the Chicago Marathon?
I have reached out to Richard Pfeiffer, and both Ald. Tunney and Ald. Cappleman. In response, Ald. Cappleman contacted me. I asked about accountability to the LGBT community in the form of a public LGBT community follow-up meeting (publicized), where a report can be given to the community with a Q&A, understanding time limitations. He indicated to me that if anyone wanted to get involved the best way to do that was join the Ward organization. I got the impression from his email that he felt this was best kept in the hands of the 44th and 46th Ward organizations.
My concern is about transparency and accountability to LGBT community, not personalities. Partisan politics is a part of this community and should have place in the parade, but like the leadership of the Pride Parade it should not dominate other socio/political/cultural/religious components of the LGBT community.
Rainbow Sash Movement