Sunday, June 15, 2014

A report back on activists, who expose and overcome the corrupt nonprofit industrial complex, puppet politicans, and veal pen bouncers

PUBLISHED : WED, 04 JUN 2014, 01:55 PM
UPDATED : SUN, 15 JUN 2014, 06:10 PM

FIRST NEWSLETTER : This week in the CPR veal pen #constantcontact (06 June 2014)

SECOND NEWSLETTER : Political Pressure for #NYPD Reforms #constantcontact #VealPen #MAPModel #Stage6 (10 June 2014)

Role of big special interest political donors, like George Soros, in Bill de Blasio's mayoralty, the veal pen, and the long pattern of failed political, LGBT, and nonprofit leadership

George Soros (World Economic Forum)

George Soros

In the last year, billionaire hedge fund investor George Soros has emerged as the 1% power player in New York City politics, having eclipsed former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Mr. Soros funds many liberal causes through foundation and charity structures, such as his Open Society Foundations, which triggers controversies from the Left as well as from the Right.

But Mr. Soros has not been satisfied with just funding groups from an arm's length distance. Rather, he appears to be crossing over into actual management of the political landscape of New York City by virtue of his grant-making. For example, his foundation funded Communities United for Police Reform, the primary umbrella organization that formerly called for police reform under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Now, CPR, as the group is known, has become demobilized and no longer calls for police reform, in spite of the fact that reforms to end discriminatory and abusive policing have yet to be fully proposed and enacted by Mayor Bill de Blasio. After Mayor de Blasio was elected, Mr. Soros' foundation also partially funded a "town hall" style tent on Canal Street that was called "Talking Transition." More on that later.

George Soros Funded Bill de Blasio Talking Transition Tent photo Soros-Talking-Transition-Tent-Bill-de-Blasioexport_zps870c2861.jpg

Bill de Blasio

After he won the general election, Mr. de Blasio was criticised for holding very few public events. However, he used the "Talking Transition" tent for some brief remarks and a photo op. At his appearance, the then mayor-elect made a post-election promise to select a police commissioner, who could restore trust with New Yorkers after the disastrous reign of former Commissioner Raymond Kelly. More on that shortly.

The "Talking Transition" tent gave the impression that the de Blasio administration was going to actually process all the feedback it received from the public into a responsive City Hall, however that impression turned out to be a misconception. His administration has thus far turned out to be very heavy-handed, with directives only moving in one direction, top-bottom. When Mr. Soros and other other foundations funded the "Talking Transition" tent, there was no transparency about what process would hold the new incoming elected officials accountable to the public's demands for improved programs, new policies, or government reforms. A danger of privately funding government functions, like the interaction between the public and their elected officials, is that there are no mechanisms for transparency and accountability.

Jennifer Flynn Walker, VOCAL-NY photo Jennifer-Flynn-Walkerexport_zps574367a1.jpg

Jennifer Flynn Walker

Jennifer Flynn Walker, a member of the Board of Directors of the community group VOCAL-NY, has received funding from Mr. Soros. She's used his backing to transform herself into a "professional" activist. She's organized protests against the sinister billionaire Koch Brothers, even though she's backed by the political billionaire Mr. Soros. Further, she's used this funding to exert control over certain issues in New York City, such as HIV/AIDS activism and police reform activism. But because of her reliance on big money donors, Ms. Flynn exemplifies the kind of "professional" activism that has become constrained by sensitivities to funding sources and donors. VOCAL-NY has gone through the motions to oppose issues like "broken windows theory" of policing practiced by Mayor de Blasio's controversial pick for police commissioner, William Bratton, but VOCAL-NY has completely eased off the pressure politics from last year. The only explanation for that is the cozy relationship that nonprofit executives want to maintain with their donors and with the mayor.

When the CEO of a large HIV/AIDS services organization in New York City was shown to be aiding the neoliberal Gov. Andrew Cuomo's efforts to make radical cuts to the Medicaid program, which included the closure of several hospitals in Brooklyn, Ms. Flynn defended the CEO's actions, because, in her view, nonprofit executives are counted upon by politicians to provide political cover for unpopular acts. Another time, Ms. Flynn trashed activists, possibly committing libel and character assassination, because some daring grassroots activists were pressing for deeper law enforcement reforms, which, it turns out, are opposed by Mayor de Blasio. When asked by one activist how could it be fair for Ms. Flynn to obstruct the outsider activism to demand greater reforms from the broken political system, Ms. Flynn chose not to answer. In her role, Ms. Flynn was there to protect politicians from popular uprisings from the citizenry. A large concern of hers was to keep her access to politicians and other powerholders and to protect her funding sources. And amongst the activist community, especially notable within the second wave of the women's rights movement, trashing was a vicious, nasty tactic that aims to delegitimize the activism of those, who usually call for revolutionary social movement reforms. If it was lost on Ms. Flynn the severity of what she was doing, she appeared to act with no remorse.

What obstructionist community leaders, such as Ms. Flynn, unknowingly reveal when they act to either trash grassroots activists or block government or social reforms, is that they pull back the curtain like in the movie, "The Wizard of Oz," revealing how the person turning and pulling the corrupt political knobs and switches can sometimes be a nonprofit executive.

One reason many grassroots activists encounter such grave resistance in reforming the broken political system is the very nature of nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits exist, because they provide services that the government does not want to provide, or has been defunded to be unable to provide. Since some of these services are seen to be critical to communities, some people organize nonprofit legal entities and seek funding, in order to meet people's various needs. However, nonprofits are not accountable to voters, and they become led by a "professional" class of executives with no interest in pressing for deeper, government reforms, because that would upset the economics and the politics of nonprofits. Because Mr. Soros has a hand in funding nonprofit executives, such as Ms. Flynn, he is able to, by extension, help elected officials, whom he supports, such as Mayor de Blasio, by co-opting activists and political movements, a common complaint shared by critics of the nonprofit industrial complex.

Against a backdrop of a once in a lifetime crackdown on public and political corruption, activists in New York are demanding wholesale reforms of government and nonprofits. In a world influenced by Occupy Wall Street, activists are no longer settling for the crumbs of incrementalism.

Jonathan Soros photo jonathan_sorosexport_zps841f6de4.jpg

Jonathan Soros

The only problem is that wealthy investors exert great influence on politics. The case of Mr. Soros is compounded by his son, Jonathan Soros. The younger Mr. Soros calls himself as reformer, but, contrary to his self-brandished moniker, he "secretly" met with Gov. Cuomo earlier this year to try to pressure Gov. Cuomo to adopt the corrupt New York City model of campaign finance for the rest of New York State. Secret meetings between billionaire businessmen and elected officials, with no transparency or opportunity for inclusion by voters, only serves to keep rendering the broken political system outside any accountability to voters. In last year's mayoral election, scandalous but accurate tabloid reporting by The New York Daily News showed how political operatives, campaign consultants, and lobbyists were able to game the New York City campaign finance model with the aid of Super PAC and 501(c)(4) political structures. Like Ms. Flynn in her own way, the younger Mr. Soros appeared to be downgrading calls for reforms, in this instance, to the state's campaign finance system, by taking a stance that was sure to keep the campaign finance system corrupt and broken for big money, special interests. It's a vicious circle, but there is a way for activists to expose and overcome this corruption.

Voters, activists, and the LGBT community are getting wiser about the corruption that blocks government and corporate reforms.

In the last two years, activists for reform have been given hope that the stranglehold that powerful nonprofits and corrupt politicians can be weakened. Joe Solmonese resigned as president of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT advocacy organization in the United States. Voters in New York City voted Christine Quinn out of office, and Gay Men's Health Crisis CEO Marjorie Hill was forced out of her job. Additionally, Lisa Winters was arrested after allegations of misusing monies of the Bronx Community Pride Center. There was a way for average people keep corrupt leaders accountable.

Joe Solmonese, lost job at HRC photo joesolmoneseexport_zpsba8f07c4.jpg

Joe Solmonese

For years, grassroots LGBT civil rights activists across the nation were frustrated by the Human Rights Campaign, or HRC. The largest and best-funded LGBT group always appeared to stop short of demanding full LGBT equality, contrary to the hardline position of grassroots activists. At times, activists developed the sensibility that HRC was intentionally obstructing progress on the codification of LGBT civil rights.

Time and again, this perception was right. Under Mr. Solmonese, HRC never pressed President Barack Obama to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, never undertook direct action or other lobbying efforts to press for the repeal of the military's discriminatory policy against LGBT service members, known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," never embraced trans* issues, and never pressed for a full federal civil rights bill to incorporate protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, amongst many criticisms that grassroots LGBT activists had of HRC. Seemingly worse, under Mr. Solmonese's direction, HRC began to score Defense Department military contractors and the manufacturers of other military equipment as some of the best workplaces for LGBT employees to pave the way to cultivate military contractors as major donors of HRC functions, raising an obvious conflict of interest. Since it was waging a campaign to recruit military contractors as donors, there was no way that HRC was going to promote military reforms, such as calling for an end of DADT. It's also been reported that some of HRC's largest donors are drone manufacturers, conflicting HRC from ever denouncing the Obama administration's use of drones. Another example of how community groups, in their quest for dollars, can obstruct radical social change.

Christine Quinn, voted out of office photo christinequinnexport_zps95bd5062.jpg

Christine Quinn

During her 15 years in public office, former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn never passed any meaningful LGBT civil rights legislation in New York City. While other progressive municipal politicians, such as former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom allowed the city to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples in a move that transformed the national march toward marriage equality, former Speaker Quinn did absolutely nothing to push the envelope for full LGBT equal civil rights. Not only was she a total disappointment, but she also did damage to many reform movements during her tenure.

Former Council Speaker Quinn opposed the strengthening of tenants rights in New York City's vicious real estate rental market. She overturned term limits imposed by the electorate for her own short-term political gain. She enabled the New York Police Department to wage increasingly controversial -- and ultimately illegal, according to federal courts -- tactics that proved to be racially-motivated. When activists tried to wage grassroots campaigns to save the closure of several community hospitals across New York City, former Council Speaker Quinn did nothing to help communities save their strategic community healthcare resources. Not surprisingly, when activists began to birddog former Council Speaker Quinn at political functions, it appeared that she had ordered her police detail to menace and harass protesters. The broken corrupt political system will go to any lengths to oppress calls for reform, even exploiting law enforcement. Ultimately, former Council Speaker Quinn was seen as nothing more than a puppet of her political campaign contributors, a harsh lesson that voters had to wait 15 years to learn.

Marjorie Hill, lost job at GMHC photo marjorie-hill-gmhcexport_zps666f9e22.jpg

Marjorie Hill

Under Ms. Hill's rocky, seven-year term as CEO, the venerable HIV/AIDS services organization Gay Men's Health Crisis, or GMHC, began a slow-motion collapse. Ms. Hill took for granted its support amongst the most oppressed populations with high HIV infection rates, namely, the Harlem Ballroom community. GMHC's exploitation of this artistic community drove the community to cease trusting GMHC and its agency officials. On the financial front, GMHC was experiencing serious reversals of fortune, including how the agency wasted so much money on fundraising expenses in connections with its annual AIDS Walk event and how the agency lost so much money on a controversial move to new office space. After the community had suffered enough under Ms. Hill, a grassroots effort began to see to her ouster from GMHC, a task that the reform community accomplished last year, just weeks after former Council Speaker Quinn was voted out of office.

Lisa Winters, lost job at Bronx Pride House photo lisa-winters-bronx-prideexport_zps3cddaf9f.jpg

Lisa Winters

Ms. Winters, the former executive director of the Bronx Community Pride Center, was sentenced to prison after it was shown in court that she had been stealing more than $143,000 from the nonprofit, amongst other charges. Ms. Winters's corruption drove the Bronx Community Price Center into closure. The corrupt political landscape of New York City routinely extends to its many nonprofit organizations, but reforms never seem to be enacted to improve transparency, accountability, or community participation in the nonprofits' governance. These nonprofits are supposed to aim to serve the community, but the community has no role in determining the acts of these nonprofits. The reason for this is that other nonprofit organization heads, such as Ms. Flynn, seek to obstruct reforms. Nonprofit executives, just like elected officials, don't want to be held accountable for their failures.

While activists have been able to oust some corrupt community leaders, others find a way to hang on.

Dirk McCall, lost job with Bronx Pride House photo dirk-mccallexport_zpsa229e8e4.jpg

Dirk McCall

Dirk McCall succeeded Ms. Winters as the executive director of the now-defunct Bronx Community Pride Center. Under Mr. McCall, many of the center's programs were cut as a result of a collapse of fundraising during the corruption investigation into Ms. Winters' administration of the nonprofit. Prior to Mr. McCall's term at the Bronx center, he worked as a campaign operative for several politicians, and he was a former president of the Stonewall Democratic Club, the city's largest LGBT political organization. Prior to that, Mr. McCall worked for the shady real estate lobbyist, James Capalino. Given Mr. McCall's career pattern with many of Manhattan's permanent government insiders, he has learned the ropes of what it means to protect the broken political system from community demands for reform. Because no matter how many "change" elections New Yorkers vote for, or how many "progressive" campaign promises that voters hear, the New York City government keeps on working only for permanent government insider-operatives, their lobbyists, the clients of those lobbyists, and big money donors.

When Mr. McCall worked at GMHC, he once attended a meeting with representatives of the Harlem Ballroom community. Mr. McCall was familiar with the complaints of Ballroom leaders, but Mr. McCall never undertook any efforts to make peace with activists. As many controversies engulfed the then GMHC CEO Marjorie Hill, Mr. McCall never demonstrated autonomous leadership by showing a different vision for the agency. Instead, as criticism piled up on Ms. Hill for the agency's financial losses, Mr. McCall reportedly arranged for Ms. Hill to receive an award from the Winter Pride gala organized by the Queens Pride Committee. At times, he appeared to be working as Ms. Hill's personal publicist rather than for fighting to serve the agency's best interest. At GMHC, Mr. McCall's philosophy was go along to get along. As with other "professional" activists and nonprofit executives, Mr. McCall came to be viewed by reform activists as an impediment to reform. Mr. McCall now works as the external affairs director for the office of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., a soft landing job that few are able to decipher, unless Mr. Diaz plans to exploit Mr. McCall's corrupt network of contacts to launch a bid for city-wide office soon.

Glennda Testone, violates Free Speech photo glennda-testoneexport_zps5b74c0f7.jpg

Glennda Testone

As with Ms. Flynn, Ms. Testone, the head of the New York City's largest LGBT pride house, is also tone deaf to demands for reform. Ms. Testone notoriously blocked reporters from being able to comment on the LGBT Community Center's Facebook page to avoid press questions about transparency and accountability in the wake of the criminal financial collapse of the Bronx Community Pride Center. This was after she had deliberately instructed the LGBT Community Center's spokesperson, Cindi Creager, to avoid any media inquiries made by The Village Voice.

Ms. Testone also violated the First Amendment rights to free speech and freedom of assembly after she banned meetings by Queers Against Israeli Apartheid in the LGBT Community Center. She then added to the controversy by instituting a "moratorium" on any discussion of the Palestinian struggle for peace and self-determination. This censorship, in response to pressure from Ms. Testone's wealthy supporters of Israel's anti-Palestinian policies, flew in the face of the LGBT community's commitment to diversity. The LGBT Community Center was always counted on to offer safe space for discussion of "controversial" issues, but that changed under Ms. Testone. Petitions, appeals to meet with the Center's board of directors, calls and letters did not succeed. Ultimately, the LGBT Community Center revised its policies, but only after activists staged an occupation of the LGBT Community Center, an embarrassing act that showed Ms. Testone for the obstructionist to freedom and reform that she truly represents. For the term that the ban was in place, the censorship drew negative headlines for Ms. Testone, but she survived the scrutiny, because her patrons and donors supported the controversial censorship, another sign that the wealthy donors service their own political interests, which may not always align with the calls for reform by grassroots activists.

Ms. Testone also spearheaded a town hall at the "Talking Transition" tent on Canal Street last November on LGBT issues. At the town hall, a foreshadowing of what many reform groups would face in the coming de Blasio administration, many activists were told to discuss the needs of the LGBT community that had been left neglected after the mayoralties of Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. But as Ms. Testone led that discussion, there was no talk of the money that would be needed to fund community proposals. And like that town hall, Mayor de Blasio's mayoralty has largely been all talk, without fully funding the social, economic, and legal resources needed by not just the LGBT community, but by all New Yorkers. In this instance, Ms. Testone was there to just let the community vent their frustrations, with no sincere intention to press the de Blasio administration for city resources. Ms. Testone is not about reform, but about placating the community.

Chad Griffin, unpopular head of HRC photo chad-griffinexport_zpsc9172ccb.jpg

Chad Griffin

Succeeding Mr. Solmonese as president of HRC was Chad Griffin, who has stirred up such a dust storm of controversy almost impossible for the imagination of critics of his predecessor. Mr. Griffin, like other national presidents of large lobbying organizations (Patricia Ireland of national NOW comes to mind) have traditionally used their perch to weave fantastical biographies in order to personify the movement that they are leading. Mr. Griffin has managed, with the carefully orchestrated media help of teams of politicians, government employees, supporters, and other political operatives, to portray himself as the "Rosa Parks" of the LGBT marriage equality moment, as absurd as that may sound. But the cynical leaders of some community groups are so narcissistic that they are not self aware of how they come across to the community as they wage these self-interested machinations for their own personal gain. These desperate measures detract from the true calls for fundamental reforms demanded by grassroots LGBT civil rights activists, and Mr. Griffin is actually misdirecting the resources of HRC to fabricate a Cinderella story of his own life, instead of fighting for a comprehensive federal LGBT civil rights bill, which for years has been the strategic focus of a growing number of activists, a move on which HRC still lags.

Critics of HRC see the organization as having become captive of not only Beltway politics, but also captive to both the political machinations of its big money donors and the narcism of is leadership. With the help of notable LGBT bloggers and activists, including Andrew Sullivan, Michael Petrelis, and others, the broader LGBT community is wising up to how the leadership of our community groups lead the movements for social, legal, and economic reforms astray.

Carl Siciliano, won't demand full resources to provide shelter to LGBT homeless youth photo carl-sicilianoexport_zps44d7b145.jpg

Carl Siciliano

Because former Council Speaker Quinn never made it a political and budgetary priority to fully fund the resources needed to provide shelter to all homeless LGBT youth in New York City, the community has to put up with community group leaders, such as Carl Siciliano, who safely asks for small, incremental gains in beds at homeless shelters, which fails to adequately provide shelter to all homeless youths. Mr. Siciliano is the executive director of the Ali Forney Center, a shelter for homeless LGBT youths. Rather than wage pressure politics or direct action against politicians, Mr. Siciliano prefers to stay on their good side, leaving thousands of homeless LGBT youths on the streets, just because he is too timid and insecure to make a demand for all the resources to rollout shelter to anybody who needs it. Indeed, in one nasty episode of the last few years, Mr. Siciliano was seen trying to shut down a competing LGBT homeless shelter in a move that would have reduced the number of available beds to homeless LGBT youth. At that "Talking Transition" town hall chaired by Ms. Testone, Mr. Siciliano should have demanded the resources to full fund the needs of homeless LGBT youths, but, remember, that farcical town hall was not about resources, it was just about blowing a lot of hot air.

Why are community advocacy groups pitted against each other or determined to demobilize broader social movements, instead of trying to lift everybody up ? The fact is that there's only so much public assistance and private philanthropy, leading community advocacy groups to get stuck in an "us vs. them" worldview. The price society pays is that nobody dares to make a demand for all the resources needed to fully address social issues, like providing universal healthcare for everybody or providing shelter for all LGBT homeless youths. Where's the focus on the bigger picture to get *all* the needed resources ? As a result of how nonprofit organizations place a priority on maintaining close relationships with politicians and their big money donors, society never makes the underlying gains that reform activists demand. And for billionaire philanthropists, like the elder Mr. Soros, throwing a few coins here and there to community groups is a whole lot cheaper than facing the prospect of jacked-up income tax rates to fully fund the neglected government programs that nonprofit organizations are trying to address.

Scott Wiener, unpopular San Fran BOS photo Scott-wienerexport_zps4de45479.jpg

Scott Wiener

Another obstruction to government reforms can been seen in Supervisor Scott Wiener, an elected member to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Although not based in New York like all the rest, Mr. Wiener hails from the East Coast, and he has come to be seen as an impediment to the demands of his community. After winning election, Supervisor Wiener voted to allow San Francisco city officials to "repeal and amend voter-approved initiatives and to legislate expiration dates for voter-approved initiative measures," according to a Change.org petition mounted to oppose Supervisor Wiener's machinations to seek a municipal legislative leadership post. Mr. Wiener's anti-democratic move was seen as reminiscent of when former Council Speaker Quinn overturned term limits, which had been adopted after two voter referenda. A classic neoliberal said to be following in the corrupt footsteps of former Council Speaker Quinn in New York, Sup. Wiener has also proposed an extensive revision of San Francisco's environmental review process that would restrict the rights of citizens to appeal zone-busting real estate development projects in a move described by the press as a "developer's wet dream" come true. As with Ms. Flynn and Ms. Testone, Supervisor Wiener has also trashed the First Amendment rights of activists when he had the controversial blogger Michael Petrelis arrested over an attempt to take a photograph of Supervisor Wiener. Motivated to end Supervisor Wiener's controversial term in office, Mr. Petrelis is now running to unseat Supervisor Wiener from the Board of Supervisors. Whether the corrupt political insiders like it or not, activists are fighting for fundamental government reforms.

Richard Socarides, defended DOMA against interests of LGBT community photo Richard_Socaridesexport_zps1681a5da.jpg

Richard Socarides

The extent to which nonprofit organization executives and other permanent political insider operatives, such as Richard Socarides, will sell-out the LGBT community is vast and almost endless. A Clinton administration "Yes Man," Mr. Socarides wrote a controversial memorandum of talking points that allowed former President Bill Clinton to defend his decision to sign into law the state-sponsored discrimination in the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. Since that time, Mr. Socarides has unsuccessfully tried to defend his enabling act. Mr. Socarides had other corrupt roles in the Clinton administration's controversial travel bans against people with HIV/AIDS and the roll-out of the discriminatory DADT military policy. Although activists are keeping track of Mr. Socarides's corrupt record of being a sell-out, the mainstream media, most notably The New York Times, refuses to take a deep dive to explain how politicians exploit unaccountable community leaders, such as Mr. Socarides, to oppose community demands for reforms.

Mr. Socarides continues to survive as a member of the corrupt political insider class of operatives in New York City. Recently, he has been serving on the board of directors of the State University of New York, where he was part of the concerted effort to close Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn. Still doing damage, Mr. Socarides must surely be aware of how activists have succeeded in ousting other corrupt community leaders.

Ed Koch, opposed efforts to fight AIDS photo edkochnewphotoexport_zpse3cf78ac.jpg

Ed Koch

Perhaps the granddaddy of all corrupt sell-out political LGBT leaders was former New York City Mayor Ed Koch. A closet-case, former Mayor Koch was resoundingly ridiculed by the LGBT community in New York for deliberately neglecting to take meaningful municipal action to address the start of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Many interpreted former Mayor Koch's hesitance as fear that he might possibly be outed as a homosexual. Such is the media bias to refuse to expose corruption by community leaders that when former Mayor Koch passed away last year, The New York Times published a controversial obituary that was sanitized of any mention of former Mayor Koch's failings at the start of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Only after LGBT and AIDS activists caused such a ruckus on social media did the editors of The New York Times correct former Mayor Koch's obituary to reflect the historical facts of his negligence.

Before his death, former Mayor Koch had been in frail health. During that time, former Council Speaker Quinn had elicited a political endorsement for her mayoral campaign from former Mayor Koch, but former Council Speaker Quinn's campaign people never recorded the endorsement for a TV advertisement campaign, lamenting the lost opportunity to capitalize one more time from the way corrupt political insiders support each other, no matter how detrimental that support is to the community-at-large.

The only way to make room for new leadership is to keep pushing the old one out.

Without adding to each of the cynicism of politics and the herculean efforts of activists to bring about government and social reforms, what lessons can voters and activists draw from this long overview of failed leaders ?

Voters and activists can take heed from the established pattern that corrupt leaders can be dethroned. The lessons of Mr. Solmonese at HRC, former Council Speaker Quinn in public office, Ms. Hill at GMHC, and Ms. Winters at the Bronx Community Pride Center is that corrupt leaders don't hold onto power forever. The community, led by activists, can organize efforts to bring new leaders to cornerstone community nonprofit groups that underpin critical social services. The process of their ouster may take some time, organizing, and efforting, but it has been shown that it can be done. The reasons that some corrupt community leaders have a knack for surviving, like Ms. Flynn, Ms. Testone, Mr. McCall, and Mr. Socarides, to name a few, is because the corrupt political system uses these front group leaders as a buffer against reform from their respective communities. No matter how severely Ms. Flynn trashes reform activists, or how many times corrupt politicians, like former Council Speaker Quinn, use police to target activists, or go all the way, like when Supervisor Wiener had the blogger Mr. Petrelis arrested, we are living in a remarkable era of reform. Activists and bloggers can see through nonprofit leaders' failed one-house legislative strategies. The community knows when a nonprofit executive keeps promising "reforms," but nothing keeps getting done over the span of many years. The community can see the numerous times that "empty suits" organize meaningless press conferences for reforms, but nothing ever happens to follow-up to pressure the corrupt political system to actually deliver reforms. Bloggers can connect the dots and draw a true picture of the corrupt political landscape much easier now than before. More and more, activists are not willing to accept the fabricated story lines by disappointing leaders, like Mr. Griffin. Whereas the mainstream media may deliberately refuse to report the full truth of the corrupt political landscape, activists are taking to blogging and social media to self-report the truth about corruption and the ways to bring it to an end.

If foundations, such as those run by the elder Mr. Soros, really cared about making wholesale reforms to government and breaking the power of corporations, they would fund pop-up tents in the top 50 cities across America to advocate for the Wall Street transaction tax. Instead, the pop-up tents they put up are meant to diffuse, confuse, and demobilize voters. The true test of their intention is what outcome are they trying to bring about, and, more and more, people are getting wiser to this important distinction.

As activists organize new social movements, more and more citizens will learn new insights about self-determination and self-governance. And although not perfect, some federal prosecutors, such as Preet Bharara, have finally begun a campaign to renew government integrity. Taken as a whole, this is a moment of renewal and optimism. Time and history are on our side. We can make the world a better place. We are making it happen now.

Please check back for possible continuing updates.

5 comments:

  1. NONE OF THIS IS SURPRISING TO ME. I HAVE SAID SO MANY TIMES THROUGHOUT THE YEARS, THAT OUR COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS OR "NOT FOR PROFIT,,,NON PROFIT" FORGOT WHAT THE MEANING OF THE WORD "COMMUNITY" IS. THESE ORGANIZATIONS AND CORRUPT OFFICIALS HAVE TURNED THEIR POSITION INTO A MOCKERY AS WELL AS HAVE BECOME CORPORATE, RATHER THAN COMMUNITY...IT HAS LOST ITS WAY AS TO THE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY AND THEIR PRACTICES ARE NOT PRIORITIZED. THEIR PRACTICES OF MANIPULATION AND MISAPPROPRIATION OF FUNDS THAT IS...THERE ARE TOO MANY WHOM ARE USING THE LESS FORTUNATE WITHIN THE COMMUNITY. THEY HAVE EVEN MANIPULATED COMMUNITY MEMBERS AGAINST ONE ANOTHER AND CAUSED "THE BALLROOM COMMUNITY" TO BECOME NOTHING MORE THAN A DISENFRANCHISED COMMUNITY WHOM ARE JUST STATISTICAL NUMBERS SO THAT THE AGENCIES AND POLITICAL INDIVIDUALS CONTINUE TO REAP THE BENEFITS AT THE EXPENSE OF "HIV/AIDS" EPIDEMIC.....WHO CARES? WHERE ARE THE TRUE WATCHDOGS FOR THESE PEOPLE....I PRAY THE COMMUNITY WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT. I PRAY THAT THE VOICES OF THE "BALLROOM COMMUNITY" WILL BE HEARD AS WELL AS RESPECTED. HERE WE ARE IN 2014 WITH THE SAME PROBLEM...THE GMHC PROVIDES US WITH AN ANNUAL "LATEX BALL" WHICH WILL BE HELD AUGUST 2014 IN NYC...AND AGAIN THEY HAVE NO MONEY FOR THE FOOD PROGRAMS, BUT WILL WASTE MONEY UNNECESSARILY ON A "BALL". WHICH THEY CHARGE COMMUNITY MEMBERS, AND SERVE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES TOO...LOL, WITH AN EXCUSE THAT THEY ONLY SERVE TO 21 YEARS OF AGE AND UP. THIS IS WHAT AN AIDS ORGANIZATION DOES...SERVE ALCOHOL AND PROMOTE CATEGORIES THAT ARE SEXUAL , AND CHARGING NOT ONLY ADMISSION BUT ALSO CHARGING FOR CONTESTANTS TO COMPETE IN THE INDIVIDUAL CATEGORIES...WHAT THE BALL COMMUNITY NEEDS IS JOBS, JOB TRAINING, FOOD, MENTAL HEALTH, INSURANCE, BENEFITS ETC;....WE DON'T NEED A BALL AND VOGUE CLASSES...WE NEED HELP....WE NEED SUPPORT. WE NEED FOR THE MONIES TO BE SPENT FOR THE RIGHT REASONS... BLAH BLAH BLAH

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, time and time again we seen selfsihness get the best of a community. Some one or group is at the expense of the less fortunate. Yes, I agree the ball presented by GMHC revenue be cut so to allow a community starving for food, education, training, jobs and other necessities be considered. We need to wake up and stand up .....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, time and time again we seen selfsihness get the best of a community. Some one or group is at the expense of the less fortunate. Yes, I agree the ball presented by GMHC revenue be cut so to allow a community starving for food, education, training, jobs and other necessities be considered. We need to wake up and stand up .....James S.

      Delete
  3. As activists we are used to getting attacked from those who attack our community by selling us out. Jennifer Flynn Walker is no different. Trying to discredit Louis Flores is a typical attack by those who have been selling out our community for years. We need people in our community like Louis and we bless him.

    ReplyDelete
  4. GMHC still has not learned its lesson. To waste hundreds of thousands of dollars on the Latex Ball, teaching Voguing and Runway classes over the past 20 years has not reduced the infection rate in the community of colors. Where is the annual 27 million dollar budget going at GMHC. Just because they fired Marjorie Hill and Dirk McCall, their policies are the same. As long as we have Board Chair Rolfe, COO Janet Weinberg and CAB chair Rivera still in charge, NO CHANGE. Lets fire those people first before we can talk business again. For those in need of services we recomment Housing Works.

    ReplyDelete