Thursday, July 30, 2009

Coalition for 2010 Plan 'Next Steps Summit' to Move Forward on Ballot Initiative

The Coalition for 2010, formerly known as the Coalition of the Willing which sprung from the Leadership Summit in San Bernardino, will be hosting a "Next Steps Summit" on August 9 in South Los Angeles. At the summit, they plan to discuss actual actions to move forward for a 2010 ballot initiative to undo Prop 8's damage.

On the reservation page, the group states the event will be goal oriented, and will create task forces on the following topics:
  • Ballot language: we intend to decide on a few options, and plan polling/testing of the options.
  • Fundraising: we'll form a committee to begin the fundraising process, especially in the small-donor arena as we begin.
  • Signature gathering logistics: we'll talk about deadlines and auditing to create a workable road map for success within the narrow window required to gather 1,000,000 names.
  • Messaging: we'll brainstorm messaging for many different communities to ensure that signature gatherers are armed with appropriate responses to questions about this repeal effort.
  • Technology: we'll start a wish list for what we want to see in a technology solution to help us carry-out this campaign. This list will then be the starting point for a design team.
Tomorrow, I will have more information as the group is still developing the agenda, but concerns about these goals have already been raised by those who are wary of returning to the ballot in 2010 and others question whether or not having this summit will help unite the already divided California LGBT population.

However, Jordan Krueger of Equality Network, who is working on logistics, told Unite the Fight, "The agenda for the Next Steps Summit will be provided ahead of time, and the Summit will be planned in a way that will be open and participatory with room for debate and discussion."

This echoes the open letter to the LGBT community that the coalition issued, part of which says:
"While it’s no secret that not everyone agrees on when to proceed with a ballot initiative, everyone does agree that the work must be happening now. That work is to change hearts and minds and it must be done whether we are in a campaign for 2010 or later. Since we all share the goal of complete equality for LGBT people, there is much we can do together.

"At the meeting, we will be doing in-depth planning for all aspects of what needs to occur between now and qualifying a ballot measure. Everyone dedicated to working for marriage equality is invited, particularly those who have expressed reservations about a 2010 campaign. These concerns are legitimate and important, and any planning for a future campaign must take them into account to ensure our chances of winning.

"We recognize that the last few months have at times been divisive and painful. We hope that meetings like this will begin to unite us. The purpose of this meeting is not to discuss when this issue should return to the ballot or change any one's view about that question. Rather, we invite everyone to join in the planning for what needs to be done and learn how each of us can best contribute. The decision on when to make that contribution is yours.

"It’s time to work together. Juntos podemos. Together we can."
Summit participants/organizers include:


Go here for more information and to reserve a place at the summit.


  1. Call me a cynic but it looks to me like another effort by Love Honor Cherish to do their own thing. This wasn't the process agreed upon at the leadership summit. Also we need to stop pretending that some of these websites with one or two people behind them are "organizations" and "coalitions."

  2. Videos that Anonymous might want to see.

  3. Unite Us: I love your videos. And, of course, you are right. This is our future. Either marriage equality is important or it is not. Perhaps in California, it is not. But if one thinks it is important, it has to be fought for. To delay until 2012 is to give a huge gift to our enemies, who will be in a wonderful position to fight us on repealing DOMA, on repealing DADT, and on passing ENDA. They will also pour huge amounts of money into Maine and Iowa and (possibly) Washington and any other place where we may be making progress.

    If we don't think marriage equality is important, we should quit whining about it and be happy that in California gay and lesbian couples are almost equal.

  4. Anonymous: you're a cynic.

    At last night's planning meeting, there were no less than EIGHT groups represented. I'll list them, and you tell me if they're big enough to pass your litmus test: Equality Network, RENWL, Vietnamese for Marriage Equality, Yes! on Equality, Straight Ally Women 4 Equality, One Struggle One Fight, International Socialist Organization, Love Honor Cherish.

    Moreover, as far as I can tell, there WASN'T a process agreed upon at the summit. The straw poll only said that "Coalition of the Willing" and "Benchmarks" were the suggested ways forward coming in almost even with each other - without any clear message beyond that. We are proceeding with the Coalition of the Willing, and Benchmarks can (and should), be defined at this meeting.

    Why is everyone railing so hard against STARTING? This is an open, working meeting for anyone that wants to attend. Is there any harm in showing up and at least participating in the process? This process SHOULD include everyone who has concerns, and we SHOULD go into this with eyes wide open - so long as you're willing to participate, as opposed to standing in the way. Join us, express your concerns, and let's work them into the plan. Benchmarks can be defined and agreed-upon to ensure that this process stays on track. Please, join us instead of fighting us. Whatever happens, the bottom line is that we're at least moving in the direction of victory. Whether we get there in 2010 or 2012, at least we're heading that way!


  6. Another waste of time and energy, but that won't bother the organizers.

    The 2010 efforts is so similar to the march on DC, in that both actions are driven by just a few egos, and not lots of people behind either one.

    It's gonna take lots of money for 2010 to be a success, and I just don't see the money flowing to the effort.

    Not when CA is so broke, AIDS programs are being cut, gay service orgs are hurting, and lots of LGBT people are struggling to hold on to their apts and jobs.

    Frankly, my partner and I, along with lots of our friends in SF are more interested in secure apt leases than marriage licenses.

    I'd love to the plan for 2010 that addresses fundraising in this lousy economy.

    Does such a plan exist?


    Here we go again with another summit and from the get-go, there is no info on streaming the meeting.

    No plans were made to stream Sunday summit in Fresno in May, same for the summit in San Bernardino.

    It wasn't until I asked organizers to stream the meeting that plans were made to include and engage the rest of CA gays who won't be there.

    The lack of commitment to transparency is a serious problem, for folks who say they are different and better than the No on 8 executive committee.

    If you can't even commit to stream these summits, and I have to continually ask that you do the streaming, I wonder how transparent and engaging you all will be during the 2010 campaign.

    Good luck, 'cause you're gonna need lot of it.

  8. Michael, the agenda will be out within a few days. One of the break-out sessions includes Fundraising - that's where a plan will be born.

    In regard to streaming: we're working on it. The problem is that the location doesn't have wifi access in the main room, and we need to make sure we can secure the mobile access. I should know within the next few days.

  9. Michael, with regard to transparency, please be clear I would encourage you to stop criticizing the enormous efforts of our activists who are actually doing this for FREE, and step in and be a part of the solution. If you want transparency, then get in there and GIVE transparency. Donate some of your time and resources to stream this live.

    As one of the many activist's that is giving my own time and money to the community organizing, I dont think I have seen you at ONE of the meetings that you so readily criticize.

    Im certain you offer a great perspective, but I personally find it irrelevant when you are incapable of actually participating in the work necessary to the movement.

  10. hey loch,

    if you can't stand the mild heat of my criticism, maybe you should get out of the kitchen. just because you and others are volunteering time and money doesn't mean you're immune from criticism, or that i'm supposed to only praise you.

    i really wonder how you'll deal with voters who disagree with you, if you can't deal with me.

    the problem with transparency, or lack of it, is not me. the problem is the organizers of the summits are not giving enough time to prepare for streaming.

    if you all want to have more of the CA gay community that can't make it to the summits fully engaged with your campaign, you'll always make sure the meetings/summits are streamed and agendas released way in advance.

    furthermore, i'm not in the business of handing out medals to gays such as yourself.

    and just because i'm not rich enough to fly off to every summit in southern california, and engaged in activism in my own way, doesn't mean i'm not committed to advancing gay lib.

    loch, i hope you develop a thick skin.

  11. Michael. Thank you. I am actually not afraid of criticism, I welcome it. I am far from perfect but I know I have only the best of intentions. I was the person at the San Bernardino summit who said it was inappropriate to vote on 2010 vs 2012 BECAUSE there were too many voices that werent there, even though they were watching the streaming. I have no hidden agenda, and am free of myself. I am in this "kitchen" with you, and you with me.

    With regard to this specific critique, I am simply defending a group of people who are well intentioned and are already in attempts to stream. I simply ask that instead of coming out with the attack, ask the questions first.

    I (personally) welcome your perspective, and welcome your insight. You are clearly an intelligent man who is in this fight with us, but I am (again, personally) tired of seeing stones thrown at us, by us. We have enough fighting outside of this struggle.

    I am happy to have further conversations offline, and find out ways to better build communication between our individual cities (I am not sure where you live). Let me know.