April 9th, 2006

harp

Cambridge Pride Brunch planning or lack thereof

Another chapter in my civic life.

Every year for the past 15 years, the Cambridge Lavender Alliance (CLA) has hosted a brunch in City Hall on the morning of the Boston Pride brunch. We organize it and run it, get local restaurants to donate food, the Mayor's office to donate some $$ to pay for some expenses and busses to Boston, do publicity, etc. We like to think of it as Queers take over City Hall. All the local politicians show up.

This year the leader of the CLA wanted to stop doing it. I met with her and one other CLA leader and said that I would propose to the GLBT Commission (I am also a member of it) and talk to the Mayor. The GLBT Commission said it didn't want to take on the responsibility (it is all volunteers who don't have much spare time).

Several of us attempted to schedule a meeting with the Mayor and eventually we got one. It turned out that the other two people couldn't meet the meeting so it was only me.

The Cambridge Mayor (has little power since we have a strong City Manager form of Government and he is selected from and by the City Council) does have some staff and a good sized budget. I thought it would be reasonable to "stick" it to him which is how he characterized the meeting when I'd talked to him while trying to set up the official meeting. The Mayor is Ken Reeves, an out gay man who was mayor a few years ago at a time when that was pretty rare, likes to have celebrations and be in the limelight so I thought it might work. I've known him for quite a few years, he's a charming person, and likes to talk a lot (he is a politician). We had a very nice meeting talking about a multitude of local political things that he knows I am involved in. However he didn't want to do it.

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Now it looks like the CLA will run the Pride Brunch again, but it isn't a sure thing, and perhaps a couple of the GLBT commissioners will help out. Running it isn't too hard since we've done it so many times.