Trish Mifflin did a great job summing up the situation about the Delta Foundation. I have been reaching out for some statements.
State Representative Dan Frankel has been a member of the Delta Foundation Advisory Board for several years. I asked him to comment on this matter. His formal statement is
I don’t speak for the Delta Foundation and they never asked for my advice, but they do seem to have generated substantial controversy over their decision which is regrettable. It takes away from where the focus of the community should be. And that’s on supporting efforts such as passing a statewide nondiscrimination law to ensure that all LGBT residents have protection against the indignities of discrimination.
According to his Chief of Staff, Carey Cumings “While Representative Frankel is listed as a member of the Advisory Council of the Delta Foundation, his advice has never been sought nor is he aware of any meetings of the Advisory Council. To his knowledge, the Advisory Council is inactive.”
I have a lot of respect for Representative Frankel, but to be honest – I think he’s being disengenuous here. I went to him directly (directly, directly – even speaking with his wife) with an ethical concern involving Delta. That was two years ago. He told me the same thing then – that he wasn’t actively involved. But he didn’t have his name removed. So he sort of benefits from the best of both worlds, here. He’s affiliated with a powerful group of white gay men with a lot of money, but he’s not responsible for their collective decisions?
I think that’s part of the problem – allies not holding Delta accountable. Former City Councilor Doug Shields is also on this advisory body and hasn’t responded with a comment. If you are freaking out that I tied our community champion Dan Frankel to this quagmire, then please take a breath and calm down. He can handle it.
When people say “How did this happen?” the answer is not that a secret cabal made decisions in a hidden cave. A lot of otherwise good allies to QTPOC and all of us played a part by turning a blind eye to the fact that the Emperor wasn’t wearing new clothes. So it very much matters now that we dismantle the Fortress of Good Intentions and do some collective soul searching, especially white gay men and lesbians.
The reality is that the board of directors of the Delta Foundation, past and present, should be called on the carpet to explain themselves. They should explain where the money came from and where it was allocated. They should answer the ethical and moral concerns raised by members of the community.
And if they protest about not *really* being involved, their reputations should be sullied a bit for allowing themselves to tolerate such goings-on all these years.