Join the Impact Pittsburgh Hits Snags

Just got word this morning that someone from Erie took charge of the Pittsburgh “Join the Impact” effort and relocated it to Oakland ???? I have had no response to my inquiries so I don't know why someone would do that three days before the event, especially after all the PR previously directing people to the City-County Building.

The fear I'm hearing via email is fear that folks who might have showed up will be discouraged by yet another example of how poorly organized Pittsburgh's gay community is and just not come at all. 

Hopefully, the organizer will get in touch and let us know her thoughts. 

And I gotta say … Oakland?  It just doesn't fit.

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  • 1. This is the link to share for the event: http://jointheimpact.wetpaint.com/page/Pittsburgh
    2. It will be Saturday, 1:30 pm at Schenley Plaza between Pitt's library and the Carnegie Library.
    3. They claim to be awaiting a permit for the protest.
    4. Why voice anonymous fear to discourage people to not show? Show up and see? Isn't this worth it?
    5. What's wrong with Oakland? It's a place. There are loads of gays there. Seems like it fits the criteria.
    6. The PR from before was before someone volunteered to take control of the protest locally. The organizers of the national protest defaulted to local City Halls. You might find a similar disorganization in, for example, Seattle, WA: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2008/11/11/unraveling-the-confusing-mess
    but you don't see the local blogs telling people to get discouraged! Whose side are you on?

  • See, I love it when expressing dissent or concern results in a “whose side are you on” bitch slap. I'd be insulted if it wasn't such a stupid, small-minded nasty comment. I'm clearly on the side of those who supported Prop 8. What gave me away? Darn.
    To my knowledge, the local person has yet to reach out to the major sources of queer communication in Pittsburgh (that's as of this morning). So either she isn't aware of them or she's just doing her own thing. That's not effective organizing. If you can apply for a City permit, you can contact the GLCC, the Queer Events List and the local blogs who have covered your topic, especially the heterosexual blogs.
    You can hiss at me all you want for pointing out that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes, Christopher, but that doesn't change the facts. Perhaps your energies would be better spent getting the organizers to spread good information around instead of trying to muzzle me.

  • Let me tell you something about myself.
    I'm a postdoc at the University of Pittsburgh. I've been with the same guy for 11 years and we got married in San Diego in October. He's a postdoc at UC, Irvine.
    I have never been part of any gay community (well, at least not since I was an undergrad), and have been coasting through life staying busy with science and looking for jobs. No longer. We're on the cusp of something big here, and I am beginning to feel that it is worth it to make some effort on our civil rights now, capitalizing on the anger prop 8 has injected into our movement.
    For the first time in my life, I actually want to participate.
    That said, I'd like to point out that I'm not trying to muzzle you at all. What I'm try to have you acknowledge is this:
    1. You cited anonymous sources claiming that they were discouraged, and might not show.
    2. You criticized Oakland as a protest site.
    3. You pointed out disorganization in the event.
    What do those things do to advance our agenda (note that I'm not disagreeing with the substance of your points, but are they necessary or helpful comments)? Contrast your post to the one on slog that I cited and tell me which is better.
    Slog post here: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2008/11/11/unraveling-the-confusing-mess
    And here's a thought. If you are posting about an event, and have not yet heard back from the organizer, maybe give them more time? Nothing says you have to post about this today. Why scream doom and gloom, when it's possible she'll get back to you in a bit?
    I've sent her an email myself (she also has listed a phone number, which I'll share with you via email.) I agree this whole thing could have been handled better, but it seems your post is not helpful at best, and downright harmful at worst.
    Messaging is important.

  • Thanks for sharing and good for you in getting involved. You may disagree with me, but I think three years of blogging on these topics gives me some wiggle room to share my opinions.
    That's the problem I have; you equate criticism with tearing down the cause. You'll never win me over on this one. Other posts may be better than mine, but it is not a competition. This is my space to share my opinions. Sometimes those opinions are critical of the powers that be. If that makes me the enemy, you sorely underestimate your enemy.
    When you use language like “scream doom and gloom” you dont really build any bridges with me. Attempting to isolate me doesn't address the issue that hundreds of people think this event is taking downtown. I would beg to differ that highlighting that discrepency is “harmful”. What would be harmful would be two small groups working on opposites ends of town with no shared vision. I'm one of the folks trying to call attention to that gap.
    Those who have asked me what's going on include the organizer for the statewide LGBT advocacy group and the director of the RCC choir. People are befuddled. I hope you can use that telephone number to get some answers and I will HAPPILY pass them along.

  • Hmm? I am one of the organizers for the event in Erie, and I haven't heard anything about anyone from here organizing something down there. (Heck, we didn't get started on organizing for here until late Monday night.) Do you have more info? I would be happy to check it out. But yup, people from Pittsburgh should indeed be free to organize their own event.

  • Hi. Thanks for posting. Can you give us some feedback on your got the Erie event organized. Did you interface with local LGBT advocacy groups or resources? Thanks.

  • Now that I've calmed down from my previous response complaining about the move from downtown to Oakland, I suggest we keep it in Oakland.
    And then march to the LDS (Mormon) offices at 236 N Dithridge St. Let's face it…the Mormon Church got its members to support Prop 8 without funding it directly, thereby skirting the IRS. I think Saturday plays some importance in their cult…er, religion, and there is even a Mormon movie called Saturday's Warrior. If we can't protest the people in CA who voted for Prop 8, let's bring it to the fanatics…er, believers, who helped to fund it.

  • Sorry for the earlier rant…my lesbian sister-in-law lives near LA and told me what happened last weekend. And I lived in Salt Lake long enough to learn that the Mormons are hypocrites…they are now the persecutors when they were once the persecuted. And I met enough gay Mormons to know that they are approaching a schism.
    Forget who voted for what…let's remember that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints encouraged its members to bankroll the Yes on Prop 8 campaign. They are complicit. And regardless of whether any of their Pittsburgh Mormon brethren contributed, we need to bring it home.

  • Hello Everyone,
    I appreciate all the help all of you have been doing to get this out there and have our voices be heard!
    It's much to take on, however, I know hand in hand, we can make this a monumental day in history for ALL of us who inspire to live in a world of love and equality.
    To answer your questions;
    I feel that this event setting at Schenely Park will have more of an outpour of individuals how are commited to the cause.
    If you would like to continue to organize a Rally at City Hall, by all means, please do so.
    The more we are heard, the more we can resonate!
    things you should know about me:
    i am working a full time job, AND trying to get this rally together in time.
    i am a God loving lesbian who feels compelled to speak up for all the others who have been discriminated by the church or a religious affiliates.
    I will be participating and planning this Rally with a peaceful, loving, and openminded sense of what needs to be heard and set as an example.
    THIS WILL NOT BE A PROTEST TO JUDGE! this is exactly the injustice that i and hopefully many others are trying so desperately to eradicate. I intend to have information and support from some of the Gay Friendly Churches from the Pittsburgh area.
    with that being said, it's not a “us versus the church” rally. it's a civil rally.
    for more information please email me at noon8@ymail.com
    myspace.com/pittsburghprotestnoon8
    http://pittsburghrallynoon8.wetpaint.com/
    Passionately,
    Misty Harvey

  • I do not like to post negative comments but I am really upset about the leadership in this city.
    Why did it take someone from out of town to organize a rally in the burgh?( I am grateful they did, however….)
    Where are the Steelcity Stonewall Democrats? Where is the GLCC? Where is the Delta Foundation? Is it not those folks who claim they are taking the GLBT of Pittsburgh in a new direction? Are they the ones who scream for us to support them yet they do not do anything I can support. Holding fundraiser after fundraiser is just incredibly boring after a while, and what are they funding? When will the “leaders” of this community figure out what is really important?
    Also, while I am on a roll, the rest of the county will be standing in front of their City Hall Buildings,k and Pittsburgh? Well, we will be in a park………

  • Misty,
    I emailed you twice and you have yet to respond to either message. It is great to see you get involved, but I am curious why you aren't interfacing with existing organizations/networks to get the word out — particularly when you have a fulltime job yourself?
    I look forward to your email responses as per your promise above.
    Sue

  • Well, I suppose it's time for me to weigh in as well. I share the discouragement that a Pittsburgh person has not stepped forward to organize this event. I know of several of us that were unable to do so due to personal or professional issues impeding. Having said that, I am very concerned that there is a general sense of “where's the leaders, nothings been happening.” I am very concerned we run the risk of people saying, “see, what's the point of getting involved at all.”
    Yes, our community is hugely fractured with no central organization. We need to fix that. Several area groups, however, have worked extremely hard over the past year to begin to build our local coalition and to link it to the statewide Value All Families Coalition. Stonewall Demcrats and PFLAG have done a great job of building coalition with statewide advocacy efforts. Delta Foundation, the GLCC , Sue's blog and the queer events listserve have been critical in getting the word out about actions. GLSEN and PERSAD have offered their support and Marriage Equality USA-SW PA (which I have tried to get off the ground) has been involved in the coalition building. We have a long way to go but have begun to build a foundation that I think has alot of potential. A good example of what power we have when we come together was the hearing on the Marriage Amendment that happened downtown last Spring. I was told, “Pittsburgh raised the bar on what a city can do when it comes together.” The turnout on that was great and it made a difference. We can accomplish alot when we work together and there are times when we have done that.
    There is much work to be done in our region and state and much that has happened over the past several years truly worth honoring. You can be sure that if a Marriage Amendment had ended up on the PA ballot this election the conservatives would have used that to pull their votors out and the election results may have been different in our state. Pittsburgh was a part of stopping that amendment…not once, but twice! Imagine that, we stopped a marriage amendment in Pennsylvania.
    A statewide non-discrimination bill has been in the works and will continue to be worked on by both Equality Advocates and the state-wide coalition. A training is happening here in Pittsburgh this week-end, sponsored by Stonewall Democrats. We are hoping to offer the training again in January.
    So yes, there's alot our town needs to do to better organize advocacy work and I don't have a problem with people expressing concern about that. I share the frustration. I also am aware, though, that alot has been happening that is really about long term sustained effort and there are people that have been working hard and will continue to work hard. Do know it does make a difference when you get involved.
    I have often been mystified about what would motivate the community to get more involved. Calls for help with projects, to make lobbying visits or man booths have often been met with silence as everyone is busy. That's understandable. But let's give honor to what current groups have been doing and ask ourselves how we can better support their efforts or create our own.
    In the meantime, let's continue also to ask ourselves the hard questions about the fractured state of our community and find ways to continue to build the local coalition that has been slowly getting off the ground.

  • Thank You for your appreciation.
    I am doing the best I can with what I've got to work with in the amount of time I've been given and with the knowledge I now know.
    I'm not from Pittsburgh, I haven't ever organized a scheduled event such as this. The most I've done is to the speak at my local Vegetarian Society Meeting about Animal Rights.
    I didn't actually step up to the bat about this. I, like everyone else i imagine? emailed the contact person on jointheimpact.com website asking if they was anything i could do to help get a protest started in pittsburgh, print fliers and such.
    then i go to my meditation group and come home and literally have email upon email about how, what, who, when they can do to help since i am now the organizer.
    Let me state i am in no way blaming anyone for giving me a little extra push in this direction. I could have said no, however I felt led to establish a Rally with the liberating help and enthusiasm of the entire city of Pittsburgh. when you go to the myspace.com/pittsburghprotestnoon8 or email me. i am the only one responding to these emails and myspace messages. so it's a big bite to chew.
    i have contacted a plethora of people. television, radio, and newspapers. state elected officials, the glbcc, gay friendly churches, and the various myspace/facebook blogs and online communities.
    If you have any productive input i would greatly appreciate it.
    I hope we can all come together and have a peaceful protest and if there are bumps and snags in the road of this rally. i apologize in advance. i just know i have done my best.
    thank you,
    misty harvey

  • Misty,
    I appreciate your position, but I'm not sure why you would leap into this type of decision without input from other groups. You made the decision in a vacuum so it seems disengenuous to be surprised that people aren't happy about that. It might have been more constructive to get others on board before you made the decisions.
    Discussions about process *is* productive input. It is probably the weakest link in Pittsburgh … people who make decisions resist being transparent and claim that if only more people helped, everything would be fine. I'm so tired of that argument. I see very little grassroots organizing and most of that emanates from outside the mainstream gay community. You are caught up in dissatisfaction on a much larger level than your event.
    Take comfort in knowing that this situation may help move us a few inches further along to having leadership and advocates that are accountable to the community. That's my dream.
    I hope you have luck with your event. I would urge you to consider sending someone down to City Hall to see what's happening.

  • please lift your veil and realize maybe the statements made are Not meant to be malicious. it was just a sentence and not an automatic chance for a defensive mechanism.
    i hope and pray we can all come together no matter where we meet in fellowship and peace.
    thank you,
    misty harvey

  • “please lift your veil” ???
    What exactly does that mean?
    I don't think your statements are made in malice, but good intentions don't automatically mitigate negative impact. That's my point. I recognize you probably arent' aware of other dynamics — by your own admission, you did not touch base with existing advocates before you got started — however, now you at least have one person's perspective on them.
    I really do hope you will clarify what the veil comment means b/c it seems so out of character from how you've come across so far.

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