Equality Advocates Board Resigns – Huh?

I caught this tonight on Twitter via the Philadelphia Gay News:

Nearly all of the board members of LGBT legal organization Equality Advocates Pennsylvania have resigned within the past two weeks.

Ten of the 13 members stepped down in a move that Lynn Zeitlin, executive director of the group, said was part of a wider restructuring effort.

The former board members include president Virginia Gutierez, vice president Trudi Sippola, treasurer Margaret Klaw, secretary Stephen Scardina and members Jodi Bromberg, Charles Ellis, Linda Aline Hawkins, Doug Metcalfe, Cody Poerio and Steven Sokoll.

None of the members PGN reached was willing to comment on the reason for their resignations, although Sippola said she felt it was “a good time for there to be some fresh energy on the board to take Equality Advocates into the next phase of its development.”

Metcalfe, the former board spokesperson who served on the body for seven years, said that “there are certainly some things that have happened in the organization that brought me to the decision that I needed to resign.”

This is disturbing as our attention turns statewide for the battle to pass HB 300 (and not get derailed by marriage windmills).  EA is supposed to be the go to group.  I'll admit that I was a little taken aback when I met Lynn Zeitlin.  I asked her if she was coming to Pittsburgh for the NetRoots Nation Conference in August and she had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.  Even when I explained, she just told me she had to head back to Philly and walked away.  I was stunned. 

Now I'm really concerned.  I have had my differences with EA after information I shared on a confidential conference call was leaked to a donor who excorciated me for a perceived criticism.  That was the end of my supporting role as a blogger for either group (still waiting on apology – hi guys).  The lack of organizing presence in Western Pennsylvania has been damaging, but it did allow for some new grassroots shoots to emerge from the chaff. 

So … be honest with me … can you name any statewide advocacy groups?  The ACLU doesn't count.  No?  Then go read my tweets about the most recent Steel City Stonewall Board meeting and get involved.  Organizations break down when people stop paying attention.  When they stop caring.


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