By Karen Ocamb
Longtime LGBT politico and author David Mixner has what he calls a “novel idea": hold several town hall meetings in cities reflective of LGBTs throughout the nation before hiring a new executive director to replace Joe Solmonese at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) next March.
After serving as HRC president for more than seven years, Solmonese is leaving HRC with a $30 million annual budget and “proclaimed one million members,” according to Mixner, as well as major resources and a huge base of fans and detractors. Mixner concludes:
Who they select as their next president is not only important to the continued health and well-being of the organization, but it impacts the entire LGBT community.
There is no question that they will proceed with a professional search for their new leader. They will hire an Executive Search firm, consult with their Board members and I am sure many others in their vast network. However wouldn't it be both really smart and also genuinely a right move if they held town meetings where anyone can come and express where they think the organization needs to go at this stage of history? They could pick out six locations that would be sure to be reflective of all segments of the community from rural areas to large cities.
Yes, I know that at times it will require enormous patience for the panel listening to the suggestions. There are those who'll attend the town meeting to simply express anger. Also there will be a significant number of people eager to express their needs, constructive frustrations and some with amazing ideas. Listening is not hard and if the Board members listen carefully, they will find additional information that could make their next selection of a leader a wise and respected choice ready to tackle the future challenges that face us all.”
This suggestion might be a good one for the board of Equality California as well, as they undertake a search for a new executive director to replace Roland Palencia.