Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

EQCA: No transition plan

A week after announcing the resignation of Equality California Executive Director Roland Palencia, the statewide LGBT lobbying group still hasn’t developed a transition plan.

Palencia (seen at left), 54, had been on the job for just over three months when EQCA said Monday, October 10, that he was quitting.

At the time, EQCA spokeswoman Rebekah Orr said a transition plan would be released by Friday, October 14, Palencia’s last day with the nonprofit.

When the group failed to say Friday what they were going to do, Orr replied to an emailed inquiry from the Bay Area Reporter by saying, “The board is in the process today of connecting with staff members to discuss the transition plan. We will release a public statement on Monday.”

But as of today (Monday, October 17), there’s still no plan.

In a phone interview, Orr wouldn’t say when the organization would reveal its plans.

“The board is taking its time to make sure we get it right, and in the meantime, all of our staff is continuing to do all the work Equality California has been known for and, that we have set out to do for the year, and we’re moving forward,” she said.

When asked to explain the delay further, Orr said, “I think that we can all agree that it is better to do due diligence and to take our time to get it right than it is to have certainty without having …” She paused, struggling for words, then added, “with certainty without having gone through a deliberative process.”

Palencia’s departure is just one major staff change EQCA’s facing. Finance Director Steve Mele, government affairs director Mario Guerrero, and Marriage and Coalitions Director Andrea Shorter are also leaving. Mele’s taken a position with a congressional campaign in Nevada, while Guerrero and Shorter are being let go as part of a restructuring plan.

As far as the situation at EQCA looking chaotic, Orr would only say, “The board is working with staff to manage the organization on a day-to-day basis.”

She said the nonprofit wouldn’t shut down.

Orr said the list of board members on the group’s website as of today is current, and she’s not aware of any upcoming resignations. She didn’t know if there would be any more staff layoffs.

The restructuring effort is supposed to include bringing on a deputy and political director. Orr said she didn’t know if plans for filling that position are on hold. However, she said, “No one’s been interviewed” for the job, and “there are no interviews taking place at this time.”

Orr said last week that EQCA had $250,000 in the bank but she didn’t know whether that figure includes the Equality California Institute, EQCA’s education branch. She said the organization was expecting $100,000 in grants to come in around this week.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, October 17, 2011 @ 3:53 pm PST
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