Chris Potter has a tremendous article in the Post Gazette regarding concern  in the community about The Delta Foundation, the group responsible for Pittsburgh Pride. After reading it, I’m left with three questions:

  1. Are Delta’s problems limited to transparency issues?
  2. Does the majority of the LGBTQ community care?
  3. Should the community care, and what should the community do?

Okay, maybe that’s four questions. But today, let’s focus on the first.

Two of the most glaring points in Potter’s article for me are:

Even Delta’s crowd estimates can be murky. This year’s Pride attracted “record attendance of approximately 110,000 people (according to City estimates),” Delta President Gary Van Horn said in a statement

But neither the mayor’s office nor public-safety officials could vouch for that number, which Mr. Van Horn later said was based on a “matrix” provided by sources he didn’t identify.

“I don’t know where they would have gotten that figure from, but it didn’t come from us,” said Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler.

And:

But “our committees are open to the public and involve almost 400 people,” Mr. Van Horn wrote. “We advertise this through [Facebook]/Twitter/Email etc.”

The Post-Gazette could not find such a posting on social media; Mr. Van Horn did not respond to a request to identify one.

Can any of Delta’s explanations actually be trusted?  Delta had the City of Pittsburgh listed as a sponsor prior to Pride as well until it was pointed out that the City had not in any way entered into a sponsorship agreement with Delta. Delta seems to have a problem embellishing their connection to the City and making it out to be more than it really is. Others will call it flat out lying.

And anyone who manages any event will scoff at the idea of 400 community members functioning on committees. That would be an enormous if not impossible effort to manage, and with such a small staff, Delta couldn’t do it. Additionally, any organization knows that to have good volunteers, you have to treat them well and thank them. It would be conceivable that a acknowledgement list would be visible on a web page somewhere, but none exists. There isn’t even a list of what committees there are or how to get involved.

Perhaps volunteers who work during Pride are considered committee members? Or the people who participated in an on-line poll to select this year’s theme are considered committee members?

Earlier reporting efforts by Pittsburgh City Paper found that the Delta web site listed members of an advisory board which had never met, and a community advisory board, whose members describe themselves as volunteers and never asked to offer any advisory activity in any way.

The Delta web site (which is off-line at this time July 6, 2015), highlights Equal Magazine which ceased publication six months ago, and a multi-county advocacy initiative which ceased operations in early 2013. In other words, almost everything Delta puts forward about itself is misleading information.

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