A front-page story in today's San Francisco Chronicle trumpets the news that Pride has whittled its debt down to $77,000 heading into the weekend's festivities. Sounds great -- in the two months since our cover story breaking down how the massive gay and lesbian festival and parade systematically marched itself to the brink of financial disaster, Pride has paid down some $83,000.
Pas mal, pas mal. But the story doesn't answer the question one most wants to know: Has any of this changed the minds of influential city supervisors who have adamantly stated that Pride must be wrenched away from the nonprofit that's run it for the past 40 years? Here's the short answer: No.
"I'm all for embracing them, but I'm still not convinced they're where
they need to be or are going in the right direction," says Supervisor
David Campos. "There are some positive signs. But this is too early to
tell. You can't have the kind of problems they've had and all of a sudden
everything is fine and dandy."
Adds Scott Wiener, "After the parade we'll all sit down and have a very frank discussion."
Brendan Behan, Pride's interim executive director, predicts the parade will make "net revenue" this year. But "it's not going to be a windfall revenue." In fact, "it won't be enough to eliminate the deficit. But we'll move a step closer."
As for what comes next, Behan isn't focusing on that. He does, after all, have some parade to attend this weekend. But there is a large degree of uncertainty. He's still the interim director, and he wouldn't tell SF Weekly if he even wants to work past the end of the year when his contract expires. How Pride will deal with the debt it will all but certainly carry after this weekend is still up in the air. Fund-raising? Bank loan? Aggressive grant-hunting? That's all to be determined.