The City of West Hollywood will host two community forums — one in July and one in August — to get feedback regarding the annual LA Pride festival and parade in West Hollywood.

New LA PrideThe first forum will take place next Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the West Hollywood Park Auditorium, located at 647 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica. The second forum will take place on Aug. 17 at 6:30 p.m., also at the West Hollywood Park Auditorium.

This year’s Pride festival was controversial because of a decision by Christopher Street West (CSW), the non-profit organization that puts it on, to recast it as a music festival. Lesbian and transgender people were particularly upset at CSW’s plans to scale back time and space devoted to them in order to accommodate musical performers. CSW said its goal was to draw more “millenials” to the event.

CSW also angered some members of the LGBT community with its decision to raise the Pride festival ticket price by almost half. The organization backed away from some of its plans when LGBT groups threatened to boycott the event

“We scheduled these forums so that the community has an opportunity to provide meaningful input,” said Mayor Lauren Meister. “The first community forum will focus on LA Pride 2016 — likes, dislikes, and challenges that the city, CSW and community members faced along the way. The second community forum will focus on the future of LA Pride in West Hollywood. We hope that people participate and that the discussions are productive.”

The second forum likely will include a presentation of options developed by city staffers. Meister and Councilmember John D’Amico have been meeting to discuss ideas with Chris Classen, president of CSW, and Craig Bowers, its most influential board member, along with Scott Schmidt, Meister’s former campaign manager and council deputy, who now works as a consultant for CSW.

In addition to community feedback, meetings will also include a discussion about potential impacts of construction for the second phase of the West Hollywood Park redevelopment.

3 thoughts on “WeHo to Host Forums for Input on Controversial LA Pride”

  1. With the Far Right Evangelical’s deep pockets and entire universities devoted to fighting Gay Rights at every turn in our society right now and with them prepared to continue this fight well into the next generation abandoning the Fighting for Rights aspect and moving away from our progress as a community having to fight for our rights to make Pride more of a festival would be a disservice to future generations of Gay Men and Women worldwide and a black eye on those that sacrificed to advance our community. We have Pride about how far we have come an by how far we have to go and this should never be taken away just for ticket sales. I am all for Millennials having a good time but it should not come at the expense of those organizations that have fought for them to do so. The Far Right is never going to give up and we can see this in legislation and party platforms all across our land, we as a community can not sit back on our laurels, we have work to do, to honor those of our past and to fight for those of the future, their lives depend on us and our actions RIGHT NOW!

  2. did you say scott schmidt, meisters campaign manager, is on the csw payroll? when did that start? isn’t it illegal for former deputies to lobby the city? how much is he getting paid and does meister recuse herself as she still owes schmidt something for running her campaign? the optics are clearly a conflict of interest

  3. While waiting in line that Saturday of the Festival, it suddenly occurred to me “Why am I here when I could see the AIDS Life Cycle riders coming into town over at Fairfax High.” So I biked over there and am so glad I did. Hearing the Gay Men’s Chorus welcome the riders with the song “True Colors,” that was truly the meaning of Pride!

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