Council Opts to Let Locals Devise Plans for Future LGBTQ Prides Rather Than Hire Outside Firm

LA Pride Parade (Photo courtesy of Visit West Hollywood)

With a unanimous vote Monday night, the West Hollywood City Council empowered the city’s business community to start developing plans for future LGBTQ pride celebrations in the city rather than hire a consulting firm to devise such a plan.

The Council was considering a two-year, $216,000 contract with MIG, Inc., a West Coast-based research company, to host visioning workshops and individual interviews and report back what the future of pride observances in West Hollywood should look like.

However, the business community was outraged the city would spend such a huge amount on outside firm when the money could be better spent helping local businesses, especially during the pandemic when so many businesses are suffering or closing completely.

Similarly, they said there was no need to hire a firm to come up with “intellectual property that really is home grown,” as Jeff Consoletti phrased it.

Consoletti is the founder of JJ|LA, the event production company which has put together the LA Pride festival for the last decade.

Consoletti offered his expertise to help come up with ideas for future prides.

“I’m more than willing to partner with the business community, with councilmembers, with boards and commissions and of course with the West Hollywood Chamber and Visit West Hollywood on ways that we can put those programs into a new and exciting and invigorated program right here in West Hollywood, really at no cost until you have plans to put into motion,” said Consoletti.

The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce offered to host visioning workshops, round-table discussions and interviews with community members to gather ideas for prides.

“We implore you not to spend this outrageous amount on an outside firm when we know this event intimately and believe the community knows what it wants,” said Chamber president Genevieve Morrill. “We just need to figure out how to get there and make it happen.”

A city-sponsored pride celebration for 2021 is NOT expected to occur as coronavirus-pandemic induced social distancing requirements and the ban on large group gatherings likely will not be lifted by June 2021. So, these plans would be for 2022 and beyond.

The councilmembers liked the idea of the community coming together to devise its own plans for pride.

However, Councilmember Sepi Shyne urged that the city’s Transgender Advisory Board and Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board should be consulted.

Meanwhile, Councilmember John Erickson suggested that representatives from Christopher Street West (CSW) should be brought into the discussions since they have years of experience putting together pride celebrations.

Mayor Lindsey Horvath quickly shot Erickson’s suggestion down.

“What we last heard from CSW is they were not interested in being part of the city activities and they were going elsewhere,” said Horvath. “That’s why are having this conversation tonight.”

Christopher Street West is the nonprofit which puts together the annual LA Pride events, while Consoletti is the person who transforms those plans into reality.

In July, CSW announced it intended to move its LA Pride festivities out of West Hollywood, but wasn’t sure exactly where it would go. That announcement came after decades of tension between CSW officials and West Hollywood city officials.

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WeHoMikey
WeHoMikey
10 months ago

Erickson stuck his foot wayyy into his mouth at least twice during his first meeting. I sure hope all the developers who paid for his election will at least be able to say they got their money’s worth.

michaelz
michaelz
10 months ago

who does one contact with suggestions??

WeHoMikey
WeHoMikey
10 months ago
Reply to  michaelz

Suggest you email Mayor Horvath to start the conversation.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
10 months ago

many of the locals believe the event should be downtown.

Danielle Harris
Danielle Harris
10 months ago

Good move. Let the locals decide and don’t waste our money on high priced consultants. The whole thing was too commercial anyway. And no to CSW!

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
10 months ago

Call me surprisingly and pleasantly shocked that Erickson made the adult recommendation to consult the folks at CSW to be a part (not the only part) of this process. Horvath, of course, brought it back to petulance. I suggest bringing in the Ringling Brothers, because it’s all sure to be a circus from here on. There will be something for everyone, and nothing for anyone. Call it a day and move on from pride and let everyone have their own whatever, whenever, wherever. The umbrella is no longer sustainable. I represent the third “I” in the alphabet soup–Indifferent (and bored).

Josh Kurpies
Josh Kurpies
10 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Alan, Although I am indifferent to CSW involvement (remember, they left us), I have to tell you, I loved your “I represent the third “I” in the alphabet soup-Indifferent…” That made me chuckle.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
10 months ago
Reply to  Josh Kurpies

Always happy to provide a chuckle, Josh. I always enjoy interacting here with people like you who use your full identity to stand by your thoughts and opinions. Bravo and thank you for doing so.

Steve Too
Steve Too
10 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

CSW is part of the problem – not part of the solution. Kudos to Horvath for not letting keeping them away.

Drew
Drew
10 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

I disagree. Mayor Horvath made a good call. There needs to be a clean break with CSW in order to move forward. The City has worked with CSW for years and know the logistics inside and out. There is also programming that is currently provided by the City through its One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, which is much more art and history focused than the festival party that used to be put on by CSW. I applaud the Council’s decision. This is a very exciting new step for WeHo Pride.

hifi5000
hifi5000
10 months ago

This is a smart move.Let the local community and local advisory boards take on the future planning for Pride in 2022 and beyond.

There should be a look into how Pride in West Hollywood could be done without charge to the attendees and be open to all, not just those over 21 years of age.

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