The SiriusXM OutQ News Blog

News from America's only radio station for the LGBT community.

Philly bills Equality Forum $17K for city services

leave a comment »

Organizers of Pennsylvania’s Equality Forum got a firsthand look this month at exactly how the recession is hurting gay groups … in the form of a bill … for $17,000… from the City of Philadelphia.

Equality Forum is one of the counrty’s largest gay events, including lectures, workshops, parties and rallies – and organizers say it can bring as many as 75-thousand people to Philadelphia. In February, organizers learned they were losing a giant chunk of their funding … a 115-thousand dollar contribution from the city, because of budget cuts.

But the city wasn’t done. Executive Director Malcolm Lazin says the city handed him a bill for city services – just days before the event kicked off earlier this month – and told him he had to pay the seventeen thousand dollars – in advance.

Lazin: “We’ve never been charged for city services in the past, and so to be told shortly before the event that we were going to be charged for those services obviously came as a shock.”

Philadelphia is hardly the only city struggling with its budget. And Equality Forum is a big enough organization that it was able to make ends meet. But Lazin says many smaller events might not be able to sustain these types of charges.

Lazin: “For example, a traditional pride event with a parade, is already tapping into the community in order to raise the funds necessary for the parade. So if they’ve got to now, in a tough economy, raise additional funds? That’s a pretty Herculean climb.”

Lazin says next year, they may have to consider moving the Equality Forum off of city property–and start charging admission.

–Aaron McQuade

Advertisements

Written by OutQ News staff

May 21, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: