Title: SF Pride Elects First Majority-Trans Board
Date: 15 September 2021
Author: Peter-Astrid Kane
In a major milestone for diversity and inclusion, four new trans-identified nominees are set to join two trans-identified incumbents on the 11-member Board of Directors.
SAN FRANCISCO (Sept. 15, 2021) — The membership of San Francisco Pride has made history by electing the first Board of Directors with a transgender or gender-nonconforming majority.
Suzanne Ford, currently the Vice President, won her second three-year term on what will now be an 11-member Board, six members of which identify with the broader trans umbrella. Ford will be joined by newcomers Janelle Vinson, Maceo Persson, Di’ara Reid, and Spring Collins. Anjali Rimi, the board’s current Treasurer, is trans-identified as well. She now heads into the third year of her term, as she was not up for election.
In addition, three cisgender incumbents — Board President Carolyn Wysinger, Board Secretary Nguyen Pham, and Manuel Alejandro Pérez — secured additional three-year terms. The remaining two incumbent members, Elizabeth Lanyon and Joshua Smith, were not up for re-election in 2021.
“What an exciting development for an organization like San Francisco Pride,” said Fred Lopez, the organization’s Executive Director. “As we look toward future celebrations, it is so advantageous to have the perspectives of our trans siblings in our leadership. I look forward to working alongside this incoming Board in the coming months.”
Today’s results represent a major step forward for trans representation in the culture of the Bay Area, and builds on a long legacy of diversity and inclusion within the Pride movement. Prior to this year’s election, the composition of the SF Pride board was majority people of color; that is still the case.
“We are so excited about the continuing work of bringing marginalized voices to the table,” said SF Pride President Carolyn Wysinger. “As we set out in recruiting new voices, we were intentional in reaching out to trans leaders who are doing amazing work in our communities. I am excited that this includes bringing two Black trans women with incredible histories into the organization. This is truly a historic day.”
To win a seat on the Board, nominees must exceed a 50-percent-plus-one threshold of the total votes in a given election. Additionally, per SF Pride’s bylaws, that vote total must constitute at least one-third of the total active membership in order to reach a quorum. Staff election officials confirmed that a quorum was met, and San Francisco Pride volunteers, acting as Election Observers, were able to certify the election on Tuesday evening.
“Having worked with all four of these trans community leaders, I’m so excited to welcome them to the Board,” said SF Pride’s Vice President, Suzanne Ford. “I hope the trans community is as proud of them as I am. I can’t wait to get to work!”
“This is a historic milestone for SF pride that is setting the bar high for all Pride organizations around the world to center and uplift Trans leadership in their board rooms,” said SF Pride’s Treasurer, Anjali Rimi. “As a proud South Asian, Hindu, brown trans woman, I couldn’t be prouder and more charged to be part of the history in the making and share this moment with the newly elected/re-elected trans visionaries.”
Successful candidates will be formally seated at the next meeting of SF Pride’s Board of Directors, to be held on Wednesday, Oct. 6. Once convened, the new Board will then vote on a new Executive Committee consisting of four officers.
In the weeks to come, San Francisco Pride is set to produce its third annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser at TPC Harding Park (Friday and Saturday, Oct. 8-9) as well as its inaugural Ken Jones Awards, honoring leaders in the Bay Area’s LGBTQ+ communities in the name of a longtime Pride Board president who passed in early 2021.
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