Friday, October 03, 2014

HUH?: Houston Pride Parade Organizers Move Event Downtown—Because They WANT To; Poll Shows 51% Of Area Residents Want Chicago Parade To Move

Organizers of Houston's pride parade this week announced that they are going to move the parade out of that  city's LGBT enclave, Montrose, in favor of a downtown location. Houston organizers have been wanting to move the parade downtown for years, but kept it in Montrose due to public opinion. Next year, Houston's parade will move.

From the Houston Chronicle:
"Pride Houston has outgrown the space required to produce quality activities associated with the Houston LGBT Pride Celebration," Pride Houston president Frankie Quijano said. "Downtown is already host to many successful annual festivals and parades. The downtown location also ensures greater access to parking, public transportation, hotels, emergency personnel and other facilities within walking distance of the celebration."
[...]
"The fact is that there can be no progress without change," he said. "We implore the community to have an open mind and embrace the evolution of one of the largest Pride celebrations in the U.S. Our organization will keep the momentum moving forward."
Here is another story about the Houston decision.  Some of it sounds so familiar:
...,with rapid development of pricey townhomes taking the place of longtime gay and lesbian bars, Montrose just isn't so gay anymore, some whispered....
Heck, they even quote an owner of several Houston gay bars:
"You would NEVER dream of moving the Gay (GLBTQ) Pride Parade from West Hollywood in L.A., Cedar Springs in Dallas, Halstead [sic] Street in Chicago, or the West Village in NYC”......“Houston’s Gay (GLBTQ) Pride Parade belongs in Montrose on lower Westheimer. Moving it from the gay area would be nothing short of a nightmare, not a dream. Please don’t move it.”

51% Of Area Residents Want Chicago Parade Moved

We have some of the most perceptive readers around. When 44th ward Alderman Tom Tunney announced results of an online survey designed to gauge feelings about the Chicago Pride Parade, one reader noticed something amiss.

Tunney's summary of the survey results last week focused on the opinions of survey-takers who identified themselves as 44th ward residents.

But, when it came down to the big question of whether the parade should be moved downtown, Tunney didn't give 44th ward results. Instead, he wrote that, "The survey indicated that Lakeview residents want the Pride Parade to stay in our community, but it also indicated that neighbors want to see real reforms."

One problem. The survey results did NOT show that Lakeview residents want the parade to stay in our community. We now know that 51% of 44th ward respondents said they would like to see the Chicago parade move downtown. Tunney did not release that survey result last week.

Under pressure from our reader, who also filed a Freedom of Information Act request to get the full results released, Tunney today released survey results for a variety of sub-groups, including the data that shows "Lakeview residents" are leaning toward relocation.

This one will be placed in the grossly over-stuffed file labeled "half truths from Tom Tunney."

CWB has been saying since June that we hope organizers and the city will be able to find a way to keep the parade in Lakeview. However, we believe there are serious public safety issues that must be addressed and guided by professionals, not by online opinion surveys.
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