At the January 2017 meeting, the Pagan Alliance Board of Directors voted not to host the 14th Pagan Festival thus year. The reason is threefold:
Safety-Rhetoric and policies of the current president, his staff and administration continue to incite verbal and physical violence toward non-whites, LGBTQs, and practioners of non-Christian religions. The desceration of sacred lands, synogues, mosques, temples and grave sites is deeply disturbing to all of us in the Pagan Alliance. Our community event is a potential target. since its free to all and Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park is a non-gated public venue, so maintaining a safe environment, free from a violent act aimed at all attendees, cannot be guaranteed.
Funding-In order to keep the Pagan festival "free to all", the Pagan Alliance depends on grants, fundraisers and donations. In 2016, we received very few donations, we didn't host fundraisers and our funding was mostly from a donations partner grant from the SF LGBT Pride Parade and Celebration, however, it is insufficient funding to host a festival this year. The SF LGBT Pride grant was particularly low this year due to a low turnout due to multiple reasons including proximity to the horrific attack in Orlando and the difficulty that many of our volunteers had with the high police presence at this year's event.
Volunteers-The Pagan Alliance has a core of dedicated volunteers who make the day of the festival run smoothly. However, the planning of this community celebration has always been shouldered by a small committee. Since, planning and hosting events are dependent on volunteer participation, a lack of volunteers means that event planning and execution are difficult and continue to be shouldered by very few people who no longer can make this sacrifice for the community event. In addition, a decreasing number of volunteers has resulted in the inability to host fundraisers and a smaller donations partner grant.
The Pagan Alliance Board of Directors believes that community empowerment is key in these times.
Polices and newly adopted laws are dismantling human and civil rights and target gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, size, physically ability and religion. And with the latest illegal detention of legal US residents, our board believes that it is necessary to empower our community through presentation of a speaker/workshop series. This series will cover topics including religious freedoms, civil rights, privacy protection, social and environmental justice, environmental protection and activism.
This series will begin in the Spring. We invite suggestions of topics and invite volunteers to assist with hosting future events.
United We Stand.
The Pagan Alliance
Board of Directors