The Absurdity of “It can’t work!”

In the last few weeks I’ve been using the LBGT center in Phoenix, which happens to be next door to my house — for info, for the library, for wifi — to hang some art — and meet people — and well, there you go — stuff — and then I found out the place is broke, and falling apart — so I attend board meetings — and listen to mush and piffle — and I’m appalled and amazed at what I heard. So, I send this list of things that could be done to the Board of Directors — a self-admitted failed group of folks — and then I get a response publicly that “It can’t work!” and I get it in writing too — so, here’s what I sent the board about my idea to resurrect something that never should have faltered in the first place, along with the response from the board-failure and my response to him — yeesh – -I hate “It can’t be done!” :

One Voice Community Center

A Preliminary Development Plan

 February 2014

 The One Voice Community Center has seen its ups and downs over the past number of years and is now facing yet a new threat to its existence. However, Phoenix, as the 5th largest city in America, deserves a world class Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgendered Center worthy of our city’s position in the nation.

Towards that end the new Board of Directors, with new leadership, would like to present this preliminary development plan. There are many things that need to be done, none of which are easy and none of which are impossible.

 Building a board of professionals and individuals with areas of expertise that would benefit the board – and also reflect the vast diversity of the LGBT community by age, race, sex, gender and other features that express our reality.

 Nothing in this preliminary plan should be construed as binding or permanent or definite, but merely as a starting point of discussion and planning for the forthcoming future.

 The ultimate goal of the plan is to create a Center it its own building, that it owns, that serves the LGBT community in every way possible.

 A recasting of the mission of the Center in an affirmative and growing manner.

 A new set of bylaws that strengthens the core mission of the Center that is clear and unambiguous.

 The election of a Vice-Chair, a Treasurer and a Secretary and an adherence to Robert’s Rules of Order and current standard practices of Non-Profit boards.

 The selection of Vice-chairs in charge of the Website, the Facebook Page, Fundraising, Press, Programs and Events.

 The development of the Board of Directors as an active hands on board that is dedicated to resurrecting the One Voice Community Center to the status it deserves.

 Either the resolution of the difficulties with the current landlord or to find some other amenable space within the area that would lower the operating costs of the center and enable us to look forward and build upon what we have.

 The website needs to be upgraded, updated, and a regular posting and maintenance schedule established.

 The Facebook page needs to be geared towards gaining new members and alerting people to events and happenings.

 Other social media need to be examined to see how they might foster the growth and development of the Center.

 The Center needs to establish permanent fundraising capabilities, including a paid membership, donations in cash and kind, sponsorships, paid events, and ultimately a LGBT trade show to showcase the LGBT community in Phoenix.

 The Center needs to establish monthly fundraising events at bars across the valley.

 Since the Center is in the antiques district it should establish a monthly sale of art and things that tie in with the local merchants at dates and times already well known.

 The Center will work to establish affinity programs with stores, restaurants, bars and other establishments that will donate a given percentage of sales to the center on a regular basis. That is, if people buy say, pizza from Harley’s restaurant then some portion of the receipts on a given night will accrue to the Center.

 An outreach to every LBGT organization, group, business, professional, individual and entity in the Valley such that the Center is seen as the center of the community, and not just another player within it.

 The selling of ad space within the center, and on our website and facebook pages and in any publications or promotion materials.

 The selling of sponsorships for our programs, events and spaces.

 The selling of naming rights for rooms and portions of the Center today and in the future as a fundraising tool.

 Seeking operating and development grants so that the Center can continue, and eventually occupy its own building.

 A regular press outreach so that the Center receives positive coverage in LGBT and heterosexual media in an attempt to reach all LBGT and allied people and organizations.

 Hosting an annual LGBT trade show that will showcase the Valley as a LGBT travel destination and business opportunity – as well as foster trade between the LBGT business and individual community living year round in the Valley.

 Reaching out to every major company in the Valley for financial support – through defining and delineating the power of the LGBT market and purchasing power.

 Increasing the number of events, offerings and programs at the Center to showcase its position as the voice of the diverse community we live in.

 Reaching out to other successful LGBT centers in both nearby cities and nationwide, to find out what works and what we can copy and implement in our own environment.

 Conduct surveys of the LGBT community to determine what you want and what would be best for the Center to serve your needs.

Conduct surveys of the LGBT community to determine the extent of our political and economic impact – and use that information to grow the Center to something worthy of the 5th largest city in America.

 Reaching out to all the LGBT groups, organizations and entities statewide to push for the statewide acceptance of the LGBT community based on Liberty and the American Dream – and not on “equality” and victimization.

 —————end

Then I get this mush: 

Jim:

 Thank you for your suggestions. Several of the actions cited have been undertaken by the board at different times. The discussion with Phoenix Pride does not mean the end of the Center, but represents its evolution and the possibility of a stronger footing within the community. Since 2005, the current business model has repeatedly failed which strongly suggests that it is not sustainable in this market.

 I appreciate your interest and passion for the Center.

 Richard Schultz

 The admitted failed Vice Chair of the place … egads.

So, I sent him this:

 Richard,

if you’ve tried the “current business model” since 2005 — and failed — continuously — then you should change your business model. The idea that a gay center can’t exist in Phoenix is patently absurd. Perhaps whatever you tried is unsustainable — ergo, something else should have been tried. Instead, you all — someone — I don’t know — with the best motives I’m sure – – continued to do the same thing — which didn’t work, you admit. Now your proposal is to continue the same course. Or somehow abandon it all.

 Perhaps then, new ideas are needed – and new people – and not a defeatist attitude that “it can’t be done.”

 I had no intention of getting involved in what i thought was a well run group — which provided me the information I needed — but in my use of the center the numbers of people who spoke to me about it all was rather amazing — just volunteering info left and right — and asking me to do something — for I am an energetic ideas man.

 All my life I was told it “can’t be done.” Then I went and did it. It’s rather amazing what can be done when one abandons failed business models hanging around for 10 years. 🙂

 Jim Hlavac

 ———–> and you know folks, I’m so tired of hearing from everyone “it can’t be done!” — I hear it so often I’m going to scream. It’s absurd. The idea that something can’t be done is based on the lack of thought by people who first insist it can’t be done – and then they warble on endlessly about how woe is near and naught may be done. I’m opposed to that idea.

Oh well, — let’s see what happens to the gay center in Phoenix — the 5th Largest city in America — where nothing can be done! yeesh, mush and piffle.

 

 

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