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Breaking News: Roland Palencia Stepping Down as Equality California ED

Breaking News: Roland Palencia Stepping Down as Equality California ED

by Karen Ocamb on October 10, 2011

Roland Palencai (Photo by Rex Wockner)

(UPDATED 7:30PACIFIC) In a brief phone interview Monday night, Roland Palencia told me he was resigning as Executive Director of Equality California.

“I am stepping down. We will be having a board meeting and have a transition plan by the end of the week,” Palencia said.

Palencia called me because late this afternoon EQCA Communications Director Rebekah Orr called and cancelled a scheduled interview with me for Frontiers In LA magazine. Palencia called with an explanation.

When asked why he was stepping down, Palencia hesitated. He then agreed to go through with the interview for Frontiers, a portion of which will be posted immediately on FrontiersLA.com

Palencia is very concerned about Equality California as an organization:

“I want to make sure that everyone supports the organization. This is the time for all of us to rally and support Equality California. I have seen how this organization literally changes lives. It is a community asset and we have to keep our eye on the prize.”

This is a developing story…..


EQCA Executive Director Roland Palencia to Step Down From Post Friday, October 14

(San Francisco) Equality California (EQCA) announced today that Executive Director Roland Palencia will step down as of Friday, October 14. Palencia was selected to succeed long-time Executive Director Geoff Kors in May of this year.

“Equality California serves a critical role in the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality in the state of California,” said Palencia. “Over the next year, the movement in California faces a unique set of challenges that demands leadership uniquely positioned to take those challenges head-on, strengthen the organization and bring together the diverse parts of our movement into a powerful force for change. It’s been my privilege to serve as the Executive Director of Equality California and I will continue to be an avid and involved supporter of EQCA and its work for equality.”

Equality California will release a transition plan by the end of this week.

“During his tenure with Equality California, Roland Palencia did important work to build diverse and inclusive coalitions and engage and reconnect our movement,” said Cathy Schwamberger, Equality California Institute Board Chair. “That work has helped to position our movement to fight back against attacks on the LGBT community and protect advances in equality–the effects of which will impact our movement for years to come. We are grateful for his service to Equality California and his contributions to our movement and wish him the best in all of his future endeavors.”

For more information on Equality California sponsored legislation, please visit: www.eqca.org/legislation.Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights advocacy organization in California. Over the past decade, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for LGBT individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation. Equality California has passed more than 80 pieces of legislation and continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, electoral work, public education and community empowerment. www.eqca.org

{ 4 trackbacks }

Equality California Director Steps Down After A Whopping Three Months / Queerty
October 11, 2011 at 6:42 AM
Relatively new head of Equality California stepping down | POLITICAL MOSAIC
October 12, 2011 at 4:19 AM
EQCA Names New Interim Executive Director, Nothing on FAIR Act Repeal Initiative
February 28, 2012 at 3:58 PM
Breaking: Equality California Board Announces John O’Connor as New Executive Director
October 24, 2012 at 1:07 PM

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Patrick Connors October 11, 2011 at 2:49 AM

Will we really find out the reason he changed his mind? I bet we won’t.



Karenocamb October 11, 2011 at 2:55 AM

I asked tonight. I will ask again tomorrow. I explained that lots of people want to know – including and especially his grassroots friends and fans. We’ll see.


Ben7225 October 11, 2011 at 3:04 AM

He was never a shoe-in. I was felt 50/50 about him but now, i know this was not a fit for him – the shoes were too big?


Elderconradbro October 11, 2011 at 3:39 AM

The shoes were too big? Are you frakkin’ kidding me? Roland replaced a megalomaniac who didn’t give a damn about coalitions.


MPetrelis October 11, 2011 at 3:33 AM

good riddance, to EQCA, i say. it’s long been rubbish and very cut off from the grassroots, on top of having no commitment to democratic engagement with average LGBT people. endless award galas and cocktail receptions and ladies’ brunches and swim meats, er, meets, and a sickening elitism.

oh, and to further alienate themselves they hired a spokesperson from oregon. um, there are plenty of professional gay democratic public relations folks in CA who know the CA press gay and straight, the lay of the political land and with deep CA roots. what the hell does  rebekah orr, the new EQCA spokeswoman, really know what hell it is i want as a two-decade resident of CA?

be sure to check out my post today regarding other troubles – steve mele being forced out as EQCA finance director, board turnover – happening at group before this astounding news that roland palencia is bailing. read this:



MPetrelis October 11, 2011 at 4:11 AM

It’s not enough that Roland Palencia is stepping down.
We must get rid of EQCA and start from scratch:




SacramentoSquinter October 11, 2011 at 5:44 AM

Somebody needs to track the whereabouts of the leftover (was it reported to be $1.6 miillion at one point?) No On Prop 8 campaign ca$H that Mele managed (first independently for the campaign, more recently & post-campaign as the fin dir for EQCA!) since it’s FPPC reported on a quarterly basis… or am I just naive ’bout how these thangs happen here in CA?


MPetrelis October 11, 2011 at 2:53 PM

 there is almost $500,000 in EQCA gay marriage PAC, according to the CA SoS:



Mark G. October 11, 2011 at 2:38 PM

It’s not actually surprising considering the horrible decision to “circulate pamphlets on how to talk to people about being gay and ss marriage.  

But without a better explanation the whole things sounds a lot like Sara Palin’s excuse to quit as governor.. I’m quitting because quitters make things stronger.  huh?


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