Carroll, you look like the cleaning lady going through security already! Did I just say that out loud? hehehe
With all the mess going on in NY, I feel really bad for George. As far as I can tell he seems like a great guy to to leading a group like that. I enjoyed getting to meet him last month. I hope he is doing well all things considered.
Hey Everyone I had heard about some of the in-fighting while at this year's conference. One thing all of our GLBT Law Enforcement Groups need to pay close attention too is the new organization of GOAL NY. Remember, and for those of you who don't know, GOAL NY is scheduled to host the 13th annual Conference in New York in 2009. SOme planning on their part will have to be done over the next few months. They will have to have information avaliable by our 2008 conference in May, or a hard decision will have to be made. I sure hope they settle things down soon
I understand your concerns Scott. Perhaps we have nothing to worry about. After all, GOAL, at twenty five years of age, is the oldest LGBT criminal justice group in the world. GOAL hosted the very first conference back in 1994 dispite the fact that some folks thought it could never be done. GOAL put the conference together without the consent of the NYPD or any other law enforcement agency. GOAL, at that conference, created the first ever LGBT criminal justice display at NYPD and DOC headquarters. GOAL has lots of senior talent that could put a conference together blindfolded with one hand tied behind our backs.
GOAL is now under new management, but this should not have any bearing on hosting the conference two years from now. There is no reason why GOAL cannot host the 13th conference unless their current board doesn't care about the conference or GOAL's brave history in creating it. But, I'm sure that's not the case. I'm sure they realize that GOAL has already set the standard of excellence that exists in all chapters today. I'm sure that they would never disgrace the proud history of GOAL by failing to live up to everything we stand for, namely addressing the needs, issues and concerns or all LGBT criminal justice professionals in New York. I'm sure they realize that if they don't respect GOAL's history, nobody will respect them. Indeed, by failing to maintain GOAL's historic place in the history of this struggle, they will become the laughng stock pf all of us. There is absolutly no way they would ever allow this to happen. So don't worry scott. Everything will be OK. After all, why would GOAL's new management allow this wonderful organization to shame itself. Belive me, I don't see how that would ever happen. I'm sure that they love, admire and respect GOAL and would never hurt it but will nuture it and take care of it until the next management comes along. But, on the other hand, perhaps the new board is nothing more than an arrogant, imcompetent,selfish mob who are only in GOAL for what they can get instead of for what they can give. Only time will tell.
Last Edit: Jul 17, 2007 16:34:02 GMT -5 by Deleted
GOAL New York's Mission Statement: Bluepride's July 12 posting shows the wording of the Mission Statement as it was originally written. Even he made a few tweaks to it before he had it included in the GOAL Gazette during his presidency in 1996. Nothing substantial, just some fine-tuning of the wording and its arrangement. As Levon notes, the wording was again tweaked during president Don Jirak's administration. In February 2001 the Board reviewed five versions that had been used at one time or another during the preceding 19 years. The members agreed to some minor modifications and presented the revised wording to the membership at the March 2001 membership meeting. There may be some rearrangment of the words but the general thrust of the original has not been compromised. For those who are interested, here is the original wording followed by the wording as modified in February 2001.
This is the original Mission Statement:
The Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) was formed in 1982 to address the needs, issues and concerns of gay and lesbian law enforcement personnel. We are the first organization of this type anywhere in the world. Since its inception, The Gay Officers Action League has historically advocated for the rights of it's members in the New York area, across the United States and around the world. GOAL assists its members in issues of discrimination, harrassment and disparate treatment in the workplace.
GOAL is also a fraternal organization that promotes friendship among it's members. Our membership is made up of sworn uniform and civilian personnel, as well as retired members of law enforcement service. One of our goals is to promote the establishment of other chapters, throughout the United States and the rest of the world. The Gay Officers Action League is an organization whereby members can feel free to discuss their needs and concerns in an atmosphere of comfort, without fear of job related reprisals.
The Gay Officers Action League also serves as a bridge between the law enforcement profession and the gay and lesbian community at large, who have traditionally been at odds in the past. GOAL is a safe environment for a group of people who have and continue to be, victims of harrassment and discrimination in the workplace. By striving for a high level of diversity and the inclusion of all people within the organization, we stimulate the intellectual growth and self-awareness of our membership. In doing so, we also motivate our members to achieve a higher degree of efficiency in the discharge of their duties as law enforcement professionals.
The Gay Officers Action League is a positive force within the gay and lesbian community and is instrumental in attempting to change homophobic attitudes in the workplace and in the community at large.
This is the Mission Statement adopted March 2001:
The Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) was formed in 1982 to address the needs, issues and concerns of gay and lesbian law enforcement personnel. It is a fraternal organization that, since its inception, has advocated for the rights of its members and has assisted them on matters of discrimination, harassment, and disparate treatment in the workplace. GOAL members include both active and retired uniformed and civilian personnel employed in criminal justice professions.
The Gay Officers Action League provides an arena where members can feel free to discuss their needs and concerns in a comfortable atmosphere, without fear of job related reprisals. It provides a safe environment for a group of people who have been, and continue to be, victims of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. GOAL also serves as a bridge between the law enforcement community and the gay and lesbian community at large.
The Gay Officers Action League is the first organization of its type in the world. One of its objectives is to promote the establishment of other chapters, throughout the United States and around the world. By striving for a high level of diversity and the inclusion of all people within the organization, GOAL stimulates the intellectual growth and self-awareness of its membership. In doing so it aims to motivate its members to achieve a higher degree of efficiency in the discharge of their duties as law enforcement and criminal justice professionals.
While the Gay Officers Action League is a positive force within the gay and lesbian community, it is also instrumental in attempting to change homophobic attitudes in the workplace and in the community at large.
Now, for reasons unknown to me, it appears that at some point between January 2004 and June 2006 someone decided to drop two sentences from the Mission Statement without ever, to my knowledge, notifying the membership or seeking its comments. In the second paragraph, the sentence reading: "It provides a safe environment for a group of people who have been, and continue to be, victims of harassment and discrimination in the workplace" has been removed. Also deleted was the entire fourth paragraph which read: "While the Gay Officers Action League is a positive force within the gay and lesbian community, it is also instrumental in attempting to change homophobic attitudes in the workplace and in the community at large."
BluePride is not all about bashing GOAL by any means, but when it needs to get slapped around, it will. And when it deserves praise, I will be the first one to praise it to high heaven.
Agreed, Tommy. I couldn't have said it better (well, maybe I could have, but I'll be nice for a change). And now let me put my two-cents in. No, make that a dollar-seventy-five! There is so much to say, and so much burning inside me, that like you I'm going to have to do this in a couple of messages. In this one I'll just deal with George Farrugia's tenure as GOAL's president.
After a year of authoritarian rule under Vivian Rodriguez, when the By-laws were considered an inconvenient annoyance to be ignored and disregarded, followed by seven months of inaction and indecisiveness under Jaime Katz, during which time the town of Eastchester, NY debated and eventually rescinded domestic partner benefits for gay law enforcement officers and other town employees while GOAL's Board members babbled amongst themselves trying to decide what to do, I greated George Farrugia's ascendancy to the presidency of GOAL NY with cautious optimism. My optimism was not misplaced.
One of the first things George did was to try, more often than not, to follow the rules, the By-laws, the law. The members were not pawns to be looked down upon, but were people deserving of respect and answers.
Unlike with the Eastchester fiasco, the minute George learned of Lt. Laurel Hester's situation in New Jersey he wasted no time in contacted Garden State Equality, NJ's leading gay rights organization. At its behest George led a group of us down to Ocean County where he, together with Garden State Equality's leader, held a joint press conference denouncing the county's freeholders who were refusing to provide survivorship benefits (county option under NJ state law at that time) to a terminally ill police officer's partner. No fewer than four times did George lead our contingent for the one-hour trip down the NJ Turnpike so he could speak for GOAL and lend its clout to the struggle. And with each successive Freeholder's meeting, the media coverage would get broader. One by one other NJ counties began to fall into line and modify their own policies to provide for domestic partner benefits until, finally, the state's Governor got involved and a political compromise was reached, the upshot of which was Lt. Hester's fight for survivorship benefits was won....just months before her untimely death. As Tommy said in one of his posts on this issue, this was probably George's finest hour as president. But it wasn't his only good one.
George also showed his mettle when he steered the Executive Board to recognize first Tommy (in 2006) then Carroll (in 2007) as recipients of the Charles H. Cochrane, Jr. Award, GOAL's highest honor. In so doing he reversed a two year policy of recognizing friends and cronies whose efforts for and achievements on behalf of GOAL could be counted on the fingers of one hand...when that hand was formed into a fist. Probably no two people have, over the years, done more for GOAL than have Tommy and Carroll. Probably no two people have done less for the organization than 2004's and 2005's honorees. The former attended the membership meeting following the Awards Dinner (her first that I recalled in the 10 years I had been a member) to thank everyone and to say how happy and surprised she was because, as she said in her own words, she always thought the awards were just given to politicians and big names. Maybe if she had bothered to attend membership meetings, or even GOAL's Annual Dinners, she would have known otherwise. But I digress. Then there was 2005 and following a year as president, during which nothing of note was accomplished, and following which she resigned despite having specifically promised during the election that she would serve out the term, the Board bestowed our highest honor on Vivian Rodriguez. Thank you, George, for steering us out of shallow waters before the award became a mockery.
George also gets high grades for earning money and beefing up the treasury as had rarely been done in the past. Between him and his partner, Anthony, they came up with the concept of the "silent auction" and extensive raffle that have been staples at recent Anniversary Dinners. Between them they did all the work, made all the contacts, garnered all the merchandise from sponsors that made the dinners huge financial successes, providing GOAL the means to spend on things it had wanted to, but was unable to do in the past. Kudos also for his getting an underwriter for the cost of the Anniversary Dinner's Journal, making the ad money icing on the cake. Then, too, there is the Public Service Announcement that Tommy alluded to in one of his postings. That, too, was a George and Anthony concept and project.
George did these things and more, not with the help of, but in spite of one of the most disfunctional, disloyal Boards a person has ever had to work with, a Board the majority of whose members did everything in their power to undercut him at every turn. Well, now it's their turn to show just what they can do. It ought to be interesting and, if their first meeting without George is any indication, it will be.
Did George make mistakes? Of course he did, but I'm not going to dwell on them. There are others more eager and willing than I to do so. I will mention just one: His misguided attempt to be the nice guy and cover for the failure of others on the Board to fulfill the responsibilities and obligations of the positions they held. From the way they've since stabbed him in the back, let it be a lesson for any reading this who may find themselves in the position George was in. No need to be nasty or disrespectful, but if you are president one of your duties is to ensure that the other officers do their jobs as defined in your By-laws. If after sufficient warning they continue to ignore their responsibilities then YOU have an obligation, not only to the members but to yourself, to make the matter public and bring it to the attention of the membership. They can only help you if you let them.
And, like Forrest Gump, that's all I have to say about that.
George was an excellent president. In fact, history will show him as one of the best. I'm so sorry that he felt he had to step down. I tried to talk him out of it on several occasions but the constant backstabbing, that he faced on an ongoing basis, was really making him sick. Personally, I would have stayed in office, in spite of those idiots, until my term was up. Karl is now president because George stepped aside and let him have it. What's going to happen now? I have no idea. But we all have to work to try to rescue and save this wonderful, unique organization that stands at the heart of all of our struggles.
Post by maxwelldaemon on Jul 27, 2007 19:03:56 GMT -5
Yikes, it appears GOAL NY has hit a new low. A few people tried to get me to attend the last meeting, but it just seemed like we were going to line up to watch a train wreck. It is a shame, for I do remember a time when membership meetings would overflow from the largest rooms at the LGBT Center. People traveled for hours from all areas of the tri-state area to attend, and then move the “after-meeting” at a local establishment for further “discussion.” I suppose the old adage is true: “You can’t set foot in the same stream twice.”
I am grateful to have been a witness to GOAL’s glory days. Is it possible the organization has run its course? The power of the group always came from the strength of the membership, which always had a knack of putting the right people at the helm. These days, I wonder if any elections take place. As chair of more than one election committee, I can attest to many hotly contested elections in the past when there were so many ballots to count we went past closing time at the Center and had to finish on the street! I gather the current elections can be tallied on one’s fingers and toes…
I guess the bottom line comes down to the needs of those young lesbian/gay officers just starting their careers. I would be horrified if I were just coming on the job today and saw this sad organization as the fraternal group of my people! It would be equally horrifying if the organization were made up of only veterans with no young blood to carry on.
The worst scenario would be to see GOAL go the way of the water buffalo. I am reading and hearing plenty of complaints about the current state of affairs; what are we prepared to actually do about it? I open the floor to discussion…
I am not yet sold on the idea that George , by self-motivation due to personal desire or need or other obligation, was "inclined" to step down ...
Because at the last meeting, when the "merde" hit the fan, I publically asked the acting president and each board member, in light of the transparency that the membership of GOAL-NY is entitled to, to individually state when they were first aware of George's resignation ...
The acting president's response relayed a notification date of July 1st.
I asked about first awareness .
The Sergeant At Arms, who earlier resigned that evening at the Board's pre-membership meeting, contradicted the July 1st statement, and she publicly stated (feuming like a tigeress and inches from the acting president's face) that the Board knew in May!
End result: My question was dodged and never answered by the remaining members of the board - even after the acting president in his opening statement to the meeting realyed that he wanted no "sneakiness" during his tenure.
Fish rot from the head to the tail ...
and the stench coming from GOAL-NY is increasingly stinking of rotting fish's flesh .
Last Edit: Jul 28, 2007 7:54:55 GMT -5 by flblue09
I had made a post in a myspace group about me wanting to get a group started here in Indiana, and a guy from NY sent me a response saying I should get in contact with GOAL NY for advise. I simply replied that with the issues they got going on, I'll take advice from other groups first. He said he was a member of GOAL NY and had no idea what I was talking about. Just goes to show that the "average member" that isn't active in the group has no idea what is going on. Kinda sad, as if the situation wasn't sad enough.
<<<George was an excellent president. In fact, history will show him as one of the best.>>>
As much as I like George and applaud most of his efforts over the last two years, I respectfully disagree with this characterization. Just my opinion and it doesn't reflect on George as a person. He had a lot to deal with and was crapped on for his efforts. He actually has experienced physical problems, due directly to his ex-cohorts. At least he tried to right the ship. But I'm not going to annoint him as one of the best....
Last Edit: Jul 28, 2007 9:53:03 GMT -5 by bluepride
Hey Bluepride. You're very perceptive. I didn't mention this to anyone at the time, but in Providence George didn't look well. He had a stressed, towntroden, angry look on his face the whole time we were there. You're right. I think he was having some physical problems that were probably related to the way his board had been treating him. You know, stress can be a killer. It can screw up your system and you could come down with anything. He would have been an even better president if he didn't constantly have that pack of wolves snapping at his heels. But, I guess he did the best he could under the circumstances.
I had made a post in a myspace group about me wanting to get a group started here in Indiana, and a guy from NY sent me a response saying I should get in contact with GOAL NY for advise. I simply replied that with the issues they got going on, I'll take advice from other groups first....
Smart idea, Jon...at least as far as seeking guidance from the current board. But if you're willing to overlook my own affiliation with GOAL NY just know that, while my talents may be few, you can call on me if needed. I'm more than willing to help you in any way that I can.
Hey Burner. What to you mean "my talents are few'? I will not allow you to understate your talents or abilities. There is absolutly nothing that you don't know about putting together such a group. Your background in goal has been stellar. Your contributions are far to numerous to mention here. You have worked hard, for years, nurturing and promoting goal. You need to be receiving the Charles Cochrain award for all of your efforts. So don't say your talents are few. I wish I had your talents. I am so mad at you for putting yourself down like that. HOOSIERCOP, when you talk to burner, you're talking to the best. Anything he tells you is gospel.
Last Edit: Jul 28, 2007 15:59:06 GMT -5 by Deleted
Before I get started just let me address this to Hoosier...I may be alittle bias but let me tell you ... BURNER has done more for GOAL New York than many many of its professional members. Besides the physical work he has done, he cares about GOAL NY more than many of its members and he certainly cares more than GOAL NY's Executive Board .... Now onto my post .... PRYDEGUYS wrote
George was an excellent president. In fact, history will show him as one of the best.
Now Carroll, you know I like you and I respect you ... but are you kidding me !??!?!?!? I like George, he's a nice guy but come on, "if he is one of GOAL's best presidents than GOAL must have been worst shape than I thought !!" Maybe George's personality was too nice to be president. Aside from Lt. Laurel Hester, giving awards to deserving recipients and raising money for GOAL what did he do? As I wrote "raising money" I thought of meetings where I listened to the GOAL monthly budget ... you had to listen very carefully because if you missed something too bad ... anyway, yes George raised money but under George's watch, money was also spent, I believe frivolously ... 1 - does GOAL really need a cell phone, it already has a phone number for people to call and leave messages that board members can beep in to and retrieve the message (GOAL had a cell phone years ago & it caused problems), 2 - when members of GOAL conducted diversity training at the New York Police Academy did they have to have GOAL pay for their lunch?, 3 - did GOAL HAVE TO send representatives to California & Florida for LGBT conferences? Yes, on George's watch GOAL made money and on George's watch, GOAL spent alot of money ... and continues to spend. 4 - I can't give specifics but I do know that taxi cab receipts are handed in for reimbursement quite regularly.
I have more to say ... aren't you guys lucky...but I must put my thoughts in order before I begin to babble. I'll be back.