Since 2015, CivicPRIDE has been a consistently growing, informal network of LGBTQIA+ local government employees and their allies committed to creating a more inclusive profession. For nearly seven years we have strengthened connections, amplified voices, and made sure that our profession knows that we are here, we are queer, we are talented public servants, and we are not going anywhere. We have been able to do so thanks to the financial and logistical support of Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL), the networking space created by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and the energy of hundreds of friends like you participating, volunteering, and getting our stories out.
During late 2021, our founding board, facilitated and coached by the very talented and generous Nicole Lance embarked on a strategic planning process to design our future and formalize our organization. Based on the strengths and successes we have celebrated so far; we are well on our way to fulfilling our mission of advancing inclusive local government by empowering LGBTQIA+ leadership. Our dreams are bigger than annual mixers and virtual happy hours, however. We hope to continue to enhance our work by formalizing CivicPRIDE membership opportunities and offerings and expand our advocacy across the local government professions. Over the course of our strategic planning, the board realized that our big dreams will require some big changes.
Our first big change is already underway. We are giving a big bear hug of thanks to ELGL leaders and members for making it possible for the original idea of CivicPRIDE to become a movement. And, as of March of 2022, we have filed Articles of Incorporation with the state of Colorado and are in the process of achieving 501(c)3 status with the IRS. Over the course of this year, we intend to transition to a fully functional, standalone professional association. Our goals fall into three main categories: Organizational Structure, Engagement and Content, and Fiscal Sustainability.
Organizational Structure means clear governance and roles for managing resources and creating a self-sustaining organization to meet our mission. Our upcoming action items include:
- Establish non-profit status
- Define the value of and formalize membership in CivicPRIDE
- Create a performance management cadence for the organization
Engagement & Content means consistently creating opportunities for connections among LGBTQIA+ people and our allies and is how we inspire, support, and educate the local government profession through diverse and inclusive programming and resources. Our upcoming action items include:
- Develop a standalone CivicPRIDE website
- Enhance our partnerships and relationships with local government professional organizations and identity-based advocacy groups
- Generate articles for the CivicPRIDE blog and placement in other digital and print publications
- Host regular speaker presentations and virtual happy hours
- Build upon the success of our first annual Inclusion Summit in 2021 by offering another half-day event in June 2022
Fiscal Sustainability means developing and managing sustainable financial resources to support the mission and growth of our organization. Our upcoming action items include:
- Open a bank account (imagine that!)
- Create an organizational budget
- Develop a sponsorship strategy
- Explore non-sponsor revenue opportunities
The CivicPRIDE Board is as committed as ever to helping to be the change we wish to see in the profession. We believe the plan we have outlined for our year will lay the foundation for an organization that will outlast any of us individually and ensure that LGBTQIA+ professionals have a welcoming and warm seat at the table of local government leadership. We hope you will join us for the journey and let us know how we are doing along the way.