Your DAISSI board has continued to meet and to plan in light of the latest information about COVID-19 and in particular the guidance and orders from our public health officials. We express our profound gratitude for all of our essential workers in our community and across the region: our first responders, our grocery store employees and pharmacists, cleaners and house and yard workers for seniors/elders, community care givers, and the staffs of medical clinics and hospitals, and others. With all of you, we also give thanks for the good work our communities have been doing to “flatten the curve”, which saves lives and brings nearer that eagerly-awaited day when we are able to gather together once again.
a society, we are working on your behalf to plan, to adapt, and to
continue to operate with these changing circumstances in a way which is
responsible and positive. As part of that, we know it is not
appropriate for us to use DAISSI resources to try to plan a Pride
Festival this Summer as we had hoped. The level of uncertainty about
whether we would be able to gather at all is simply too high, and beyond
that vendors and performers are faced with their own uncertainty and
difficulty that means making commitments is impossible. While we hope
that physical distancing and other interventions are relaxed by this
Summer, we cannot today plan a Pride Festival.
We have been proactively responding to the changing circumstances as new information is available to us, and will continue to do so on your behalf. We will do everything we can to be able to gather to celebrate Pride in some form as a community if we can this year. We don’t yet know when that will be, or what form it might take. We are also trying to use this time to work well in advance on what we want to accomplish for Pride next year. The vision of Pride as a temporary village/festival at which we can constitute ourselves as a community in all our diversity and beauty is all the more potent in light of the separation we face today.
We have also been exploring our options for how we can best hold our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in this period. The AGM is the meeting at which the community can renew their membership in or become a member of the society. At the AGM your representatives on the board present the society’s financials, and we collectively select the board members who will serve as the community’s representatives until the next AGM.
Our financials for the past reporting period were pulled together in anticipation of the AGM this Spring. We will be circulating those through this same mailing list in the near future, so that all DAISSI members can have access to that information in a timely manner, with more detailed reporting and narrative to be provided at the AGM as soon as we are able to have it. Our bylaws require us to hold an AGM within 15 months of the last one, so we are hoping to hold an in-person AGM this Summer. In the event that public health orders continue to prohibit us doing so, we will arrange an online AGM this Summer.
In relation to the AGM, we have also heard some in our community expressing concern about the state of their membership in DAISSI as an organization. Membership dues can always be paid, for new memberships and membership renewals, at an AGM. Daissi has never refused someone membership for their financial inability to pay their dues. Indeed, we do not make a habit of purging our membership rolls proactively. We treat all of the LGBTQ2SIA+ on Salt Spring Island as though they were members with whom DAISSI shared in a relationship of mutual support, accountability, and responsibility. We are all in this together, and your official membership, though an opportunity to provide DAISSI with some financial support, is largely a formality of our structure as a Society.
Finally, and most importantly, know that we all continue to walk together, to sit together in this space of waiting. These are trying times, sometimes difficult, sometimes frustrating, and for some of us they are perhaps even peaceful.
While we are limited in the direct support we can provide, if there are needs you are aware of in our LGBTQ2SIA+ community on Salt Spring, please let us know. It may be possible for us to connect those in need with resources, and as we are a volunteer-led organization, your awareness of that need may be a calling to you to help support your community.
We would love to see weekly videoconferences for our community, or perhaps a phone tree to ensure we check in on one another. Do you have an idea, a need you are experiencing, or an ability to help? Through these trials we now face together.perhaps we can work together to keep our community healthy, connected, and hopeful.
With love and support, and hope for the day when we can be reunited in Pride,
Your DAISSI board.Juli, Jean, Miranda, Shellyse, Bill