Have you ever heard of a Public Records request? Basically, concerned citizens can request information from government entities, which are legally required to comply.
Now, the thing about such requests is that non-government groups don’t have to follow the same rules. Which is a shame, because if all of Humboldt were to send the Humboldt Area Foundation a request for records about some of the nefarious and politically motivated happenings going on around there, we might all be able to get some answers to the hard questions we’ve been asking. (And THC would finally be able to move on from this months long ordeal – it’s really exhausting fighting the good fight, you know?) So, while they aren’t legally required to respond to questions, don’t you think that, as a locally funded, “non-partisan”, and philanthropic organization that has been using our money to fund political movements, that they should feel morally obligated?
Apparently, Cleary and Co. don’t think so. We’ve heard from THC commenters and in emails that HAF hasn’t done anything to respond to direct questions posed to them by the public about their association with the True North Organizing Network, and the apparent mismanagement of the HAF’s funds. We’ve learned from personal experience that the HAF never returns our calls, either, even though we don’t blame them – we’re kind of fighting right now.
So, wouldn’t it be cool if someone, somewhere, were to take the initiative and draft an open letter to the HAF asking for answers and transparency?
Good news, THC fans! We just started doing just that. But wait, there’s more – we’ll even give you a chance to help us draft it. We’ve listed some of the questions we are going to ask below – if you don’t see one that you’d like answered, let us know and we’ll be sure to add it.
Then, we can all band together and send them loads of copies. Don’t have a printer? We’ve got you – we’ll print out a bunch at Kinko’s and send one to you. Don’t have the time? We’ve still got you covered – just tell us how you want the letter signed, and we’ll send it for you! (No questions asked or names released.)
At the end of the day, it’s not about pestering HAF, even if that is tons of fun. It’s about finally getting some real answers as to just what the heck is going on over at HAF, why Cleary thinks he can run it as his political piggy bank, and why the heck they are so damn inefficient with the funds donated by our families and friends over several generations. Don’t you think we are owed as much?
Here’s what we’ve got so far – feel free to leave suggestions in the comment section or by emailing us from here:
1. What is the total administrative cost of operating the Humboldt Area Foundation? How does that cost compare to the amount of money given back to the community?
2. How many people are employed by the Humboldt Area Foundation? How many of those employee positions are grant-funded?
3. How much money does Humboldt Area Foundation commit to operating the True North Organizing Network? What is the source of the funding given to True North? How many people are employed by True North Organizing Network?
4. Why was the decision to appoint long-term HAF Board of Directors member Terry Supahan as the director of True North made? Is Mr. Supahan still a member of the Board of Directors?
Of course, THC-heads, this is just the beginning. And we’ll be sure to post a final version of the letter for everyone to see before we make it official and send them out to ol’ Pat Cleary.