THC has been examining the link between Humboldt Area Foundation and True North Organizing Network for some time now, but Humboldt Area Foundation has not been forthcoming in their relationship with True North and to what extent they condone or enable True North’s blatantly political activities. You’d think that would be a major concern of theirs, considering that – as the sponsoring organization behind True North – HAF is ultimately responsible for True North’s actions.
This raises a few questions, and makes it necessary that we firmly underline one point: Since HAF is the “non-profit umbrella” under which True North Organizing Network operates, then HAF is the organization ultimately responsible for the actions of True North. Now, this doesn’t necessarily effect the operations of True North. There really isn’t a need for that organization to be a non-profit.
But the real issue here isn’t for True North; it’s for HAF. As a non-profit that purportedly does not engage in political or partisan activities, how can they justify the ongoing and explicitly political actions of an organization that they are parent of? We wonder what level of official oversight HAF has over the activities of True North, since they’ve tried to distance themselves from the operation as much as possible. (Not all that much distance is possible, really, considering that they are housed in the same building.) Shouldn’t some form of transparent process be in place to ensure that the donations of well-intentioned individuals not go towards political endeavors that run counter to their own wishes? Of course, that would lead to some awkward inquiries from donors when it becomes even more clear that HAF is, indeed, doing a bunch of shit that they shouldn’t.
And, no, sending one of HAF’s former Board Members to take his DUI-heavy antics over to True North to act as the Executive Director doesn’t count as oversight. If anything, it perpetuates the suspicious link between HAF and True North even further. We’re talking more like putting a couple of HAF’s board members on the board of True North (assuming they actually have one!) to ensure that HAF’s “strict” moral guidelines aren’t being violated in any way.
Of course, if that is already the case, than whoever has been appointed to enforce the integrity of HAF’s mission statement is either blind or willfully facilitating the violation of HAF’s non-partisan mission. Which wouldn’t be surprising, given the pack of cronies Cleary has stacked the HAF board with.
(By the way, good luck finding HAF’s mission statement or charter on their website – it used to be easily accessible, but computer-illiterate’s like those of us at THC found it impossible to locate today. Maybe Pat Cleary’s conscience is finally getting to him, so he’s had it hidden somewhere deep in the recesses of HAF’s website so HAF’s blatant violation of their non-partisan mission isn’t as obvious to the casual observer.)