South Bay Alliance Association, Inc. (SBA) is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization building a coalition of the LGBT community and our allies for social networking, business promotion, and political awareness in South San Diego County and Baja California North.
SBA began in the Fall of 2006 with a small group of long time LGBT South Bay residents at the instigation of Mitch Doty-Cabrera. The initial executive committee included Dae Elliott and John Acosta as Co-Chairs, Marci Bair as Secretary, and Craig Knudson as Treasurer. In 2007, the committee resurrected the celebration “Gay Day in South Bay” that had been formerly organized by Marci Bair in 2003-2005.
The 2008-2009 executive committee was chaired by Dae Elliott with Marci Bair as Vice-Chair, Craig Knudson as Treasurer, and Lori Grady as Secretary. In 2008, the committee founded the South Bay Pride Music Festival held at Memorial Park on August 24, 2008, This new event replaced the small neighborhood gathering of 2007 “Gay Day in South Bay” with a music festival and Pride event for outreach to the south San Diego county community at large. SBA also enhanced its internet support of the community by developing their business listing and resource information websites. In the spring of 2009, SBA moved from a non-profit association to a 501(3)(c) non-profit corporate status.
The 2010-2011 executive committee was chaired by Marci Bair with Ben Orgovan as Vice-Chair, Craig Knudson as Treasurer, and Rhonda Mack as Secretary while Dae Elliott continued as an advisory executive committee member chairing the South Bay Pride committee. In 2011, South Bay Pride Music Festival added the Art component to their celebration and became South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival.
Since its inception, this small group has grown exponentially. Our original 2007 event was a small picnic style gathering with Laura Jane as DJ attended by about 200. A year later, we had our first South Bay Pride Music Festival attended by about 700 attendees. SBPRIDE2018 had about 7,000 attendees.
After a hiatus in 2012, South Bay Alliance’s board was reorganized by founding members Dae Elliott (chair), Marci Bair (vice-chair), and Craig Knudson (treasurer) and South Bay Pride was moved to the larger venue Bayfront Park while increasing entertainment and activities to include a second dance-dj stage, a juried selected ‘Art in the Park’ display, the ‘GG’s Got Talent’ contest, as well as, hosting two weddings for our “My Gay Wedding” contest winners in celebration of the 2013 decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court allowing same sex couples to formalize their love and commitment to each other through marriage in the state of California. The 2013 South Bay Pride had over 50 vendor/exhibitors and saw its attendance increase by 40% from previous years.
The 2014-2015 executive committee was chaired by Dae Elliott with Joseph Burke as vice-chair, Craig Knudson as Treasurer, Patricia Boman as Secretary. South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival 2014 was held on Saturday, September 13, 2014. The duration was extended from 12 – 10pm with two stages. The Port Authority Main stage highlighted our wonderful line up of local bands while our Flicks Entertainment stage was hosted by Pauly and Monks and brought us popular local DJ’s for great dancing. In addition to continuing our ‘Art in the Park’ and more wonderful vendor/exhibitors, we also added rides and children’s’ entertainment by San Diego Kid’s Party Rentals. Once again, our attendance increased substantially!
Joe Burke continues as vice chair and executive director of South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival. We would like to also welcome Sister Ida Know as our Social Outreach representative. Our 2015 Pride was held on Saturday, September 12, 2015 and moved just across to Bayside Park, Chula Vista for more room to expand and access to beach for water sports in the bay. We expanded our ‘Art in the Park’ while continuing our successful stage that promoted local talent including our headliners Vokab Kompany, Ricky Rebel and Ivy Levan. In addition, we had the AIDS Memorial Quilt on display!
Joe Burke has continued as our director from 2016 thru 2017 and expanded the entertainment to three stages while expanding the number of local artisans, continuing support of our arts and crafts local community with subsidized spaces so that they are accessible to all. The event continued to provide diverse activities (both water and land) and entertainment for children. In response to community requests, SBPRIDE2018 went back to a singular stage as the focus of the event. Mishelle Banaga came on board to handle our talent acquisition and provided an amazing lineup for the day that include the band Ingenue as well as Rupaul’s Mariah with the San Diego Divas as headliners. As a community pride event entirely organized and ran by volunteers with the support of multiple local organizations, we are proud to have continued the tradition of local artisans and vendor/exhibitors, activities for families and a full line up of music by our local bands in order to provide the wonderful bay side celebration of community for LGBTQ* and their allies.
SBPRIDE 2019 is scheduled to be held on September 14, 2019. The new board of directors for 2019 includes Ariel Javier (Treasurer), Mishelle Banaga (Community Outreach), Pej Morgan (Business Networking), Tom Cirrilo (Marketing), and Craig Knudson, Patricia Bowman, and Brenda Arnold as board members at large. Joe Burke continues as Vice-chair and will act as SBA’s chair as Dae Elliott has retired after 12 years. SBA is searching for their new executive chair as of this time. If you are interested, please email SouthBayAlliance@gmail.com with your resume. This is a non-paid board position.
As always, there is positions on the planning committee for SBPride. If you would like to help out in the planning SBPRIDE2019, please contact us at SouthBayAlliance@gmail.com. The planning committee meets the first Monday every month at 6pm. Be a part of making a difference!
South Bay Alliance goals are to make this event not only a celebration of our community and educational outreach but also to provide funds in order to assist in creating a bi-national resource center in the south San Diego county and border region where our youth and our aging community can be supported and have a safe haven. In the interim, SBA is doing active bi-national community outreach as well as working within the other community based organizations and governmental bodies in order to encourage HIV testing/treatment, promoting “Live well San Diego” and “Getting to Zero” initiatives, as well as, promote safe LGBTQ* friendly areas through our outreach efforts, offering Cultural Competency & Diversity LGBTQ* training to interested businesses/organizations and individuals. SBA offers SafeZones 2.5 – 3 hour training to business/organizations upon request. Contact us for fees. We are also reaching out to South Bay businesses/organizations to post our 4″ x 4″ Palm Tree decal to indicate to the community that they are LGBTQ* friendly and in support of LGBTQ* equality.
If you need to contact us through mail, our address is:
South Bay Alliance Association, Inc.
c/o Law Office of Ariel A. Javier, APC
1901 First Ave, Suite 124
San Diego, CA 92101
For tax deducible donations, please make all checks to “South Bay Alliance Association, Inc.”
If you would like to discuss partnering with South Bay Pride 2019 or request a SBP2019 Sponsorship/Partnering Kit, please email SouthBayAlliance@gmail.com
2018 Strategic South Bay Alliance Board Members
SBA Chair, Dae Elliott
Joseph Burke, SBA Vice Chair/SBPride Director
Ariel Javier, SBA Treasurer
SBA Secretary, Michael Williamson
Thomas Cirillo, Marketing
Mishelle Baranga, SBA Community Outreach/SBPride Entertainment
Pej Zaimaran, SBA Business Networking/SBPride Volunteer Coordinator